Sen. Thune: FCC Should Look to Free-Up Midband Spectrum

Senate Commerce Committee chairman John Thune (R-S.D.) has called on the FCC to better use midband spectrum for commercial service. 

In a letter to FCC chairman Ajit Pai, Thune said that was one way to keep pace with a world turning toward 5G.

Thune said that while the FCC has been freeing up low-band spectrum and high-band, he said the same could not be said for midband.

He said he was pleased that the FCC could be considering opening a new proceeding to identify new spectrum in a "range of bands" and encouraged it to look at mid-band frequencies, including 3.7 GHz to 6 GHz.

Thune has introduced legislation, the MOBILE Now Act, that would make sure the FCC made mid-band spectrum available for commercial use by 2020. He said he hoped that would pass but suggested the FCC should not wait for that legislative imprimatur.

(Photo via Gage Skidmores Flickr. Image taken on June 21, 2017 and used per Creative Commons 2.0 license. The photo was cropped to fit 9x16 aspect ratio.)

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.