Showing posts with label FCC. Show all posts
Showing posts with label FCC. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

FCC to vote on $20.4 billion Rural Digital Opportunity Fund

by Benedict Chua, Assistant Editor

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai today presented his colleagues with final rules to launch the new $20.4 billion Rural Digital Opportunity Fund.  The rules, which will be voted on by the Commission at its Open Meeting on January 30, would establish a two-phased process to provide funding for the deployment of high-speed broadband in areas of the United States where there is currently not fixed broadband service that meets the Commission’s minimum speed standard (25/3 Mbps).

The Rural Digital Opportunity Fund would allocate $20.4 billion through a reverse-auction format. The Fund would target areas that lack access to 25/3 Mbps broadband services in two stages.  For Phase I, the FCC would target $16 billion to areas that are wholly unserved by such broadband (where there is no 25/3 Mbps service at all).  For Phase II, the FCC would use its new granular broadband mapping approach, called the Digital Opportunity Data Collection, to target unserved households in areas that are partially served by such broadband (areas where some households have access to such service but others do not).  Phase II would also include areas that do not receive winning bids in Phase I.

Commission staff’s initial estimate is that approximately six million model-determined locations would be eligible for bidding in Phase I of the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund.  This figure is subject to change for a variety of reasons, including updated data regarding broadband deployment and construction as well as any modifications made to Chairman Pai’s draft rules.

“While we’ve made substantial progress in expanding broadband deployment over the last three years, the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund would be the biggest step the FCC has taken to date to close the digital divide,” said Chairman Pai.  “This new fund would target rural areas across the country where residents currently lack access to adequate broadband and would deploy high-speed broadband to millions of rural Americans in an efficient and effective manner.  In particular, as suggested by many Members of Congress, to encourage support for broadband networks that will stand the test of time, we are taking new steps to prioritize the deployment of faster-speed service, including gigabit connections.”

https://www.fcc.gov/document/chairman-pai-tees-rural-digital-opportunity-fund-vote

Thursday, December 12, 2019

FCC advances C-V2X in 5.9 GHz proposal

The FCC is proposing rule changes for the 5.9 GHz (5.850-5.925 GHz) band, which has been reserved for use by Dedicated Short-Range Communications (DSRC), a radio service designed to enable vehicle-related communications.  However, after 20 years, DSRC still has not been widely deployed, and this spectrum therefore generally remains unused.

The FCC is proposing to designate the lower 45 megahertz of the band for unlicensed uses like Wi-Fi.  This 45 megahertz sub-band can be combined with existing unlicensed spectrum to provide cutting-edge high-throughput broadband applications on channels up to 160 megahertz wide. 

The FCC is proposing to dedicate the remaining 30 megahertz of the band for use by transportation and vehicle safety-related communication services.  Specifically, in the NPRM, the Commission proposes to revise its rules to provide Cellular Vehicle to Everything (C-V2X), an emerging standard for transportation applications, with exclusive access to the upper 20 megahertz of the band.  Under the Commission’s current rules, no spectrum is allocated for C-V2X.  The NPRM seeks comment on whether to retain the remaining 10 megahertz for use by DSRC systems or to dedicate it for C-V2X use. 

"One promising new technology that is gaining momentum in the automotive industry is Cellular Vehicle to Everything, or C-V2X.  C-V2X would use standard cellular protocols to provide direct communications between vehicles, and, as the name suggests, everything—including other vehicles on the road, infrastructure (like light poles), cyclists (like me), pedestrians, and road workers.  C-V2X also is expected to support new, advanced applications as we transition to faster, more responsive 5G networks.  And it’s backed by automakers like Ford, Audi, BMW, Daimler, and Tesla.  So we’re proposing to designate the upper 20 MHz for this exciting, new automotive communications technology," states Ajit Pai, FCC Chairman.

FCC looks to open 3.1-3.55 GHz band for 5G

The FCC is considering opening the 3.1-3.55 GHz band for advanced commercial services, including 5G. Specifically, the FCC is proposing to remove and relocate the non-federal users in the 3.3-3.55 GHz portion of the band, which currently is allocated for non-federal secondary radiolocation services and amateur use.  The item also seeks comment on the relocation options and transition mechanisms for these incumbent non-federal users to the 3.1-3.3 GHz band or to other frequencies.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai states: "Our action today is just another example of our comprehensive strategy to free up spectrum for commercial use across the country and advance American leadership in the next generation of wireless connectivity.  We have been aggressive in freeing up mid-band spectrum in particular.  For instance, an auction of the 3.5 GHz band will commence on June 25, 2020.  The Commission is also focused on commencing an auction of 280 MHz of spectrum in the C-band late next year.  And we recently voted to put the 2.5 GHz band—the largest swath of contiguous spectrum in the country below 3 GHz—to use for the American people.

In addition to these mid-band efforts, we’ve also been hard at work when it comes to high-band spectrum.  In January, we finished an auction of spectrum in the 28 GHz band.  In May, we concluded an auction of spectrum in the 24 GHz band.  And earlier this week, we launched an auction of 3,400 MHz of spectrum in the upper 37, 39, and 47 GHz bands, which is the largest spectrum auction in American history." 

https://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-considers-facilitating-shared-use-31-355-ghz-band

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

FCC kicks off mmWave spectrum auction

The FCC commenced the next of its 5G auctions, with bidding on spectrum in the upper 37 GHz, 39 GHz, and 47 GHz bands (Auction 103).  The FCC is making 3,400 MHz of millimeter-wave spectrum available through this auction. 

Auction 103 will offer 14,144 Upper Microwave Flexible Use Service licenses in the Upper 37 GHz, 39 GHz, and 47 GHz bands, and the licenses will be based on Partial Economic Areas (PEAs). Category M/N consists of blocks in 37.6 – 40 GHz, including 10 blocks (Blocks M1–M10) in the Upper 37 GHz band and 14 blocks (Blocks N1–N14) in the 39 GHz band; and Category P consists of 10 blocks (Blocks P1–P10) in 47.2 – 48.2 GHz, the 47 GHz band.

Current auctions are posted here: https://www.fcc.gov/auction/103/round-results

“Today’s spectrum auction shows that America is continuing to lead the world in 5G, the next generation of wireless connectivity.  These airwaves will be critical in deploying 5G services and applications.  Auctioning the 39 GHz and upper 37 GHz bands together presents a critical opportunity for 5G deployment as it represents the largest amount of contiguous spectrum available in the millimeter-wave bands," stated FCC Chairman Ajit Pai.

“Notably, we’re setting up the Upper 37 GHz, 39 GHz, and 47 GHz auction to be our second-ever incentive auction.  This one will be different from the broadcast incentive auction that Congress authorized years ago, but it’ll have the same worthy goal: clearing or repacking existing licensees to make spectrum as useful as possible, boosting competition and benefiting consumers.

“Pushing more spectrum into the commercial marketplace is a key component of our 5G FAST plan to advance American leadership in the next generation of wireless connectivity.  Earlier this year, we concluded our first-ever high-band 5G auctions of the 28 GHz and 24 GHz bands. Next year, we look forward to initiating two mid-band spectrum auctions—the 3.5 GHz auction on June 25, 2020, and an auction in the 3.7-4.2 GHz band in the latter part of 2020.  These and other steps will help us stay ahead of the spectrum curve and allow wireless innovation to thrive on our shores.”

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

FCC targets $9 billion fund at 5G in rural America

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai intends to establish the 5G Fund, which would make up to $9 billion in Universal Service Fund support available to carriers to deploy advanced 5G mobile wireless services in rural America. 

This major investment in rural America would be allocated through a reverse auction and would target hard-to-serve areas with sparse populations and/or rugged terrain.  The $9 billion Fund also would set aside at least $1 billion specifically for deployments facilitating precision agriculture needs. 

“5G has the potential to bring many benefits to American consumers and businesses, including wireless networks that are more responsive, more secure, and up to 100 times faster than today’s 4G LTE networks,” said Chairman Pai.  “We want to make sure that rural Americans enjoy these benefits, just as residents of large urban areas will.  In order to do that, the Universal Service Fund must be forward-looking and support the networks of tomorrow.”

The 5G Fund would replace the planned Mobility Fund Phase II, which would have provided federal support for 4G LTE service in unserved areas.  Pursuant to the Mobility Fund Phase II rules, wireless providers were required to submit 4G LTE coverage data in order to help the Commission target federal subsidies to unserved parts of the country.  The Mobility Fund Phase II challenge process gave stakeholders an opportunity to dispute these coverage maps by submitting speed tests to the Commission.  But in a report released today, Commission staff finds that the 4G LTE coverage data submitted by providers is not sufficiently reliable for the purpose of moving forward with Mobility Fund Phase II. 

https://www.fcc.gov/document/pai-announces-plan-launch-9-billion-5g-fund-rural-america

Friday, November 29, 2019

FCC's Chief Engineer to retire

Julius Knapp, Chief of the Office of Engineering and Technology at the FCC, will retire on January 3, 2020, after more than 45 years at the Commission.

Chairman Pai issued the following statement about Mr. Knapp’s retirement:

“Julie Knapp is an FCC institution, and I will miss him for his expertise, his leadership, and his friendship.  He’s delivered incalculable value for American consumers over the years.  As just one example, if you have a device that uses the airwaves, the chances are that you’re benefiting from Julie’s efforts.  He’s played a key role in all of the Commission’s spectrum efforts over many years, from freeing up spectrum for 4G LTE and 5G to making more spectrum available for unlicensed operations like Wi-Fi to encouraging technologies of the future, like wireless medical services.  He has also been instrumental in modernizing and streamlining the FCC’s equipment authorization process, which helps get new devices into consumers’ hands quickly and safely."   

Sunday, November 24, 2019

FCC bars Huawei and ZTE from USF program

The FCC voted to prohibit the use of its $8.5 billion a year Universal Service Fund (USF) to purchase equipment and services from Huawei and ZTE.  The FCC cited a national security threat, noting that both Huawei and ZTE have close ties to the Chinese government and military. The newly adopted order also establishes a certification and audit regime to enforce the new rule.

Furthermore, the FCC is proposing to require carriers receiving USF funds, known as eligible telecommunications carriers, to remove and replace existing equipment and services from Huawei and ZTE. 

The FCC will study the extent to which eligible telecommunications carriers have equipment from Huawei and ZTE in their networks and the costs associated with removing and replacing such equipment. 

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai commented "We take these actions based on evidence in the record as well as longstanding concerns from the executive and legislative branches about the national security threats posed by certain foreign communications equipment manufacturers, most particularly Huawei and ZTE.  Both companies have close ties to China’s Communist government and military apparatus.  Both companies are subject to Chinese laws broadly obligating them to cooperate with any request from the country’s intelligence services and to keep those requests secret.  Both companies have engaged in conduct like intellectual property theft, bribery, and corruption. 
Moreover, we know that hidden “backdoors” to our networks in routers, switches, and other network equipment can allow a hostile adversary to inject viruses and other malware, steal Americans’ private data, spy on U.S. companies, and more." 

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

FCC to set rules Z-axis mobile location

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai released his proposal that would help first responders locate people who call 911 from wireless phones in multi-story buildings. 

Specifically, it would establish a vertical (or “z-axis”) location accuracy metric of three meters for 80% of indoor wireless 911 calls.  The FCC will vote on this proposal at its next meeting on November 19, 2019.

“If you call 911 for help, emergency responders need to know where to find you,” said Chairman Pai.  “But that can be a challenge if you make a wireless 911 call from a multi-story building, like many apartments and offices.  Even if first responders know which building you’re in—that is, your horizontal location—they may still need your vertical location to determine which floor you’re on.  Next month, the Commission will address this public safety gap.  If adopted, this new rule would help first responders locate emergency callers more quickly and accurately, which will save lives.  Establishing a z-axis metric of three meters is a major step forward, and I’m grateful for the broad support it’s received from the public safety community, including our nation’s firefighters.”

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

FCC votes 3-2 to approve T-Mobile-Sprint merger

FCC Commissioners voted 3-2 along party lines to approve the T-Mobile-Sprint merger.

In August, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai circulated a draft order with his fellow commissioners urging approval of the T-Mobile + Sprint deal subject to conditions imposed by the Department of Justice.

Voting in opposition to the merger, FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel stated: "We’ve all seen what happens when markets become more concentrated after a merger like this one. In the airline industry, it brought us baggage fees and smaller seats. In the pharmaceutical industry, it led to a handful of drug companies raising the prices of lifesaving medications. There’s no reason to think this time will be different. Overwhelming evidence demonstrates that the T-Mobile-Sprint merger will reduce competition, raise prices, lower quality, and slow innovation."

A coalition of 16 state attorneys general, including California and New York, have filed a lawsuit to block the proposed merger of telecommunications companies T-Mobile and Sprint. The states argue that the merger would lead to higher prices and fewer choices for consumers, particularly low-income subscribers of the companies’ services.

FCC authorizes $61m for rural broadband

The FCC authorized over $61.8 million in funding over the next decade to expand broadband to nearly 22,000 unserved rural homes and businesses in 14 states.

The funding is the sixth wave of support from last year’s successful Connect America Fund Phase II auction.

Broadband providers will begin receiving funding later this month. The FCC listed the following recipients:
State
Company
Minimum Speed
Support Over 10 Years
Locations
California
Frontier California
100/20 Mbps
$51,553
23
Colorado
Inventive Wireless of Nebraska
25/3 Mbps
$1,505,513
336
Iowa
Independent Networks
1 Gbps/500 Mbps
$288,834
123
Iowa
Maquoketa Valley Rural Electric Cooperative
1 Gbps/500 Mbps
$2,262,039
1,107
Kansas
Twin Valley Communications
1 Gbps/500 Mbps
$45,610
9
Louisiana
Allen's T.V. Cable Service
1 Gbps/500 Mbps
$1,776,733
794
Massachusetts
CRC Communications
25/3 Mbps
$921,505
772
Minnesota
Broadband Corp.
100/20 Mbps
$428,117
128
Minnesota
Farmers Mutual Telephone Company
1 Gbps/500 Mbps
$217,993
65
Montana
Gallatin Wireless Internet
25/3 Mbps
$4,012,941
1,256
Nebraska
Inventive Wireless of Nebraska
25/3 Mbps
$678
2
Oklahoma
Oklahoma Fiber
1 Gbps/500 Mbps
$1,715,314
1,460
Tennessee
Sunset Digital Communications
1 Gbps/500 Mbps
$5,595,555
2,095
Virginia
Sunset Digital Communications
1 Gbps/500 Mbps
$23,979,453
6,998
Washington
 LocalTel Communications
25/3 Mbps
$6,847,092
1,910
Wyoming
Inventive Wireless of Nebraska
25/3 Mbps
$3,734,455
1,354
Wyoming
Tri County Telephone Association
1 Gbps/500 Mbps, 25/3 Mbps
$3,004,236
1,930
Wyoming
Union Telephone Company
100/20 Mbps, 25/3 Mbps
$5,437,562
1,468
Total


$61,825,183
21,830


Tuesday, October 1, 2019

U.S. Court of Appeals rules on Net Neutrality

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to uphold the FCC’s 2017 Restoring Internet Freedom order but strike down the FCC’s preemption of state efforts to regulate the Internet.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai released the following statement: “Today’s decision is a victory for consumers, broadband deployment, and the free and open Internet.  The court affirmed the FCC’s decision to repeal 1930s utility-style regulation of the Internet imposed by the prior Administration.  The court also upheld our robust transparency rule so that consumers can be fully informed about their online options."

FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel countered:  “When the FCC rolled back net neutrality it was on the wrong side of the American people and the wrong side of history.  Today’s court decision shows that the agency also got it wrong on the law.  The agency made a mess when it gave broadband providers the power to block websites, throttle services, and censor online content.  Today’s court decision vacates the FCC’s unlawful effort to block states and localities from protecting an open internet for their citizens.  From small towns to big cities, from state houses to governors’ executive actions, states and localities have been stepping in because the FCC shirked its duties.  In addition, the court took the agency to task for disregarding its duty to consider how its decision threatens public safety, Lifeline service, and broadband infrastructure."

FCC Chairman Moves to Reverse Net Neutrality Rules

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai circulated a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking with his fellow commissioners at the FCC aimed at reversing the Title II "Net Neutrality" rules adopted in 2015.

In a published speech, Pai described the Title II rules as a regulatory mistake that slowed down telecom infrastructure spending in the United States by 5.6% percent, or $3.6 billion, between 2014 and 2016 for just the top 12 Internet service providers. He said the rules were not needed in 2015 because the Internet "was not broken" and that these 1930s era regulations were constraining the further rollouts of new infrastructure.

Key elements of Pai's proposal include (1) return the classification of broadband service from a Title II telecommunications service to a Title I information service (2) eliminate the so-called Internet conduct standard (3) seeks comment on how the FCC approach the so-called bright-line rules adopted in 2015.

The FCC will vote on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking at its meeting in May.

https://www.fcc.gov/document/chairman-pai-speech-future-internet-regulation

Thursday, September 26, 2019

FCC outlines 3.5 GHz auction plan for 2020

The FCC is proposing to auction seven Priority Access Licenses (PALs) in the 3550-3650 MHz portion of the 3.5 GHz Band for each county-based license area in the country, for a total of 22,631 PALs nationwide.  Each PAL will consist of a 10-megahertz unpaired channel assigned by automated frequency coordinators, known as Spectrum Access Systems.  Consistent with the Commission’s rules, Priority Access Licensees would be permitted to aggregate up to four PALs in any license area.

The 3.5 GHz band holds the potential to be prime spectrum for 5G services.

The FCC is now seeking comment on the following proposals:

Using an ascending clock auction format (similar to the format used for Auction 102 and to be used for Auction 103), in which bidders indicate their demand for generic license blocks in specific counties;
Offering bidders the option to bid at a Cellular Market Area (CMA) level in the 172 CMAs that are classified as Metropolitan Statistical Areas and comprise multiple counties; and
Incorporating an “activity upper limit” that would allow bidders to submit bids that exceed their current bidding eligibility, to help mitigate the possibility of losing bidding eligibility under certain circumstances.

The FCC's Public Notice also proposes rules for bidding credit caps, upfront payments, bidding eligibility, minimum opening bids, bid removal and withdrawal, and other auction procedures for Auction 105, which is set to begin on June 25, 2020.



Monday, September 16, 2019

FCC approves CommScope's CBRS Spectrum Access System

CommScope received official notification from the FCC that its spectrum access system (SAS) to support the Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) is now certified for initial commercial deployment.

With the notification earlier this year from the Institute for Telecommunication Sciences that its Environmental Sensing Capability (ESC) sensor passed testing, and the addition of Ruckus Networks’ Band 48 CBRS devices (or access points) and cloud services, CommScope said it is now poised to deliver on the promise of wireless coverage and capacity for in-building, public spaces and IoT.

“With the public notice from the FCC, companies can finally enter initial commercial deployment and begin to realize the value that private LTE can bring to their buildings, campuses, employees, customers and business,” said Iain Gillott, president and founder of iGR. “CommScope is demonstrating its commitment to bringing CBRS to life with a full solution consisting of CBRS access points, SAS and ESC. The industry needs an end-to-end solution to give organizations the ability to quickly, and confidently, deploy LTE-based wireless solutions.”


  • In 2018, AT&T announced CommScope was selected as the SAS provider for its first 5G-ready CBRS network solution. In addition, CommScope’s SAS is in trials with other major carriers for customers in a variety of industries.



CBRS milestone: Commscope and Google pass test

The Institute for Telecommunication Sciences (ITS) has given a passing grade to a Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) Environmental Sensing Capability (ESC) system developed by CommScope and Google.

ITS, which is part of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), is the official test lab that has been tasked with confirming the performance of ESCs.

CBRS provides 150 MHz of spectrum in the 3.5 GHz band in the U.S. CBRS spectrum is managed by Spectrum Access Systems (SASs) but will require an ESC network to detect federal radar operations. The ESC will alert the SASs of federal radar activity, and SASs will then reconfigure nearby CBRS devices to operate without interfering with federal operations.

“Our ESC sensor has passed all required testing for certification - demonstrating that we can detect all current and future radar waveforms and our respective SASs can protect incumbent users,” said Mat Varghese, Senior Product Manager, Wireless Services, Google. “This is an important milestone and we are looking ahead toward commercial operations in CBRS.”

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

FCC Chairman urges approval of T-Mobile + Sprint

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai circulated a draft order with his fellow commissioners urging approval of the T-Mobile + Sprint deal subject to conditions imposed by the Department of Justice.

“After one of the most exhaustive merger reviews in Commission history, the evidence conclusively demonstrates that this transaction will bring fast 5G wireless service to many more Americans and help close the digital divide in rural areas. Moreover, with the conditions included in this draft Order, the merger will promote robust competition in mobile broadband, put critical mid-band spectrum to use, and bring new competition to the fixed broadband market.” said Chairman Pai. “I thank our transaction team for the thorough and careful analysis reflected in this draft Order and hope that my colleagues will vote to approve it.”

Sunday, August 11, 2019

FCC Chairman Pai: Current RF exposure limits are good

FCC chairman Ajit Pai is proposing to maintain current RF exposure safety limits, saying the United States’ RF exposure limits for handheld devices are already among the most stringent in the world.

Pai's proposal would also establish a uniform set of guidelines for ensuring compliance with the limits regardless of the service or technology, replacing the Commission’s current inconsistent
patchwork of service-specific rules.

“The FCC sets radiofrequency limits in close consultation with the FDA and other health agencies. After a thorough review of the record and consultation with these agencies, we find
it appropriate to maintain the existing radiofrequency limits, which are among the most stringent in the world for cell phones,” said Julius Knapp, chief of the FCC’s Office of Engineering and Technology. As Jeffrey Shuren, Director of the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, wrote to the FCC, “[t]he available scientific evidence to date does not support adverse health effects in humans due to exposures at or under the current limits…” and “[n]o changes to the current standards are warranted at this time.”

https://www.fcc.gov/rfsafety

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

FCC clarifies rules for 5G auction in upper 37 GHz, 39GHz, and 47 GHz bands

The FCC established procedures for the third auction of high-band, flexible-use licenses suitable for 5G. 

This auction of airwaves in the Upper 37 GHz, 39 GHz, and 47 GHz spectrum bands will be the largest spectrum auction in our nation’s history, offering licenses covering up to 3,400 megahertz. 

Bidding in Auction 103 is scheduled to commence on December 10, 2019.  The Public Notice approved by the FCC today provides details regarding the procedures, terms, conditions, dates, and deadlines governing participation in Auction 103, as well as an overview of the post-auction application and payment processes. 

Auction 103 is designed as an incentive auction that will provide incentive payments to existing 39 GHz licensees that relinquish their spectrum usage rights, increasing the amount of 39 GHz spectrum available for new licenses.  The auction will offer licenses for 100 megahertz blocks of spectrum in Partial Economic Areas (PEA) through a clock phase and an assignment phase.  The clock phase will allow bidding on generic blocks in two categories—one for Upper 37 GHz and 39 GHz, and one for 47 GHz—in each PEA.  The clock phase will serve to determine both the winners of generic spectrum blocks and the amount of incentive payments due to those incumbent licensees in the 39 GHz band that opt to relinquish their spectrum usage rights.  The assignment phase will allow bidding for frequency-specific license assignments, while ensuring contiguous block assignments within a PEA.


FCC issues rules for broadband access in apartments

The FCC adopted the following items with the intent of promoting facilities-based broadband deployment and greater consumer choice for Americans living in apartment buildings:


  • First, in a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), the FCC seeks public input on additional actions it could take to accelerate the deployment of next-generation networks and services within MTEs.  In particular, the NPRM seeks comment on the impact that revenue sharing agreements between building owners and broadband providers, exclusivity agreements regarding rooftop facilities, and exclusive wiring arrangements have on broadband competition and deployment
  • Second, in a Declaratory Ruling, the Commission clarifies that it welcomes state and local experimentation to increase access to MTEs—so long as those actions are consistent with federal law and policy.
  • Third, in the same Declaratory Ruling, the Commission preempts part of an outlier San Francisco ordinance to the extent it requires the sharing of in-use wiring in MTEs.  Required sharing of in-use wiring deters broadband deployment, undercuts the Commission’s rules regarding control of cable wiring in residential MTEs, and threatens the Commission’s framework to protect the technical integrity of cable systems for the benefit of viewers. 

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai issued the following comment with regard to the San Francisco ordinance: "Unsurprisingly, some oppose our decision to preempt today.  I would say that they are making a mountain out of a molehill, but in reality, there isn’t even a molehill here.  Throughout this proceeding, the City of San Francisco has failed to mount any defense whatsoever of requiring the sharing of in-use wiring.  Yet before I circulated this draft Declaratory Ruling to my colleagues three weeks ago, the city also refused to say that its ordinance didn’t mandate the sharing of in-use wiring.  Indeed, it was only last week that the city finally stopped playing games with this Schrödinger’s cat of an ordinance and belatedly claimed that its ordinance “does not require sharing of ‘in-use’ wiring.”

https://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-spurs-broadband-access-apartments-condos-office-buildings

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

FCC to overhaul 2.5 GHz band (2496-2690 MHz) for 5G

The FCC unveiled its proposal to make available for 5G lots of mid-band spectrum that is current fallow.

