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Commerce Committee Approves Ayotte Amendment to Spectrum Bill

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Provision will prohibit federal government from offering commercial telecom services

The Senate Commerce Committee today approved an amendment introduced by Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) to the Public Safety Spectrum and Wireless Innovation Act (S. 911) that would prohibit the federal government from offering or marketing commercial telecommunications services to the public.

During the Committee's markup today, Senator Ayotte cited her concerns that the world's largest telecommunications company is the government-run China Mobile, which has 600 million customers and a 70 percent market share in China.

"Our government should never be able to takeover and control the telecom market like China's does. That would strike a devastating blow to the competition we need to bring innovative, affordable products to consumers," said Senator Ayotte, a Commerce Committee member. "Simply put, my amendment ensures that the United States government never becomes a wireless service provider, and that it will never compete with private sector innovation and job creation in the telecommunications sector."

The underlying bill, which aims to meet exploding consumer and economic demand by freeing up broadcast spectrum for wireless broadband, now heads to the full Senate for consideration.

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