US House of Representatives Passes 6G Task Force

December 2, 2021

Written by Caio Castro
US House of Representatives

The US House of Representatives has passed a bill requiring the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to establish a 6G Task Force and investigate how to design and deploy 6G technologies in the country.

The bipartisan “FUTURE Networks Act” was approved on December 1st by 394 representatives, while only 27 stood against it. Now the bill will be sent to the Senate for discussion and voting.

Two other bills addressing cybersecurity were also approved during the same session. “Today the House came together to pass three critical bipartisan bills that aim to strengthen our telecommunications networks for a safer, more secure wireless future,” Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Mike Doyle (D-PA) said in a statement.

“Together, these bills will promote the secure, thoughtful deployment of our next generation 6G networks, arm Americans with the information and tools they need to protect themselves from cyberattacks, and improve wireless network security in the face of growing cybersecurity attacks on our critical infrastructure.”

The 6G Task Force

The FUTURE Networks Act was introduced in the House by Representatives Mike Doyle (D-PA), Bill Johnson (R-OH), and Lucy McBath (D-GA) in June 2021. 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.

Should the bill be enacted after passing the Senate, the task force will be given six months to publish a draft 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 organisations 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.

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