FiberTower, which is being acquired by AT&T, agreed to give up hundreds of high-band millimeter wave licenses to settle litigation with the FCC. AT&T could have used the spectrum for 5G development.
As part of the agreement, FiberTower
will give up all of its 94 licenses in the 24 GHz band and 595 licenses
in the 39 GHz band. Additionally, AT&T agreed to pay the U.S.
Treasury $27 million to end the dispute.
At issue, was the Wireless Bureau’s
claim that FiberTower, “had not shown that it had provided substantial
service for the 689 licenses,” according to the order
released by the Broadband Division of the Wireless Telecommunications
Bureau. The bureau refused FiberTower’s request to review an earlier
decision, saying the company “had not shown that its failure to meet the
construction deadline” were due to circumstances beyond its control.
The licenses that FiberTower agreed
to give up will help the Commission “re-band” the 39 GHz band, “which is
necessary prior to auction of vacant and available licenses” in that
band, said the FCC. The agency added that the $27 million payment helps
address potential concerns “about undue enrichment of FiberTower with
respect to licenses acquired at auction for which it has not yet
demonstrated its compliance with Commission performance requirements.”
The money also puts FiberTower “in substantially the same position” as
most of the other license holders in the band. Continue Reading