FCC to auction additional 5G spectrum, boost rural internet

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai said on Friday the FCC intends to start the agency’s third 5G spectrum auction on Dec. 10, the latest effort to make more spectrum available for faster-speed service that could transform significant sectors of the U.S. economy.

FILE PHOTO: Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission Ajit Pai speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Maryland, U.S., February 23, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts/File Photo

Pai is also proposing to invest $20.4 billion over 10 years to build out high-speed broadband networks in rural America.

The Rural Digital Opportunity Fund aims to provide funding through a reverse auction to service providers in areas without access to high-speed service and aims to connect up to four million rural homes and small businesses to high-speed broadband networks.

Pai spoke on a call with reporters ahead of a White House event with President Donald Trump and rural residents who could benefit from faster networks to tout the administration’s efforts to boost next-generation 5G wireless networks and funding for rural broadband.

Since November, the FCC has auctioned 1,550 megahertz of spectrum to be used by commercial wireless providers for 5G connectivity. The third 5G spectrum auction