Today, U.S. Sens. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, and John Thune, R-S.D., chairman of the Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet, released the following statements after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted favorably to reform the use of C-Band spectrum and promote U.S. leadership in the next generation of wireless communications and other advanced spectrum-based services.
“Making more mid-band spectrum available for commercial use is vital to America’s leadership in the race to 5G,” Wicker said. “Today’s vote is an important move toward the deployment of next-generation communications technology and providing broadband coverage for Americans who have been on the wrong side of the digital divide. I thank Chairman Pai for his efforts to expand access to 5G.”
“Today’s vote at the FCC is a critical step toward the United States winning the race to 5G,” said Thune. “As recognized in my MOBILE NOW Act, this prime mid-band spectrum will help enable the widespread deployment of 5G networks across the country, including in the rural areas of my home state of South Dakota. I appreciate Chairman Pai’s leadership in bringing this vote forward.”
Last May, Wicker and Thune sent a letter to Chairman Pai urging the FCC to redouble its efforts to make mid-band spectrum available for 5G. In November, Wicker and Thune introduced the 5G Spectrum Act, S. 2881, which would ensure mid-band spectrum is quickly available in the market by requiring a transparent and competitive public auctioning process. The bill was reported favorably by the committee in December.
The Commerce Committee exercises jurisdiction over the FCC.