There was plenty of industry buy-in Tuesday to the reintroduction of the Advancing Innovation and Reinvigorating Widespread Access to Viable Electromagnetic Spectrum (AIRWAVES) Act.
The bill would encourage the government to free up more spectrum for commercial licensed and unlicensed broadband and use 10% of any proceeds from spectrum auctions toward closing the urban/rural broadband divide.
The bill, which was first introduced in 2017, was reintroduced by Sens. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.V.), and Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.).
“NCTA welcomes the efforts by Senators Gardner and Hassan in the re-introduced AIRWAVES Act both to expand access to unlicensed spectrum that will power Gigabit WiFi and to consider approaches that might fairly balance the needs of incumbent users and America’s 5G goals," said NCTA-The Internet & Television Association. "We look forward to working with the bill’s sponsors and other members of the committee on these important issues.”
“The reintroduction of the AIRWAVES Act comes at a critical time and we need it to create a pipeline of spectrum for nationwide 5G deployment," said Consumer Technology Association president and CEO Gary Shapiro. "Wireless broadband internet access will power next-gen technologies that will transform industries including healthcare and telecommunications. We look forward to working with the House and Senate as the AIRWAVES Act develops.”
“I thank Senators Gardner and Hassan for their bipartisan work to reintroduce the AIRWAVES Act," said Competitive Carriers Association president Steven K. Berry. "Spectrum is the lifeblood of wireless carriers, and making additional spectrum available for commercial use will greatly benefit consumers, industry and the economy as a whole, while the rural dividend provision will help close the digital divide. All Americans, particularly those in rural and hard-to-reach areas, need access to robust mobile broadband services, and I commend the senators for their tireless work and innovative ideas to ensure no consumers are left behind as we move toward next-generation technologies."