Chairman Pai Proposes Updating TV White Space Rules

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai proposed providing additional opportunities for unlicensed white space devices to deliver wireless broadband services in rural areas. Such devices operate in portions of the broadcast television bands (channels 2-35) and spectrum not being used for authorized services. Specifically, Chairman Pai is proposing to permit higher transmit power and higher antennas for fixed white space devices in rural areas. If adopted, these changes would allow white space devices to reach users at greater distances, thus enabling improved broadband coverage. Higher power would also enable signals to better penetrate foliage, buildings, and other obstacles. Additionally, his proposal would permit higher power mobile operations within geofenced areas and proposes rule revisions to facilitate the development of new and innovative narrowband Internet of Things-based services. Because white space device operations must protect other authorized services from interference, Chairman Pai is also proposing to increase the minimum required separation distances for white space devices operating at higher power.

The FCC will vote on his proposal, which he shared with his fellow Commissioners, at the FCC’s monthly Open Meeting on February 28. If this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking is adopted, the public will have the opportunity to provide feedback prior to the FCC adopting final rules.

Chairman Pai Proposes Updating TV White Space Rules Pai Pushes TV White Spaces Rule for Rural/Underserved Broadband Delivery (B&C)