The FCC has released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that explores how potential changes to its partitioning, disaggregation, and spectrum leasing rules might increase spectrum access for small carriers and in rural markets. Specifically, the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeks comment on the following:
- Whether to establish a program, or modify existing programs, for partitioning, disaggregation, and spectrum leasing as a potential means to increase the availability of advanced telecommunications services in rural areas and spectrum access by small carriers.
- Whether to allow “reaggregation” for spectrum that has been partitioned or disaggregated on the secondary market, up to the size of the original market area.
- Whether reduced performance requirements applicable to partitioned or disaggregated licenses would promote the availability of spectrum for small covered carriers.
- What conditions may be needed to eliminate impediments to transfers of spectrum to small carriers to allow them to build out in a reasonable time.
- What incentives may encourage licensees to lease or sell spectrum to small carriers or unaffiliated carriers that will serve rural areas.
Comments are due 60 days after the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking is published in the Federal Register, and reply comments are due 90 days after the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking is published in the Federal Register.