More than 35 House lawmakers are pushing chamber leadership to fund the development and deployment of wireless 5G radio access networks (RANs) as part of upcoming coronavirus relief legislation. That’s according to Spectrum Caucus heads Doris Matsui (D-CA) and Brett Guthrie (R-KY), along with Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA).
RANs are virtual alternatives to physical 5G equipment. The technology
could make the U.S. more competitive against Chinese telecom giant
Huawei, these lawmakers say.
House Energy and Commerce staffers previously hinted at the next
coronavirus bill that would allocate $1 billion for RAN research and
development, notes Politico. The letter marks the biggest and
most explicit ask to secure money along these lines. The White House and
FCC discussed the merits of the technology earlier this year.
This month, an industry coalition was formed to promote it, with members ranging from AT&T to Facebook, reported Inside Towers.
The Open RAN Coalition is speaking to at least one FCC Commissioner
about its goals. “I salute its commitment to no mandates & vendor
neutrality!” tweeted FCC Commissioner Mike O’Rielly after speaking with