A. Vote in the House on 3/6/18: HR.4986
About 15,000 Words
The Press Release
H.R. 4986 , the Repack Airwaves Yielding Better Access for Users of Modern Services Act of 2018 is a bipartisan, bicameral agreement among House and Senate leaders to reauthorize the FCC and support the deployment of next-generation wireless services. The Energy and Commerce Committee approved an earlier version of H.R. 4986 by voice vote last month. The legislation that passed today will:
- Reauthorize the FCC and include reforms to ensure the commission continues to improve its efficiency and transparency.
- Enact key provisions from the Senate-approved MOBILE NOW Act (S.19) to boost the development of next-generation 5G wireless broadband by identifying more spectrum – both licensed and unlicensed – for private sector use and reducing the red tape associated with building wireless networks.
- Authorize a repack fund to address the shortfall in funding available to relocate broadcasters being displaced following the successful Incentive Auction, and set up new relocation funds for translators, low-power television, and radio stations that will be impacted by the repack – supplemented by a consumer education fund.
- Include a spectrum auction deposit “fix” which allows the FCC to deposit upfront payments from spectrum bidders directly with the U.S. Treasury.
- Direct the FCC to craft a national policy for unlicensed spectrum that includes certain specific considerations and recommendations.
- Advance proposals that would help the FCC and law enforcement protect consumers from fraudulent telephone calls, and to educate Americans about their options to stop these illegal calls.
How This Happened
- 3/6/18 at 4:54:12 to 5:37:21 in the video: Mr. Walden moved to suspend the rules and pass the bill, as amended. H.R. 4986 – “To amend the Communications Act of 1934 to reauthorize appropriations for the Federal Communications Commission, to provide for certain procedural changes to the rules.
- Considered under suspension of the rules.
- DEBATE – The House proceeded with forty minutes of debate on H.R. 4986.
- On motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill, as amended Agreed to by voice vote.
On Fri 3/2/18, it was announced that "Republican and Democratic lawmakers have reached agreement to allow for the sale of spectrum to speed up the introduction of next-generation 5G wireless networks". Read the Reuters News article: U.S. Congress to vote on allowing spectrum auction for 5G Networks
The house will vote on the Bill HR.4986 on Tue 3/6/18. The Senate passed S.19 on 8/4/17. Scientists For Wired Technology lobbied against S.19 in at the US Senate and House in Feb/Mar 2017.
The Bill on which they agreed to vote in favor of, H.R. 4986, is incorporating key provisions from S.19 MOBILE NOW Act – the Bill that was introduced on the first day of Congress in 2017 by Senator Thune, the head of the Senate Commerce Committee. S.19 was the first 5G Bill and aimed to enable to fast track 5G and to facilitate the auctioning of the 5G frequencies. It is not if the House will also move ahead with MOBILE NOW Act.
The House PR Statement further explains that the legislation to be considered next week would:
"Enact key provisions from the Senate-approved MOBILE NOW Act (S. 19) to boost the development of next-generation 5G wireless broadband by identifying more spectrum – both licensed and unlicensed – for private sector use and reducing the red tape associated with building wireless networks."
According to the statement the first frequencies that will be auctioned are the 24 GHz & 28 GHz. Verizon already owns a large chunk of 28 GHz spectrum.
House Represenative Martha Blackburn (R-TN) who introduced the Bill is the chairman of the House Telecommunication Subcommittee and has received about $700,000 from Telecom.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s response:
"FCC Chairman Ajit Pai praised the leaders of both panels in a tweet Friday morning for “forging an agreement that would allow” the agency to carry out spectrum auctions, including two planned auctions aimed at expediting development of 5G networks that he outlined in a speech to the Mobile World Congress in Spain on Feb. 26.
In the speech, Pai said he would need Congress to “pass legislation by May 13 addressing the handling of upfront payments” contained in the FCC reauthorization, in order to start one of the auctions in November, as planned.
The measure would establish a fund — without specifying the amount of funding — to help broadcasters cover costs related to a pending reshuffling of spectrum slots after an incentive auction last year to make way for wireless providers."
B. FCC Wireless Infrastructure Streamlining Order
WT Docket No. 17-79 (about 50,000 Words)
More to Come . . . on this one