FCC Eyes 3.5GHz Band for Various Uses
The Federal Communications Commission today issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that could result in yet more spectrum put to use for mobile broadband and other purposes. The FCC is looking at a slice of airwaves between 3550MHz and 3650MHz, and hopes to extend that to 3700MHz to forge a 150MHz block. The FCC said it will create a new Citizens Broadband Radio Service for general consumer use, carrier-grade small cell deployments, fixed wireless broadband, and other potential uses. Portions of the spectrum in question are in use by the federal government, so the FCC is proposing a three-tiered access and sharing model that will include: federal and non-federal incumbents; priority access licensees; and general authorized access users. Though the proposal says these three groups will share the spectrum, the federal government's portions thereof will need to be protected from interference. The FCC is seeking comment on potential rules that would govern auctioning the spectrum, allocating it, and technical specifications. The FCC has been on a major push to make spectrum available for the last few years. It already has two auctions on deck including an incentive auction for the 600MHz band and another for AWS-3 spectrum.