Pai Announces Forthcoming R&O on 900 MHz

In a blog post, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Pai announced that on May 13, the Commission will release a Report and Order to reconfigure the 900 MHz band for the deployment of broadband services and technologies. Chairman Pai specifically noted that for “decades, this band has been allocated for narrowband communications like two-way dispatch radios used by business, industrial, and land transportation licensees. The draft rules would make available six of the band’s ten 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, (the FCC) will use a market-driven process that primarily relies on negotiated agreements between interested parties.”

This Order has been nearly six years in the making and has been consistently supported by the Enterprise Wireless Alliance (EWA) as a means to provide Business/Industrial and private carrier operators, in addition to critical infrastructure entities, an opportunity to have access to spectrum dedicated to their broadband requirements, in lieu of relying on national consumer-based networks or FirstNet which is dedicated almost exclusively to serving mission critical user needs. 

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