Rural Spectrum Accessibility Act of 2015 Introduced in House

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Congressmen Kinzinger (R-IL) and Loebsack (D-IA) have introduced the Rural Spectrum Accessibility Act of 2015 (H.R. 3103) in the House of Representatives. Senators Klobuchar (D-MN) and Fischer (R-NE) introduced a companion bill, S. 417, in the Senate earlier this year. The purpose of this legislation is to “encourage spectrum licensees to make unused spectrum available for use by smaller and rural carriers in order to expand wireless coverage.”  If enacted, the legislation would amend Section 307 of the Communications Act of 1934 by adding a new sub-section “(g)” pertaining to the “Extension of Licenses.”  Specifically, the bill would permit existing licensees the ability to partition or disaggregate portions of their license and presumably sell those disaggregated or partitioned licenses to either “small carriers” or carriers willing to build out in rural America.  Any existing licensee willing to partition or disaggregate a portion of their current license portfolio would then have the license term of the original license extended by three years beyond its current expiration date. H.R. 3103 has been referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce for consideration.

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