President Biden expected to sign 5G Spectrum Authority Licensing Enforcement Act into law

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator


HOLIDAY SALE SIGNING – President Joe Biden is expected to sign the 5G Spectrum Authority Licensing Enforcement (SALE) Act, possibly by the end of this month, according to industry lobbyists.

UPDATE: December 19, 2023 – President Joe Biden signed off today on the 5G Spectrum Authority Licensing Enforcement Act, as expected. The measure, which the House passed last week, gives the FCC authority for 90 days to issue T-Mobile and other winning bidders the licenses they bought in the 2.5 GHz band auction last year.

President Biden is expected to sign the 5G Spectrum Authority Licensing Enforcement (SALE) Act (S-2787), according to communications policy lobbyists. The bill received unanimous approval from the House of Representatives on Monday night after passing the Senate in September. This legislation grants the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) authority for 90 days to issue licenses to winning bidders from the 2.5 GHz band auction held last year, including T-Mobile and other companies.

The passage of S-2787 has been met with praise from lawmakers and stakeholders in the communications sector. It addresses a pressing need resulting from months of stalled negotiations on broader legislative packages related to the FCC’s general auction authority, which had lapsed.

The bill is seen as a temporary measure to facilitate the issuance of licenses to companies that have already paid for them. It provides a critical stopgap solution while discussions continue on a more comprehensive, long-term legislative solution.

House Communications Subcommittee Chairman Bob Latta, R-Ohio, emphasized the importance of ensuring access to the airwaves for auction winners and expressed a commitment to pursuing a long-term solution to reauthorize the FCC’s authority. Latta and other lawmakers are considering alternatives to the Spectrum Auction Reauthorization Act (HR-3565) in response to findings from a Department of Defense study.

House Commerce ranking member Frank Pallone, D-N.J., highlighted the significance of allowing commercial spectrum to be used by consumers, particularly those in unserved areas and rural communities.

Rep. John Joyce, R-Pa., believes that releasing the 2.5 GHz licenses, as proposed by the bill, will promote competition among providers and contribute to economic growth. The bill is expected to expedite the process of connecting more Americans to high-speed internet.

T-Mobile Vice President-Federal Government Relations Tony Russo commended the passage of S-2787, noting that it clears the path for the FCC to release the 2.5 GHz licenses, ultimately expanding high-speed internet access for millions of Americans.

The Competitive Carriers Association (CCA) also praised the bill’s passage and called on President Biden to promptly sign it into law. CCA President/CEO Tim Donovan emphasized the positive impact of the legislation on improving 5G connectivity and maintaining U.S. leadership in innovation.

The bill’s passage marks an important step forward in addressing the issue of delayed license issuance and supports the continued development of 5G networks in the United States.