SOUTH DAKOTA BUSINESS DAILY: Thune, Wicker help advance 5G availability across America

By Sarah Downey | June 26, 2020

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced the goal to widely deploy 5G wireless technology across the country is running ahead of schedule, due in part to the efforts of Sens. John Thune and Roger Wicker.

“With our December auction of C-band spectrum, America will continue its leadership in 5G benefiting innovators and consumers across South Dakota and the rest of the country will see the benefits,” FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said in an email response to the South Dakota Business Daily. “Sen. Thune and Sen. Wicker have shown real leadership on this issue, most recently last week with their letter strongly supporting FCC efforts on C-band.”

In their June 15 letter to Pai, the senators wrote, “Mid-band spectrum is particularly vital to U.S. leadership in next-generation communications networks given its low latency, wide coverage and high data capacity characteristics. Studies estimate that the economic impact of mid-band spectrum for commercial 5G networks will add $274 billion to the U.S. economy and create over 1.3 million jobs.”

Another recent report on 5G’s economic benefits found it could produce 8.5 million jobs through 2025 and “those workers will earn $560 billion, create $1.7 trillion in additional output and contribute more than $900 billion to the U.S. gross domestic product.”

The significance of wide 5G deployment goes far beyond download speeds. As much of the country has transitioned to remote work amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for broad access to 5G has assumed even greater importance, given the host of new capabilities it brings to consumers.

“That’s the kind of place that we’re going to be as a society with all of this, once you have ubiquitous, low latency, high reliability service,” a senior FCC official told the Daily.

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About 5G Action Now

5G Action Now was founded to establish the United States as the worldwide leader in 5G. Our goal is to elevate the conversation regarding American national security and the economic benefits of winning the 5G innovation and deployment battle against China. 5G will spur economic growth in rural America, create an environment for technological expansion, and put the U.S. on strong national security footing for generations to come.

5G Action Now supports the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) goal of a 2020 C-band auction. Additionally, we support Members of Congress of both parties working together with the federal government to win the 5G race against China.

About Mike Rogers

Mike Rogers is the former Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and now serves as the Chairman of 5G Action Now.

In Congress, Chairman Rogers worked with two presidents, Congressional leadership, foreign leaders, diplomats, and intelligence professionals, and oversaw the Intelligence Community’s $70 billion budget that funded the nation’s 17 intelligence agencies. Before being elected to represent Michigan in the House of Representatives, he was an FBI special agent and member of the U.S. Army.

Today, he hosts the CNN Original Series Declassified, regularly appears on various TV and radio shows, and frequently contributes to major print outlets. He is also a Senior Fellow at Harvard University’s Belfer Center where he is leading a program on 5G, national security, and intelligence policy.