The Senate Commerce Committee vetted the current state of spectrum policy and broadband availability at a July 23 hearing. There was general agreement that rural deployment was a problem and a priority, particularly during a pandemic; that the data on where broadband is and isn't — thus where the money needs to be put, or not — is flawed and needs fixing; and that sharing as well as clearing spectrum was important.
The nomination of Federal Communications Commissioner Michael O'Rielly for a new, five-year term on the FCC has been favorably reported out of the Senate Commerce Committee and now moves to the full Senate for a vote. Commissioner O'Rielly's term expired at the end of June 2019, but commissioners can continue to serve until the close of the next Congress. The new term would date from July 1, 2019. Wednesday's action came by voice vote, but with Committee Ranking Member Maria Cantwell (D-WA) voting no, even though, procedurally, she was the one to propose that it be reported favorably.