O’Rielly Finds His Way On 3.5 Ghz

— GOP Commissioner Mike O’Rielly will unveil today his long-awaited plan on the valuable swath of midband airwaves in the 3.5 GHz band. Remember, the main point of contention in this battle between wireless carriers, cable companies, Google and rural fixed wireless internet service providers is the geographic size of the licenses. Wireless carriers looking at 5G services pushed for larger-sized licenses of the spectrum, which can carry more data than low-band airwaves but travels farther than high-frequency spectrum. But rural providers and Google wanted to keep small license sizes.

— O’Rielly’s order settles on increasing the geographic size of the license to counties nationwide, with the possibility of package bidding in top markets. It also increases the license terms to 10 years, with the possibility of license renewal. Charter Communications had urged the commission to consider county-sized licenses, but the order is unlikely to appease rural providers or General Electric, which is considering using the spectrum for industrial internet of things networks.

— O’Rielly plans to address some of the criticism in a speech, saying his plan “reflects a fair and reasonable compromise based on all of the various interests,” according to an early copy of the remarks shared with MT.

Source: POLITICO Morning Tech


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