Wicker, Thune Introduce 5G Spectrum Act

November 18, 2019

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Sens. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, and John Thune, R-S.D., chairman of the Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet, introduced the 5G Spectrum Act. This legislation would ensure mid-band spectrum is quickly available in the market by requiring a transparent and competitive public auctioning process. The bill specifically would require that at least 50 percent of the auction revenues be reserved for the American people. 

“After years of delay, this legislation would get crucial mid-band spectrum into the market to benefit the American people and secure our position as the leader in the race to 5G,” said Wicker. “Senator Thune and I have been working together for over a year to come up with the best way to expand access to 5G, especially in rural areas, and secure value for all Americans.  I look forward to continuing to work with him as we get this legislation over the finish line.”

“This legislation, which is a win-win for taxpayers, would quickly free up much-needed spectrum – the airwaves over which digital information flows – and, as a result, put more money back in the U.S. Treasury,” said Thune. “I have long supported efforts to make additional mid-band spectrum available for commercial 5G use so we can lead the world in the 5G revolution. More spectrum means more opportunities for American entrepreneurs and consumers, especially those in rural America, to innovate and access better and more efficient information and technology.”

The 5G Spectrum Act would:

  • Provide the coverage and capacity essential for deployment in America’s rural communities.
  • Require the FCC to conduct a public auction of C band spectrum.
  • Require the auction to start no later than December 31, 2020.
  • Require the FCC to make available at least 280 MHz of spectrum.
  • Require the FCC to capture for the taxpayer at least 50 percent of the fair market value of the spectrum.

To read the full bill, click here.