WASHINGTON, June 24, 2010 – The Federal Communications Commission announced Monday that it would begin a plan to increase spectrum availability by freeing up loose spectrum allotted to satellite companies. The plan will be initiated in July after an FCC proceeding examining how to increase value, utilization and investment in mobile satellite services (MSS).
Up to 90 MHz of additional spectrum could come from the FCC’s proceeding, an allotment which the FCC insisted would not hamper the ability of mobile satellite to provide services. On Friday, an FCC spokesperson explained that the FCC is considering allocating spectrum for broadband from within the "S" band, one of the three bands in the mobile satellite services band. Currently, spectrum holders in that band can only use their spectrum to build mobile services that complement their satellite services, a policy that would end with the new proceeding.
Previous steps the FCC has taken in this area include approving a merger between satellite phone provider Skyterra and Harbinger Capital Partners to produce a 4G Wireless network. If successful, the proceeding would mark another step towards fulfilling the National Broadband Plan’s recommendation to accelerate broadband development by freeing up unused/inefficient spectrum in the satellite industry.