FCC chairman gives glimpse into new 5G Fast Plan, new spectrum auction

Posted April 15, 2019

The third 5G spectrum auction will be the largest, with the FCC selling 3,400 megahertz in three different spectrum bands.

Trump and FCC Chairman Ajit Pai will announce their plans at a White House event Friday afternoon.

"From precision agriculture to smart transportation networks to telemedicine and more, we want Americans to be the first to benefit from this new digital revolution, while protecting our innovators and citizens". "We don't want to do that [nationalize 5G]". "I don't know if it's going to be better - maybe you're happy right now - but I'm going to say, technologically, it won't even be close".

According to CTIA, the USA leads the world with the most commercial 5G deployments of any nation.

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Harold Feld at the consumer group Public Knowledge said it was not clear if the funding for rural broadband would be new or simply taken from an existing program. China is also moving quickly on 5G.

Pai said Friday that he hopes to start the auction in December and the fund proceeding later this year.

The announcement comes amid an intense race by countries around the world to deploy the technology offering wireless speeds 10 to 100 times faster than now available.

"In the United States, our approach is private sector-driven and private sector-led", he said. The 5G networks operate in the millimeter wave bands (28, 38, and 60 GHz) and are created to have higher efficiency, capacity, density and reliability.

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Trump said the 5G industry in the United States would be "private sector-driven and private sector-led", so the US government does not have to spend lots of money.

The FCC voted on Friday to seek comments on bidding procedures for the next auction. "We'll also need strong fiber networks to carry the 5G traffic once its gets from the air to the ground". Pai declared 5G an American success story. The bands to be auctioned later this year include the Upper 37GHz, 39GHz, and 47GHz spectrum bands.

The FCC since March 2018 has also been considering rules to bar the use of funds from a government program to purchase equipment or services from companies that pose a security threat to US communications networks.

The FCC's own 2018 broadband report estimates that 30 million Americans lack access to high-speed internet, though a recent fact sheet released by the Commission touting progress in broadband deployment was dubbed as "misleading" by critics, including Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel.

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Pai said Friday he is committed to making airwaves of all types a priority.