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Articles

FCC Requests Comment on Spectrum Reallocation for Fixed and Wireless Communications

November 30, 2010

Articles

FCC Requests Comment on Spectrum Reallocation for Fixed and Wireless Communications

November 30, 2010

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The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that would allocate spectrum currently available to TV broadcasters for fixed and mobile wireless communications, including mobile broadband.

The FCC has proposed changes to the following frequency allocations that would make a portion of the spectrum currently used for broadcast television available for flexible use, including fixed and mobile wireless broadband services:

  • Low VHF spectrum at 54-72 MHz (TV channels 2-4) and 76-88 MHz (TV channels 5-6), where fixed and mobile wireless use would be permitted under Part 74;
  • High VHF spectrum at 174-216 MHz (TV channels 7-13), where fixed and mobile wireless use would be permitted under Part 74; and
  • UHF bands at 470-608 MHz (TV channels 14-36), where fixed and mobile wireless use would be permitted under Part 74 and Part 90, and 614-698 MHz (TV channels 38-51), where fixed and mobile wireless use would be permitted under Part 74.

All five of these bands (collectively, the “TV broadcast bands”) currently are allocated principally to broadcast television under Part 73 of the FCC’s rules.  The FCC is hoping that legislation will be passed allowing the use of “incentive auctions” in which broadcasters would voluntarily relinquish some or all of their spectrum for the opportunity to share in the auction proceeds.

Comments on the NPRM are due 45 days after Federal Register publication, which has not yet occurred, with reply comments due 75 days after Federal Register publication.  A copy of the FCC’s NPRM is available at: http://www.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2010/db1130/FCC-10-196A1.pdf

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