FCC grants both AT&T and Verizon further temporary spectrum access during coronavirus pandemic

Commission Has Now Granted Special Temporary Authority to AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and U.S. Cellular to Bolster Wireless Capacity Nationwide 

WASHINGTON, March 20, 2020—The FCC’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau has granted requests from AT&T and Verizon for Special Temporary Authority to use additional spectrum to help meet Americans’ wireless broadband needs across the country during this national emergency.  Last night, AT&T was granted authority for 60 days to operate in AWS-4 Band spectrum licensed to DISH. Today, both AT&T and Verizon were granted similar authority to use AWS-3 spectrum currently held in the FCC’s inventory.  

“Consumers and businesses across the country are making the necessary adjustments to maintain social distance during the coronavirus pandemic.  This means an increased reliance on wireline and wireless broadband services,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. “The FCC has been coordinating closely with network operators to ensure those networks remain up and running.  We have been encouraged by the feedback we have received so far both regarding the ability of their networks to handle changes in usage patterns caused by the coronavirus outbreak and how networks are performing so far.

“We are nonetheless continuing to stay on top of this issue and are monitoring the situation closely.  These new grants of temporary authority, on the heels of three similar actions in recent days, are part of our ongoing, nationwide push to Keep Americans Connected.  I want to thank DISH for its willingness to allow this use of the spectrum for which they hold licenses. I’m also grateful to AT&T and Verizon for seeking out ways to meet increased consumer demand.  I also want to thank the Justice Department, Defense Department CIO, and NTIA’s Office of Spectrum Management for their hard work in helping us move these applications forward.”

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