Wicker, Thune, Walden, Guthrie, Latta Lead Bill to Open Mid-Band Spectrum for Commercial Use
October 7, 2020
U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss, chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., chairman of the Commerce Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet, Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., ranking member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Rep. Brett Guthrie, R-Ky., ranking member of the Energy and Commerce Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, and Rep. Bob Latta, R-Ohio, today issued the following statement upon introduction of the bicameral Beat China By Harnessing Important, National Airwaves for 5G Act of 2020, or the Beat CHINA for 5G Act of 2020.
“Americans have experienced the importance of technology during the COVID-19 pandemic, and our reliance on wireless-connected devices will only grow in the future,” said Wicker, Thune, Walden, Guthrie, and Latta. “It is essential for the U.S. to win the race to 5G against China, and we need to unleash critical mid-band spectrum to get us there. Freeing up the 3.45-3.55 GHz band for commercial use will propel U.S. innovation in deploying next generation technology, expanding the Internet of Things, closing the digital divide, increasing internet access for schools and students, and improving connectivity across communities. We are proud to introduce the bicameral Beat CHINA for 5G Act of 2020 and will continue to do all we can to advance U.S. leadership in 21st-century technologies.”
The Beat CHINA for 5G Act of 2020 would empower the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to open more critical mid-band spectrum for non-federal, commercial wireless use by requiring the FCC to begin an auction of the 3.45-3.55 GHz band by December 2021.
In February 2018, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) identified the 3.45-3.55 GHz band as a candidate for potential repurposing. Earlier this year, NTIA released a technical report indicating that spectrum sharing opportunities were possible in this band.
In August 2020, the White House announced that it would make 100 MHz of mid-band spectrum in the 3.45-3.55 GHz band available for non-federal, commercial wireless use. In September 2020, the FCC took a first step to start transitioning existing services to make this band available for 5G use.
These actions by the Trump Administration are crucial to growing our economy and enhancing our national security. This legislation is the final step to making sure there are no delays and this auction stays on track.
Click here to read the bill.