According to The Hill, the infrastructure that is used to establish the backbone of the Internet may have just gotten easier to build. In an effort to coax federal agencies, like the Department of Defense, to give up wireless spectrum to strengthen Internet usage, The House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Communications and Technology approved a bill and reforms.
"Members on both sides of the aisle praised the Federal Spectrum Incentive Act, which says that federal agencies that auction off their spectrum to the private sector can receive some of the proceeds from the sale. Some say that wireless frequencies controlled by federal agencies, like the Department of Defense, could be better used by wireless carriers, who are trying to meet the demand for wireless data fueled by the adoption of smartphones. The bill’s supporters say it would make it easier for federal agencies to surrender some of their airwaves."
Additional wireless spectrum would be extremely valuable to telecommunications companies looking to enhance and expand coverage, especially those looking to receive grants from agencies like the USDA and the FCC to expand rural broadband to more Americans. Most recently, Frontier Communications received $238M from the FCC for rural broadband. In addition to telecommunications companies, others are looking for more spectrum include municipalities who want to build their own broadband networks. As of yet, it is not clear how bidding on potentially available federal spectrum will be conducted.
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