AIRWAVES Act Welcome Step, Keeps Spectrum Pipeline Flowing

August 1, 2017

WASHINGTON— The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), the top-ranked U.S. science- and tech-policy think tank, today released the following statement from Senior Telecom Policy Analyst Doug Brake welcoming the AIRWAVES Act introduced by Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH):

Spectrum policy should support a mix of licensing schemes to support a diversity of Internet access models, including licensed, unlicensed, and effective spectrum-sharing models. We commend Senators Gardner and Hassan for introducing the AIRWAVES Act, because the bill embraces a balanced mix of access models and helps move additional spectrum into innovators’ hands. The bill proposes that the United States repurpose spectrum for licensed and unlicensed uses and recognizes the need for additional high-, mid-, and low-band, spectrum allocated for commercial use. This approach will fuel wireless broadband expansion and provide flexibility for the diverse needs of Internet of Things applications.

By putting more spectrum in the pipeline for broadband use, most notably for licensed access to the 3700 to 4200 MHz band and unlicensed access to the 6 GHz band, this bill would advance the commonsense goals of boosting innovation, expanding broadband access, and improving the spectrum-allocation process. For those reasons, the AIRWAVES Act is a welcome, bipartisan step forward.