FCC grants temporary spectrum access to keep America connected during Covid-19

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The U.S. Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Wireless Telecommunications Bureau has granted a request from Verizon to allow special temporary authority to use additional spectrum.

This will help the operator to help meet increased customer demand for broadband during the coronavirus pandemic. It means that the company can now operate for 60 days in spectrum licensed to Northstar Wireless LLC and SNR Wireless LicenseCo in the AWS-3 Band in order to provide additional capacity to its customers across the country.

The commission has also granted similar requests by T-Mobile and U.S. Cellular. These actions are designed to continue the FCC’s efforts to ensure Americans remain connected during the current coronavirus pandemic. These efforts include the Keep Americans Connected Pledge, through which broadband and phone service providers have committed to taking specific steps to help Americans get and stay online. 

Ajit Varadaraj Pai, chairman at the FCC stated: ‘Wireless services are a vital part of connectivity, and this has never been truer than during this crisis, when so many people are turning to telework, remote learning, and telehealth options. I want to thank Northstar and SNR for their willingness to allow this use of the spectrum for which they hold licenses\.  I’m also grateful to Verizon for seeking out ways to meet increased consumer demand.  And I want to give a special thanks to our partners at the Department of Defense and NTIA for their efforts in working with us to ensure that this emergency authority could be granted quickly.’

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