3.5 GHz Auction Procedures Approved

The FCC approved a Public Notice on Friday that establishes application and bidding procedures for the auction of Priority Access Licenses (PALs) in the 3.5 GHz band (Vol. XVI, Issue 39). Some of the procedures adopted include an ascending clock auction format, bidding on a county-by-county basis, and a first ever “activity upper limit” intended to mitigate the possibility of a bidder losing bidding eligibility in certain circumstances. Bidding is scheduled to begin on June 25, 2020, with a total of 22,631 PALs nationwide up for auction.

FCC Passes C-Band Order

The FCC passed a Report and Order and Order of Proposed Modification that repurposes 500 MHz of spectrum in the 3.7 to 4.2 GHz band (C-Band) (Vol. XVI, Issue 47) at its Open Meeting on Friday. Under the Order, the lower 280 MHz of the band will be made available for flexible use, including 5G services. The 20 MHz above that would serve as a guard band, and the upper 200 MHz would contain existing satellite operations. Relocation costs of the existing users would be covered.

FCC Seeks Comment on E911 Location Accuracy Petition for Reconsideration

The Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau issued a Public Notice last week seeking comment on the Boulder Emergency Telephone Service Authority’s (BRETSA) Petition for Reconsideration of the Fifth Report and Order in the Wireless E911 Location Accuracy Requirements proceeding (Vol. XVII, Issue 6). In its petition, BRETSA seeks reconsideration in two respects. It first urges the Commission to adopt proof-of-performance testing to determine whether wireless providers are meeting the vertical location accuracy standard. BRETSA also argues that the Commission failed to consider its proposal that carriers be required to cooperate with public safety stakeholder accuracy testing and correlation of test results to floor numbers.

Proposed Updates to TV White Space Rules

A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking was issued by the Commission on Friday that proposes changes to its White Space device rules (Vol. XVII, Issue 6). White Space devices operate in portions of the broadcast television bands that are not used by television stations and can be used to provide broadband and other wireless services to rural and underserved communities. The NPRM proposes allowing higher transmit power and antenna height above average terrain for these devices in order to reach users at greater distances.

RDOF Procedures Open for Comment

The FCC adopted a Public Notice on Friday that outlines proposed procedures for the first phase of the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund auction (Vol. XVII, Issue 5). Among other things, the Commission seeks comment on the appropriate minimum bidding areas, either census block groups or noticeably larger census tracts, and the pre- and post-auction operational, technical, and financial information applicants and winners would be required to submit. The auction will make up to $16 billion available for the deployment of fixed broadband networks across rural America.