House Commerce Committee Approves Handful of Broadband Bills

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The House Commerce Committee approved a handful of bipartisan broadband and tech-related bills on a variety of topics, from broadband mapping and network security to freeing up spectrum. “Bills being favorably reported for a vote in the full House were: 

  • The Broadband Deployment Accuracy and Technological Availability Act or the Broadband DATA Act (HR 4229), which requires the FCC to put out new rules on collecting more granular broadband availability data and verify its accuracy, something the FCC is already in the process of doing under pressure from Congress and others. [see On the Road to Better Broadband Maps?]
  • The Mapping Accuracy Promotion Services Act (MAPS Act) (HR 4227), which would make it illegal for carriers to submit inaccurate data on broadband availabilty. 
  • The Studying How to Harness Airwave Resources Efficiently Act of 2019 (SHARE Act) (HR 5000), which requires the National Telecommunications & Information Administration, which oversees federal spectrum, to consult with the FCC on a spectrum-sharing program and test bed.  
  • The Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act of 2019 (HR  4998), which requires the FCC to create and maintain a list of "communications equipment and services that pose an unacceptable risk to national security and prohibits the use of funds made available by FCC programs to purchase, rent, lease, or otherwise obtain such equipment and services." It also creates a program for helping smaller providers pay for removing and replacing suspect tech and services from their networks. 
  • The Network Security Information Sharing Act of 2019 (HR 4461), which would direct the Secretary of Homeland Security, along with the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, NTIA, and FCC, to create a program for sharing supply chain security risk information with communications service providers and suppliers.  
  • The Secure 5G and Beyond Act of 2019 (HR 2881), which would direct the President to develop a "Secure Next Generation Mobile Communications Strategy” in consultation with the heads of FCC, NTIA, and Department of Homeland Security, as well as the DNI and Secretary of Defense." 
  • The Promoting United States Wireless Leadership Act of 2019 (HR 4500), which directs NTIA to "encourage participation by trusted American companies and other stakeholders in standards-setting bodies, and to offer technical assistance to stakeholders that do elect to participate, in the course of developing standards for 5G networks and future generations of communications networks." 
  • H. Res. 575, "expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that all stakeholders in the deployment of 5G communications infrastructure should carefully consider and adhere to the recommendations adopted at the Prague 5G security conferences. 

House Commerce Approves Handful of Broadband Bills House committee advances legislation to secure telecom networks against foreign interference (The Hill) House committee advances legislation to improve broadband mapping (The Hill)