TR Daily Carr Stresses Need for 200-300 MHz of C-Band Spectrum
Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Carr Stresses Need for 200-300 MHz of C-Band Spectrum

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr today stressed the importance of the “transparent” repurposing of at least 200 to 300 megahertz of spectrum in the 3.7-4.2 gigahertz band for 5G terrestrial services.

In keynote remarks at the Competitive Carriers Association’s Annual Convention here this afternoon, Mr. Carr said that he is “really not interested at this point on any C-band proposal” if it fails to repurpose “200 to 300 or more MHz of spectrum.” He also stressed the importance of the U.S. Treasury getting proceeds from the sale of the frequencies and of a “transparent process” that stakeholders can trust.

The C-Band Alliance, a consortium of satellite operators, has proposed repurposing 200 MHz of spectrum, including a 20-GHz guard band, through a private auction. The alliance also said that it would make a voluntary contribution to the U.S. Treasury if the FCC adopts its plan. CCA, ACA, and Charter Communications, Inc., have proposed an FCC auction that would repurpose at least 370 MHz of spectrum.

Mr. Carr also noted that the FCC recently received petitions from the Wireless Infrastructure Association and CTIA asking the agency to clarify section 6409 of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act to make it easier for the industry to deploy cell sites (TR Daily, Aug. 27 and Sept. 9). The clarifications will help companies deploy macro sites, he said.

Mr. Carr also cited actions the FCC has taken to streamline the deployment of small cells since he delivered his first speech as a Commissioner at the CCA convention in Texas two years ago (TR Daily, Oct. 26, 2017). It was at that event that he announced that FCC Chairman Ajit Pai had made him the point person for wireless infrastructure issues.

Mr. Carr noted that the FCC last year streamlined its historic preservation and environmental rules to make it easier to deploy small cells (TR Daily, March 22, 2018) and imposed restrictions on state and local reviews of small cell deployments (TR Daily, Sept. 26, 2018).

He did not mention that both orders drew legal challenges, and that a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit recently vacated a portion of the first order (TR Daily, Aug. 9).

Mr. Carr said the FCC’s orders have produced “phenomenal results across the country,” with the number of small cells built increasing from 13,000 in 2017 to 60,000 last year, for a total nearing 200,000. “The regulatory structures matter,” he added.

He also noted actions the FCC has taken to make more spectrum available for 5G and said he hopes an initiative to train tower workers expands across the country. —Paul Kirby, [email protected]

MainStory: FCC FederalNews WirelessDeployment SpectrumAllocation Satellites

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