Members of the House Communications, Technology and Internet subcommittee late last week approved an amended version of a bill that would require the FCC and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to complete an inventory of spectrum that could be reallocated to (or shared by) wireless broadband service providers or assigned to incumbent government users that relocate their operations to new channels. Introduced last July by House Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA), the Radio Spectrum Inventory Act (HR-3125) seeks to identify unused or underused frequency bands that could meet the needs of the U.S. wireless market, where demand for mobile broadband is expected to surge. Simultaneously, the subcommittee adopted a related companion bill (HR-3019) that proposes to streamline the process by which federal government users relocate to new spectrum when surrendering their current channels to commercial wireless providers. By voice vote, subcommittee members approved an amendment to HR-3125, submitted by subcommittee chairman Rick Boucher (D-VA), that would extend the FCC and NTIA’s timetable for completing the inventory from six months to one year. The amendment would also reduce the upper limit of spectrum to be inventoried to 10 GHz to correspond more closely with a similar Senate bill that proposes an inventory of spectrum between 300 MHz and 3.5 GHz. Among other things, the amended legislation also expands upon provisions that would enable both government and non-government users to withhold spectrum from the inventory for reasons related to national security or public safety. Describing the passage of spectrum legislation as “priority number one,” Boucher said both bills are likely to pass the House next month as both measures are “necessary” and enjoy bipartisan support. While praising both bills as “positive steps,” ranking subcommittee member Cliff Stearns (R-FL) reminded the FCC not to “forget there is spectrum we need to address in the short term,” as he urged policymakers to “figure out how to effectively deploy spectrum . . . already in the pipeline” that includes the 700 MHz D-block.