FCC Adopts Rules to Facilitate Increased Use of Spectrum in 4.9 GHz Band

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The Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) has adopted a Report and Order (Order) permitting a statewide 4940-4990 MHz (4.9 GHz) band licensee, in those states where the FCC has not identified a diverter of 911 fees, to lease its spectrum rights to third parties to boost wireless broadband, improve critical infrastructure monitoring, and facilitate public safety use.  The rights of incumbent public safety licensees will not be limited or modified and states will be able to use this spectrum to meet their unique needs.  The Commission hopes that this framework can make the best use of this 4.9 GHz spectrum, which is currently underused.

The Commission also adopted a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM) that builds upon the framework created in the Order.  It specifically proposes to make permanent the current freeze on new applications and grandfather all current public safety licensees and proposes to allow states, without a statewide license, to obtain such license.  The FNPRM seeks comment on the creation of a voluntary state band manager to coordinate operations in the band and additional ways to implement robust use of spectrum in this band.

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