The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has granted permission to several U.S. carriers to use additional spectrum to help meet increased customer demand for broadband services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a press release issued on March 15th, the FCC announced that it has granted Special Temporary Authority to T-Mobile to access additional spectrum in the 600 MHz band. T-Mobile had requested the additional spectrum to support the significant spike in demand for online services, including telehealth, remote work platforms and distance learning.
T-Mobile’s spectrum access request was quickly followed by similar appeals from other carriers, including U.S. Cellular and Verizon. The requests were quickly granted by the FCC as well.
The spectrum temporarily assigned to the carriers is reportedly from the FCC’s own spectrum inventory, or has been offered by other licensees in support of the FCC’s effort.