FCC decision: A challenge for the telecom industry

FCC decision: A challenge for the telecom industry

“There is no reason that we should be lagging behind” tweeted President Trump about 5G. The United States has been working hard to assume its position as an international leader of 5G technology. In fact, the US has been advocating against China Telecom giant Huawei claiming that the company could create a real threat for the internet.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is a key factor in the 5G policy. It aims to facilitate US leadership in the 5G technology. In 2016, the FCC rolled out the 5G Fast Plan to accelerate the deployment of high-speed broadband in rural America. “The FCC priority is making America lead the world with wireless innovation,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai in a video released on the FCC website. Moreover, he added, “We want the United States to be at the forefront of this innovation and that’s why the FCC is doing everything it can to encourage 5G”.

The 5G fast plan includes aims to push more spectrum into the marketplace, update infrastructure policy, and modernize outdated regulations. The FCC is also looking to transition important incumbent users in the C-band—3.7 to 4.2 GHz

On March 23, 2020, US President signed two laws designed to boost wireless and broadband networks: the Secure 5G and Beyond Act and the Broadband Deployment Accuracy and Technological Availability Act. Under the 5G Act, President Donald Trump must consult with FCC, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Defense, and other agencies to submit to Congress a plan for rolling out secure 5G. In addition, under the second law signed by Trump, the FCC has to change the kind of information to be collected so that the Federal Government has more information about where the broadband can be found.

However, on June 2, 2020, 24 Democrats members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee have signed a letter asking FCC Chairman Ajit Pai to delay vote on a Declaratory Ruling and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking – scheduled for June 9, 2020-, which could dilute local Government’s role in 5G.

Back to April 1, 2020, the Congress has sent a letter asking to postpone and reschedule public hearings and meetings and to extend public comment by at least 45 days beyond the end of the declared national emergency. In addition, agencies were asked to extend the deadlines while still complying with statutory and judicial requirements. Congress sheds light on the right of Americans to engage in the Administrative process “The right of the Americans to meet with federal agencies and comment on proposed actions is invariably affected by the ongoing pandemic” the letter states.

AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon, began rolling out 5G services. However, despite all efforts from the US, it seems that 5G challenges continue.