FCC Readies Spectrum Votes in March

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Several items of interest to the wireless industry are planned for votes at next month’s FCC meeting. The agency plans to tackle an order making high-frequency spectrum above 95 GHz available for unlicensed use. It will also take up a proposal to encourage wireless carriers to lease unused spectrum to smaller providers to serve rural areas, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said in a blog post

He’s also proposing to make a segment of the 900 MHz band available for broadband, using a voluntary exchange system that would allow existing licensees to agree on a plan for relocating incumbents and transitioning the band.

Pivoting to public safety, knowing a 911 caller’s exact location in a multi-story building is crucial, Pai told attendees at a public safety meeting last week. “To better equip first responders to do their jobs, we’ll be voting on a proposal to establish a vertical, or z-axis, location accuracy metric of three meters,” he stated. Pai added he’s optimistic that, after receiving feedback on the proposal, the agency will be able to adopt final rules on this issue, later this year. 

A rural call completion item is on tap as well. The Commission intends to vote on establishing service quality standards for intermediate carriers that take the call from the originating carrier and send it toward the terminating carrier. The point is to ensure any calls they handle reach their intended destination.

And finally, the FCC plans to adopt a dispersal scheme for an additional $1 billion in repack reimbursements funds. Congress approved the additional money last year, and also expanded the list of those eligible for reimbursement, to include affected low-power TV stations, TV translators, and FM radio stations.  Comments? Email Us.    

February 25, 2019

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