Congressman Brett Guthrie (R-KY) and Congresswoman Doris Matsui (D-CA) on Wednesday, Feb. 10 sent a letter, along with over a dozen members of the Energy and Commerce Committee, to the heads of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), urging the agencies to take action to unlock additional spectrum for mobile broadband.
“We need to keep working on ways to bring more spectrum to market,” said Guthrie. “Virtually every sector of our economy has grown to rely upon this finite resource, and demand continues to grow. While I appreciate the progress already made by the FCC and NTIA to make more federal spectrum available, I am hopeful that they will prioritize opening up the 1675-1680 MHz band, especially given the widespread support that exists for this project. I will continue to work with my colleagues to provide a greater supply of spectrum in the market.”
“If we want the United States to continue to lead the world in mobile, we need to act now to put more spectrum in the pipeline,” said Matsui. “The 1675-1680 MHz spectrum band is a prime example of an opportunity that can benefit our American wireless economy while allowing federal agencies to continue their critical missions. This development would be an important piece of our broader spectrum agenda, and I look forward to working with the Administration and my colleagues in Congress to encourage greater efficiencies in federal spectrum.”
As co-chairs of the Congressional Spectrum Caucus, Guthrie and Matsui have been strong advocates for a robust spectrum policy that frees up federal spectrum for commercial use and innovation. The letter sent last Wednesday calls on the FCC and the NTIA to continue to move forward with repurposing the 1675-1680 MHz band of spectrum. This band is currently used by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), but there is bipartisan support for relocating NOAA operations with appropriate protections, and funding for the move is already available from the recent AWS-3 auction.