Vol. 17, No. 9
March 8, 2021
Sens. Wicker, Blackburn Bill Promotes Broadband Priorities
Sens. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), ranking member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), ranking member of the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Data Security, introduced the Broadband Reserve Fund Act.

This legislation would :
  • Create a Broadband Reserve Fund at the Treasury Department where the net proceeds from the C-Band spectrum auction would be deposited, up to $65 billion;
  • Make funds available for Congress to authorize for use by the FCC or the NTIA;
  • Establish a sense of Congress to make potential uses for the fund that include broadband deployment in unserved areas, distance and remote learning, promoting digital equity and expanding internet access in minority communities and on Tribal lands, securing the communications supply chain, enhancing spectrum efficiency, modernizing public safety communications infrastructure, and increasing accessibility to precision agriculture technologies, and telehealth technologies; and
  • Require additional action by Congress to direct the eligible agencies on how to use the money. The funds would be available until 2030, at which point any remaining proceeds would be deposited in the general fund of the Treasury for deficit reduction.
Antitrust Hearing Scheduled for March 11
On Thursday, March 11, the Subcommittee on Competition Policy, Antitrust, and Consumer Rights will hold a hearing entitiled, "Competition Policy for the Twenty-First Century: The Case for Antitrust Reform."