The House on Tuesday voted to reauthorize the FCC, passing the bipartisan Ray Baum Act, legislation that includes increasing the funds available to broadcasters to offset costs incurred by the spectrum repack. Legislators working on a federal government “omnibus” spending bill will decide how just much additional will be provided for the repack beyond $1.75 billion that was in the original repack legislation. The bill also aims to boost the development of 5G networks.
Both the House and Senate Commerce Committees have agreed to bring the FCC reauthorization bill, “Ray Baum’s Act,” to the House floor for a vote next on March 6. The bill includes the repack fund that will compensate radio stations, translators, and LPTVs for costs related to displacement and reduced power while TV stations are “repacked” on the spectrum, and adds elements of the Senate’s Mobile Now Act promoting the development of 5G networks.