Starks, who was nominated by President Donald Trump to fill former Commissioner Mignon Clyburn’s seat, appeared at a Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation hearing, which was webcast. It was the first time for many to hear his views on telecom policies and 5G in particular.
There are two pieces that need to be emphasized: spectrum and deployment. “It is going to be essential that we continue to have more and more spectrum” that can be brought to market—low, mid and high band, he said.
“In particular, 3.5, the C-Band, 5.9, 6.4 and then getting up into the high band, 24 GHz, 28, 37, 39, 47, 64” and higher. Each of those are going to play an important role, he said, giving credit to former FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler and current Chairman Ajit Pai for getting that spectrum teed up.
He also gave a nod to Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel and others who have called for establishing a pipeline and a schedule so the market knows what spectrum is out there and what’s coming to bear so they can plan accordingly. Commissioner Michael O’Rielly also has said he’d like to see a published schedule for auctions.
With Starks, a Democrat, poised to join the commission, that will put it back to the full 3-2 Republican majority. Rosenworcel is also a Democrat. Commissioner Brendan Carr joined fellow Republicans Pai and O’Rielly last year.
The U.S. Senate still must confirm the nomination.