Press Release Spectrum Reform

Senate Commerce Committee Approves Mobile Now Act to Increase Spectrum

March 3, 2016 ,

Today, the Senate Commerce Committee voted to approve the MOBILE NOW Act (S. 2555) with amendments for consideration by the full Senate. This bill, introduced by Committee Chairman John Thune (R-S.D.) and Ranking Member Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), would increase the development of next-generation 5G wireless broadband by freeing up more spectrum for both commercial licensed and unlicensed use and improving broadband infrastructure deployment.

The following can be attributed to Phillip Berenbroick, Counsel for Government Affairs at Public Knowledge:

“Today’s vote advancing the MOBILE NOW Act is an important step toward meeting America’s future telecommunications needs. We are pleased that the bill, as amended, includes significant spectrum for both licensed and unlicensed use, and directs the FCC and NTIA to develop a national plan to ensure there is sufficient spectrum available for innovative unlicensed operations. Today’s vote is a key moment illustrating the overwhelming consensus that unlicensed spectrum has become a critical driver of innovation and economic growth in the United States, and democratizes access to the public airwaves.

“Additionally, we are pleased the bill takes important steps toward improving broadband infrastructure deployment in federal highway projects and on federal, state, and local government property.

“Chairman Thune, Ranking Member Nelson, and their staffs established an inclusive process and engaged with a wide range of stakeholders to improve the MOBILE NOW Act. Senator Schatz especially deserves praise for his leadership and tireless work advocating for the importance of unlicensed spectrum. We also thank Senators Moran, Booker and Gardner for their amendments supporting unlicensed spectrum. We hope that the bipartisan work on this bill can be a guidepost for collaboration on future technology issues.”