The House Energy & Commerce Committee issued its third quarter report on the committee's progress, and incentive auctions were high on the list of Communications Subcommittee achievements, as well as some FCC reforms that failed to pass the senate and a focus on cybersecurity, though legislation on that issue has also failed to crack the partisan divide.
The spectrum auctions were part of a must-pass tax bill, but the specific legislation to compensate broadcasters for giving up spectrum was the handiwork of Communications Subcommittee leadership as well as the Senate Commerce Committee.
"These spectrum reforms are a win for taxpayers, a win for consumers, and a win for jobs and the economy as well," the report said. "The auctions are projected to bring in approximately $26 billion; after investment to protect broadcasting and support public safety... According to recent studies, investment in next-generation wireless broadband could produce an estimated 300,000 jobs or more. Our legislation makes spectrum available to help that investment become a reality. At the same time, the spectrum provisions pave the way for development of a nationwide interoperable broadband public safety network, finally making this recommendation of the 9/11 Commission a reality."
The report also pointed to House passage of a couple of the committee's bills on FCC reform, one that consolidated reporting obligations and the other that would have put set deadlines for FCC actions and cost-benefit tests of new regulations.
The report gave a shout out to Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-Calif.) for her resolution promoting a multi-stakeholder governance model for the Internet. On that score Republicans and Democrats in the House and Senate are in agreement and both Houses passed similar resolution in advance of an international telecommunications conference in Dubai where some countries -- Russia, China, some Arab states -- are pushing for a more ITU-centric model.