The Bush administration is sending to Congress legislation that would delay for two years the sale of airwaves that such companies as Verizon Wireless want so they can deploy advanced mobile wireless services, a senior administration official said Wednesday.
The auction of some parts of the spectrum was supposed to be finished by Sept. 30, 2002, but the Federal Communications Commission and other government agencies have been arguing that the deadline did not give federal regulators enough time to find more radio frequencies for wireless companies.
“Later today or tomorrow we are expecting to transmit some legislation to postpone that for two years to give sufficient time for this process to take place,” said Nancy Victory, the new administrator of the Commerce Departments National Telecommunications and Information Administration.
The NTIA, the FCC, the Department of Defense and the White House are working together to hammer out a plan that will satisfy industry and the government, both of which need spectrum for different purposes. Industry wants to sell it; the government – largely, the DOD – uses it for national defense and other purposes.
Victory said that the group of administration officials is meeting regularly to discuss spectrum policy, and that she is preparing to launch a wholesale review of the spectrum planning and management process.
“Were doing a little bit of a look as to how we could do this better, and ways to do this more efficiently, more effectively, and to provide more certainty to licensees,” she said.