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FCC to Overhaul 800MHz Licensing Rules

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Feb 15, 2012, 2:05 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

The Federal Communications Commission today announced that it is moving forward with a plan to "promote government efficiency and eliminate burdensome regulatory processes" with respect to licensing 800MHz spectrum. When 800MHz spectrum was first auctioned off 30 years ago under the "Cellular RadioTelephone Services" name, it was done so using a site-based licensing scheme based on how analog cellular signals propagate. Since this scheme is outdated and doesn't apply to today's networks, the FCC is going to adopt the more flexible and geographically-based licensing scheme used for the 700MHz, PCS, and AWS bands. "We'll implement this with a two-stage transition using auctions of 'overlay licenses' to ensure efficiency and convey more flexible rights to license holders," said FCC chairman Julius Genachowski in a statement. The FCC is also going to eliminate seven data collection points to reduce the amount of paperwork that must be filed by licensees.



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