FCC Modernizes Cellular Rules to Increase Innovation, Investment and High Speed Mobile Broadband Services

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The FCC has released a Public Notice announcing the adoption of a Second Report and Order, Report and Order, and Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM) reforming outdated Cellular service rules to facilitate use of the cellular spectrum for high-speed mobile broadband services such as long term evolution (LTE). To accommodate demand for mobile broadband service, reduce barriers to innovation and investment, and ease administrative burdens, the FCC states that it is revising cellular technical rules to allow licensees to transmit the same amount of power across the spectrum band, whether they offer a legacy (narrow bandwidth) technology or modern (wider bandwidth) technology like LTE, while retaining the interference resolution rules to protect neighboring public safety systems. The FCC states it will also treat cellular spectrum the same as other similar commercial wireless spectrum by conforming the cellular rules related to power measurement, out of band emissions, field strength, and discontinuance of operations. The FCC will also eliminate unnecessary rules and burdens related to application filings, domestic and international coordination, and comparative renewal. In the FNPRM, the FCC proposes to eliminate unnecessary rules related to records retention, operators and control points, and employment reports, and seeks comment on whether to simplify and consolidate the rules for Cellular and other commercial wireless services.

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