A bipartisan bill would establish a council to oversee and implement 6G broadband access across the country.
Newly proposed legislation seeks to establish an improved infrastructure to usher in more 6G wireless network advancements in U.S. cities, specifically creating a new council to oversee federal investments and development in the nation’s telecommunications.
Introduced by Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., the bill, dubbed the Next Generation Telecommunications Act, has bipartisan support, with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., among the bill’s sponsors.
As implied, the bill would formally establish the Next Generation Telecommunications Council to advise Congress on 6G advancements and other wireless technologies, mainly for the use of smart cities.
“We’ve got to promote American competitiveness in these kind of cutting-edge technologies that we’re building in Nevada,” Cortez Masto said in a statement. “That means improving access to quality broadband, ensuring we have the necessary workforce, and putting in safeguards to make sure we protect emerging technologies.”
Designated members of the council would include the deputy secretary of Commerce, the assistant secretary of Commerce for communications and information, the undersecretary of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the chair of the Federal Communications Commission, the director of the National Science Foundation, and three members appointed by the Senate, among others.
Along with 6G advancements, the council would also work to deploy a better 5G infrastructure. The council will also look to advise Congress on remediating connectivity gaps in some parts of the country.
Increased federal funding in telecommunications has been a popular legislative agenda. In March, the White House laid out a new plan to safeguard and develop improved 5G broadband access in the U.S., with an emphasis on security.
“Ensuring the United States remains a leader in next-generation communications has long been a priority of mine,” said cosponsor Sen. John Thune, R-S.D. “This bill would allow the United States to continue competing on the global stage, and it would help prepare the United States to lead the way in deploying next-generation technology, including 6G. I’ll continue to work on bipartisan solutions that will increase innovation and bolster the private sector’s ability to compete in this emerging space.”