FCC to hold big 5G auction, spend $20 billion for rural internet

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The FCC is considering banning the use of USA subsidies for equipment from providers such as China-based Huawei Technologies Co. that are deemed a national security risk.

His remarks came after the country's Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced Friday a plan to start largest spectrum auction and spend over United States dollars 20 billion for rural high-speed internet, Xinhua news agency reported.

The White House says that Trump understands the country must invest in visionary projects to "dominate the industries of the future and lead America into the 21st century".

The new 5G system boosts data speeds to 450 megabits per second, with peak speeds of almost 1 gigabit per second - about 10 times faster than 4G speeds. Trump said it will transform the way people work, learn, communicate and travel, making farms more productive, manufacturers more competitive and health care better and more accessible. The bands to be auctioned later this year include the Upper 37GHz, 39GHz, and 47GHz spectrum bands.

South Korea last week switched on its nationwide 5G network.

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- Big auction: FCC will begin its third 5G spectrum auction on December 10, 2019, which will be the largest spectrum auction in American history to date for commercial use.

FCC also announced $20.4 billion Rural Digital Opportunity Fund to enhance the coverage of broadband networks in rural America over the next decade.

In addition, Verizon's 5G Ultra Wideband network is also live in Chicago and Minneapolis on a 5G-enabled smartphone. The U.S. has pushed its allies to do the same, with mixed results. Huawei, the world's largest maker of such equipment, has said this security concern is unfounded.

"So far this Administration's interventions on 5G have done more harm than good", Jessica Rosenworcel, a Democratic FCC commissioner, tweeted Friday. Tariffs have raised the cost of 5G equipment, the administration has alienated allies whose cooperation is needed for telecommunications security, and it has focused on the wrong airwaves, she said. The so-called "Rural Digital Opportunity Fund" could launch later this year after a period of public notice and comment. The agency has spent billions subsidizing rural broadband - $34.5 billion from 2010 to 2017, according to the Government Accountability Office - with more money coming from other programs. The fund will provide money through a reverse auction to service providers that will deploy infrastructure to unserved areas.

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