FCC Proposes Expanding Access to 70/80/90 GHz Spectrum Bands

On June 9, 2020, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced a proposal for modernizing rules for additional  millimeter-wave spectrum bands. The agency seeks comments on rule changes to promote innovative and more efficient use of the 70/80/90 GHz bands.

5G Americas President, Chris Pearson comments:

“5G Americas commends the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) in its ongoing efforts to help Americans realize the greatest benefits from wireless spectrum. It has clarified rules to streamline infrastructure builds at, and beyond, current cell towers that will resonate for years to come. In addition, the FCC has identified the usefulness of the E-Band for 5G backhaul, increasing more ways 5G cell sites can send and receive data. We thank the FCC for continuing to focus on the importance of 5G for the U.S."

Chris Pearson, President, 5G Americas Tweet

See below for entire FCC press release.

FCC PROPOSES MODERNIZING RULES FOR ADDITIONAL MILLIMETER-WAVE SPECTRUM BANDS

Agency Seeks Comment on Rule Changes to Promote Innovative and More Efficient Use of the 70/80/90 GHz Bands

WASHINGTON, June 9, 2020—The Federal Communications Commission voted today to initiate a proceeding to make more efficient use of additional millimeter-band spectrum resources, including for the provision of wireless backhaul for 5G and the deployment of broadband services to aircraft and ships.

In the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, the Commission explores new and innovative commercial uses of the 71–76 GHz, 81–86 GHz, 92–94 GHz, and 94.1–95 GHz bands, collectively known as the 70/80/90 GHz bands.  These 70/80/90 GHz bands are unused or underused in large parts of the country with current use of the spectrum primarily concentrated along a few high-traffic routes. 

The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeks comment on various proposals for expanded use of the 70/80/90 GHz bands for a myriad of innovative services by commercial industry, while protecting incumbent users of the band including federal users.  The item approved today proposes changes to the Commission’s antenna rules for the 70/80/90 GHz bands that would allow for smaller antennas in these bands.  This could lower costs, facilitate network densification, and help support the provision of backhaul for emerging 5G services.  The item also seeks comment on amending existing rules or establishing new rules that would allow for the use of the 70/80/90 GHz bands for the delivery of broadband internet access aboard aircraft in flight and ships at sea.  

The action taken today is another step in the agency’s comprehensive strategy to Facilitate America’s Superiority in 5G Technology (the 5G FAST Plan).  More information on the 5G FAST Plan is available at: https://www.fcc.gov/5G.

Action by the Commission June 9, 2020 by Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Order (FCC 20-76).  Chairman Pai, Commissioners O’Rielly, Carr, Rosenworcel, and Starks approving.  Chairman Pai and Commissioner Rosenworcel issuing separate statements.

WT Docket Nos. 20-133, 10-153, 15-244; RM-11824, RM-11825

Link to original FCC Press Release

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