FCC Grants First 2.5 GHz Licenses to Rural Tribes


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The FCC issued the first set of mid-band spectrum licenses through the agency’s first Rural Tribal Priority Window to tribal entities. The Wireless Telecommunications Bureau granted 154 applications for use of the 2.5 GHz band to provide broadband and other advanced wireless services, including 5G, to rural tribal communities.

These licenses provide for exclusive use of up to 117.5 MHz of 2.5 GHz band spectrum. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai called the grants “a major step forward” in the Commission’s efforts to close the digital divide. 

“Few communities face the digital connectivity challenges faced by rural tribes. Having visited many of these communities and met with tribal leaders, I have seen first-hand the connectivity difficulties facing Native Nations. I am exceedingly pleased that—less than a year after we announced the timeline for the Rural Tribal Priority Window—we are now distributing 2.5 GHz band licenses.”

During the priority window, the Commission received over 400 applications to obtain overlay licenses for unassigned 2.5 GHz band spectrum to help address tribes’ connectivity needs. Here’s a list of the 154 granted applications by name, and by state.

FCC staff continues to review and process all applications filed in the priority window; find more information on application processing and status here.

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