U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), ranking member of the Subcommittee on Communications, Media, and Broadband, today introduced the Spectrum Innovation Act. The legislation would ensure mid-band spectrum is made available for wireless broadband use for the public, which means faster speeds and more responsive networks for consumers. In addition to allowing up to 200 megahertz of spectrum to be auctioned for mobile broadband, this bill would help usher in new, innovative, and flexible spectrum uses.
“Ensuring that communication providers have the necessary spectrum to deploy nationwide 5G has long been a priority for me,” said Thune. “I’m pleased to join my colleagues in introducing this legislation that would build on the work of my MOBILE NOW Act, which became law in 2018, by freeing up much-needed mid-band spectrum, an action that would both improve mobile networks and reduce the deficit.”
The bipartisan, bicameral legislation was cosponsored by U.S. Sen. Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), chairman of the Subcommittee on Communications, Media, and Broadband; and U.S. Reps. Mike Doyle (D-Pa.), chairman of the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology; and Bob Latta (R-Ohio), ranking member of the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology.
“CCA commends Chairman Doyle and Representatives Latta and Matsui and Senators Luján and Thune for introducing the bipartisan Spectrum Innovation Act of 2022, which will help make at least 200 megahertz of spectrum available for auction and will maximize the use of mid-band spectrum,” said Tim Donovan, senior vice president of Legislative Affairs of Competitive Carriers Association. “Making additional Federal spectrum resources available for commercial use will provide significant benefits for the industry, the economy, and most importantly, consumers. I thank the sponsors for their leadership on this issue, and CCA looks forward to continued work to ensure as much spectrum as possible is made available for commercial use.”
“CTIA commends the bipartisan leadership of Chairman Doyle, Ranking Member Latta, Chairman Luján and Ranking Member Thune and supports the bicameral introduction of the Spectrum Innovation Act,” said Kelly Cole, senior vice president for government affairs at CTIA. “This bill makes key mid-band spectrum available for auction, which is critical to support the continued rollout of robust 5G networks that are growing our economy, creating jobs, and helping address societal challenges such as climate change and the digital divide.”
“The Spectrum Innovation Act of 2022 demonstrates a balanced approach to making critical mid-band spectrum in the 3.1-3.45 GHz band available for commercial use,” stated NCTA, the Internet and Television Association. “In consultation with relevant federal partners, the legislation would allow this band to be modeled after the successful 3.5 GHz Citizens Broadband Radio Service shared-use approach, which has been proven to protect the important federal uses of the band, garnered an unprecedented number of auction participants, and supports a wide range of use cases. NCTA applauds Chairman Doyle, Ranking Member Latta, Senator Luján, Senator Thune and Representative Matsui for their introduction of this timely and important bill.”
“The Spectrum Innovation Act will benefit consumers and boost innovation by greatly increasing the supply of prime mid-band spectrum needed to power the world’s most robust 5G wireless ecosystem,” stated Public Knowledge and the Open Technology Institute at New America. “We commend Subcommittee Chairmen Doyle and Luján, and Ranking Members Latta and Thune, for this bipartisan, bicameral effort to make this valuable mid-band spectrum available both by auction and for shared use by smaller broadband providers, schools, and literally thousands of individual enterprises on a local basis. The framework proposed in the Act will allow the FCC to spur more 5G competition and innovation, while also ensuring that military radar systems can continue to use the band without undue risk of harmful interference.”
Thune’s MOBILE NOW Act was signed into law in 2018.