FCC Allows the U.S. Cellular to Use Additional Spectrum for COVID-19 Response

By Telecom Tech Outlook | Wednesday, June 03, 2020

The U.S. Cellular gets the permission in the form of Special Temporary Authority (STA) that permits the company to operate for 60 days in spectrum licensed to Advantage Spectrum in the AWS-3 band

FREMONT, CA: The U.S. Cellular obtained permission from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to use the additional spectrum to assist in meeting the increased demands for mobile broadband during ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The U.S. Cellular gets the permission in the form of Special Temporary Authority (STA) that permits the company to operate for 60 days in spectrum licensed to Advantage Spectrum in the AWS-3 band. With this permission, the U.S. Cellular can provide additional capacity for customers in parts of Oregon, Washington, California, and Wisconsin.

Top 10 Telecom Operations Management Solution Companies - 2020"During this crisis, the FCC is committed to pulling out all the stops so that broadband service providers are able to meet the changing needs of the American public," said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai in a statement. "I would like to thank Advantage Spectrum for agreeing to make its spectrum available for this important effort. I would also like to thank U.S. Cellular for taking the initiative and looking for ways to better serve customers who are making significant adjustments to their daily lives to minimize in-person interactions and slow the spread of the coronavirus."

In a similar case, T-mobile was granted special permission over the weekend to boost capacity in networks where an additional spectrum can be deployed quickly. LB License Co, Channel 51, Omega, Dish, Comcast, NewLevel, Bluewater, and TStar License Holdings are part of that spectrum sharing deal.

The FCC's 'Keep Americans Connected' pledge has been signed by at least 185 phone service providers, and broadband providers. They signed the petition committing not to terminate service to any residential or small business customers for the next 60 days. The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has disrupted their ability to pay. Any late fees that the residential or small business customers have incurred because of the pandemic will also be waived off. The U.S. Cellular will provide open Wi-Fi hotspots to any American who needs them.

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