FCC Adopts 900 MHz Band Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

On March 12, 2019, the Commission adopted the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) in the 900 MHz Band proceeding, proposing rules to increase access and use of the 896-901/935-940 MHz (“900 MHz”) band (WT Docket No 17-200). The NPRM proposes to reconfigure the band to facilitate wireless broadband use, seeks comment on alternate approaches, and proposes specific band plan and licensing frameworks.

The adopted item is largely the same as the released draft item, with a few minor additions. The significant changes are as follows:

  • Regarding eligibility for the market driven exchange process, the FCC added an alternative proposal to seek comment on whether to allow a licensee to use any combination of 900 MHz spectrum to be eligible for a new broadband license, provided that such spectrum totals at least 5 MHz and covers the entire county for which it seeks a license.
  • Seeks additional comment on a requirement that incumbents transition from the current 12.5 KHz bandwidth to 6.25 KHz bandwidth, and proposes a mandatory relocation process for remaining incumbents once the threshold for voluntary exchanges has been met by prospective broadband licensees.
  • Regarding spectrum holdings policies, the adopted item added that the FCC is not inclined to include the 900 MHz segment in the spectrum screen and seeks comment on this position.

Comments are due 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.

Reply comments are due 90 days after publication in the Federal Register.

Please contact us if you have any questions.

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