Senate Communications Subcommittee Chairman John Kerry (D-MA) and senior subcommittee Republican Olympia Snowe (R-ME) introduced legislation last Friday that would require the FCC and the National Telecommunications & Information Administration (NTIA) to conduct an inventory of the nation’s airwaves between the 300 MHz and 3.5 GHz bands. Encompassing spectrum held by radio and TV broadcast licensees and by wireless carriers, the bill is intended, in the words of a Kerry spokeswoman, to provide lawmakers with “a clear sense of how the spectrum is currently being used” and could also set the stage for the recovery of “warehoused” spectrum for future FCC auctions. Citing last year’s record-setting 700 MHz auction and the FCC’s white spaces proceeding as “evidence of how valuable spectrum is and how it serves as fertile ground for innovation,” Kerry explained, “we need to make sure we’re making as much [spectrum] available to innovators and consumers as possible.” If the measure is adopted, the FCC and the NTIA would be required to submit reports to Congress within 180 days that detail (1) licensees and government users operating within the 300 MHz-3.5 GHz band, (2) the total amount of spectrum allocated to each licensee or government user, and (3) the number and types of radiators deployed in each band. Both agencies would also have to provide contour maps that depict signal coverage and strength. Describing the bill as “the first step to addressing comprehensive spectrum reform,” Snowe emphasized: “we must ensure that this public good is allocated and used efficiently for the needs of the American people.”