U.S. House, Senate Introduce Bill Directing Auction of 3.45 – 3.55 GHz Spectrum
Thursday, October 08, 2020 | Comments

Several U.S. Congress members introduced an act that would direct the FCC to auction off the 3.45 – 3.55 spectrum by the end of December 2021.

“The key to faster, expanded internet service is 5G technology,” said U.S. Rep. Brett 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, a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations introduced the Beat China by Harnessing Important, National Airwaves for 5G Act of 2020, or the Beat CHINA for 5G Act of 2020, with full Energy and Commerce Committee Republican Leader Rep. Greg Walden and Communications and Technology Subcommittee Republican Leader Rep. Bob Latta. They were joined in the Senate by Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee Chair Roger Wicker, and Senate Communications, Technology, Innovation and Internet Subcommittee Chair John Thune.

“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,” the Congress members said. “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 act would empower the 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.

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 the band.

In August 2020, the White House announced that it would make 100 megahertz 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.

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