Luján Joins Colleagues to Introduce Spectrum Innovation Act

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) and John Thune (R-S.D.) joined U.S. Representatives Mike Doyle (D-PA-18) and Bob Latta (R-OH-05) to introduce the Spectrum Innovation Act of 2022, legislation that would free up new airwaves for wireless broadband use by the public.

“With such great capabilities to provide essential needs to the American people, the federal government cannot stand by while countless citizens, in New Mexico and across the country, are stuck struggling with little to no internet connection,” said Senator Luján, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Communications, Media, and Broadband. “That’s why I’m joining my colleagues in introducing legislation to free up airwaves and allow more opportunities for research, safety, and for the public to access faster internet speeds and more responsive networks. The federal government must leverage every tool at its disposal to ensure every American has a reliable internet connection, and that’s exactly what this bill does.”

“Ensuring that communication providers have the necessary spectrum to deploy nationwide 5G has long been a priority for me,” said Senator Thune, Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Communications, Media, and Broadband. “I’m pleased to join my colleagues in introducing this legislation that would build on the work of my MOBILE NOW Act, which became law in 2018, by freeing up much-needed mid-band spectrum, an action that would both improve mobile networks and reduce the deficit.”

“Our entire economy runs on mobile broadband technology today,” Congressman Doyle observed. “Congress must make as much spectrum as possible available for improved broadband service for consumers and for promoting new, innovative use of our airwaves. The Spectrum Innovation Act would do just that.”  

“I’m proud of the bipartisan work that went into the Spectrum Innovation Act of 2022,” said Latta. “This legislation is absolutely vital to deploy robust 5G networks, close the digital divide for rural Americans, and will allow innovators to create next generation communications technology.”

The Spectrum Innovation Act would free-up new airwaves for wireless broadband use for the public, which means faster speeds and more responsive networks for consumers. In addition to up to 200 megahertz of spectrum auctioned for mobile broadband, this bill will help usher in new, innovative, and flexible spectrum uses.

Tim Donovan, SVP Legislative Affairs of Competitive Carriers Association, released the follow statement: “CCA commends Chairman Doyle and Representatives Latta and Matsui and Senators Luján and Thune for introducing the bipartisan Spectrum Innovation Act of 2022, which will help make at least 200 megahertz of spectrum available for auction and will maximize the use of mid-band spectrum. Making additional Federal spectrum resources available for commercial use will provide significant benefits for the industry, the economy, and most importantly, consumers. I thank the sponsors for their leadership on this issue, and CCA looks forward to continued work to ensure as much spectrum as possible is made available for commercial use.”

Public Knowledge and the Open Technology Institute at New America released the following statement in support of the bill: “The Spectrum Innovation Act will benefit consumers and boost innovation by greatly increasing the supply of prime mid-band spectrum needed to power the world’s most robust 5G wireless ecosystem. We commend Subcommittee Chairmen Doyle and Luján, and Ranking Members Latta and Thune, for this bipartisan, bicameral effort to make this valuable mid-band spectrum available both by auction and for shared use by smaller broadband providers, schools, and literally thousands of individual enterprises on a local basis. The framework proposed in the Act will allow the FCC to spur more 5G competition and innovation, while also ensuring that military radar systems can continue to use the band without undue risk of harmful interference.”

Kelly Cole, CTIA Senior Vice President for Government Affairs, said, “CTIA commends the bipartisan leadership of Chairman Doyle, Ranking Member Latta, Chairman Luján and Ranking Member Thune and supports the bicameral introduction of the Spectrum Innovation Act. This bill makes key mid-band spectrum available for auction, which is critical to support the continued rollout of robust 5G networks that are growing our economy, creating jobs, and helping address societal challenges such as climate change and the digital divide.”

NCTA, The Internet and Television Association, issued the following statement about the bill’s introduction: “The Spectrum Innovation Act of 2022 demonstrates a balanced approach to making critical mid-band spectrum in the 3.1-3.45 GHz band available for commercial use. In consultation with relevant federal partners, the legislation would allow this band to be modeled after the successful 3.5 GHz Citizens Broadband Radio Service shared-use approach, which has been proven to protect the important federal uses of the band, garnered an unprecedented number of auction participants, and supports a wide range of use cases.  NCTA applauds Chairman Doyle, Ranking Member Latta, Senator Luján, Senator Thune and Representative Matsui for their introduction of this timely and important bill.”



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