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Starks Seeks Emergency 5.9 Use

If FCC commissioner Geoffrey Starks has his way, the agency won’t even wait for its official order on freeing up some of the 5.9-GHz band for next-generation broadband before making it available for use, at least temporarily.

Pitching a coronavirus response plan to the Senate Financial Services Committee on March 10, one of the commissioner’s proposals for an emergency virus response plan was to temporarily authorize use of the band to boost WiFi capacity.

The idea is that if there are major quarantines and school closings related to the virus, as was already happening in New Rochelle, N.Y., broadband-enabled schooling and health care will become even more important.

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.