Thursday, June 19, 2008

FCC Mulls Changes for AWS Spectrum in the 1.9 and 2.1 GHz Bands

The FCC is considering requiring public access to free, nationwide, high-speed wireless broadband Internet services using a portion of the winning bidder's network in the 2.1 GHz Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) spectrum. Specifically, the FCC is seeking comment on proposed rules for the AWS spectrum in the 1915-1920 MHz, 1995-2000 MHz, and 2155-2180 MHz bands.


In 2004, the FCC sought comment on service rules for the 1915-1920 MHz, 1995-2000 MHz, 2020-2025 MHz, and 2175-2180 MHz bands ("AWS-2"), and in 2007, the FCC sought comment on service rules for the 2155-2175 MHz band ("AWS-3").


Regarding the 2155-2180 MHz band, the FCC proposes combining the 2155-2175 MHz band with the 2175-2180 MHz band to create a 25 megahertz block of spectrum and a single nationwide license for the 2155-2180 MHz band. This larger block size may allow
the AWS-3 licensee to make more robust use of the spectrum while operating at a stricter out-of-band emission limit. Alternatively, another proposed option would be to retain the 2155-2175 MHz AWS-3 block and allow the licensee to operate with a more traditional out-of-band
emission limit.


The FCC is further proposing requiring the licensee for the 2155-2180 MHz spectrum to provide -- using up to 25 percent of its wireless network capacity -- free, two-way broadband Internet service at engineered data rates of at least 768 kbps downstream. Additional obligations
associated with the licensee's free broadband service would include a requirement to provide a network-based filtering mechanism for the free Internet service in order to protect children and families, and a requirement that the network allow for the use of open devices.


The build-out requirements for the licensee would be to provide signal coverage and offer service to at least 50 percent of the total U.S. within four years and to at least 95 percent of the U.S. population by the end of the 10-year license term.http://www.fcc.gov

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