U.S. SENATE — After U.S. Senator Steve Daines urged them to take action, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted earlier this week on rules that will allow more Montanan wireless carriers to buy spectrum to provide broadband to rural communities.
“Without access to broadband and cell service our rural communities are being left behind,” Daines said. “Access to reliable broadband and cell service is vital for Montana’s future economic growth. I’m glad the FCC listened and implemented a plan that will expand broadband access for more Montanans.”This week, the FCC voted to create county sized licenses for the 3.5 GHz spectrum band. This allows rural broadband providers to participate in buying licenses to expand wireless broadband in Montana. The 3.5 GHz spectrum band will be critical for the expansion of 5G wireless technology.
Earlier this year, Daines sent a letter to the FCC after brokering a deal between national wireless providers and small, rural providers to create medium sized, county level licenses for the 3.5 GHz spectrum.
Daines’ deal created a broadly supported, middle of the road structure that balances large carriers needs to serve high density cities and small carriers needs to provide more access to sparsely populated, rural areas like Montana.