A win-win moment for the U.S. technology industry and for taxpayers

Friday, Feb 17, 2012, 12:00am

by Semiconductor Industry Association

The semiconductor industry is a driving force behind the explosive adoption of smartphones, laptops and tablets, which is why we are pleased that Congress has granted voluntary incentive auction authority to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in its recent payroll tax agreement this week. Spectrum auctions will free up space for wireless broadband communications in the finite electromagnetic spectrum which will enable more American’s to use modern communications tools. In addition to freeing up valuable spectrum for wireless broadband, the auctions will create hundreds of thousands of jobs and raise billions of dollars for the U.S. It’s a win-win moment for the U.S. technology industry and for taxpayers.

SIA, through its membership in the High-Tech Spectrum Coalition (HTSC), has been a strong proponent of voluntary spectrum auctions. The HTSC estimates that spectrum auctions would give TV and radio broadcasters, who currently own part of the spectrum, a financial gain and it would also bring revenues into the Federal government.  The White House budget estimates that $28 billion could be generated from the auctions and some estimates are as high as $33 billion. 

With the widespread adoption of smartphones, laptops, and tablets running advanced applications there is an urgent need for additional spectrum to be allocated to commercial wireless broadband use. The FCC estimates that our nation will need an additional 275 MHz of spectrum in five years to meet mobile data demand; otherwise we will start seeing a decline of service, and increase in service cost.

We applaud the bipartisan Congressional leaders that recognized the critical need to address the impending shortfall of spectrum, the potential revenue for the U.S. government and the long-term growth potential for the U.S. technology industry. For more information on spectrum auctions read Intel Corporation’s Policy Blog here. http://blogs.intel.com/policy/