Wednesday, October 24, 2018

CBRS Vote Proves Strident

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel
The FCC voted Tuesday to update the Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) in the 3.5 GHz band, saying the changes would increase incentives, innovation and investment for 5G and other services. Supporters, like large carriers, say the changes will provide certainty to those who wants to introduce new services. Opponents, including some small broadband providers, say it will do the opposite, and the result will be a 5G-only band.

FCC Commissioners took care to describe their compromise effort during the vote, but divisions were evident.  

The original rules, established in 2015, enable shared access between federal and non-federal users, consisting of incumbents, Priority Access Licenses (PALs) and General Authorized Access users. The Report and Order changes the size of PAL licenses from census tracts to counties and extends PAL license terms to 10 years.

FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly said it “was clear” the rules crafted by the past Administration “were not supportive” of 5G networks. The rules were “designed for some to get licenses on the cheap. We right the ship today so there’s opportunity for all, regardless of whether an entity is interested in fixed or mobile wireless technology.” Continue Reading

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