Senate Passes Six Technology and Telecommunications Bills

August 3, 2017

WASHINGTON - U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, applauded Senate passage today of six technology and telecommunications bills, all of which were previously approved by the committee. The bills passed after the resolution of a two-year disagreement over a Federal Communications Commission nomination that had stalled bipartisan telecommunications legislation in Congress.

“The Senate’s passage of these bipartisan bills brings us a step closer to increasing access to spectrum that powers our 21st century tech economy, improving the quality and reliability of phone calls in rural communities, removing barriers to dialing 911 in emergencies, and cutting inefficiencies in federal bureaucracy,” said Thune. “I congratulate the sponsors and members of the Commerce Committee who advanced these bills and proved again that the Senate is working for the American people.”

The Senate passed the following technology and telecommunications bills:

-    S. 19, Making Opportunities for Broadband Investment and Limiting Excessive and Needless Obstacles to Wireless Act (MOBILE NOW Act), Legislation to increase spectrum availability for next-generation gigabit wireless services and foster broadband deployment.

Sponsors: Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.)

-    S. 96, Improving Rural Call Quality and Reliability Act of 2017, Legislation to require the FCC to establish quality and reliability standards for rural phone networks.

Sponsors: Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), John Thune (R-S.D.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.)

-    S. 123, Kari’s Law Act of 2017, Legislation initiated after the murder of Kari Hunt in a hotel in Marshall, Texas, when Hunt’s daughter tried to call 911 but was unsuccessful due to a required “9” prefix on the hotel phone. This legislation bans the requirement of a prefix when dialing 911 for assistance.

Sponsors: Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), John Cornyn (R-Texas), John Thune (R-S.D.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas)

-    S. 134, Spoofing Prevention Act of 2017, Legislation to stop the transmission of misleading or inaccurate caller ID information, including such calls and text messages originating overseas.

Sponsors: Sens. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.)

-    S. 174, Federal Communications Commission Consolidated Reporting Act of 2017, Legislation to require the FCC to condense duplicative reports on competition in the telecommunications market into one comprehensive report released every two years.

Sponsors: Sens. Dean Heller (R-Nev.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii)

-    S. 88, Developing Innovation and Growing the Internet of Things Act (DIGIT Act), Legislation to bring together private sector and government entities to assess the needs of the Internet of Things (IoT) and study the readiness of government to support the IoT.

Sponsors: Sens. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii)