Thursday, July 11, 2019

Amid High Drama, FCC Votes to Open 2.5 GHz to Wireless Use

The FCC voted Wednesday to update its rules for the 2.5 GHz band to make this mid-band spectrum available for advanced wireless services. The 2.5 GHz band is the single largest band of contiguous spectrum below 3 GHz. It offers favorable coverage and capacity characteristics for next-generation mobile services, according to the Commission. The contentious vote partially split along party lines, with the majority Republicans saying the band is underutilized and the minority Democrats countering the item is unfair to the schools and educational systems that now use the spectrum.

Inside Towers reported Commissioner Brendan Carr has been querying some current users of the so-called Education Broadband Services (EBS) spectrum, saying some are not using the funds for the purpose which they’re intended, but diverting the money to other uses — like political purposes. “We need to get to the bottom of these shady practices. Strong enforcement is especially important right now, because this order allows national nonprofits and all other 2.5 GHz license holders to sell their licenses potentially at great profit.”

Carr also says the current 30 percent build-out obligation is “out of step” with the performance requirements the agency imposes on other wireless licensees and should be raised to 80 percent. The Report & Order doesn’t specify that, he said, but creates a way to do so in the future. Continue Reading

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