House Passes 5G Bills

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The House on Wednesday passed onto the Senate bills aimed at giving the U.S. a boost over China in the race to implement 5G. The three bipartisan measures passed almost unanimously.

Congress and the Trump administration have been working to limit the power of Chinese telecoms currently dominating the 5G industry while pouring more money into efforts to build out the network infrastructure in the U.S. 

“All three of these bills are important for securing America’s wireless future, and we hope they won’t languish in the Senate,” House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) and communications subcommittee Chairman Mike Doyle (D-PA) said. 

House Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Greg Walden (R-OR) and the top Republican on the Communications and Technology Subcommittee Bob Latta (R-OH), agreed, saying 5G technology, “holds the key to the possibility of self-driving cars, the Internet of Things, telemedicine, rural broadband, and many other doors we have yet to open. Our legislation from the Energy and Commerce Committee will help develop a strategy to secure 5G wireless networks, solidify America’s position as a global 5G leader, and ensure our national security interests are upheld in international 5G standards.” They too, urged swift action on the bills in the Senate.

H.R. 2881, the “Secure 5G and Beyond Act,” was introduced by Reps. Susan Brooks (R-IN) and Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ). It directs the President to develop the “Secure Next Generation Mobile Communications Strategy” in consultation with the heads of FCC, NTIA, Department of Homeland Security, and Secretary of Defense.  

H.R. 4500, the “Promoting United States Wireless Leadership Act,” was introduced by Reps. Tim Walberg (R-MI) and Debbie Dingell (D-MI). It directs NTIA to encourage participation by trusted American companies and other stakeholders in standards-setting bodies, and to offer technical assistance as standards are developed for 5G networks and future generations of communications networks.

The House also passed a resolution calling on the U.S. to follow a set of international cybersecurity standards as it develops 5G capabilities. H. Res. 575, expresses the sense of the House that those involved in the deployment of 5G communications should consider and adhere to the recommendation of “the Prague Proposals,” introduced by Energy and Commerce Reps. Bill Flores (R-TX) and Darren Soto (D-FL). The resolution also encourages the President and federal agencies to promote trade and security policies on the international stage that are consistent with the proposals.

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