The $14.2 billion allocated to the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is projected to run out by mid-2024. With the options running thin, there may be a potential source of funding for the ACP for Congress to consider—only this time, it’s intricately connected to the US spectrum auctions that were formerly under Federal Communications Commission jurisdiction.
To maintain American leadership in the global 5G economy, the wireless industry must keep deploying more spectrum for consumers. It’s as simple as that. At T-Mobile, we have a record of putting our spectrum to good use quickly, now covering 326 million Americans with 5G service, 285 million of whom are covered by Ultra Capacity 5G. But in 2023, the government has not been doing its part to keep the pipeline flowing and action is needed. In 2022, the Federal Communication Commission completed Auction 108.
AT&T, which was the second biggest spender in the Federal Communications Commission's C-band auction in 2021, is taking advantage of the satellite companies’ early clearing of the band to access its full C-band spectrum holdings. AT&T has been deploying a combination of C-band and 3.45 GHz across the country, with its 5G network mid-band network now covering more than 175 million people. AT&T’s nationwide 5G network, which includes low-band spectrum, covers about 290 million people. AT&T said it’s now doubling its available C-band spectrum for deployment.
On 30th Anniversary of FCC Spectrum Auctions, Chairwoman Rosenworcel Calls for Congressional Renewal of Expired Authority
Federal Communications Commission spectrum auctions have fueled American growth for three decades. The agency has held 100 auctions and in the process raised more than $233 billion for the United States Treasury. It’s not just that these auctions are a good deal; they are a big reason why the United States leads the world in wireless innovation. They are also an essential part of our economic and national security. The current lapse in spectrum auction authority is unprecedented and it puts this leadership at risk.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched early with the last of a dozen new C-band video relay satellites purchased by Intelsat and SES to help clear spectrum for the rollout of 5G wireless services in the US. Intelsat and SES, two of the world's largest geostationary communications satellites operators, are on track to receive nearly $9 billion in incentive payments from 5G cell network operators by the end of 2024. The payments are due after Intelsat and SES clear the lower 300 MHz of C-band spectrum, which is being transitioned from satellite services to terrestrial 5G under the supervision of
It's been nearly four months since Congress let the Federal Communications Commission's authority to auction spectrum lapse, potentially hindering the deployment of broadband or expanding 5G capabilities.
One of the hardest things that the Federal Communications Commission does is to decide spectrum policy. The agency has full authority to determine the details of how we use each slice of available spectrum. Most importantly, the agency can determine who can use spectrum – and that’s why the task is challenging. In the last decade, it’s hard to think of any spectrum deliberation and decision that didn’t have to weigh the interests of multiple spectrum users. There is almost always somebody using spectrum that must be considered.
The House Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) delivered opening remarks at the Communications and Technology Subcommittee hearing titled “Oversight of the Federal Communications Commission:"
A who’s who of former Federal Communications Commission leaders sent a letter to the chairs of the House and Senate Commerce Committees urging Congress to restore the FCC’s spectrum auction authority as soon as practicable. “As former leaders of the Federal Communications Commission, we have worked together, on a bipartisan basis, to lay the foundation for America’s global wireless leadership. Although our policy priorities at times differed, we share an understanding that central to Americans’ wireless success is the FCC’s spectrum auction authority,” the letter states.