Radio Spectrum Inventory Act Hits House

One day after the Senate Commerce Committee approves a bill for a survey of all U.S. spectrum, Rep. Rick Boucher introduces the House version to identify gaps in spectrum use and inefficient spectrum allocations in hopes of finding more spectrum for commercial use.

Fresh off passage by a U.S. Senate committee, legislation for a comprehensive survey of the nation's spectrum moved to the House July 9. The bill directs the NTIA (National Telecommunications and Information Administration) and the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) to report on the use of all spectrum bands between 300 MHz and 3.5 GHz, which includes television and radio bands.
By identifying gaps in spectrum use and inefficient spectrum allocations, the Radio Spectrum Inventory Act aims to help meet the growing demand for additional spectrum.
"The [bill] represents a significant step in making available more spectrum for commercial and wireless services. The more efficient use of our nation's airwaves will increase innovation for wireless products and services and improve the connectivity of the American people," bill sponsor Rep. Rick Boucher said in a statement.
The legislation would require that within 180 days of the date of enactment the NTIA and the FCC would be required to post the spectrum inventory on the Internet, so it would be universally available. The bill would also require the NTIA and the FCC to report annually to Congress regarding the results of the spectrum inventory, including an identification of the least-utilized blocks of spectrum and a recommendation of which, if any, of such least utilized spectrum blocks should be reallocated.
"As more people use wireless devices and as advanced applications require higher data rates over time, additional spectrum will be needed to accommodate growth. Wireless technologies can also play a critical role in bringing broadband to more consumers, particularly in rural areas," Boucher said.