800 megahertz rebanding is complete in Region 43 (Washington state), the 800 MHz band transition administrator told the FCC yesterday in a filing in WT docket 02-55.
The Wireless Internet Service Providers Association has termed “an excellent starting point” steps proposed recently by 10 tech companies that they said would ensure that unlicensed devices in the 6 gigahertz band don’t cause harmful interference to incumbents (TR Daily, June 12).
The firms and 6 GHz band incumbents have been bickering for months about an analysis the tech firms submitted in January that concluded that unlicensed devices could share the 6 GHz band without causing harmful interference to primary incumbent operations (TR Daily, Jan. 26).
The analysis submitted in January was done by RKF Engineering Services LLC and submitted to the Commission by Apple, Inc., Broadcom Corp., Cisco Systems, Inc., Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Facebook, Inc., Google LLC, Intel Corp., MediaTek, Inc., Microsoft Corp., and Qualcomm, Inc. The recent proposal, as with other recent filings, was submitted by those companies, with the addition of Ruckus Networks and the omission of MediaTek. Continue reading
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said today that he plans to ask his colleagues to consider six items at their July 12 meeting that deal with the 3.7–4.2 gigahertz C-band, the Emergency Alert System (EAS), the 800 megahertz band, nationwide number portability, formal complaint proceedings, and children’s programming rules.
The FCC plans to release a tentative agenda for the meeting and the draft text of the items tomorrow.
In a blog posting today, Mr. Pai said that “[i]n response to a Notice of Inquiry we initiated last summer [TR Daily, Aug. 3, 2017], stakeholders have come up with a number of creative ideas for making better use of 3.7 to 4.2 GHz. And next month, we’ll vote on a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that seeks more detailed feedback on those ideas that merit further exploration. That Notice of Inquiry also sought comment on new uses in the 6 GHz band. I’m pleased to say that we plan to move forward with a rulemaking on that spectrum this fall.” Continue reading
FirstNet and Interoperability. During speeches at the recent PSCR meeting in San Diego, two people made points that started me thinking about what lies ahead for FirstNet. The first was the Chair of The FirstNet Authority, Sue Swenson, who talked about FirstNet ending Chapter One on a high note and starting Chapter Two. The second was TJ Kennedy, who announced formation of the Public Safety Technical Alliance (PSTA), a non-profit that has been formed to work with the public safety community, vendors, and others to ensure components for FirstNet (Built by AT&T) meet the open standard mandate put into place by FirstNet the Authority.
Sue talked about the first chapter for FirstNet being a long one for many of us, spanning more than ten years. However, it concluded with the network in place, all 56 states and territories opting in, a large number of public safety agencies joining FirstNet (Built by AT&T), more approved devices coming to market, and momentum that will carry us into Chapter Two. As promised, the network is nationwide, it provides end-to-end encryption, has its own core, and delivers full pre-emption for the first responder community. Chapter Two then will be about what runs on the network and how to maintain full interoperability. The rationale for FirstNet was to provide a coast-to-coast and border-to-border network where vehicles and people could move into other jurisdictions to assist in an incident and not only have a common network but to be assured that what rides on the network in terms of applications, data access, and voice are all fully interoperable.
To this end, TJ Kennedy and a host of others formed the PSTA to work with FirstNet, public safety, vendors, and others to make sure what flows over the network is “operable” for all. However, before we start on Chapter Two, we must first understand that like any broadband network, it will never be truly finished. It will continue to grow, new sites will be added as needed, and it will encompass 5G small cells, the Internet of Things (IoT), and other related purposes for the network. AT&T recently committed $2 billion to building out FirstNet in rural America, which will also enable rural businesses and citizens to gain access to broadband they have never had before. Even after the 25-year contract is over, the network will continue to grow and expand using whatever new technology replaces 4G and 5G.
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A discussion draft circulated to members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee would authorize the FCC to hold an incentive auction of the 4.9 gigahertz band and rescind the requirement that the FCC auction T-band frequencies. The measure has been circulated by staffers for committee Chairman Greg Walden (R., Ore.).
