To help speed the deployment of wireless broadband services, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has modified certain provisions of its microwave spectrum allocation to provide greater backhaul capacity for wireless broadband service providers.
In a Report and Further Order issued by the Commission in August 2011, the Commission modified its rules to permit fixed microwave operations in several spectrum bands previously reserved for specialized microwave services. The change will allow the broader use of microwave facilities in mobile wireless networks to transmit data between cell sites, or between cell sites and network backbones. Microwave links represent a cost-effective alternative to traditional copper circuits and fiber optic links, and their use has increased by 50% in recent years, according to the FCC.
The Commission says that the newly available spectrum will speed the rollout from so-called fourth-generation (4G) broadband networks, bring new broadband services to rural areas, and foster job creation.