Straight Path to Pay FCC $100M for Squatting On 5G Spectrum
The FCC has fined Straight Path Communications $100 million for failing to deploy wireless service in accordance with spectrum license requirements. Straight Path is sitting on approximately 1,000 licenses for spectrum in the 39 GHz band, which will eventually be used for 5G. The company renewed its licenses several years ago by submitting falsified documentation that claimed it had installed wireless systems that were in fact never built. After an investigation, the FCC concluded that Straight Path has not made any real attempt to put its spectrum holdings to use. According to the Consent Decree, Straight Path has agreed to pay a $100 million fine, $15 million of which is due immediately. The company must also surrender 20% of its 39 GHz spectrum licenses immediately. Straight Path has to sell or surrender the remaining spectrum licenses within one year, or it will be subject to the remaining $85 million in fines. Moreover, Straight Path must give 20% of the proceeds of any spectrum license sales to the U.S. Treasury as an additional civil penalty. "Squatting on spectrum licenses without any meaningful effort to put them to good use in a timely manner is fundamentally inconsistent with the public good," said Travis LeBlanc, Chief of the FCC's Enforcement Bureau. "Wireless spectrum is a scarce public resource. We expect every person or company that receives a spectrum license to put it to productive use."
Verizon Outbids AT&T for Straight Path
Verizon Communications has won a bidding war for Straight Path Communications. AT&T announced plans to acquire Straight path for $1.6 billion last month.
AT&T to Acquire Straight Path for 5G Spectrum
AT&T has agreed to acquire Straight Path in an all-stock deal worth about $1.6 billion. Straight Path has significant spectrum holdings in the 28 GHz and 39 GHz millimeter wave bands, which will be put to use by some 5G technologies down the road.
FCC Approves AT&T Spectrum Purchase from Kaplan
The FCC has given Kaplan Telephone Inc. permission to sell several spectrum licenses to AT&T.
Dish's Designated Entities Give Up 197 Spectrum Licenses
Northstar Wireless and SNR Wireless LicenseCo surrendered 197 AWS-3 spectrum licenses and paid a $413 million fine to the FCC for defaulting on their $3.3 billion payment. Dish Networks participated in this year's auction through Northstar and SNR.
Why just spectrum?