FCC Adopts Sharing Plan for 3.5 GHz “Innovation Band”

The new radio service will make 150 megahertz (MHz) of spectrum available for a variety of wireless usages. Adding capacity for wireless communications through spectrum management supports the Commission’s ongoing efforts to address the growing demand for broadband capacity.

Previously, most (100 MHz) of this band was reserved exclusively for military radars. The new rules continue to protect incumbent radar systems from interference, while also making the spectrum available for commercial wireless networks. Chairman Tom Wheeler stated, “The government is frequently criticized for thinking too narrowly and doing things one way because that is the way they have always been done. The Citizens Broadband Radio Service is not one of those cases. Here, the Commission has taken bold steps to pursue a new approach.”

According to a Report and Order and Order on Reconsideration (Second Order), the Innovation Band will adopt a three-tier model that was proposed in the 2014 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, including federal and non-federal incumbent license holders, priority access licensees, and general authorized users. The final rule expands eligibility for the Priority Access tier with competitive bidding for assigning licenses within that tier. This Second Order now puts into place the last rules necessary for this service to become commercially available.

Read the Second Order at: http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2016/db0502/FCC-16-55A1.pdf.

Chairman Wheeler’s statement is available online at: http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2016/db0428/DOC-339104A2.pdf.

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