Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman Ajit Pai has unveiled plans to open up access to unused spectrum in the 2.5GHz band, which is currently reserved for Educational Broadband Service (EBS) use. The band is understood to comprise 114MHz of spectrum, which has been earmarked for educational TV use since 1995, but remains unused in many rural areas. According to Pai, the item will be put up for vote at the FCC’s open meeting on 10 July.
A blog post written by Pai explains: ‘I’m circulating an order to open up the 2.5GHz band for 5G. This is the single largest band of contiguous spectrum below 3GHz. But much of this public resource has been unused for decades. That’s partly because the technology that policymakers conceived many years ago for this band hasn’t materialised as some thought, and partly because arcane rules hampered providers from putting the spectrum to its highest-valued use. At long last, we’re going to put more of this critical mid-band spectrum to work for the American people.’