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Lawmakers Press NTIA for Federal Spectrum User Info

WASHINGTON: Members of the Federal Spectrum Working Group are seeking more information on how government agencies are using the airwaves. The group, comprised of 10 members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, sent a letter to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration requesting that specific details on government licensees. The NTIA previously released a report saying it would cost $18 billion to move federal users off of a block of spectrum between 1755 and 1780 MHz.

“The U.S. government is the single largest spectrum user in the country,” the group said. “Finding more efficient ways for the government to use this valuable public asset without compromising critical objectives would not only produce dividends for government agencies, but also inject additional resources into the private sector to spur our economy.”

The bipartisan collective requested the number of spectrum authorizations each federal user held in 2011, including activities, capabilities, functions, or missions supported by the authorizations and whether they are space-, air- or ground-based—broken down into frequency ranges from 300 MHz to 3 GHz; 1755-1850 MHz; and 1755 to 1780 MHz. The members also want to know the amount of spectrum assigned to each federal user, likewise broken down.

Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.), chairman of the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, is a member of the group, along with Reps. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.); John Shimkus (R-Fla.); Diana DeGette (D-Colo.); Mike Rogers (R-Mich.); John Barrow (D-Ga.); Steve Scalise (R-La.); Doris Matsui (D-Calif.); Brett Guthrie (R-Ky.) and Donna Christenson (D-V.I.).