The House Energy and Commerce Committee passed a bill to temporarily restore the FCC’s auction authority. The House version of the 5G Spectrum Authority Licensing Enforcement Act (SALE Act) is now on its way to the full House.
Sponsored by Rep John Joyce (R-PA), H.R.-5677 would give 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.
Joyce said he was proud to see the 46-0 vote. “It’s time to cut red tape and ensure that wireless services are accessible to our communities,” Joyce said on X.
The Senate unanimously cleared its version of the bill in September, Inside Towers reported. It was introduced by Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA).
FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel has said repeatedly, including at last week’s House oversight hearing, without its spectrum auction authority, the agency can’t transfer previously auctioned licenses to new owners, Inside Towers reported. T-Mobile won the bulk – 7,156 – of the 2.5 GHz licenses in Auction 108 last summer.
Competitive Carriers Association President/CEO Tim Donovan urged swift passage by the full House. “This important legislation enables the FCC to proceed to issue licenses for 2.5 GHz spectrum won at auction in 2022 as Congress works to reinstate the FCC’s spectrum auction authority. Passage of this legislation will promote 5G connectivity and benefit American consumers nationwide.”
By Leslie Stimson, Inside Towers Washington Bureau Chief