The Federal Communications Commission on Wednesday approved a $15-million spectrum auction to allow wireless companies to sell new spectrum to carriers in exchange for an upfront payment.
The FCC’s rules would allow wireless carriers to sell up to 10.5 million spectrum licenses to wireless service providers, up from 5 million in 2016.
The wireless companies would be able to acquire up to 5 million of these licenses in the auction, and the FCC would require them to use these licenses to build network capacity and deploy wireless networks.
“Incentives for wireless deployment will continue to help drive growth, increase competition, and reduce prices for consumers, but they must be matched by competitive conditions that help provide an affordable and reliable wireless service,” FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said in a statement.
The rules also include rules on how wireless carriers could use spectrum.
Wireless companies could use the spectrum for their own use or for the benefit of others.
The FCC also is requiring that wireless carriers build and deploy a minimum of two new high-speed wireless networks, which will allow the agency to approve more spectrum auctions in the future.