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FCC aims to reform educational band spectrum

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has adopted a notice of proposed rulemaking to update the framework for licensing educational broadband service (EBS) spectrum in the 2.5 GHz band. The 2.5 GHz band (2496-2690 MHz) constitutes the single largest band of contiguous spectrum below 3 GHz and is prime spectrum for next generation mobile operations, including 5G, says the FCC. “EBS spectrum in this band, however, currently lies fallow across approximately one-half of the US, primarily in rural areas. Moreover, access to this spectrum has been strictly limited since 1995, and current licensees are subject to outdated regulations.” The proposal is to rationalise the service areas of existing EBS licenses and to provide additional flexibility to current and future EBS licensees. It also seeks comment on whether to establish up to three local priority filing windows to allow applicants physically located in a licence area to access 2.5 GHz spectrum: first, a window for existing licensees to expand their service to the county boundaries; second, a window for Tribal Nations located in rural areas to acquire licences; and third, a window for educational entities that do not currently hold EBS licences to acquire them. The FCC proposes to make any spectrum remaining after these priority windows available for commercial use through competitive bidding and seeks comment on alternative approaches to the priority filing windows for licensing the spectrum for commercial use. Read more

  • Monday, 21 May 2018

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