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Kennedy Bows Bill to Give FCC Authority to Issue Auctioned 2.5 GHz Licenses

Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., filed the 5G Spectrum Authority Licensing Enforcement Act Thursday in a bid to give the FCC clear authority to issue T-Mobile and other winning bidders the licenses they bought in the 2.5 GHz band auction last…

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year. FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel has repeatedly defended the commission's decision to withhold the 2.5 GHz licenses (see 2309050060), citing the March expiration of its spectrum auction authority. Senate Commerce Committee ranking member Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Communications Subcommittee ranking member John Thune, R-S.D., are among those on Capitol Hill claiming Rosenworcel is using the licenses as a bargaining tool in slow talks on a broader spectrum legislative package (see 2308140073). “Currently, bureaucratic red tape is standing in the way of Louisianians’ wireless communications,” Kennedy said. “My 5G SALE Act offers a simple solution for providing rural Americans with access to broadband by giving the FCC the authority to finish transferring already auctioned spectrum to companies who offer 5G coverage.” Kennedy is likely to bring up the matter during a Tuesday Senate Appropriations Financial Services Subcommittee hearing on the FCC’s FY 2024 budget request. That panel will begin at 2:30 p.m. in 124 Dirksen.