12/2016 Regulatory Updates


FCC created Part 96 Citizens Broadband Radio Service rules for the 3550-3700 MHz band

  • Three-tiered access for (1) incumbents, (2) Priority Access Licenses (PALs) and (3) General Authorized Access (GAA)
  • Work progressing on needed systems
    • Spectrum Access System (SAS) to control device usage
    • Environmental Sensing Capability (ESC) to allow SAS to protect federal radar systems

Clearing target of 84 MHz set for Stage 4 of the Broadcast Television Spectrum Incentive Auction; Stage 4 bidding in the reverse auction will start on December 31, 2016

Spectrum Frontiers – Above 24 GHz Proceeding  (GN Docket No. 14-177; RM-11664

  • (First) Report and Order created Part 30 Upper Microwave Flexible Use Service (UMFUS)
    • Flexible use including mobile in 28 and 39 GHz
    • Opened 64-71 GHz for unlicensed operations under Part 15
  • Further NPRM sought comment on flexible use in the following bands:  24 GHz, 32 GHz, 42 GHz, 47 GHz, 50 GHz, 71-76 GHz / 81-86 GHz, and above 95 GHz

Higher Ground LLC application for consumer-based text messaging/light email and Internet of Things communications using a cell phone attachment and via geostationary C-band satellites

  • Rule waivers requested:
    • Mobile operations in a fixed service band
    • Replace Part 101 frequency coordination with self-coordination
  • Application opposed by a number of filers, not yet granted

Proposed E-band (71-76 GHz / 81-86 GHz) rule changes

  • Fixed Wireless Communications Coalition (FWCC) request for rules to allow smaller (38 dBi) antennas (WT Docket No. 10-153) and requests by parties for waiver authorization for the same antennas
    • Widely supported, opposed by at least two parties
  • FWCC request filed November 30, 2016 for:
    • Construction notification requirement and deletion of unconstructed links from the registration databases
    • Flexibility to update links with changes that do not increase potential interference and preserve prior registration time-stamp

FWCC rulemaking petition filed October 11, 2016 (appeared on FCC public notice December 9, 2016) for rules to limit routine full-band full-arc licensing of earth stations in the fixed satellite service

Mimosa Networks filed request for wider channels in the 23 GHz band (WT Docket No. 10-153)

  • Supported in September, 2016 comments filed by FWCC and NSMA

FCC NPRM proposed use of 5925-6700 MHz band for Aeronautical Mobile Telemetry (AMT) for aircraft flight testing at a number of test areas, based on WRC-07 (ET Docket No. 15-99)

Microwave industry seeking to preserve categorical exclusion from routinely having to show compliance with RF exposure guidelines since FS operational characteristics and directional antennas tend to preclude harmful exposures (ET Docket No. 13-84)