Senate spectrum auction bill markup set for Wednesday

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The Senate Commerce Committee is set to mark up a spectrum incentive auction bill Wednesday (June 8), but that could prove to be a “marathon undertaking,” according to Broadcasting & Cable. The bill, S. 911, contains nearly 100 draft amendments. It would allow the Federal Communications Commission to compensate broadcasters for giving up some spectrum, around 120 MHz total, to make room for more wireless broadband. It would also allow allocate the D block of spectrum to first responders for an interoperable broadband emergency communications network rather than auction it. The bill’s sponsor, Senate Commerce Committee chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), wants the bill passed and to the president before the tenth anniversary of 9/11. Creating the emergency network was one of the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission.