First Tribal 2.5 GHz License Applications Pass Initial Scrutiny


More than 150 tribal applications for 2.5 GHz band spectrum licenses have passed the FCC’s initial review. That brings them a step closer to obtaining access to prime mid-band spectrum to provide broadband and other next-generation wireless services to their rural communities.    

Earlier this year, the agency opened a first-ever window for tribes to apply for spectrum licenses in the band to serve rural areas without having to bid in an auction. The agency received more than 400 applications for unassigned 2.5 GHz band spectrum. 

The Wireless Communications Bureau said Tuesday 157 applications have been found to be acceptable for filing, meaning they’ve passed initial scrutiny. The agency is now soliciting public comment on these applications before any final action is taken.  

Successful tribal applicants will receive licenses for exclusive use of up to 117.5 megahertz of 2.5 GHz spectrum; an auction of overlay licenses for any remaining unassigned 2.5 GHz spectrum is expected to begin in the first half of 2021.

FCC staff will continue to review and process all applications filed in the priority window.

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