July 2, 2019

ACA Connects, Competitive Carriers Association, And Charter Call On FCC To Free Up C-Band Spectrum And Endow Nation With Fiber Connectivity

For Immediate Release
Contact: Ted Hearn
(202) 713-0826
[email protected]

PITTSBURGH, July 2, 2019 – Today, in a filing with the Federal Communications Commission, ACA Connects – America’s Communications Association (ACA Connects), Competitive Carriers Association (CCA), and Charter Communications presented a comprehensive proposal for repurposing a large portion of valuable midband spectrum, C-Band spectrum (3.7-4.2 GHz) — at least 370 megahertz or more — for 5G wireless services. These entities represent a broad group of interests that are both incumbent users of the C-band spectrum and prospective providers of 5G wireless services. Today’s proposal marks the first time that incumbents and prospective new licensees have come together on an industry-designed plan for repurposing the C-Band, which is critically important to winning the global race to 5G.

The comprehensive proposal is a win-win for consumers, rural America, incumbent users of the C-band, the satellite industry, and future wireless users. It efficiently frees up almost twice the amount of spectrum made available in the most often discussed alternative proposal to date – as quickly in most areas, and twice as fast in urban areas. Moreover, it ensures a fiber alternative in rural America, funded by winning bidders, helping to resolve the urban rural digital divide.

Specifically, the proposal:

·     Frees up at least 370 megahertz (and likely more) of the C-band spectrum on a nationwide basis and on an expedited timeframe, ensuring fast and widespread deployment of 5G, including to smaller communities and rural areas;

·     Makes whole all incumbents — including the satellite industry, its customers, and earth station users — and provides all of these stakeholders with long-term certain protection for existing services;

·     Contributes to the goal of building fiber to provide high-speed broadband in unserved or underserved rural areas;

·     Ensures a transparent FCC-led auction that will ensure the public receives all spectrum sale proceeds (expected to be in the billions) beyond what is required to reimburse costs and incentivize current users; and

·     Creates 100,000 “direct” jobs and as many as another 100,000 “indirect” jobs in communities across the country.

ACA Connects President & CEO Matthew M. Polka said: “This proposal ensures that all Americans will benefit from re-farming of the C-band spectrum. The plan is fast, fair, and fruitful: financially and otherwise. Designed to accommodate the interests of multiple parties, the proposal is an expedient and economic way to fiber up all of America and bring more connectivity to underserved and rural areas while ensuring that valuable spectrum is made available efficiently to carriers.”

Statement by CCA President & CEO Steven K. Berry: “Today’s joint filing is significant progress and demonstrates industry’s willingness to work together to ensure the repurposing of the C-Band spectrum is done right. Mid-band spectrum provides real opportunities for competitive carriers to enhance and expand their networks, especially in rural areas, and CCA strongly encourages the FCC to make the maximum amount of spectrum available for the benefit of consumers and the industry. I am pleased to work with ACA Connects and Charter on this joint proposal and look forward to continued work with the Commission to ensure no American is left behind in the digital world.”

Statement by Charter Senior Vice President Regulatory Affairs Elizabeth Andrion: “As a video programming distributor and emerging wireless leader excited by the promise of 5G, we are pleased to have come together with major stakeholders to create an efficient, fair and viable plan that maximizes the amount of spectrum made available for 5G and protects our video customers.”

About ACA Connects: America’s Communications Association – Based in Pittsburgh, ACA Connects is a trade organization representing more than 700 smaller and medium-sized, independent companies that provide broadband, phone and video services to nearly 8 million customers primarily located in rural and smaller suburban markets across America. Through active participation in the regulatory and legislative process in Washington, D.C., ACA Connects’ members work together to advance the interests of their customers and ensure the future competitiveness and viability of their business. For more information, visit: https://acaconnects.org

About CCA: CCA is the nation’s leading association for competitive wireless providers and stakeholders across the United States. The licensed service area of CCA’s nearly 100 carrier members covers the entirety of the country. Visit www.ccamobile.org.

About Charter: Charter Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ:CHTR) is a leading broadband communications company and the second largest cable operator in the United States. Charter provides a full range of advanced residential broadband services, including Spectrum TV® programming, Spectrum Internet®, Spectrum Voice®, and Spectrum Mobile™. Under the Spectrum Business® brand, Charter provides scalable, and cost-effective broadband communications solutions to small and medium-sized business organizations, including Internet access, business telephone, and TV services. Through the Spectrum Enterprise brand, Charter is a national provider of scalable, fiber-based technology solutions serving many of America’s largest businesses and communications service providers. Charter’s advertising sales and production services are sold under the Spectrum Reach® brand. Charter’s news and sports networks are operated under the Spectrum Networks brand. More information about Charter can be found at newsroom.charter.com.