FCC to Consider Allowing Commercial Use of 3.45 – 3.55 GHz
Tuesday, September 08, 2020 | Comments

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai shared with his colleagues a draft proposal that would take decisive steps toward making the 3.45 – 3.55 GHz band available for commercial use throughout the contiguous U.S. This item will be on the agenda of the FCC’s September 30 open meeting and, if adopted, would position this 100 megahertz of mid-band spectrum for commercial 5G use.

“We are moving forward quickly, in coordination with the executive branch to ensure that this mid-band spectrum is available for commercial 5G deployment,” Pai said. “This is another major step forward in advancing American leadership in 5G and producing benefits for America’s wireless consumers. Our 5G FAST Plan is in full swing.

“With this 3.45 GHz band proposal, the upcoming C-band auction of 280 megahertz of spectrum, and the recently completed auction for Priority Access Licenses in the 3.5 GHz band, the commission is on track to make a wide swath of 530 megahertz of continuous mid-band spectrum available for 5G,” Pai said. “Combined with our work to make low- and high-band spectrum available for flexible use as well as our successful efforts to expedite the deployment of wireless infrastructure and fiber, we are establishing a strong foundation for wireless innovation and investment. I hope my colleagues will join me in supporting this important item at our monthly meeting.”

If adopted, the item would be an important step toward satisfying Congress’s directive in the MOBILE NOW Act to make new spectrum available for flexible use and to work with National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to evaluate the feasibility of allowing commercial use in this band. The item includes a Report and Order that would remove the secondary, non-federal allocations from the 3.3 – 3.55 GHz band, as the commission proposed doing late last year.

The item also includes a further notice of proposed rulemaking seeking comment on proposed changes to the rules governing the band to enable commercial use and coordination between federal and non-federal users. The notice follows the August 10 announcement by the White House and the Department of Defense (DoD) that they determined that DoD operations in the band could accommodate commercial 5G operations. Would you like to comment on this story? Find our comments system below.

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