The Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee is poised to take action next week on a range of tech-related legislation including bills dealing with making available spectrum for 5G wireless services, and further action to rein in robocalling.
The committee announced it will meet Dec. 11 to mark up numerous bills including the 5G Spectrum Act (S. 2881), which would require the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to auction by the end of 2020 “C band” spectrum that would be used by commercial service providers to offer 5G services.
At a Dec. 5 hearing of the Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet Subcommittee to review implementation of the Mobile Now Act that became law last year, Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., chairman of the full committee, called the 5G Spectrum Act a “crucial next step” in providing sufficient spectrum for 5G services. The Mobile Now Act requires the FCC to find large swaths of Federally-controlled spectrum that can be made available to the private sector to provide more mobile and broadband services.
Sen. Wicker said the 5G Spectrum Act that he introduced last month with Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., who chairs the communications subcommittee, will help the U.S. “win the race” to 5G supremacy while also helping to make 5G service available in more rural areas of the U.S.
Also at next week’s scheduled markup session, Senate Commerce will consider the Data Analytics Robocall Act (S. 2204), which would allow the FCC to conduct a one-year pilot program that allows telecom service providers to block automated calls that they believe to be unlawful.