Under the draft Freeing Incumbents to Reuse Spectrum and To Regain Essential Spectrum for Public-safety Operators Needed to Deploy Equipment Reliably Act of 2018, or the FIRST RESPONDER Act of 2018, the FCC would have to commence the reverse incentive auction by Sept. 30, 2023, and the agency would have to complete it by Sept. 30, 2026. The auction would be canceled if the forward auction proceeds are not enough to pay reverse auction bidders and cover the costs of holding the auction.
In March, Republican FCC Commissioners emphasized the potential benefit of repurposing the 4940-4990 megahertz band for commercial purposes, or at least opening it up to additional usage, citing the fact that the spectrum has not been heavily used since the Commission made it available for public safety agencies in 2002 (TR Daily, March 22).
Their comments came as Commissioners unanimously adopted a sixth further notice of proposed rulemaking in WP docket 07-100 seeking views on ways to promote more intensive use of the 4940-4990 MHz band.
In February, Rep. Elliot Engel (D., N.Y.) introduced legislation (HR 5085) that would repeal a provision included in the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 that would require the T-band to be reauctioned by the FCC for commercial use (TR Daily, Feb. 27). The bill has 16 cosponsors. Advocates of the bill are looking for Senate sponsors of a companion bill. Sen. Ed Markey (D., Mass.) may agree to be a Democratic sponsor.
Congress required the FCC to reallocate and auction public safety spectrum in the T-band by 2021 and relocate incumbents by 2023. Proceeds from the auction can be used to cover the relocation costs of public safety licensees. The T-band encompasses TV channels 14-20 (470-512 megahertz). Public safety agencies use the spectrum in 11 major markets.
A public safety official panned the discussion draft today, saying the measure “could solve one problem and create another problem for PS. Walden is saying that they cannot just repeal the T-Band as it has auction value but it was never scored by CBO as having value.” —Paul Kirby, email@example.com
Some entities have criticized a petition for rulemaking filed by the Aerospace Industries Association seeking licensing and service rules for command and control of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in the 5030-5091 megahertz band, while other parties support it.
The petition, which was filed in February, says that the FCC’s rules for control and non-payload communications (CNPC) operations should require individual licensing for UAS operators and says that the Commission should restrict the use of the UAS spectrum in the 5030-5091 MHz band to safety-of-life communications. In addition, the FCC should establish a frequency management system to assign spectrum and technical rules should be flexible, it says. The FCC also should regulate CNPC equipment under its part 87 rules and subject it to FCC equipment certification and RF exposure requirements, the petition says. The FCC also should modify its table of frequency allocations. The petition also asks the FCC to initiate CNPC link coordination with Canada and Mexico.
In comments filed in Rulemaking 11798, CTIA said that UAS operations “offer great promise in a variety of sectors, from infrastructure inspection and public safety to package delivery and mapping. In CTIA’s view, proposals made by the Aerospace Industries Association (‘AIA’) in its petition for service rules for the 5030-5091 MHz band (the ‘AIA Petition’) could compromise this potential. Before moving forward with the AIA Petition, the Federal Communications Commission (the ‘Commission’) should take account of the broader UAS context and consider approaches for the 5030-5091 MHz band and other potential UAS spectrum that are flexible, forward-looking, and technology-neutral. The right approach by the Commission will support the rapidly-evolving UAS industry.” Continue reading
Ligado Networks LLC today filed an amendment to its license modification applications before the FCC to protect certified aviation receivers in the wake of a Transportation Department report released last month on its GPS adjacent band compatibility assessment. Under the amendment, Ligado agreed to limit its power in the 1526-1536 megahertz lower downlink band.
“Today’s FCC filing further demonstrates our commitment to protecting GPS and to being a responsible spectrum neighbor as we prepare to deliver 5G and IoT connectivity to the industries that keep America running,” a Ligado spokesperson said. “Ligado’s filing to reduce the power levels in the downlink honors the pledge the company made in 2015 to protect certified aviation GPS receivers. Today’s filing underscores our resolve to find solutions that work for both GPS and wireless services. Ligado is poised to deploy 40 MHz of mid-band spectrum to support our nation’s critical infrastructure and help the U.S. in the global race to 5G.” Continue reading