Senate Commerce Approves Mobile Now Act


The Mobile Now Act, which would take numerous steps to boost wireless broadband, passed unanimously out of the Senate Commerce Committee loaded with amendments on everything from shot-clocks for approving facilities, to dig-once policies for combining road projects and telecom plant, to a contest offering up to $5 million for the first person to come up with a way to boost spectrum efficiency.

The bipartisan bill, which specifically targets the buildout of 5G mobile broadband, was the result of months of negotiations, and Commerce Chairman John Thune (R-SD) said he thought the bill had a good chance for passage by the full Senate. Included in the bill was an amendment, backed by, among others, wireless broadband spectrum fan Sen Marco Rubio (D-FL) that would insure that at least 100 MHz of the spectrum being freed up would go for unlicensed use and another 100 MHz for commercial mobile service, with a handwritten addition to the amendment saying that commercial use was "subject to the [FCC's] regulatory purview to implement exclusive licensing in a flexible manner, including consideration of continued use of such spectrum by incumbent federal or non-federal entities in designated geographic areas indefinitely."

Senate Commerce Approves Mobile Now Act Senate panel clears bill to free up airwaves (The Hill) MOBILE Now Spectrum Auction Amendment Withdrawn (B&C) Senate Commerce Committee Approves Mobile Now Act to Increase Spectrum (Public Knowledge statement) Pallone Commends Effort to Help Broadcast Viewers (B&C – Pallone reaction) MOBILE NOW Fans Queue Up (B&C)