FCC Revises Comment Dates for 900 MHz Band NPRM

On March 12, 2019, the Commission adopted the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking 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.

On April 3, 2019, the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking was published in the Federal Register, thus establishing the following comment dates:

Comments are due May 3, 2019.

Reply Comments are due June 3, 2019.

On April 11, 2019, the FCC published in the Federal Register, a correction to the comment dates established in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.

Comments are now due June 3, 2019.

Reply Comments are now due July 2, 2019.

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