FCC acts to increase investment and deployment in 3.5 GHz band

Via FCC Headlines

Oct 24, 2018

WASHINGTON, October 23, 2018 —Today, the Federal Communications Commission adopted a Report and Order that makes modifications to the rules governing the Citizens Broadband Radio Service in the 3.5 GHz band. This action will promote additional investment and encourage broader deployment in the band, ensure that our rules for this service keep up with technological advancements, and help to maintain U.S. leadership in the deployment of next-generation services, including 5G.

The Commission established rules in 2015 to facilitate shared access between federal and non-federal use of the 3.5 GHz band. It created a three-tiered framework of users consisting of Incumbents, Priority Access Licenses (PALs), and General Authorized Access (GAA) users.

Today, the Commission leaves that core sharing framework in place, and makes targeted updates to the licensing and technical rules that will encourage more efficient and intensive use of the band. Specifically, the Order:

  • Changes the size of PAL license areas from census tracts to counties;
  • Extends the PAL license term to ten years and makes these licenses renewable;
  • Establishes end-of-term performance requirements;
  • Ensures seven PALs are available in each license area;
  • Allows the use of bidding credits for rural and Tribal entities;
  • Permits partitioning and disaggregation of PALs;
  • Updates information security requirements to protect registration information; and
  • Facilitates transmission over wider channels while maintaining protections for other services

Action by the Commission October 23, 2018 by Report and Order (FCC 18-149). Chairman Pai, Commissioners O’Rielly, and Carr approving. Commissioner Rosenworcel dissenting. Chairman Pai, Commissioners O’Rielly, Carr, and Rosenworcel issuing separate statements.

GN Docket No. 17-258


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