Verizon Gets Spectrum Request During COVID-19, Dish Provides Spectrum to AT&T
Thursday, March 19, 2020 | Comments

The FCC’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau granted Verizon’s request for special temporary authority (STA) to use additional spectrum to help meet increased customer demand for broadband during the coronavirus pandemic.

The STA will allow the company to operate for 60 days in spectrum licensed to Northstar Wireless and SNR Wireless License Co. in the AWS-3 Band to provide additional capacity to Verizon customers across the country.

“Wireless services are a vital part of connectivity, and this has never been truer than during this crisis, when so many people are turning to telework, remote learning and telehealth options,” said Chairman Pai. “I want to thank Northstar and SNR for their willingness to allow this use of the spectrum for which they hold licenses. I’m also grateful to Verizon for seeking out ways to meet increased consumer demand. And, I want to give a special thanks to our partners at the Department of Defense and NTIA (National Telecommunications and Information Administration) for their efforts in working with us to ensure that this emergency authority could be granted quickly.”

The commission has granted similar requests by T-Mobile and U.S. Cellular in recent days. These actions continue the FCC’s efforts to ensure Americans remain connected during the coronavirus pandemic, including the FCC’s Keep Americans Connected Pledge, through which broadband and phone service providers have committed to taking specific steps to help Americans get and stay online.

Additionally, Dish Network announced that it is providing AT&T with 20 megahertz of its AWS-4 spectrum and all of its 700 MHz spectrum for 60 days at no cost.

Last week, Dish began lending its complete 600-megahertz portfolio of spectrum to T-Mobile. With these two agreements, Dish has activated most of its spectrum portfolio to enhance national wireless capacity as the nation confronts the COVID-19 crisis.

"Dish is proud to join forces with AT&T to achieve a common, critical goal — supporting the connectivity needs of Americans during this challenging time," said Jeff Blum, Dish senior vice president (SVP) of public policy and government affairs. "Enhancing our nation's wireless networks helps give Americans the bandwidth they need to work, learn and check-in on loved ones, and is especially crucial for those customers without access to other sources of broadband."

DISH's AWS-4 and 700 MHz spectrum will enhance AT&T's network as wireless users increasingly turn to mobile networks for work and personal use.

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