Guthrie Introduces ‘Beat CHINA for 5G Act’
Washington, October 7, 2020
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Brett Guthrie (KY-02), top Republican on the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, today introduced the Beat China by Harnessing Important, National Airwaves for 5G Act of 2020, or the Beat CHINA for 5G Act of 2020.
“The key to faster, expanded internet service is 5G technology,” said Guthrie. “Innovators across the United States are working hard to harness this technology to provide better internet quality to Americans – and we have to get this technology before China does. The Beat CHINA for 5G Act will allow the U.S. to access spectrum, a critical resource necessary for internet innovation, so we can build this technology on our own without depending on the Chinese.”
Guthrie introduced the Beat CHINA for 5G Act with full Energy and Commerce Committee Republican Leader Rep. Greg Walden (OR-02) and Communications and Technology Subcommittee Republican Leader Rep. Bob Latta (OH-05). They were joined in the Senate by Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee Chair Roger Wicker (R-MS), and Senate Communications, Technology, Innovation, and Internet Subcommittee Chair John Thune (R-SD).
“Americans have experienced the importance of technology during the COVID-19 pandemic, and our reliance on wireless-connected devices will only grow in the future. It is essential for the U.S. to win the technological race against China, and we need to unleash critical mid-band spectrum to get us there. Freeing up the 3.45-3.55 GHz band for commercial use will propel U.S. innovation in deploying 5G, expanding the Internet of Things, closing the digital divide, increasing internet access for schools and students, and improving connectivity across communities,” the members said. “We are proud to introduce the bicameral Beat CHINA for 5G Act of 2020 and will continue to do all we can to advance U.S. leadership in 21st-century technologies.”
The Beat CHINA for 5G Act of 2020 would empower the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to open more critical mid-band spectrum for non-federal, commercial wireless use by requiring the FCC to begin an auction of the 3.45-3.55 GHz band by December 2021.
Spectrum comprises the radio waves that power wireless technology such as AM/FM radio, WiFi, and wireless-enabled devices. It is a finite resource, and different “bands” of spectrum allow different technologies to work.
In February 2018, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) identified the 3.45-3.55 GHz band as a candidate for potential repurposing. Earlier this year, NTIA released a technical report indicating that spectrum sharing opportunities were possible in this band.
In August 2020, the White House announced that it would make 100 MHz of mid-band spectrum in the 3.45-3.55 GHz band available for non-federal, commercial wireless use. In September 2020, the FCC took a first step to start transitioning existing services to make this band available for 5G use.
These actions by the Trump administration are crucial to growing our economy and enhancing our national security. This legislation will ensure that there are no delays and this action stays on track.