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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Kerrigan in The Hill: Why Not Proceed to Spectrum Auctions?...An idea we all agree on

If you have not heard, Washington lawmakers are in the middle of trying to find a solution to the country's fiscal crisis. Options for finding new revenues and cutting spending remain divisive. Of course, simplification of the tax code should be pursued as it is an important step towards addressing our fiscal (and economic) challenges. Lowering tax rates, broadening the base and eliminating various credits and deductions will help generate new revenues, and support long-term economic growth. However, that option, although prudent and needed, will continue to take time.

There is another option for generating revenue that can be pursued immediately, and where both Republicans and Democrats agree: making more spectrum available for the booming wireless market to help spur investment and lower the deficit without raising taxes.

In a July 27 Oped in The Hill, SBE Council President & CEO Karen Kerrigan wrote that these auctions are needed to increase wireless capacity, and will help generate revenues to pay down the deficit.

She wrote: "Congress and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) are working on proposals to implement incentive auctions which would repurpose some of the spectrum used by broadcasters to help alleviate the spectrum crunch and to support wireless broadband deployment, applications and services. An open auction of spectrum could generate $40 billion or more to the U.S. Treasury, which could and should be directed towards deficit reduction."

Indeed, many more bipartisan ideas and initiatives exist, Congress simply needs the political will and focus to pursue them. While spectrum auctions will help generate revenues, they are also necessary to keep up with the explosive demand in wireless usage. Staying ahead of demand will also help to sustain innovation and investment in this important sector.

SBE Council Staff

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