Joyce’s 5G Rural Accessibility act passes House Energy and Commerce Committee with flying colors

05 December 2023- Today, Congressman John Joyce, M.D. (PA-13), announced that his legislation, H.R.5677, the 5G SALE Act, was passed unanimously by the Energy and Commerce Committee and will next be considered by the entire U.S. House of Representatives.

The 5G Spectrum Authority Licensing Enforcement (5G SALE) Act would require the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to release previously auctioned bands of the electromagnetic spectrum to expand access to 5G broadband to rural communities.

“Bridging the digital divide has never been more critical for rural communities,” said Congressman Joyce. “The 5G SALE Act would cut the red tape that has kept Pennsylvania families from accessing the high-speed internet that is vital for remote workers, students who use the internet to learn from home, and patients who use telehealth to heal from home. I’m proud to see this 5G Sale Act pass unanimously out of the committee, and I look forward to seeing its passage in the House.”

Background:

The FCC sold approximately 8,000 licenses to grant internet providers access to America’s broadband spectrum. These licenses are the only way companies can legally use the radio waves that bring 5G internet to customers.

During the period between when providers paid for these licenses and when the FCC should have parceled the licenses out, there was a lapse in the FCC’s ability to authorize the use of these radio waves. Now, despite internet providers having fully purchased the frequencies necessary to deliver 5G internet, the FCC has stated they are unable to issue these licenses.

Congressman Joyce’s legislation would grant the FCC a one-time, temporary authority to issue licenses purchased in auctions in order to speed the delivery of 5G technology to rural communities.  On Friday, September 22, 2023, the Senate unanimously passed the Senate version of the 5G SALE Act, which was introduced by Senator John Kennedy (R-LA).