Act to Create Council on 6G, Other Next-Gen Communications Introduced into Senate
Thursday, October 28, 2021 | Comments

Four Senators introduced an act that would create a council to explore next-generation wireless communications into the Senate.

The Next Generation Telecommunications Act would establish the Next Generation Telecommunications Council to “advise Congress on 6G advancements and other advanced wireless communications technologies, including the use of such technologies for smart cities or communities.

Under the act, the council would be composed of the deputy secretary of commerce; the assistant secretary of commerce for communications and information; the undersecretary of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST); the FCC chairperson; the director of the National Science Foundation (NSF); three members appointed by the majority leader of the Senate, one of whom must be a Senator and two who are not; two members appointed by the Senate minority leader, one of whom must be a Senator and one who is not; three members appointed by the majority leader of the House of Representatives, one of whom must be a member of the House and the others not; and two members appointed by the minority leader of the House of Representatives, one of whom must be a members of the House and one who is not.

For those members who are appointed by Congress but are not Congress members, they should be people who are known for their expertise, knowledge or experience in telecommunications, spectrum policy and standards organizations; cybersecurity and innovations; or the implementation, funding or oversight of national security and information sharing.

The council would have two co-chairs selected from among the members of the council, one each from the Democratic and Republican parties.

The council would be responsible for developing a variety of recommendations including on:
• The development and adoption of 6G and other advanced wireless technologies, including ensuring digital inclusion and equity in access to such technologies for communities of color, underserved communities and rural communities;
• Assessment of roles and responsibilities within the federal government and how the federal government can better coordinate functions to ensure timely decisions and needed actions.
• Research and development into and standards for 6G and other advanced wireless communications technologies, including collaboration with the private sector and United States allies; and
• The promotion of international cooperation, including security cooperation, with respect to 6G and other wireless communications technologies.

The bill is cosponsored by Democrats Charles Schumer and Ben Lujan and Republicans Roger Wicker and John Thune. The bill has been referred to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation for review.

Find the full text of the proposed bill here.

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