CBS says it will buy spectrum from Spectrum for internet
A CBS Corp. (CBS) stock exchange listing Monday shows that the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is considering buying spectrum from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to build the first high-speed broadband network in the country.
In a bid to make the network more competitive with rivals in a crowded market, the FCC has been considering acquiring large chunks of the country’s spectrum.
However, there are concerns that this spectrum would be too costly to deploy.
The FCC is currently working to acquire an additional 7.5 million MHz of spectrum for a $8.8 billion investment in the network.
In December, the agency announced it was expanding its spectrum purchase plan to acquire more spectrum.
The announcement comes as the FCC is preparing to make its first announcement of a new nationwide broadband network since 2007.
The Federal Communications Commision has not yet announced the price of the spectrum it is considering, nor whether it will purchase the remaining spectrum in its proposed spectrum pool.
The FCC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The NTIA, a government agency, has agreed to buy an additional 2.7 million MHz for $867 million in an auction that will begin in June.
It will be a joint venture between the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and the National Cable and Telecommunications Association (NCTA).
The auction will be led by NAB, NCTA and Frontier Communications.
“The proposed transaction between the FCC and NTIA is a significant milestone for the country as we strive to make broadband a national priority,” FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said in a statement Monday.
“It is important to note that the FCC intends to use the proceeds of this transaction to help the Nation’s wireless providers continue to develop and deploy networks for our broadband consumers and businesses.”
The Federal Communication Commission has a number of rules that govern spectrum acquisition.
Under the terms of the FCC’s current deal with the NTIA to acquire the spectrum, the NTIE is to use its proceeds for broadband infrastructure, but the FCC will have to get approval from a court to do so.
The agreement also gives the FCC authority to sell the spectrum in the event of a spectrum shortage.
A total of 7.4 million MHz would be available for sale, according to the FCC.
The NTIA has a plan to purchase 4.2 million MHz in the next few years.