Extension of Fcc Auction Authority

Floor Speech

Date: Feb. 27, 2023
Location: Washington, DC

Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 1108 to extend the authority of the Federal Communications Commission to auction commercial spectrum.

Our Nation's airwaves are one of our country's most important natural resources. Indeed, radio waves are a critical component in building next-generation wireless networks and delivering high-speed services to American consumers. As such, radio waves and the networks they support can make a meaningful difference in Americans' lives by expanding the reach of telehealth services, extending learning beyond the classroom, and providing critical communications for public safety activities. To achieve these notable goals, we must continue to expand the ability of commercial users to access our airwaves.

H.R. 1108 provides a short-term extension of the Federal Communications Commission's auction authority for roughly 2 months from its expiration date this coming March.

It is essential that we extend this authority. Congress has never allowed this spectrum authority to lapse, and to maintain our Nation's global leadership in wireless innovation, we must ensure that consistent management and oversight of spectrum remains intact, which includes spectrum auctions. For years these auctions have efficiently made our airwaves available for commercial use.

Importantly, though, even with the passage of this legislation, our work will not be done. We must spend these next 2 months working with our Senate colleagues to pass a bipartisan spectrum agreement that can get to the President's desk before the FCC's auction authority expires again.

The Energy and Commerce Committee has traditionally worked in a bipartisan fashion on key telecommunication matters, and I commend Chairwoman Rodgers for continuing this tradition with this legislation.

Mr. Speaker, I urge all of my colleagues to support this timely bill in a bipartisan manner, and I hope the Senate will soon follow. I reserve the balance of my time.

Mr. PALLONE. Mr. Speaker, this is an important piece of legislation to extend this spectrum auction authority. I urge all of my colleagues to support it in a bipartisan manner, and I yield back the balance of my time.