Verizon Early Access to Spectrum, Senate Encouraged to Pass Prison Phone Bill, $56M in Delaware Broadband

Verizon said accelerated access to C-band spectrum will allow it to get 5G to customers faster.

Verizon Early Access to Spectrum, Senate Encouraged to Pass Prison Phone Bill, $56M in Delaware Broadband
Photo of Senator Tammy Duckworth in 2013

March 22, 2022 – Verizon said Monday that it has reached more agreements to get early access to mid-band spectrum in the C-band, according to a press release.

These deals involve spectrum that was originally scheduled to be cleared by December 2023. Verizon is expecting to deploy 5G service “on at least 60 MHz of spectrum and up to 100 MHz of spectrum in some areas.” Markets included in the expansion plans include Atlanta, Baltimore, Denver and Washington, D.C.

“This early spectrum clearance is just the latest development that allows us to bring 5G Ultra Wideband to our customers faster,” said Kyle Malady, executive vice president and president of global network and technology. “We’ve been able to accelerate deployment because we’re driving more efficiency and coverage from the C-band spectrum, leveraging opportunities like the one we are announcing today, and leveraging our already in place infrastructure.”

The Federal Communications Commission will auction slices of mid-band 2.5 GHz spectrum for 5G in late July.

Public Knowledge encourages Senate bill to keep incarcerated people connected

Public Knowledge, a non-profit public interest group, urged the Senate in a press release Tuesday to pass legislation that extends the Federal Communications Commission’s authority over both intrastate and interstate calls to end predatory pricing for calling incarcerated people.

The Martha Wright-Reed Just and Reasonable Communications Act of 2021 was introduced by Senator Tammy Duckworth, D-IL, and requires that the agency ensure call prices to and from incarceration facilities are “just and reasonable” no matter what technology is used.

“This bill marks an important and long-overdue step in addressing an area rife with abuse, and one that often impacts communities of color,” Al Kramer, senior fellow at Public Knowledge, said in the release. “We applaud Sen. Duckworth for championing the needs of incarcerated people and their families no matter what phone technology is used or whether the calls cross state lines. We urge the Senate to pass this bill to provide just phone rates for incarcerated people.”

Delaware’s $56 million for broadband

Delaware announced Thursday $56 million for broadband deployment, with the funding going to Comcast, Verizon, and Mediacom.

The money came through the American Rescue Plan Act and is part of Delaware’s $110 million program that aims to deliver universal broadband access across the entire state. In this project, broadband is expected to be extended to over 11,600 locations.

Comcast won $33.1 million, Verizon won $11.8 million, and Mediacom won $11.1 million in grant funding. Companies are required to commit to paying for at least 25 percent of the project and must deploy speeds of at least 100 Mbps down and 20 Mbps up – the new federal standard according to the Infrastructure, Investment and Jobs Act.

“This grant will help Verizon deploy our best in class all-fiber network technology to deliver our flagship Fios Home Internet service — with speeds up to 940 Mbps and no data caps — to roughly 3,000 locations,” said Tony Lewis, vice president of public policy for Verizon, in the release.

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