900 MHz Realignment Vote Set for FCC’s May Meeting
Tuesday, April 21, 2020 | Comments

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced that a report and order to reconfigure the 900 MHz band for the deployment of broadband services and technologies is on the commission’s May meeting agenda.

“For decades, this band has been allocated for narrowband communications like two-way dispatch radios used by business, industrial and land transportation licensees,” the chairman said in a blog. “The draft rules would make available six of the band’s 10 megahertz for the deployment of broadband services, while retaining four megahertz to continue incumbent narrowband operations. The new regulatory framework would allow 900 MHz licensees, like utilities, to obtain broadband licenses and would include operational and technical rules to minimize harmful interference to narrowband operations. To facilitate the quick transition to broadband services, we would use a market-driven process that primarily relies on negotiated agreements between interested parties.”

The FCC first proposed changes to the 900 MHz band last year. 900 MHz incumbents weighed in on the proposal during the FCC’s comment period. Recent filings from the American Petroleum Institute (API) and utilities show both support and opposition for the proposed changes.

“On behalf of Anterix and its employees and our partners, I want to thank Chairman Pai for his decision to bring the 900 MHz report and order to a vote," said Morgan O'Brien, CEO of Anterix, which first proposed the realignment and petitioned the FCC. “We also wish to thank the staff at the commission for their hard work on this item, and we look forward to working with the chairman and Commissioners O'Rielly, Carr, Rosenworcel and Starks to secure adoption of this report and order. As the following statements demonstrate, the utility and enterprise ecosystems in the United States are eager to put this spectrum to work fueling industrial 5G and delivering the benefits of secure, innovative, private LTE broadband networks. This decision will lead to new jobs, new investment and new technology development."

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