FCC Adopts Order Expanding Unlicensed Wireless Operations in TV White Spaces

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The Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) has adopted a Report and Order (Order) amending Part 15 of the Commission’s rules to allow for expanded use of spectrum in the TV white spaces for the delivery of broadband services in rural and underserved communities.  Specifically, the FCC has increased the maximum permissible power and antenna height for fixed white space devices operating in rural and unserved areas in the TV white space bands.  The amended rules also increase the minimum required separation distances between protected services and these unlicensed services in order to avoid harmful interference.

The Commission also adopted an accompanying Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to explore whether or not to modify its rules to permit the use of terrain-based models to determine available channels in the TV white space bands for white space devices.

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