Industry experts called for a resolution to an impasse involving the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) ability to hold spectrum auctions after politicians failed to renew its authority in a vote on 9 March.
The lack of agreement among politicians means the FCC lost authority over auctions granted almost 30 years ago.
Meredith Attwell Baker, president and CEO of trade group CTIA, called on Congress “to act quickly to restore the FCC’s authority and schedule the necessary future spectrum auctions so that we can secure our 5G leadership and our nation’s economic and national security”.
CCA president and CEO Tim Donovan expressed disappointment politicians had not backed a plan to extend the FCC’s clearance to mid-May: “Congress must reinstate auction authority as quickly as possible and continue work on a long-term solution,” he stated.
The US House of Representatives passed legislation in February to enable an extension but the Senate was unable to agree on how to enact it.
FCC chair Jessica Rosenworcel highlighted its success conducting “100 auctions” which “raised more than $233 billion in revenues and unlocked extraordinary benefits for the American people”.
“It is my hope that the FCC’s auction authority is restored quickly.”
Members of the US Communications and Technology Subcommittee heavily criticised the lack of approval, citing a risk to the nation’s position in the mobile market.