CCA, ACA, Charter Push New C-Band Proposal

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The Competitive Carriers Association, ACA Connects: America’s Communications Association and Charter Communications have a new proposal to free up a large portion of valuable mid-band C-Band spectrum (3.7-4.2 GHz) — at least 370 megahertz or more — for 5G. 

That’s almost twice the amount called for by the C-Band alliance, led by Intelsat, SES and Intel. The associations represent both incumbent users of the 3.7-4.2 GHz band and prospective providers of 5G wireless services. They say their proposal, submitted to the FCC, is the first time current and prospective new licensees have come together on an industry-designed plan for repurposing C-Band.

CCA President/CEO Steve Berry called the filing, “significant progress that demonstrates industry’s willingness to work together to ensure the repurposing of the C-Band spectrum is done right.” Emphasizing that mid-band spectrum provides real opportunities for competitive carriers to enhance and expand their networks, especially in rural areas, Berry said, “CCA strongly encourages the FCC to make the maximum amount of spectrum available for the benefit of consumers and the industry.”

ACA Connects President/CEO Matt Polka said the proposal ensures all Americans will benefit from re-farming of the C-band spectrum. He called the plan, “fast, fair, and fruitful: financially and otherwise.” Polka continued, “The proposal is an expedient and economical way to fiber up all of America and bring more connectivity to underserved and rural areas while ensuring that valuable spectrum is made available efficiently to carriers.”

The group says their plan efficiently frees up as quickly almost twice the amount of spectrum made available in most areas, and twice as fast in urban areas. It also ensures a fiber alternative in rural America, funded by winning bidders, helping to resolve the urban-rural digital divide.

Specifically, the proposal:

  • Frees up at least 370 megahertz (and likely more) of the C-band spectrum on a nationwide basis and on an expedited time frame, ensuring fast and widespread deployment of 5G including to smaller communities in rural areas;
  • Makes whole all incumbents – including the satellite industry, its customers, and earth station users – and provides all of these stakeholders with long-term certain protection for existing services;
  • Contributes to the goal of building fiber to provide high-speed broadband in unserved or underserved rural areas;
  • Ensures a transparent FCC-led auction that will ensure the public receives all spectrum sale proceeds (expected to be in the billions) beyond what is required to reimburse costs and incentivize current users; and
  • Creates 100,000 “direct” jobs and as many as another 100,000 “indirect” jobs in communities across the country.

July 8, 2019

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