US House Committee Approves 6G Task Force

July 27, 2021

Written by Caio Castro
US House of Representatives

The US House Committee on Energy and Commerce passed on July 21 a bill that requires the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to establish a “6G Task Force” to investigate how to design and deploy 6G technologies.

According to the bill – called “The Future Networks Act” – introduced by Representatives Mike Doyle (D-PA), Bill Johnson (R-OH), and Lucy McBath (D-GA), the task force should look into four main 6G-related topics.

In the governmental and public sphere, the representatives want the task force to assess the status of the industry-led standards-setting bodies currently working on 6G standards. They also want the commission to outline “how to best work” with federal, state, local, and tribal governments to leverage the technology, including future deployments.

At the same time, according to the approved text, another of the FCC’s responsibilities would be sharing possible 6G use cases identified by the industry-led standard-setting bodies and any shortcomings of such technology, “including any supply chain or cybersecurity limitations.”

“Organising a broad group of key stakeholders while in the early stages of 6G development will help to identify strengths and uses for 6G, as well as any limitations – particularly relating to supply chains or cybersecurity – which need to be addressed now to ensure a successful evolution of the technology here in the US,” said Johnson in a statement to 6GWorld. “I’m hopeful it will soon be adopted by the full House of Representatives.”

Should the bill be enacted after passing the House and the Senate, the task force will be given six months to publish a draft of the final report addressing those topics and up to one year to finish the study.

The 6G task force will be composed of representatives of companies in the communications industry; representatives of public interest organizations or academic institutions; and representatives of the federal government, state governments, local governments, and tribal governments, with at least one member representing each such type of government. All of them will be appointed by the FCC Chair.

Image credit: Ron Cogswell

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