Chairwoman Rosenworcel Proposes Framework to Free Up Mid-Band Spectrum for 5G

Federal Communications Commission Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel shared with her colleagues a draft Order that would make much-needed mid-band spectrum available for 5G. If adopted at the FCC’s March 17 Open Meeting, 100 megahertz of mid-band spectrum in the 3.45-3.55 GHz band would be made available for auction and 5G deployment across the contiguous United States. The Acting Chairwoman also shared with her colleagues a proposed Public Notice seeking comment on procedures for this auction (Auction 110), in which bidding would begin in early October 2021. The proposed new rules, if adopted, would allocate the 3.45-3.55 GHz spectrum band for flexible-use service. It would establish a framework for coordination of non-federal and federal use and establish a band plan, as well as technical, licensing, and competitive bidding rules for the band. Lastly, it would complete the relocation of non-federal radiolocation operators to the 2.9-3.0 GHz band and the sunset of amateur use in the 3.3-3.5 GHz band.

The Consolidated Appropriations Act included a provision, the Beat CHINA for 5G Act of 2020, which requires the FCC to commence a system of competitive bidding for licenses in the 3.45 GHz band by the end of 2021. Rosenworcel’s proposal positions the agency to meet this obligation. In addition, this proposal would be an important step in fulfilling Congress’s directive in the MOBILE NOW Act for the FCC to work with National Telecommunications and Information Administration to evaluate the feasibility of allowing commercial use in the 3.1-3.55 GHz band.

Rosenworcel Proposes Framework to Free Up Mid-Band Spectrum for 5G