FCC Requests Comment on Offshore Spectrum Needs
Wednesday, June 08, 2022 | Comments

The FCC voted to begin gathering information on the possible current and future needs, uses and impacts of offshore wireless spectrum use.

With wind turbine projects, cruise ships, oceanography and other offshore projects possibly benefiting from increased spectrum access and updated spectrum management guidelines, the approved notice of inquiry (NOI) seeks public comment on how best to address these needs.

The commission seeks input on the possible future demand and use cases for offshore spectrum. The NOI asks for comment on different spectrum rights models such as shared, tiered and primary rights structures, and what potential initial license assignment mechanisms for offshore operations might work best. The NOI also seeks information on which spectrum bands might best meet offshore spectrum needs, how to protect any incumbents in those bands and what has and has not worked in other countries.

The FCC is seeking information about the needs of commercial or private maritime or aeronautical uses. It seeks input on details such as how far from land demand for wireless operations exists and if potential wireless infrastructure would be fixed, drifting in the water, airborne or deployed in another way. For wind farms, the FCC seeks information about how spectrum might be useful for testing, daily operations, maintenance, communications with ships and the shore, and communications between offshore operations.

The new proceeding launches a discussion on how to potentially build on and look beyond the FCC’s existing offshore spectrum policies to future needs and technologies.

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