The spectrum was set aside in the 1960s with services like educational TV in mind, but a large part of it has gone unused "for decades," Pai said.
FCC Commissioners to hold a vote on the order at a meeting on July 10th, where it will finalize the details of a December auction of 37GHz, 39GHz and 47GHz bands. It's part of a broader "5G FAST" plan that aims to speed up the deployment of the extra-fast wireless data through frequency access,
This is not the first time it has been released 2.5GHz space for its LTE and 5G services. However, it could have a noticeable improvement on 5G accessibility for networks. They could not only deploy faster with fewer cell sites, but offer coverage that penetrates further into buildings. Many other countries (including South Korea and parts of Europe) are using the mid-band frequencies for 5G and could be the US at a disadvantage.
Right now, the FCC offers the space responsibly. The Education Department recently told the FCC that it should create "educational use requirement" for the spectrum and use some of the auction revenue to underprivileged students. It's not certain this will happen, though, and it could deprive the US of a potential educational resource.