On Friday, April 24, 2020, the Commission released a Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“Order” and “FNPRM”) in the Unlicensed Use of the 6 GHz proceeding, for consideration in the upcoming April Open Meeting on Thursday, April 23, 2020 (ET Docket No. 18-295; GN Docket No. 17-193). The Order makes available 1200 MHz of spectrum for unlicensed use in the 5.925-7.125 GHz (“6 GHz”) band, authorizing two different types of unlicensed operations while ensuring that incumbent licensed services are protected. The FNPRM proposes to permit very low power devices to operate across the entire 6 GHz band, which would make a contiguous 1200-MHz block of spectrum available for the development of new high-speed, short-range devices and seeks comment on allowing additional power for low power indoor access points. The adopted FNPRM also seeks comment on permitting mobile AFC controlled standard-power access point operation and on whether to allow higher power levels for AFC controlled standard power access points used in fixed point-to-point applications.

The adopted item makes certain technical clarifications throughout the Order, but specifically incorporates the following changes:

  • The adopted Order adds additional detail regarding the establishment of a multi-stakeholder group, encouraging the formation of a broader industry-led group focusing on technical and operational issues for the 6 GHz band, including indoor low-power devices. (¶ 174-180).
  • The adopted Order includes an additional discussion to addresses incumbent fixed microwave operators’ concerns regarding harmful interference from indoor low-power operations, clarifying that in the event such interference does occur, the Part 15 rules require that such operations cease.
  • The adopted FNPRM makes certain technical changes, and also adds new sections seeking comment on permitting mobile AFC controlled standard-power access point operation and on whether to allow higher power levels for AFC controlled standard power access points used in fixed point-to-point applications. (¶¶ 246-255).

The Order will be effective 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.

Comments are due 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.

Reply comments will be due 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.

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