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Guthrie’s SMART Spectrum Act Passes House

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congressman Brett Guthrie’s (KY-02) Simplifying Management, Reallocation, and Transfer of Spectrum Act, or SMART Spectrum Act passed the House of Representatives today.

The SMART Spectrum Act would better facilitate sharing of underutilized spectrum that is licensed to the federal government by improving how federal and non-federal users share that spectrum.

“With the passage of my bill, the House is taking steps to better manage our nation’s limited spectrum resource that is increasing in demand due to 5G and other wireless technologies coming online. The SMART Spectrum Act would help ensure the U.S. is efficiently using this resource by improving coordination and facilitating spectrum sharing of underutilized spectrum licensed to the federal government. Our country needs to be smart with how we manage our nation’s limited spectrum resource because everything from our national security agencies and weather satellite systems to television and radio broadcasters and telecommunications providers uses spectrum to provide services we depend on everyday. This bill would protect those uses, while also ensuring the U.S. can continue to innovate and deploy new technologies. I thank my colleagues for supporting this bill, and I hope the Senate takes up this commonsense bill soon,” said Guthrie.

The federal government uses spectrum for public services and auctions other frequencies of the spectrum for commercial use. There are also bands in which spectrum licensed to the federal government can also be used by commercial users. The SMART Spectrum Act would establish an Incumbent Informing Capability system at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to better facilitate spectrum sharing. Federal and non-federal users could use this Incumbent Informing Capability system to share where geographically, at what time, and in which band of electromagnetic spectrum the users are operating. This would allow a federal agency to use another federal agency’s underutilized spectrum or a non-federal user to use the federal government’s underutilized spectrum. This communication would facilitate better management of the finite spectrum resource and would ensure users can continue their operations without disruption.

Guthrie’s SMART Spectrum Act passed the House as part of the Spectrum Innovation Act of 2022. The Spectrum Innovation Act of 2022 would extend the auction authority of Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The proceeds from the auctions would help address the unmet funding needs of “rip and replace” program, which was created by a bill Guthrie co-authored. This program assists small and rural providers with taking out untrusted equipment from untrusted vendors from adversarial countries and replacing it with safe, trusted equipment.