Hearing On “Oversight Of The FCC”

Some highlights from the prepared Statement Of Chairman Ajit Pai

United States Leadership in 5G.

. . .the FCC is moving forward aggressively to hold auctions and move a substantial amount of spectrum into the commercial marketplace. On November 14, we plan on beginning our 28 GHz band auction, which will be quickly followed by our 24 GHz band auction. Then, in the second half of 2019, I intend to hold a single auction of spectrum in the 37 GHz, 39 GHz, and 47 GHz bands. Combined, these auctions will make 4.95 GHz of spectrum available to the private sector and advance America’s global leadership in the deployment of the next generation of wireless connectivity, or 5G.

The FCC is also moving forward on other fronts to ensure that our nation is a pioneer in 5G. Earlier this month, we proposed to make more mid-band spectrum in the 3.7-4.2 GHz band available for flexible terrestrial use. In June, we proposed making spectrum in the 26 and 42 GHz bands available for flexible terrestrial use. In May, the Commission proposed to allow more efficient and effective use of spectrum in the 2.5 GHz band by increasing flexibility for existing Educational Broadband Service licensees and providing new opportunities for educational entities, rural Tribal Nations, and commercial entities to access unused portions of the band. Earlier this year, we proposed in our Spectrum Horizons proceeding to allow for greater experimentation in very-high spectrum bands above 95 GHz.

[. . .]

Many of our regulations were designed for 200-foot towers, not small cells that can be the size of pizza boxes. That needed to change. And thanks to Commissioner Carr’s leadership, that is changing. Earlier this year, for example, we decided that small cells would no longer have to go through the same federal historic preservation and environmental review processes that were designed for traditional large towers. This common-sense step will expedite the deployment of small cells, cut the cost of deployment, and allow for the faster rollout of 5G.

[. . .]

The Commission has also given the green light to companies that want to send a large number of satellites into low-Earth orbit to provide high-speed broadband. These new networks promise much faster and more reliable satellite broadband services and could help us reach the hardest-to-serve areas.

[. . .]

Closing the Digital Divide.

From the beginning of my tenure as head of the agency, I’ve made clear that my top priority would be to close the digital divide. I take this issue personally, having grown up in a small town in rural Kansas. And in order to inform our efforts on how to connect unserved areas, I’ve travelled to 33 states and two U.S. territories and have logged nearly 9,000 road miles to learn about rural communities around the country. I’ve seen places that are using the Internet to open new doors of opportunity as well as towns that are being bypassed by the digital revolution. In the time to come, I’ll continue to visit these areas and keep the Commission’s eyes focused on how we can find innovative ways to address this critical challenge.

[. . .]

We also have to cut through the regulatory red tape and make it easier for broadband providers to invest in next-generation networks. And that’s exactly what we’re doing. Among other things, we’ve modernized our rules to make it easier for companies to transition away from maintaining the fading copper networks of yesterday and toward investing in the resilient networks of tomorrow. We’re also taking action to make it easier and cheaper for providers to get access to utility poles and conduits.

[. . .]

Public Safety.

In recent months, the Commission has taken many important steps to improve public safety. A principal focus has been on improving our nation’s alerting systems: the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA).

These are only the highlights there are more information nuggets in the full text which is linked under the Government Tab.


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