New Initiatives Seek to Push U.S. to Forefront of Global 5G Race

Apr 25, 2019

The Federal Communication Commission recently announced two new technology initiatives aimed at maintaining U.S. global leadership in 5G wireless connectivity. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced that the first initiative will be the next 5G auction. This is the third auction of its kind to take place and will involve the FCC auctioning off 3,400megahertz in three different spectrum bands to wireless carriers such as AT&T and Verizon. The auction will commence December 10 of this year.

The other initiative Pai announced is the new Rural Digital Opportunity Fund. This is a $20 billion fund aimed at increasing broadband access in rural America. The initiative hopes to provide up to 4 million households and small businesses with access to high-speed internet. The official FCC notice explains that the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund will allow internet service providers to deploy infrastructure that will provide up to gigabit-speed broadband to rural communities.

Both of these initiatives fall under Chairman Pai’s new comprehensive strategy to Facilitate America’s Superiority in 5G Technology (5G FAST Plan. This is a three part strategy Pai introduced that aims to: (1) push more spectrum into the marketplace; (2) update infrastructure policy; and (3) modernize outdated regulations.

Following the announcement of these two new initiatives, President Trump expressed his support, contending that the U.S. can’t allow “any other country to outcompete the United States” in the ongoing 5G global technology race. “No matter where you are, you will have access very quickly to 5G, and it’s going to be a different life,” he said. “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.”
For further information about the FCC’s 5G FAST Plan, click here: https://www.fcc.gov/5G

For further information regarding these two new tech initiatives, click here: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DOC-356995A1.pdf