FCC to hold big 5G auction, spend $20B for rural internet

5G

This Feb. 25, 2019 file photo shows a banner of the 5G network is displayed during the Mobile World Congress wireless show, in Barcelona, Spain. The U.S. communications regulator will hold a massive auction to bolster 5G service, the next generation of mobile networks, and will spend $20 billion for rural internet. 5G will mean faster wireless speeds and has implications for technologies like self-driving cars and augmented reality. The Federal Communications Commission said Friday, April 12, that it would hold the largest auction in U.S. history, of 3,400 megahertz, to boost wireless companies’ networks. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — The U.S. communications regulator will hold a massive auction to bolster 5G service, the next generation of mobile networks, and will spend $20 billion for rural internet.

5G will mean faster wireless speeds and has implications for technologies like self-driving cars and augmented reality. The rollout started last week in the U.S. and South Korea but will take years.

The Federal Communications Commission said Friday that it would hold the largest auction in U.S. history, of 3,400 megahertz, to boost wireless companies’ networks.

The FCC also says it will repurpose funds from existing programs to provide $20.4 billion connecting up to 4 million rural homes and small businesses to high-speed internet. There are 24 million Americans without access to broadband, and the problem is worst in rural areas.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said Friday that he hopes to start the auction in December and the fund proceeding later this year.

The agency said he will talk about these 5G initiatives at a White House event with President Donald Trump later Friday.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.