FCC Hands Out More Temporary Spectrum

AT&T and Verizon have gone back to the FCC for additional special temporary authorities (STAs) for added spectrum as they deal with the increased broadband load of a pandemic-sequestered populace trying to work and learn and get medical treatment and play online. 

The FCC said Friday (March 20) it has granted three more STAs, bringing the total to six.  

Related: Verizon Taps Into Extra Spectrum

AT&T got access to some spectrum licensed to Dish for the next 60 days as well as access to some AWS-3 spectrum in the FCC's inventory. Verizon also got access to some of that AWS-3 spectrum. 

The FCC has been agreeing to sharing arrangements, among usual competitors, for both wired and wireless spectrum.  

“The FCC has been coordinating closely with network operators to ensure those networks remain up and running," said FCC chairman Ajit Pai. "We have been encouraged by the feedback we have received so far both regarding the ability of their networks to handle changes in usage patterns caused by the coronavirus outbreak and how networks are performing so far." 

The Justice Department, Defense Department CIO, and NTIA’s Office of Spectrum Management all pitched in to speed the applications. 

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.