The FCC’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (Bureau) has extended until October 17, 2020, the transition deadline for those Part 90 licensees, both grandfathered and non-grandfathered, required to transition their 3.65 GHz operations by April 17, 2020, to the Citizens Band Radio Service (CBRS). All licensees that would otherwise have had to transition their 3.65 GHz operations by April 17, 2020, now have until October 17, 2020. The Bureau takes this action to ensure that customers of the affected licensees can stay connected to broadband and essential services during the declared state of national emergency concerning the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2015, the FCC adopted rules for the shared commercial use of the 3550-3700 MHz Band by creating the CBRS. At that time, the FCC adopted a period for existing licensees in the 3650-3700 MHz band to transition to CBRS. The new transition deadline does not alter the rights of licensees that have a longer time to transition based on a later expiration of their license terms. In addition, any licenses expiring between the adoption of the subject Order and April 17, 2020, that are eligible for renewal, will be modified to expire on October 17, 2020, for both grandfathered and non-grandfathered licensees. During this time, 3650-3700 MHz band licensees will be permitted to continue operating consistent with their current status (grandfathered or non-grandfathered). On October 17, 2020, all 3650-3700 MHz band licensees affected by this waiver/extension are required to complete the transition of their operations to CBRS or cease operating at non-transitioned sites. Finally, the Bureau will not accept nor process any new Part 90 site registrations received on or after the adoption of the subject Order.