FCC Gives US Cellular Additional Spectrum Access

FCC Provides U.S. Cellular Temporary Access to Additional Spectrum to Help Keep Americans Connected During Coronavirus Pandemic

Grant of Special Temporary Authority Will Help U.S. Cellular Support Increased Usage and Continues the FCC’s Keep Americans Connected Initiative

Federal Communications Commission’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau today granted Special Temporary Authority (STA) to U.S. Cellular to use additional spectrum to help meet increased customer demand for mobile broadband during the coronavirus pandemic.  This STA will allow the company to operate for 60 days in spectrum licensed to Advantage Spectrum in the AWS-3 Band in order to provide additional capacity to U.S. Cellular customers in parts of California, Oregon, Washington, and Wisconsin.

“During this crisis, the FCC is committed to pulling out all the stops so that broadband service providers are able to meet the changing needs of the American public,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai.  “I would like to thank Advantage Spectrum for agreeing to make its spectrum available for this important effort.  I would also like to thank U.S. Cellular for taking the initiative and looking for ways to better serve customers who are making significant adjustments to their daily lives to minimize in-person interactions and slow the spread of the coronavirus.  We will continue to do everything we can to Keep Americans Connected.”

On Sunday, the FCC granted a similar request by T-Mobile.  These actions continue to build on the FCC’s Keep Americans Connected Pledge through which 185 broadband and phone service providers have committed for the next 60 days to (1) not terminate service to any residential or small business customers because of their inability to pay their bills due to the disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic; (2) waive any late fees that any residential or small business customers incur because of their economic circumstances related to the coronavirus pandemic; and (3) open its Wi-Fi hotspots to any American who needs them. 

Source: FCC media announcement


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