President Proposes $4.8 Billion in Spectrum-user Fees

WASHINGTON: President Obamahas 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 services.