FCC Says US ‘Well-Positioned’ to Win Global 5G Race

Sheri Evans
April 15, 2019

She said the USA has not auctioned off "midband" spectrum that is better suited to serve rural areas because of how far it can carry signals, and that the Trump administration's actions on 5G have "set us back".

"We applaud President Trump and National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow for standing by the incredibly strong team of FCC Commissioners this administration has assembled, including Chairman Ajit Pai".

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.

Trump shakes hands with FCC chairman Ajit Pai during an event on the deployment of 5G technology in the United States, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on Friday.

On Friday morning, the FCC announced a new plan to roll out high-speed broadband to rural communities through the creation of the commission's new Rural Digital Opportunity Fund.

US President Donald Trump has said that the US government will free up wireless spectrum and build better infrastructure to take leadership in 5G, the next-generation wireless network.

"So far, this Administration's interventions on 5G have done more harm than good", Rosenworcel said in a statement.

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"The White House has yet to offer a workable plan for USA leadership", Rosenworcel said. "It will be $2 billion approximately each year over the next decade to allocate ... this funding to rural carriers for the goal of building out the broadband networks", Pai said. The president boasted that by the end of the year, 92 markets in the US will support 5G compared to 48 in South Korea. We are removing regularity barriers to the buildout of networks.

The 5G spectrum auction will give service providers access to the frequencies they need to expand their networks to reach more locations, according to Pai.

FCC also announced $20.4 billion Rural Digital Opportunity Fund to enhance the coverage of broadband networks in rural America over the next decade. Starting on December 10th, carriers will be allowed to bid on "3,400MHz of Upper 37 GHz, 39GHz, and 47 GHz Bands".

"Later this year, we're going to be holding the biggest auction of spectrum in American history", Pai told Bloomberg. Pai declared 5G an American success story.

"5G networks must be secured". Pai said consideration is "ongoing" without offering a deadline for a decision.

The FCC is considering banning the use of USA subsidies for equipment from providers such as China-based Huawei Technologies Co. that are deemed a national security risk.

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