WASHINGTON, DC – House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) and Subcommittee on Communications and Technology Chairman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) released the following statement on today’s announcement from Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai on proposed spectrum auctions.
“The race to 5G is a sprint, not a marathon, and the proposed spectrum auctions will help ensure the United States remains at the forefront of this emerging technology. Today’s announcement from Chairman Pai is yet another reason to enact the bipartisan RAY BAUM’S Act, which includes the necessary fix to the upfront spectrum deposit payments. We are continuing to work with all parties to get this important legislation to the finish line.”
Earlier this month, the RAY BAUM’S Act (H.R. 4986) passed the Energy and Commerce Committee by a bipartisan voice vote. The bill includes a spectrum auction deposit “fix” which allows the FCC to deposit upfront payments from spectrum bidders directly with the U.S. Treasury. Under current law, the FCC must deposit upfront payments with private banks in an interest-bearing account, but current financial regulations make this impossible.