The House Communications Subcommittee has scheduled yet another hearing on spectrum and public safety, this one for bright and early (8:30 a.m.) Friday morning, July 15, to make sure the hearing can be completed before scheduled votes. National Association of Broadcasters President Gordon Smith will be testifying.
The Senate Commerce Committee has approved a version of incentive auction bill that is awaiting floor time for a full senate vote, but Communications Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) is working on his own version of the bill. A draft bill will be discussed at the hearing, according to a spokesperson for the parent Energy & Commerce Committee.
Walden's subcommittee has held a series of hearings on the issue, which includes authorizing the FCC to compensate broadcasters for giving up spectrum for re-auction for wireless broadband and using some of the auction proceeds for an interoperable emergency broadband communications network.
No witnesses have been announced, but a source confirms Smith will be weighing in.
Broadcasters have said they don't oppose incentive auctions so long as they are voluntary and don't compromise the future of broadcasters who stay in the business by increasing interference to their signals or reducing their ability to capitalize on new digital offerings like mobile DTV and multicast channels.