FCC Commissioners Air Gripes About Mid-Band Auctions


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The FCC Friday voted to seek public input on the proposed application and bidding procedures for the third 5G spectrum auction (Auction 103). Chairman Ajit Pai said Friday he’d like the auction to begin this December 10.

This auction of airwaves in the Upper 37 GHz, 39 GHz, and 47 GHz spectrum bands will be the largest 5G spectrum auction so far. The FCC will be selling 3,400 MHz in three different spectrum bands at one time.

Commissioner Michael O’Rielly is disappointed the auction is happening so late in the year. “These perpetual delays are past the point of acceptable. For the money the FCC is spending on auctions we should be getting more functionality and timeliness,” he said during the vote.  Continue reading

Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel said this auction is for millimeter wave spectrum, which requires “costly” network densification efforts. She pushed for auctions of mid-band spectrum and said the U.S. is behind several other countries in this regard.

“Mid-band is especially important for rural America where the challenging economics of service do not presently support the high cost of high-band infrastructure,” she said. “This is a fact. And no pronouncement from this agency or this administration makes it otherwise,” said Rosenworcel, referring to Friday’s White House 5G announcement.

Chairman Ajit Pai called the planned auctions, “an astounding milestone. Combined, the FCC is making available almost five gigahertz of spectrum for commercial use,” he said.

April 15, 2019

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