Mobile Now Act Re-Introduced

Bill frees up federal spectrum for advanced wireless

The leadership of the Senate Commerce Committee has reintroduced the MOBILE NOW Act (S.19) on the first day of the new Congress (Jan. 3).

The bill tracks one passed by voice vote in the committee in March.

The legislation, which is once again co-sponsored by committee Chairman John Thune (R-S.D.) and co-chair Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) would promote making more next-gen 5G wireless spectrum available and reduce obstacles to building out networks.

Among the things the bill would do is put into law an Obama executive order that 500 MHz of federal and nonfderal spectrum be made available for wireless broadband by 2020. (Editor's note: The story initially said it had to be federal spectrum for 5G). The bill would also stipulate that the spectrum be below 6000 Mhz.

It would also speed permitting and for infrastructure, express the "sense of Congress" that "safe and efficient" dig-once policies should be adopted by federal agencies, and provide incentives for federal spectrum users to share or give it up.

“The MOBILE NOW Act is a gateway to faster and more extensive wireless coverage that empowers more Americans to use technologies requiring a connection to the internet,” said Thune. “This legislation is an early technology priority that I expect the Commerce Committee will send to the Senate floor soon.”

“More spectrum and an enhanced wireless infrastructure are both essential to ensuring that the United States maintains its global lead in technology and innovation, and maximizes the transformative potential of the Internet of Things," said TIA SVP James Reid. "The MOBILE NOW Act will help address the growing demand for connectivity, and more spectrum solutions will also be needed — particularly to keep the U.S. competitive as nations around the world push forward with plans for next-generation wireless."