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

April 12, 2019 - 9:57 am

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.