Senate Commerce Committee

Republican Senators Reintroduce Consumer Data Privacy Legislation

Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Roger Wicker (R-MS), Communications Subcommittee Chairman John Thune (R-SD), Transportation Subcommittee Chairman Deb Fischer (R-NE), and Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) introduced the Setting an American Framework to Ensure Data Access, Transparency, and Accountability (SAFE DATA) Act. The legislation would provide Americans with more choice and control over their data and direct businesses to be more transparent and accountable for their data practices.

Committee Approves Bills, Nominations

The Senate Commerce Committee approved a number of bills and nominations including the following:

Senators Introduce Bill to Accelerate Deployment of Rural Digital Opportunity Fund Broadband Networks

Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Roger Wicker (R-MS), Sen Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), and Sen Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) introduced the Accelerating Broadband Connectivity (ABC) Act of 2020. This legislation would expedite the deployment of broadband service by creating a fund to be used by the Federal Communications Commission to incentivize winning bidders of the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) auction to complete their buildout obligations on a shorter timeline. The Accelerating Broadband Connectivity Act would:

Senator Wicker Requests Information from FCC on Accelerating Rural Digital Opportunity Fund Phase I Auction

Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Roger Wicker (R-MS) sent a letter to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai requesting information on accelerating the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) Phase I auction. The FCC plans to begin RDOF Phase I, which will make $16 billion available for broadband services, in October 2020. The letter reads, "[G]iven the current increased need for reliable internet during the pandemic, broadband funding, particularly through the RDOF program, may not come soon enough.

Republican Senate Commerce Committee Members Introduce COVID-19 Consumer Data Protection Act

Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Sens John Thune (R-SD), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Jerry Moran (R-KS), and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) introduced the COVID-19 Consumer Data Protection Act. The legislation would provide all Americans with more transparency, choice, and control over the collection and use of their personal health, device, geolocation, and proximity data. The bill would also hold businesses accountable to consumers if they use personal data to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 Consumer Data Protection Act would:

Broadband DATA Act Unanimously Passes Senate

The Broadband Deployment Accuracy and Technological Availability (DATA) Act unanimously passed the Senate. The bill would:

Chairmen Wicker and Thune Introduce 5G Spectrum Act

Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Communications Subcommittee Chairman John Thune (R-SD) introduced the 5G Spectrum Act. The legislation would ensure mid-band spectrum is quickly available in the market by requiring a transparent and competitive public auctioning process. The bill specifically would require that at least 50 percent of the auction revenues be reserved for the American people. The 5G Spectrum Act would: