Press Release

Harold Feld to Testify Before House Energy & Commerce Committee On Securing America’s Wireless Future

September 26, 2019 , , ,

Public Knowledge Senior Vice President Harold Feld will testify before the U.S. House Committee on Energy & Commerce Friday, September 27 at 9:30 a.m. His testimony in the hearing on “Legislating to Secure America’s Wireless Future” will urge Congress to maintain U.S. leadership in wireless technology by supporting wireless investments through the SHARE Act and “Promoting United States Leadership Act of 2019” (PULSA). 

The testimony will also support improving the security of the supply chain for communications networks and contend that the “Network Security Information Sharing Act of 2019” (NSISA) and the “Secure and Trusted Communications Act of 2019” (STCA) are good beginnings. However, STCA requires a number of improvements before passage. Most importantly, STCA should not limit reimbursement to small providers forced to replace equipment only to purchases of equipment made before August 2018. 

Public Knowledge urges the Subcommittee to reject the E-FRONTIER Act altogether. This Act is unnecessary and would create potential problems for future federal efforts to provide emergency communications or address the digital divide.

The following may be attributed to Harold Feld, Senior Vice President at Public Knowledge:

“Public Knowledge is pleased to endorse the SHARE Act. Investment in Federal spectrum sharing will have enormous advantages to the federal government and to commercial use of spectrum. Effective dynamic management will do more than free up federal spectrum for auction or open up new federal spectrum for unlicensed access. Technology developed as a result of the SHARE Act will enable federal users to dynamically access better quality spectrum on an as needed basis in a more efficient manner, creating a win for federal users. At the same time, study of the CBRS band will move us closer to the ability to accommodate a mix of priority federal users, licensed interference-protected commercial users, and unlicensed users in the same frequency bands – the Holy Grail of efficient spectrum use.

“Public Knowledge is also pleased to support the ‘Promoting United States Leadership Act of 2019’ (PUSLA). Public Knowledge believes strongly that participation by civil society in international standards bodies will dramatically improve the standards process for all. It will also help protect against the use of standards bodies for illegal collusion – an allegation that has emerged from time to time as a consequence of the closed nature of standards bodies. Public Knowledge also supports the Resolution by Mr. Flores on the Prague Protocols as common sense security recommendations for 5G networks.

“Public Knowledge generally supports the concepts of the ‘Secure and Trusted Communications Act of 2019’ (STCA) and the ‘Network Security Information Sharing Act of 2019’ (NSISA). However, we recommend several changes to improve the STCA. STCA requires several modifications for due process purposes, such as a mechanism to challenge inclusion on the covered list and a mechanism to seek removal from the covered list. We also believe that reimbursement should not be limited to equipment purchased before August 2018 — especially if new providers are added to the covered list.

“Finally, we oppose the E-FRONTIER Act as unnecessary and a potential source of negative unintended consequences. The Federal Government cannot build a new network without an appropriation from Congress. This provides more than adequate protection in the event that a future administration should ever seek to move beyond consideration of a national network. On the other hand, the federal government has numerous communications assets — such as spectrum and fiber — which may be of great value if made accessible to the public in emergencies or for rural broadband. The law as written would potentially prohibit any sort of public/private partnership, spectrum sharing agreement, or emergency provision of services. Given the ability of Congress to refuse to appropriate money for any unwanted federal activity, the more prudent course is to simply maintain the status quo.”

You may view the testimony here.