Rural Tribal Priority Window Now Open

On February 3 the FCC announced that the Tribal priority window for federally recognized Tribes and Alaska Native Villages to apply for spectrum in the 2.5 GHz band officially opened (Vol. XVII, Issue 2). This first-of-its-kind priority window allows tribes to obtain spectrum in the band for free before any commercial auction. The Tribal priority window will be open for six months, until August 3, 2020, after which the remaining unassigned 2.5 GHz spectrum will be made available for commercial use through a spectrum auction.

E911 Location Accuracy Comment Deadline Extended

The Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau issued an Order last Tuesday extending the comment and reply comment deadlines for its Fifth Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on E911 location accuracy requirements (Vol. XVII, Issue 3). Several 911 interest groups filed a petition to extend the filing deadlines in response to several major events in the 911 policymaking space happening during the original pleading cycle. The new comment and reply comment filing deadlines are now February 21, 2020, and March 20, 2020, respectively.

Pai Proposes Updating TV White Space Rules

Last Wednesday, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai proposed providing additional opportunities for unlicensed white space devices to deliver wireless broadband services in rural areas. These devices operate in sections of unused television bands and spectrum and can be used to provide broadband service to rural and underserved communities. Chairman Pai’s proposal would allow higher transmit power and higher antennas for fixed white space devices in rural areas, which would allow them to reach users at greater distances. The proposal will be voted on at the Commission’s Open Meeting on February 28.

UMFUS Auction Assignment Phase Announced

On February 5th the FCC announced that the assignment phase of bidding will begin in Auction 103 on February 18, 2020. Auction 103 is the incentive auction of Upper Microwave Flexible Use Service (UMFUS) licenses in the Upper 37 GHz (37.6-38.6 GHz); 39 GHz (38.6-40 GHz); and 47 GHz (47.2-48.2 GHz) bands (Vol. XVI, Issue 50). The assignment phase will allow bidders that won at least one generic block of spectrum in one Partial Economic Area (PEA) to place bids on specific frequency blocks. Bidding in the clock phase of Auction 103 closed on January 30, with 35 bidders qualifying after 104 rounds to participate in the assignment phase.