We, the undersigned, write this letter to express our support for H.R. 7624, the Extending America’s Spectrum Auction Leadership Act of 2022, which would extend the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC’s) authority to auction and license spectrum until March 31, 2024. Unless Congress acts, the FCC’s spectrum authority will lapse on September 30, 2022. The passage of this bill will ensure spectrum continues to be allocated efficiently, unlocking new potential for connected devices and telecommunications.

As House Energy and Commerce Chairman Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) noted: “Failure to replenish the commercial spectrum pipeline risks the United States falling behind . . . in producing cutting-edge consumer innovations and enhancing our national security capabilities.” Already, wireless carriers are seeing an increasing demand for mid-band spectrum for next-generation networks.

With the advent of new technologies, the demand for these bands and others will continue to increase. Spectrum is a limited and finite resource that can be deployed to support both federal and commercial wireless uses. Delaying the allocation and availability of critical spectrum bands will hinder the deployment of new technologies and slow the rollout of new consumer products and services.

Spectrum auctions effectively and efficiently allocate these scarce resources. Beginning in 1994, the FCC has allocated spectrum through a competitive bidding process. Congress, in the 1993 Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, gave the FCC authority to use a reverse auction to “more effectively assign licenses.” This reduced the average time from the initial application to license grants to under a year, and raised $230 billion for the treasury. The most recent C-Band auction brought in nearly $90 billion alone. As the FCC described in 1997, spectrum auctions have “fostered the entry of new companies into the market and encouraged the development of innovative wireless technology.”

After conducting over one hundred auctions, the results speak for themselves. The FCC has successfully allocated a finite resource in a way that promotes innovation and competition in the marketplace. It is important that they continue to do so, given the continued evolution of 5G, fixed wireless, satellite broadband and eventually, 6G.

H.R. 7624’s short term extension from September 30, 2022 to March 31, 2024 provides the perfect window to complete existing auctions, determine future priorities for spectrum bands, and enable Congress to use proceeds of future auctions as they see fit. We urge Congress to pass this legislation to ensure our communications networks and devices continue to be the most innovative and efficient networks in the world.

Jonathan Cannon
Policy Counsel, Tech and Innovation
R Street Institute

Tom Schatz
President
Council for Citizens Against Government Waste

Joel Thayer
President
Digital Progress Institute

Jessica Melugin, Director, Center for Technology Policy & Innovation
Ryan Nabil, Research Fellow, Center for Technology Policy & Innovation
Competitive Enterprise Institute

Joe Kane
Director of Broadband and Spectrum Policy
Information Technology and Innovation Foundation

Luke Hogg*
Policy Manager
Lincoln Network
*Affiliation listed for identification purposes only

Brandon Arnold
Executive Vice President
National Taxpayers Union

Roslyn Layton, PhD
Visiting Researcher, Aalborg University
Founder, China Tech Threat

Jeffrey Westling*
Director, Technology & Innovation Policy
American Action Forum
*Affiliation listed for identification purposes only

Grover Norquist
President
Americans for Tax Reform

Tom Herbert
Executive Director
Open Competition Center