FCC looks to MSS spectrum for broadband

The Federal Communications Commission now has its sights set on freeing up spectrum allocated for satellite services as it continues its search for more spectrum to accommodate wireless broadband services under the National Broadband Plan announced in March.

As part of the broadband plan, the FCC wants to make 300 MHz of spectrum available for wireless broadband within the next five years and a total of 500 MHz in 10 years. The commission has already talked up giving TV broadcasters incentives to give up about 120 MHz of spectrum, and now it is targeting 90 MHz of spectrum in the mobile satellite services band (MSS).

The commission's spectrum task force indicated that MSS services would not be eliminated but rather the spectrum would be used more efficiently. One area the task force is looking at is allocating within the "S" band one of the three bands in the MSS range to be used for wireless broadband. According to current rules, "S" band licensees must operate satellite services if they want to build terrestrial networks.

The FCC's task force could also change some MSS rules by allowing licensees in the band to lease their unused spectrum on a secondary market.

For more:
- see this Cnet article

Related articles:
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FCC upbeat about spectrum auction plan
FCC considering spectrum for free wireless broadband
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FCC details national broadband plan priorities

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