S. 415, “a bill to provide the FCC with authority to conduct incentive auctions, and for other purposes,” has been submitted for consideration by the US Senate by Mark Warner (D-VA). The bill would help get the FCC on its proposed path of repurposing spectrum in the television band by rewarding incumbent volunteering broadcast licensees to turn in spectrum in return for a piece of the auction action.
Warner’s comments on the bill, as reported in Hillicon Valley, mirror FCC comments on the proposal, suggesting that a spectrum crunch is on the way and that making more efficient use of spectrum will allow citizens to continue taking advantage of new wireless technologies.
NAB has indicated consistently that it has no objections to such auctions as long as they remain completely voluntary. And it has called for the FCC to complete a full spectrum inventory.
Warner’s personal history involves the telecom industry, where his activities made him a multi-millionaire.
RBR-TVBR observation: We’ll see how fast this starts tracking. Warner is where he needs to be to get it rolling – he is a member of the Senate Commerce Committee and has been on the key Communications Subcommittee.