July 23, 2002
Ranjit de Silva, 202-482-7002
Commerce Department Asks Congress To Create Spectrum Relocation Fund For Federal Agencies Whose Spectrum Is Reallocated To Commercial Use
The Commerce Department today sent draft legislation to Congress creating a central fund to reimburse federal entities for the costs of relocating their operations when government spectrum is reallocated through auction to commercial entities. The proposed legislation would implement the mechanism set forth in the President's FY 2003 Budget that streamlines the reimbursement process and directs agencies to seek cost reimbursement from a central account funded by auction receipts instead of from the auction winners themselves.
"To solve the spectrum management puzzle, we need to put this critical piece into place," said Assistant Secretary of Commerce Nancy J. Victory. "This legislation provides more certainty for both federal and commercial entities, and it can significantly accelerate the deployment and availability of advanced wireless services to American consumers by streamlining the cost reimbursement and spectrum clearing process."
If passed by Congress, the legislation would take the place of the current law, which requires winning bidders to negotiate directly with federal entities upon the close of an auction and to pay the agencies directly for their relocation costs. The proposed legislation is available on the NTIA Web site at: http://www.ntia.doc.gov/ntiahome/congress/2002/legistransmittal7232002.htm