Congressman Leonard Lance

Representing the 7th District of New Jersey

Lance, Doyle Introduce AIRWAVES Act

Feb 7, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Leonard Lance (NJ-07), Vice Chair of the Communications and Technology Subcommittee, is joining the Subcommittee’s Ranking Member, Congressman Mike Doyle (PA-14), in introducing bipartisan legislation that will help bring 5G wireless service closer to reality and help close the digital divide.  The Advancing Innovation and Reinvigorating Widespread Access to Viable Electromagnetic Spectrum, or AIRWAVES Act, will encourage the federal government to free up more spectrum for commercial licensed and unlicensed use.  More spectrum will improve data service from all providers and help close geographic gaps in coverage.  Unlicensed spectrum will also help support the usage of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technologies, among other innovations.

The bipartisan AIRWAVES Act is the kind of bill that will make a difference in the lives of Internet users.  By opening up more federal spectrum for commercial usage we are helping lay the groundwork for 5G.  The Internet is the lifeblood of the American economy – transforming countless industries and everyday life.   To compete in the 21st century we must have a robust spectrum pipeline so we can win the race to 5G as we did with 4G LTE.  We also have to close the connectivity divide and bring reliable Internet service to a larger segment of Americans – especially those in unserved areas.  And with multi-device households on the rise we need more data to stay connected.  All consumers need a system with faster speed, better reliability and affordable options and the AIRWAVES Act brings us one step closer,” said Lance, the Vice Chair of the Communications and Technology Subcommittee.

“I’m proud to join with Congressman Lance in introducing the Airwaves Act in the House.  This legislation builds upon the good work done by Senators Gardner and Hassan, which laid much of the foundation for the bill we have introduced. This bipartisan, bicameral legislation would establish a reliable pipeline for licensed and unlicensed spectrum.  The pipeline will provide spectrum for robust and competitive deployments of 5G wireless broadband networks, which will build on the success of Wi-Fi by making additional, much needed, unlicensed spectrum available.  Additionally, I’m very proud that this legislation requires that 10 percent of the proceeds from the spectrum auctions included in this bill would go toward the buildout of wireless broadband in rural America.  These are much needed investments that would benefit unserved and underserved communities,” said Ranking Member Doyle.  

The AIRWAVES Act will encourage the federal government to auction more spectrum to wireless providers, which in turn will lead to greater capacity for existing services.  The legislation includes requirements to make sure rural areas get attention by dedicating certain proceeds from spectrum auctions go directly into development for wireless broadband infrastructure to unserved and underserved areas.

Original cosponsors of the legislation are Reps. Brett Guthrie (KY-02), Doris Matsui (CA-06), Susan Brooks (IN-05), Peter Welch (VT), Tim Walberg (MI-07) and Yvette Clarke (NY-09).  The AIRWAVES Act is championed in the U.S. Senate by Senators Cory Gardner (CO) and Maggie Hassan (NH).