Squeezing More Blood From The Spectrum Turnip -- Harry Reid's Contribution To The Spectrum Muddle
Originally published: July 26, 2011
Last updated: July 26, 2011 - 4:35pm
[Commentary] No sooner had I posted my wonkish critique of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) score for S.911, the Rockefeller Public Safety/Spectrum Bill, when Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) turns around and drops a new version of the plan as part of his debt ceiling bill.
Sen Reid promises to raise $15 billion in “spectrum sales” while still reallocating the D Block to public safety. That’s quite a trick, given that CBO had given S.911 a “score” (meaning the amount of money it will add or subtract from the deficit) of $6 billion.
A quick review shows how Sen Reid is trying to squeeze more blood from the spectrum turnip.
Specifically, the bill would:
- Cut the proposed level of public safety funding from $12 billion to $7 billion.
- Cut the proposed level of funding for public safety research from $500 Million to $300 Million.
- Give the FCC much greater flexibility to repack broadcasters.
- Limit the total amount of incentive auction reimbursement to $1 billion.
- While the FCC could allocate 6 MHz for unlicensed if it reclaimed more than 84 MHz of broadcast spectrum, any additional unlicensed would need to come from somewhere else — although you could use the incentive auction fund to clear other licensees.
- Sen Reid Budget Proposal Includes Spectrum Auctions
- Lieberman praises spectrum plan in Reid's debt-ceiling bill
- Why spectrum debate is tied to debt ceiling plan
- Sen McCain Slams Plan to Compensate Broadcasters For Spectrum Reclamation
- S.911: Senators Set Sights On Spectrum
- Incentive Auction Amendment Proposed
- NAB Runs Full Court Press on Auction Action
- State Broadcasters to Senate: Only One Incentive Auction
- Conferee Walden Pitches Spectrum Incentive Auctions
- Public Safety Officials Turning Up The Heat On Congress
- New Senate Bill Drops Spectrum Auction Language
- Sen Hutchison Backs House Spectrum Auction Bill
- Your Airwaves, Your Voice
- Why The Spectrum Section of the Jobs Bill Is An OMB Fantasy and a Political and Policy Nightmare
- National Governors Association backs D Block reallocation