FCC Could Change Course on Licensing for 3.5 GHz Citizens Band Radio Service

CBRS is now being used for rural coverage in areas like the Sierra Nevadas in California and rural Georgia October 27, 2017

WASHINGTON — A 150-MHz swath of spectrum in the 3.5 GHz band, called the Citizens Band Radio Service by the FCC, and currently described in part 90 of the rules, will operate on a three-tier basis under rules described in part 96, once the new rules are finalized, according to rcrwireless.com. The current plan includes use by federal and non-federal incumbents, priority access licensees and general authorized access users. Access would be under a flexible model taking advantage of technology to reduce interference between users.

CBRS is now being used for rural coverage in areas like the Sierra Nevadas in California and rural Georgia, where ExteNet Systems has been working with locals WISPs in building systems compliant with the FCC’s Part 90 rules and ready, eventually, to upgrade to the Part 96.

However, The FCC recently voted to ask for comments on changes around the uses of the 3.5GHz, a move that might change the game for WISPs, enterprises and others, according to lightreading.com. The original ruling on 3.5 GHz CBRS would have offered licenses based on census tracts with a 3-year use term.  The recent Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on which the FCC just voted asks for comment on allowing Public Access Licenses (PALs) to cover wider geographical areas and be offered for longer terms, “more like a traditional 3G or 4G spectrum license, in other words,” according to the same article.

 

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