FCC establishes ECIP to help make underutilised spectrum available to rural carriers, Tribal Nations

15 Jul 2022

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has voted to create a new ‘Enhanced Competition Incentive Program (ECIP)’ to establish incentives for mobile licensees to make underutilised spectrum available to small carriers, Tribal Nations and entities serving rural areas. The new programme encourages licensees to partition, disaggregate or lease spectrum to better match available spectrum resources with entities that seek to provide needed services to under-connected communities. The action builds upon Congressional goals in the ‘MOBILE NOW Act’ to incentivise beneficial transactions in the public interest. Transactions through the new programme must offer at least half of the licensed spectrum from a given Wireless Radio Service licence to an unaffiliated eligible entity for long-term use within specific geographic parameters.