Committee Approves Commercial Spectrum Enhancement Act

June 26, 2003

Washington, DC – The Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation today approved by voice vote, H.R. 1320, The Commercial Spectrum Enhancement Act. Senator McCain (R-AZ) introduced the bill on April 11, 2003. This bill would streamline the current process for reimbursing federal agencies that must relocate from spectrum that has been reallocated to commercial use. Under existing law, auction winners must negotiate with the federal entity currently occupying the spectrum, and reimburse the agencies for their relocation costs. The agencies do not receive the funds, however, unless and until they are appropriated. The bill is intended to instill additional certainty into this process for both the auction winner and the federal agency being relocated. The bill would create a central spectrum relocation fund with the proceeds of spectrum auctions, and would grant authority to the relocated agencies to use the fund to pay their relocation costs. The Committee adopted the following amendment to H.R. 1320:

· An amendment by Sen. Sununu (R-NH) and Sen. Cantwell (D-WA) to promote the rapid deployment of low-cost multichannel video programming and broadband Internet services to the public.
Click here for a PDF version of the Sununu-Cantwell amendment.