CBRS Getting Closer

On May 1 the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) concluded its testing stage of five Spectrum Access System (SAS) vendors proposing to operate in the CBRS (3.5 GHz). The SAS manages parameters upon which CBRS systems will rely. NTIA’s Institute for Telecommunications Services (ITS) projects that test reports will be submitted to the FCC in June. Separately, on April 29, the FCC released a Public Notice approving the Environmental Sensing Capabilities (ESCs) of CommScope, Federated Wireless, and Google for use in the 3.5 GHz band. ESCs will be used to detect and communicate the presence of any incumbent federal radar transmissions within specified geographic areas to SASs to determine priority of CBRS operations.

800 MHz EB/GB Coordination Update

On April 25, the FCC announced in a Public Notice the dates and procedures for submitting applications in the 800 MHz band for Expansion Band and Guard Band (EB/GB) channels in a number of National Public Safety Planning Advisory Committee (NPSPAC) regions, including 21 NPSPAC regions where EB/GB licensing was deferred (Vol. XVI, Issue 12). EB/GB channels in these NPSPAC regions will be available for licensing on July 18. Pre-coordination procedures may begin no sooner than May 9 at 8:00 a.m. ET. 

NIST Privacy Framework

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) released a discussion draft of its Privacy Framework, NIST Privacy Framework: An Enterprise Risk Management Tool, a set of industry standards and best practices designed to assist organizations large and small in managing cybersecurity risks. The structure of the Privacy Framework aligns with that of NIST’s 2014 Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity (Cybersecurity Framework), a similar voluntary risk-based guideline created through collaboration between the government and private sector to help manage cybersecurity risks in a way that is cost-effective and does not subject businesses to additional regulatory requirements. NIST invites public feedback on whether the discussion draft could be readily used as part of an enterprise’s broader risk management processes and scalable to organizations of various sizes, which will help NIST craft a preliminary draft of the Privacy Framework. 

Rural Digital Opportunity Fund Docket Opens

On April 30, the FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau (WBC) issued a Public Notice opening a new docket, the “Rural Digital Opportunity Fund,” WC Docket No. 19-126. Earlier last month, Chairman Pai expressed his intention to create the Fund, which would make up to $20.4 billion of support available to connect approximately four million rural homes and small businesses to high-speed broadband networks via a reverse auction.