• On August 3, 2012, the FCC adopted and released FCC 12-87, an order focused on streamlining the deployment of wireless backhaul in microwave bands, including permitting smaller antennas, making its efficiency standards in rural areas more flexible, and permitting the use of wider channels. The item combines an order, further notice of proposed rulemaking, notice of inquiry, and an order on reconsideration. In the order, the Commission states that the new rules “will remove regulatory barriers that today limit the use of spectrum for wireless backhaul and other point-to-point and point-to-multipoint communications” as well as “reduce costs of deploying wireless backhaul in rural areas” leading to further “deployment of broadband infrastructure across America.” The Commission now seeks comment on permitting smaller antennas in the 13 GHz band, on “revising the circumstances under which licensees in the 11 GHz band can reduce power in order to avoid having to upgrade their antennas,” and “on making additional changes to our antenna standards to reflect advances in technology, accommodate non-parabolic antennas, and harmonize our standards with international standards.” Comments on the Further Notice and Notice of Inquiry are due 30 days after Federal Register publication and Reply Comments are due 15 days thereafter. FCC 12-87 is available here.
  • On August 9, 2012, the Wireless Telecommunications and Wireline Competition Bureaus announced that only 5 of the 53 applicants to Mobility Fund Phase I, in which the FCC will grant $300 million in one-time support, were properly completed. The Bureaus will send notices to each of the 48 deficient applicants stating what information is required to make their applications complete. Corrections must be submitted by August 27, 2012, in order to participate in the auction which is scheduled for September 27, 2012. The Public Notice is available here.