Perhaps the biggest news of the week was the agenda for the Federal Communications Commission's July 10 Open Meeting, which FCC Chairman Ajit Pai laid out in a blog post on June 18, 2019. I'm traveling to New York this week; below is a shorter-than-usual weekly that takes a look at how Chairman Pai plans to take education out of the Educational Broadband Service -- and broadcast television.
On October 25, 2018, President Donald Trump signed a Presidential Memorandum ordering federal agencies to review their existing spectrum usage, forecast future demands, and prepare a plan for research and development that will enable better use of spectrum in the future.
One message that is understood in all languages around the globe is that communications technology can improve people’s lives and grow our economies. Increasingly, the technology that people think can drive transformative change is 5G. Soon, these next-generation wireless networks will affect almost every aspect of our society and economy—from businesses to homes, hospitals to transportation networks, manufacturing to the power grid.
By this Public Notice, the Federal Communications Commission identify 57 applicants that are qualified to bid in Auction 107. Auction 107 will offer new flexible‐use overlay licenses for spectrum in the 3.7–3.98 GHz band (3.7 GHz Service) throughout the contiguous US, subject to clearing requirements. Bidding in Auction 107 is scheduled to begin on Dec 8, 2020. This Public Notice also provides important information to qualified bidders concerning access to the Auction 107 bidding system, available educational materials, the mock auction, and the start of bidding for Auction 107.
This forum has attracted participants from across Europe and around the world because we all understand 5G’s transformative potential to unlock innovation and economic growth. I’ve been asked to talk to you about what we are doing in the United States to seize the opportunities of 5G. So let’s get to it.
When we talk about spectrum policy innovation in 2020, dynamic spectrum sharing rests at the cutting edge. It’s become a powerful tool for squeezing the most value out of high-quality spectrum and meeting the growing demand for wireless services. Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) may have been the Federal Communications Commission’s first major foray into dynamic sharing, but it was hardly our last.
Back in 2017, 5G was a big focus of my remarks. But back then, 5G was largely hypothetical and aspirational. This year, I’m speaking to you just a few days after the release of the first 5G iPhone. Over the past three-plus years, 5G has gotten real—very real. How did we get from there to here? Obviously, many of you in the audience led the way. But I’d like to think the Federal Communications Commission put a tailwind at your back. I’d like to walk through the actions we’ve taken at the FCC to accelerate the arrival of the 5G revolution.
The Federal Communications Commission announced the start of bidding in the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund Phase I auction, which will target up to $16 billion to deploy networks to serve up to 10.25 million Americans that currently lack access to fixed broadband service meeting the FCC’s benchmark speeds. The auction has attracted significant interest, with 386 providers qualified to bid, representing a more than 75% increase over the number that qualified for the Commission’s successful 2018 Connect America Phase II auction.
The Federal Communications Commission adopted rules creating the 5G Fund for Rural America, which will distribute up to $9 billion over the next decade to bring 5G wireless broadband connectivity to rural America. The 5G Fund will use multi-round reverse auctions in two phases to target support from the FCC’s Universal Service Fund to eligible areas based upon the improved mobile broadband coverage data gathered in the FCC’s Digital Opportunity Data Collection proceeding.