House Communications Subcommittee Schedules Next Spectrum Hearing For May 25


The House Communications Subcommittee has scheduled its next spectrum hearing for the morning of May 25.
The hearing will be on creating an interoperable public safety communications network, which implicates broadcasters because bills on both the House and Senate side would include as part of that process giving the Federal Communictions Commission incentive auction authority to compensate broadcasters for moving off their spectrum.
Greg Walden (R-Ore.), the subcommittee chairman, has said Congress won't be rushed into decisions about spectrum. He also said there would be a series of hearings. The first, held last month, also focused on spectrum for emergency communications. Walden said future hearings will also look at who has spectrum, who is using it, what the demands and needs are, what issues arise when you change things, how the marketplace is affected and who pays for it.
Proceeds from the FCC's proposed auction of broadcast spectrum would help create and maintain the safety network according to bills introduced by Rep. Peter King (R-NY) on the House side and Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W. Va.) on the Senate side.
The Rockefeller bill is expected to be marked up and voted on May 25 in executive session. Rockefeller wants Congress to move fast on spectrum, and has said he wants the bill voted out of committee before Memorial Day.