President Signs Two Wireless Bills Monday

(Photo: Nicole S. Glass, Shutterstock)

President Donald Trump signed two wireless bills into law Monday night, one to create a plan for the security of 5G networks and the other to ensure the accuracy of broadband data maps.

The Secure 5G and Beyond Act (S. 893) requires the President, in consultation, with the heads of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), relevant cabinet secretaries and the Director of National Intelligence to develop a “Secure Next Generation Mobile Communications Strategy.” This strategy must be submitted to the relevant Congressional committees within 180 days, putting the due date in September 2020.

The law explicitly prevents a recommendation or a proposal to nationalize 5th or future generations wireless communications systems or infrastructure while also requiring a public comment period for input on the strategy to begin within 60 days. The law requires the President and the NTIA to work together to implement the strategy.

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The second law, Broadband DATA Act (S. 1822), requires the FCC to issue new rules to require the collection and dissemination of granular broadband availability data and to establish a process to verify the data’s accuracy. The law also makes it illegal for individuals or companies to “willfully and knowingly, or recklessly” submit inaccurate or incomplete information about the availability or quality of broadband internet access.

A bipartisan group of leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee called it “long past time to fix our nation’s faulty broadband maps.”

“Accurately mapping unserved and underserved communities is essential to promoting the deployment of high-speed service to all Americans,” said House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr., D-N.J.,  Ranking Member Greg Walden, R-Ore., Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Mike Doyle, D-Penn., and Subcommittee Ranking Member Bob Latta, R-Ohio, in a statement Monday after the bill’s signing.

“The Broadband DATA Act will help tremendously with those efforts,” the group said.

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