Eshoo to reintroduce wireless bill in coming weeks

The California lawmaker first introduced the bill, called the Next Generation Wireless Disclosure Act, during the last congressional session. It would provide consumers with information about the speed of a wireless carrier's 4G service and the technology used to provide that high-speed mobile broadband service before they sign a mobile contract. The bill would also give consumers information about a wireless service's minimum data speed, network reliability and coverage areas so they can compare different pricing and service options.  

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When Eshoo introduced the bill last Congress, she noted that consumers often don't have complete information about the data speeds they're getting when they sign up for a mobile provider's 4G wireless service.

Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Al Franken (D-Minn.) sponsored a companion bill in the Senate.

Eshoo, the ranking member on the House Energy and Commerce's influential Communications and Technology subpanel, said freeing up more airwaves, or spectrum, "has to be a priority" for Congress this year. With the rise in popularity of smartphones and tablets, wireless carriers have said they need more airwaves to handle the glut of data traveling across their networks. 

Passing cybersecurity legislation should be another top priority for Congress this year, she said. It's unlikely that Congress will make any big moves on cybersecurity legislation until the White House releases its executive order aimed at protecting critical infrastructure, such as the electric grid and water plants, from cyberattacks. 

She slammed Congress for not getting a cybersecurity bill through last session.

"The failure of Congress to pass comprehensive cybersecurity legislation last year is really unacceptable," Eshoo said. "The demand for addressing that continues to grow."