Reps. Billy Long (R-MO) and Susan Brooks (R-IN) are siding with the wireless industry and asking Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai to reserve a portion of the 6 GHz airwaves for auctioning off spectrum for licensed use.
The Senate Judiciary Committee’s tech task force is gearing up to take on 5G wireless, said Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN). The bipartisan mix of lawmakers will be “looking at some of these intricacies that affect spectrum and 5G deployment, security of the network and applications that are available to make life more convenient and accessible for consumers,” she said. Sen Blackburn also nudged Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai to make a call about whether to allow satellite firm Ligado Networks to light up wireless service.
Sen. John Neely Kennedy has yet to go directly to President Donald Trump with his outrage over the Federal Communications Commission’s planned approach for auctioning the 5G-friendly C-band airwaves — but “I will,” he said. “There’s no big rush,” Sen Kennedy said. “The FCC is going to do what the FCC is going to do [Feb 28]. But what counts is what we do.
The tech world is closely watching President Donald Trump’s two-day visit to India, which could have implications for digital trade, 5G and other policy areas. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai is part of the US delegation in tow. “We will be discussing issues of mutual interest like 5G and bridging the digital divide,” Chairman Pai said in a video he shared via Twitter, “and we will aim to deepen the friendship between the world’s oldest democracy and its largest.”
CTIA President Meredith Attwell Baker, representing wireless giants like AT&T and Verizon, paid a visit to Federal Communications Commission Ajit Pai Pai and FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly to lobby them to auction off licenses in the upper portion of the 6 GHz airwaves.
House Democratic leaders are set to roll out infrastructure legislation following the Martin Luther King Jr. Day recess. The legislation will likely feature provisions aimed at closing the digital divide, putting the issue of broadband internet access front and center ahead of the 2020 elections.
The trade deal that President Donald Trump and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He signed left the tech world clamoring for more. Industry leaders praised the deal’s progress on forced technology transfers and intellectual property theft in China and expressed optimism about its next iteration.
Sen John Kennedy (R-LA) is angling to hold more Federal Communications Commission hearings soon in his appropriations subcommittee overseeing the commission, still focused on how FCC Chairman Ajit Pai will structure a planned auction of 5G-friendly airwaves in the C-band. “Let me speak bluntly, we’re watching the FCC like a hawk,” said Sen Kennedy.
The House is scheduled to vote on its bipartisan compromises aimed at improving broadband mapping and securing the US telecommunications supply chain (and helping rural wireless carriers rip and replace any existing gear from providers like Huawei that the administration has labeled a security risk).