A front-haul controller for a network coupling a BBU and an RRH that exchanges RF analog signals with a supported UE. The network comprises a plurality of nodes coupled by variable bit-rate network communications links. The BBU exchanges packets of frequency-domain samples with the RRH along the network. The front-haul controller monitors information about wireless spectrum occupancy at the RRH and at least one spectrum occupancy threshold and varies a bit-rate of the network link in accordance therewith. The front-haul controller can proactively adjust the bit-rate and/or the threshold during periods associated with at least one event that may impact the spectrum occupancy. The network link can be a FlexE, SONET, DWDM, LAG and/or ECMP link.