President Proposes $4.8 Billion in Spectrum-user Fees
WASHINGTON: President Obama has submitted a budget to Congress that proposes 2011 funding for
the Federal Communications Commission at $352.5 million, and projects $6.4
billion in new spectrum revenues over the next 10 years. Auctioned license fees
alone are projected to generate $1.6 billion through 2020, perhaps more. The
president’s budget also seeks to give the FCC the authority to establish new
spectrum user fees that could generate an additional $4.8 billion.
Spectrum-user fees are typically proposed by presidents and rejected by Congress, which must approve of the budget. The Obama Administration last year proposed levying $4.8 billion in spectrum-user fees over a decade.
The $352.5 million proposed for the FCC would provide for implementing the
National Broadband Plan, managing spectrum, overhauling the FCC’s data systems,
support for its public safety and cyber-security work, consumer programs and
international work. The request would also provide funds for mandatory
increases in salaries and benefits, and inflationary increases for contractual