Four bills affecting the wireless industry passed Congressional votes yesterday, including a bill calling for an inventory of the nation’s spectrum resources and a law against false caller IDs.
The Radio Spectrum Inventory Act (H.R. 3125) was approved by a vote of 394 to 18 Wednesday. It requires an inventory of radio spectrum bands managed by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the FCC. The bill will help the agencies determine where underused spectrum exists for possible reallocation under the Broadband Plan.
“Enactment of a comprehensive inventory bill will be an important step towards ensuring our industry has sufficient spectrum to meet consumers’ increasing demands for mobile Internet access,” said CTIA President and CEO Steve Largent in a statement. “As we have said many times before, spectrum is vital to our industry as it fuels the ‘virtuous cycle’ of innovation.”
The Truth in Caller ID Act (H.R. 1258) amends the Communications Act of 1934 to prohibit the manipulation of caller identification information. The bill makes it illegal to use false caller ID information, which is often used by scammers to trick callers into disclosing personal information. Consumers can still block their outgoing caller ID and law enforcement was not affected by the law.
The House also passed an act which cut rules requiring individuals to keep records of their business-related wireless usage.
Under a provision in the Taxpayer Assistance Act (H.R. 4994), individuals who have a business-provided mobile device are no longer required to record: (1) the amount of such expense or other item; (2) the time and place of the use of the property; (3) the business purpose of the expense; and (4) the business relationship to the taxpayer of the persons using the property.
Finally, the U.S. Senate passed an act banning the possession or use of cell phones by inmates. Contraband cell phones are a rising problem among prison populations.
Filed Under: Industry regulations