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Two members of a House communications panel last week introduced legislation designed to ease federal auctions of spectrum.

The Spectrum Auction Deposits Act, authored by Reps. Brett Guthrie, R-Ky., and Doris Matsui, D-Calif., would enable the Federal Communications Commission to partner with the Treasury Department to hold the deposits of those bidding in spectrum auctions in escrow.

Guthrie and Matsui said in a statement that the FCC indicated that partnering with private financial institutions to hold that money — which can range into the billions — is difficult.

"This legislation will allow the FCC to continue to conduct auctions so we can unlock the spectrum necessary to deploy current and next-generation broadband networks across rural America and beyond," Matsui said.

Both lawmakers serve on the Communications and Technology Subcommittee as well as co-chair the Congressional Spectrum Caucus. Wireless industry group CTIA endorsed the measure and called for “quick passage.”

"As our economy and society as a whole become more and more digitized, freeing up spectrum waves is crucial for innovation and new technology," Guthrie said.

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