Specifically, the new rules would transform the regulatory framework governing the 2.5 GHz band (2496-2690 MHz), the single largest band of contiguous spectrum below 3 gigahertz.

This spectrum was set aside more than 20 years ago for future Educational Broadcast Services (EBS).

Some highlights of the FCC's Report and Order:
  • Establish a priority filing window for rural Tribal Nations to provide them with an opportunity to
  • obtain unassigned 2.5 GHz spectrum to address the needs of their communities.
  • Make any remaining unassigned 2.5 GHz spectrum available for commercial use via competitive
  • bidding immediately following the completion of the Tribal priority filing window.
  • Adopt counties as the appropriate geographic area size for new overlay licenses and a band plan
  • with two sizes of licenses: a 100 megahertz block and a 16.5 megahertz block.
  • Adopt construction deadlines so that new licensees build out this midband spectrum.
  • Eliminate outdated rules preventing this spectrum from being put to its highest and best use,
  • including restrictions on who may be a licensee, restrictions on how licensees must use the
  • spectrum, and restrictions on how licensees may lease spectrum to other entities.
  • • Leave unaffected the terms of any private contractual arrangement or any provisions in existing
  • leases that provide a licensee with airtime, equipment, or capacity—incumbent licensees are
  • simply given more flexibility to put existing licenses to their best use

At its upcoming open meeting in July, the FCC will also consider application and bidding procedures for Auction 103, the incentive auction of Upper Microwave Flexible Use Service licenses in the Upper 37 GHz, 39 GHz, and 47 GHz bands.

https://www.fcc.gov/document/transforming-25-ghz-band-5g

Monday, June 10, 2019

FCC authorizes $166.8 million for rural broadband

The FCC authorized $166.8 million in funding over the next decade to expand broadband to 60,850 unserved rural homes and businesses in 22 states. This represents the second wave of support from last year’s successful Connect America Fund Phase II auction.  Providers will begin receiving funding this month.

In total, the auction last fall allocated $1.488 billion in support to expand broadband to more than 700,000 unserved rural homes and small businesses over the next 10 years.  The FCC authorized the first wave of funding in May, providing $111.6 million in funding over the next decade to expand service to 37,148 unserved homes and businesses in 12 states.

To date, the first two rounds of authorizations are providing $278.4 million over the next decade to expand service to 97,998 new locations.  Over the coming months, the FCC will be authorizing additional funding as it approves the final applications of the winning bidders from the auction.

“I’m pleased to announce that the second round of funding starts now for buildout of high-speed Internet service to 60,850 rural homes and businesses, which will bring them to the right side of the digital divide and give them access to the 21st-century opportunities that broadband offers,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai.  “Providers will be deploying gigabit-speed connections to the majority of locations for which funding is being authorized today, while nearly 8,000 homes and small businesses on Tribal lands will be getting fixed broadband service for the first time.”

The funding applications approved by the Commission today include the following:

  • Central Virginia Services, an electric coop, is receiving $28.6 million to deploy gigabit connections to nearly 11,000 locations in rural Virginia
  • NTUA Wireless is receiving $28.4 million to serve over 7,000 homes and small businesses in Tribal areas of Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah, while SW DinehNet will serve 869 Tribal locations in New Mexico
  • Co-Mo Comm, an electric coop, is receiving nearly $22 million to deploy gigabit connections to over 8,350 rural locations in Missouri
  • Commnet of Nevada is receiving $23.6 million to provide service to over 12,800 homes and businesses in 11 counties in rural Nevada

A full list of recipients is online.

https://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-authorizes-1668-million-expand-rural-broadband-22-states

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

FCC: List of winning bidders for 28 GHz licenses

The FCC announced the following winning bidders for its auction of 28 GHz upper microwave flexible use service licenses (Auction 101):


https://www.fcc.gov/document/auction-101-results-public-notice


See also