Today, U.S. Congressman John D. Dingell (D-MI15) issued the following statement for the record at the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology hearing on "Promoting Broadband, Jobs, and Economic Growth Through Commercial Spectrum Auctions:"
"Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I commend your initiative in calling today's hearing. In the past, I have expressed grave reservations about whether voluntary incentive auctions of broadcaster spectrum can, in fact, be truly voluntary. A great source of my alarm comes from the National Broadband Plan itself, which states on page 79 that "the government's ability to reclaim, clear, and re-auction spectrum [...] is the ultimate backstop against market failure and is an appropriate tool when a voluntary process stalls entirely." In brief, I believe that incentive auctions, if held, must be truly voluntary in nature and provide fair compensation to those parties adversely affected by them.
"Further, if allowed to go forward, incentive auctions cannot fail miserably like the D-Block auction, where the Federal Communications Commission attempted to engineer a desired outcome. At a time of recession, we must guard against wasting the Commission's valuable staff resources and instead focus on opportunities to maximize revenue for the Treasury."
"With this in mind, I intend ask frank questions of our witnesses today in order to gain a better understanding of the technical aspects of incentive auctions. Thank you for your courtesy, and I yield back the balance of my time."