Keeping Up A Fast Pace On Spectrum

The Federal Communications Commission's October agenda will address three issues critical to advancing the 5G FAST Plan—creating more opportunities for unlicensed innovation in the 6 GHz band, expanding spectrum opportunities for 5G in the 3.5 GHz band, and updating our business data services rules for smaller, rural carriers in order to promote fiber deployment.

I’m proposing new rules allowing unlicensed devices to use the 6 GHz band. My proposal would promote efficient use of spectrum that may otherwise not be used at all—and it could make over 1 gigahertz of new unlicensed spectrum available.

FCC Commissioner Mike O’Rielly has taken the lead on exploring ways to better use the 3.5 GHz band. We’ll take up the plan he’s developed.  It makes targeted changes to our rules to promote investment and innovation in this important band.  For example, by allowing providers to renew 3.5 GHz licenses, we will substantially increase their incentives to deploy 5G networks using this spectrum. 

We’ll also vote on modernizing our rules governing business data services for certain small rural carriers—specifically, those known as Alternative Connect America Model, or A-CAM, carriers. 

I’m making two proposals to update our media rules to reflect today’s marketplace. The first proposal explores whether to fundamentally change the FCC’s decades-old cable rate regulatory scheme, with the goal of modernizing and simplifying our rules.

The second proposal recognizes this thing called the Internet, ending a filling requirement that requires broadcasters to submit paper copies of certain contracts to the FCC. Given that television stations along with AM and FM radio stations are already required to allow the public to obtain these documents through their online public inspection files, it no longer makes sense to mandate that broadcasters send hard copies of these documents to the Commission.

For far too long, companies have been struggling under our arcane rules for narrowband services, or “private land mobile radio” services as they’re commonly called.  So we’re taking steps to enable more intensive use of this workhorse spectrum on which first responders, state and local governments, large and small businesses, electric utilities, transportation providers, the medical community, and many others depend. We’ll vote on (among other things) eliminating unnecessary restrictions in our rules, boosting capacity by making way for new “interstitial” channels, and ending an outdated “freeze” on spectrum sharing that was first put into place in 1995.

Keeping Up A Fast Pace On Spectrum