Friday the FCC announced that, it would be reclaiming 90MHz worth of wireless spectrum from the mobile satellite service (MSS) bands and reallocating that service to wireless broadband use. Over the last few years, there has been lots of talk about freeing up wireless spectrum to accelerate the growth and availability of mobile broadband coverage around the country.
Wireless coverage is seen as the best way to get rural areas connected since the landscape in some areas can be challenging when it comes to running fixed line broadband and running wire is expensive. The FCC removed policies that prevented mobile broadband services from using MSS spectrum.
The main barrier that the FCC removed was a stipulation that MSS spectrum holders could only build terrestrial towers to complement a satellite. Harbinger Satellite Partners plans to use spectrum it holds for MSS to deploy a 36,000 base station LTE network with a cost running into billions of dollars.