Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act
From OpenCongress Wiki
In 1993, Congress passed the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (Govtrack), sponsored by Rep. Martin Sabo, D-Minn., which gave the Federal Communications Commission the authority to auction spectrum licenses. The bill allows the agency to use competitive bidding to choose from among two or more applications for an initial license. Prior to this legislation, the commission relied largely upon comparative hearings and lotteries to select a single licensee from a pool of applicants -- a far less effective approach to distribute the hugely valuable spectrum frequencies. Since adopting auctions, the average time from initial application to license grant has dropped to less than one year, according to the FCC, and proceeds from the licensing sales benefit taxpayers by generating revenue for the U.S. Treasury. The sale of Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) licenses in September 2006, for example, raised $13.7 billion for the federal government. 
Articles and Resources
Related SourceWatch resources
- See the other articles at the Telecom, Media and Intellectual Property Policy (U.S.) portal.
- See the main Congresspedia article on Digital television.
- See the main Congresspedia article on Spectrum.
- Lennard Kruger, The Digital TV Transition: A Brief Overview Congressional Research Service, Aug. 12, 2005.
- Lennard Kruger, Digital Television: An Overview Congressional Research Service, updated Jan. 23, 2007.