Thune Asks FCC to Redouble Efforts to Free Mid-Band Spectrum

June 21, 2017

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, today in a letter to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai, urged the agency to find ways to better utilize spectrum in the mid-band range for commercial use.  Thune’s letter, sent amidst the Trump administration’s focus on tech policy this week, stresses the need to modernize spectrum policy to keep pace with innovation as the nation moves toward a 5G world:
“While the U.S. has pushed ahead with efforts to free new spectrum at both low and high frequencies, we lag behind other countries in ‘mid-band spectrum’ - the range of frequencies between 3GHz and 7 GHz,” wrote Thune to Pai. “Europe, China, Japan, and South Korea are all moving ahead to allocate hundreds of megahertz of mid-band spectrum, for licensed and unlicensed uses, in anticipation of both new Internet of Things applications as well as rising demand for mobile broadband that can be met with small cell deployments.”  
To bolster development of next generation wireless services, Thune re-introduced the bipartisan MOBILE NOW Act in January 2017 that would help free up large swaths of spectrum for commercial use by 2020.  MOBILE NOW passed the Commerce Committee by voice vote earlier this year. Thune has also stated that MOBILE NOW is only a down-payment on the work that the government must do to address the long-term demand for spectrum and improve broadband deployment throughout the country.
Click here to read Thune’s full letter to Pai.