The Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee on March 22 voted to approve the Next Generation Telecommunications Act with strong bipartisan support.

The legislation aims to create a new council that would oversee Federal investments and policy development of next-generation communications technology, including sixth-generation (6G) wireless technologies.

Sens. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., Roger Wicker, R-Miss., Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and John Thune, R-S.D, introduced the bill last year. The legislation now moves to the full Senate for consideration.


The expert council envisioned by the bill would develop a national telecom strategy, focusing on America’s global leadership in broadband, expanding the telecom sector workforce, and making sure that telecommunications networks are resilient and secure. The bill would also help the United States lead the way in deploying high-speed internet technologies, including 6G.


“By creating a strategy to implement future generations of high-speed internet, including 6G, this bipartisan bill will promote American competitiveness, improve access to quality broadband, and ensure we have the necessary workforce and cybersecurity measures to roll out fast, secure 6G networks,” Sen. Cortez Masto said in a press release.


Additionally, Sen. Cortez Masto said the legislation is a vital component of her Innovation State Initiative to position Nevada on the cutting-edge of new technologies. 


Through the Innovation State Initiative, Sen. Cortez Masto has led efforts in the Senate to foster the development and growth of broadband resources in Nevada, including for underserved urban and rural communities, through improved access and transparency of Federal broadband programs.


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Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez is a MeriTalk State and Local Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.