Charlie Meisch, (202) 418-2943
New Rules Will Maximize Unlicensed Access to Spectrum while Ensuring Licensed Services Are Protected from Harmful Interference Following the Incentive Auction
WASHINGTON, August 6, 2015 – The Federal Communications Commission adopted a Report and Order that modernizes its Part 15 rules to accommodate growing demand for and encourage innovation in unlicensed use. The new rules adopted today will permit unlicensed fixed and personal/portable white space devices and unlicensed wireless microphones to use channels in the 600 MHz and television broadcast bands while continuing to protect television and other licensed services from harmful interference.
Unlicensed devices have grown from basic garage door openers and cordless phones to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technologies to the “Internet of Things.” The Commission’s Part 15 rules permit unlicensed devices to operate on unused TV channels, the so-called “white space” spectrum. Following the upcoming incentive auction, there may be fewer white space frequencies in the television band for use by such devices.
The Report and Order adopted today is designed to allow for more robust unlicensed use and to promote spectral efficiency in the 600 MHz band. Specifically the rules:
With today’s action, the Commission fulfills its commitment in the Incentive Auction Report and Order to provide nationwide access to spectrum for unlicensed use in the 600 MHz band.
Action by the Commission August 6, 2015 by Report and Order (FCC 15-99). Chairman Wheeler, Commissioners Clyburn and Rosenworcel approving. Commissioners Pai and O'Rielly approving in part and concurring in part. Chairman Wheeler, Commissioners Clyburn, Rosenworcel, Pai and O’Rielly issuing statements.
ET Docket No. 14-165; GN Docket No. 12-268
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This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action. See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).