A House subcommittee signed off on legislation Wednesday meant to expand access to mobile and broadband Internet.
The House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Communications and Technology approved a bill to coax federal agencies into giving up some of their wireless spectrum and a package of reforms aimed at making it easier to build the infrastructure that forms the backbone of Internet service.
Members on both sides of the aisle praised the Federal Spectrum Incentive Act, which says that federal agencies that auction off their spectrum to the private sector can receive some of the proceeds from the sale.
Some say that wireless frequencies controlled by federal agencies, like the Department of Defense, could be better used by wireless carriers, who are trying to meet the demand for wireless data fueled by the adoption of smartphones. The bill’s supporters say it would make it easier for federal agencies to surrender some of their airwaves.