Wednesday, August 4, 2010

FCC Promotes Microwave in Wireless Backhaul.

The FCC proposed new rules aimed at removing regulatory barriers to the use of microwave spectrum for wireless backhaul of 4G mobile broadband services.

In a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), the FCC explores ways to increase the flexibility, capacity and cost-effectiveness of the microwave bands below 13 gigahertz, while protecting incumbent licensees in these bands.

The FCC said it seeks to update regulatory classifications that may not have kept pace with the evolution of converged digital technologies, and to provide for increased spectrum sharing. The proposed rule changes may be particularly beneficial to rural areas, where microwave may be the only practical, high-capacity backhaul solution available to serve certain remote locations. With spectrum sharing, 750 megahertz of microwave spectrum may be made available for broadband backhaul or other advanced point-to-point uses.

The Notice of Inquiry (NOI) requests comment on further steps the Commission can take to reduce wireless backhaul costs and increase investment in broadband deployment. It asks about changes in technical rules that would enable longer links in rural areas. The NOI also inquires as to whether permitting use of smaller antennas could similarly reduce costs and stimulate investment. Finally, the NOI seeks comment on whether the Commission should examine any additional modifications to its rules or policies to promote the flexible, efficient and cost-effective provision of wireless backhaul service.

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