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The FCC’s 5G Fast Plan

The FCC announced its 5G Fast Plan regarding spectrum, infrastructure and regulations

On September 28th, 2018, the FCC and the White House organised a session on how to foster private investment on 5G. The event brought together industry executives, heads of government agencies or bodies (FCC, NTIA, National Economic Council, Senate Commerce Committee), lawyers and President Trump’s advisors.

The FCC announced its 5G Fast Plan. The strategy described in a one-page document includes three key topics: spectrum, infrastructure and regulations. In each topic, the 5G Fast Plan mentions recent FCC actions and documents.

On spectrum, the FCC details its actions to free up additional spectrum for 5G in:

  • High bands: 5 GHz of spectrum will be made available. The auction of 24 and 28 GHz frequencies will start in November 2018. The auction for frequencies in 37, 39 and 47 GHz bands is scheduled for 2019.
  • Mid-bands: 844 MHz should be freed up in 5, 3.5 and 3.7-4.2 GHz frequencies
  • Low bands: Use of 600, 800 and 900 MHz frequencies will be improved for 5G
  • Unlicensed spectrum: Frequencies at 6 GHz and above 95 GHz could be use in the near term for Wi-Fi.

On infrastructures, the FCC adopted new rules on small cells at Federal, State and locals levels.

On regulations, the FCC adopted new rules to boost 5G deployment:

  • Restoring Internet Freedom: The FCC removed prior rules intended to ensure a free and open internet and give consumers equal access to internet and prevent internet service providers to push their own content and services. The new rules allow service providers to slow (or even block) access to content and offer premium services to paying customers.
  • One-Touch Make-Ready: the One-Touch Make-Ready process makes access to poles affordable, predictable, safe and fast. The new attacher is expected to prepare the pole quickly, rather than spreading the work across multiple parties.
  • Business data services: the FCC eased pricing rules to enable continued robust growth in the market.
  • Supply-chain integrity: The FCC proposed to prohibit universal service spending on equipment and services from companies threatening national security.
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