FCC plots 3.5GHz licensing overhaul; consults on nationwide portability

27 Oct 2017

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has proposed a number of revisions to its rules governing the 3.5GHz band, which it says will help promote investment and keep up with technological advancements. In particular, the watchdog is seeking feedback on potential changes to the rules governing the second service tier of the 3.5GHz band’s three-tier framework, known as ‘Priority Access Licences’. These changes include longer licence terms with the possibility of renewal; larger geographic licence areas; and modifications to the rules governing licence auctions, secondary market transactions and certain technical criteria. The FCC hopes that these changes to the licensing and technical rules could help increase incentives for investment, encourage more efficient spectrum use, and promote robust network deployments in both urban and rural communities, and pave the way for the 3.5GHz band to be used as a core component of 5G network deployments.

In other news, the FCC is looking to expand the ‘limited’ nationwide scope of number portability (NP) in the US. As such, the watchdog is seeking comment on the best ways to provide a complete nationwide number portability solution. The regulator writes: ‘Nationwide number portability would benefit consumers and competition in many ways. It would level the playing field for small wireless providers, which often can’t port in a number originating from a location where they lack facilities. It would eliminate disparities that make wireline and VoIP porting more limited than wireless porting. And it would increase network efficiency in an era where all-distance calling is the norm.’

United States, Federal Communications Commission (FCC)