Rival spectrum bills backed by partisan factions in the House were spotlighted at a hearing conducted last Friday by the House Communications and Technology Committee, where lawmakers of both parties voiced optimism at reaching an agreement that would facilitate their common goal of establishing a viable, interoperable nationwide public safety broadband network in the 700 MHz D-block. Two draft bills were discussed at Friday’s hearing: (1) the Republican-backed Spectrum Innovation Act of 2011, which would require auctions of D-block spectrum to a commercial entity that would share the D-block network with public safety users, and (2) the Public Safety Broadband and Wireless Innovation Act, a new Democrat-sponsored measure that would allocate D-block spectrum directly to public safety agencies. Like a third bill introduced on July 11 by Reps. John Dingell (D-MI) and Gene Green (D-TX), the 133-page discussion draft unveiled last Thursday by Reps. Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Anna Eshoo (D-CA) would require the formation of a non-profit Public Safety Broadband Corporation that would construct, operate, and manage the nationwide public safety broadband network. All three bills would authorize incentive auctions of broadcast television spectrum, although the Dingell-Green bill and Republican draft would permit the FCC to conduct only one such auction. Calling himself a “firm believer” in “open and fair public processes,” subcommittee chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) described the competing bills as “a welcome addition to this process,” asserting, “despite the differences on paper, the reality is we are not as far apart as it might seem.” While acknowledging that many details of his proposed bill “differ from the Republican draft,” Waxman—the ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee—echoed Walden in hoping that “we can develop one legislative vehicle that takes the best ideas from both proposals.”