Upton Reacts to FCC Chairman's Comments on Spectrum Legislation
WASHINGTON, DC - House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) today released the following statement in response to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski's comments about spectrum legislation at the Consumer Electronic Show:
"Bluster aside, it sounds like we have a federal agency more concerned about preserving its own power than offering serious improvements as we prepare to finalize this legislation. We worked with the FCC's auction experts to give the agency the legitimate flexibility it needs to design the mechanics of the auction. It's time to stop the FCC from engaging in political mischief that will hurt competition and steal money from the taxpayer's coffers. Don't take our word for it - look at the 2008 auction. The FCC imposed conditions on the C and D blocks that ultimately prevented the D-block from selling and pushed smaller carriers out of the auction. Taxpayers lost somewhere in the neighborhood of $5 billion, and spectrum remains sidelined. And speaking of protecting taxpayers, it's time for the FCC and others to be honest about how taxpayers would be affected by their plans to give away valuable spectrum to favored constituencies. Our goal is to strike the right balance by keeping plenty of opportunity for unlicensed use without forcing taxpayers to forfeit any return on a resource that everyone agrees is worth billions."