On August 2, 2018, in the Open Meeting, the Federal Communications Commission adopted a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“FNRPM”) in the Use of Spectrum Above 24 GHz proceeding, specifically on the auctioning of the 39 GHz and upper 37 GHz bands (FCC 18-110, GN Docket No. 14-177). The FNPRM proposes service rule changes for the 39 GHz band (38.6-40 GHz) and an incentive auction mechanism that would offer contiguous spectrum blocks in the 39 GHz and upper 37 GHz bands (37.6-38.6 GHz). The FNRPM seeks comment on how best to transition existing spectrum holdings to the new flexible-use band plan.

Minor changes made from the previously released draft item include some additional language clarifying that should the total proceeds from the incentive auction exceed the total incentive payments to be shared with licensees relinquishing spectrum usage rights, the FCC can close the incentive auction regardless of the proceeds or relinquishments in a particular Partial Economic Area (“PEA”) (¶ 21). The adopted FNPRM also added a paragraph proposing that incumbents will be allowed to exchange vouchers so long as net trades are revenue neutral and made prior to the clock auction phase (i.e., aggregate trades up and down will balance given the FCC-specific exchange rates) (¶ 34).

Comments are due September 17, 2018.

Reply Comments are due October 8, 2018.

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