President Obama is set to sign legislation to extend the payroll tax cut, which includes provisions that would incentivize television broadcasters to give up their airwaves to wireless carriers, as well as preserve portions of spectrum for unlicensed use. The legislation also uses a swath of spectrum to create a nationwide public safety network.

"I've been working on changing the way we allocate spectrum for a long time, because a smarter system is good for our economy, good for innovation, and vital to keeping our cops, firefighters and EMTs safe," Biden said. "The measure that Congress just passed picks up on many aspects of the President's Wireless Innovation Initiative and will enable new spectrum to be used for innovation, to speed wireless communication, and to fulfill a promise made to first responders after 9/11 that they would have the technology they need to stay safe and do their jobs."

A recent report from Council of Economic Advisers found that the surge in wireless data traffic has created a "spectrum crunch" for wireless providers. The report concluded that expanding wireless broadband will be a boost for the economy because the service supports other innovations in areas such as business, healthcare and entertainment. The report also found that unlicensed spectrum, which any company can use for free, can lead to new innovations and economic growth.


Wireless Innovation Alliance // 3:49 PM EST// Mar. 24
Private sector access to the 3.5 GHz band and the initiation of the Citizens Broadband Service holds great potential for successful spectrum sharing that meets the demands of wireless broadband users. More
The Hill // 5:36 PM EST// Mar. 20
Wally Bowen, founder of the nonprofit Mountain Area Information Network (MAIN) in Asheville, NC, calls on the FCC to preserve spectrum for unlicensed use during its upcoming spectrum auctions. More
The Wireless Innovation Alliance (WIA) is a broad-based group of innovators, providers, consumer groups, think tanks and education organizations that believe that more efficient use and expanded access to the nation’s spectrum resources are fundamental to the future of U.S. economic policy and global competitiveness, and that we face potential spectrum scarcities in both licensed and unlicensed bands that must be addressed in order for innovation and investment to move forward.
" From @MAIN_WNC's @WallyBowen: "@FCC's choice: Lock down innovation or unleash competition" | "
1:46 AM Mar 20