House Energy and Commerce Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) today unveiled the Jumpstarting Opportunity with Broadband Spectrum (JOBS) Act of 2011. The JOBS Act will advance wireless broadband service, spur billions of dollars in private investment, create thousands of jobs, help bring interoperable broadband communications to public safety officials, and reduce the deficit by approximately $15 billion. The legislation is the culmination of five hearings and extensive bipartisan negotiations to use voluntary incentive auctions to make more efficient and effective use of the public's airwaves and support establishment of a nationwide, interoperable, broadband public safety network. Walden issued the following statement:
"It's time to unleash the full potential of America's most innovative job-creating sector. Congress has an obligation to give America's wireless industry the tools it needs to do what it does best: innovate and create the kinds of jobs that will keep America's economy competitive in the 21st century.
"Following nearly a year of hearings, meetings, and negotiations, I am disappointed that we could not develop a bipartisan bill. But for the sake of the economy and public safety, we need to take the best ideas, which are represented in the JOBS Act, and move forward with a subcommittee vote on Thursday. No party, special interest, or lobby gets everything they want in this legislation. But for the American people, it delivers on three important goals for the country: job creation, a nationwide public safety network, and deficit reduction.
"During a visit to Silicon Valley earlier this month, I met with job creators in the industry who made it clear that Congress must act to clear the market to unleash the potential of wireless broadband. The JOBS Act of 2011 authorizes incentive auctions that will spur economic growth and job creation in an industry that impacts the daily lives of nearly every American business, consumer, and citizen.
"Everyone shares the goal of creating a nationwide, interoperable public safety network on spectrum dedicated for that purpose. The JOBS Act of 2011 would give the public safety sector the contiguous 20-MHz block of spectrum they have asked for, along with up to $6.5 billion to build an interoperable public safety network that Americans deserve.
"Finally, at a time when Americans expect their government to stick to a budget--just like every business and family must do--the JOBS Act of 2011 provides for approximately $15 billion in deficit reduction for the taxpayer.
"Congress has a unique opportunity to deliver on multiple fronts for the American people. The JOBS Act of 2011 delivers job creation, dedicated public safety spectrum, and deficit reduction at a time when the country could use a good boost in all three areas."