As part of its ongoing effort to help speed the deployment of 5G wireless services in the U.S., the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has taken action to make available a portion of the mid-band spectrum currently used for satellite broadcasting services.
In a Report and Order of Proposed Modification issued in late February, the FCC adopted new rules that will free up 280 megahertz between 3.7-3.98 GHz. Currently used to deliver video programming services and other content by satellites using the C-band, the freed-up spectrum will then be auctioned by the FCC for wireless services in the U.S. The spectrum is expected to be available for new uses by not later than December 2025.
To help speed the transition, the FCC is also making available to individual space station operators a total of $9.7 billion in payments for clearing their use of the spectrum in advance of the 2025 deadline.
The FCC says that its action will “rapidly put mid-band spectrum into the hands of innovators and consumers and pave the way for the United States to lead the world in 5G deployment.”