FCC Plans to Vote to Free Up More Mid-Band Spectrum


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At its May 9 meeting, the FCC intends to move forward with an item to free up spectrum for wireless services.

The President’s Fiscal Year 2020 budget — which “propos[es] legislative changes… that pertain to the FCC” and that “are designed to improve spectrum management and represent sound economic policy,”  calls on the Commission Opens a New Window to “either auction or use fee authority to assign spectrum frequencies between 1675–1680 MHz for flexible use by 2020.” The frequencies would be subject to sharing arrangements with federal weather satellites.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai circulated a proposal to reallocate spectrum in the 1675–1680 MHz band for shared use between incumbent federal operations and new, non-federal fixed or mobile operations.

Back in 2012, Ligado Networks petitioned the FCC to initiate a rulemaking to determine whether to allocate the 1675-1680 MHz band for nonfederal terrestrial mobile use on a shared basis with federal users. The agency doesn’t mention that petition, but does include it in the record.

Ligado Networks Board Chairman Ivan Seidenberg commended the FCC and Chairman Pai for moving forward on the Commission’s long-standing commitment to auction or assign 1675 – 1680 MHz. He stressed the action will accelerate and incentivize investments in the country’s 5G wireless infrastructure.  

April 23, 2019         

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