Google seeks clarification on SAS rules for 3.5 GHz band

Ahead of a Feb. 16 FCC meeting of prospective Spectrum Access System (SAS) administrators and Environmental Sensing Capability (ESC) operators, Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) is asking for clarification on a number of questions related to SAS rules and procedures.

Google's filing highlights the bevy of questions that have yet to be answered on the SAS administration. It poses questions like: "Will there be a public test period for SASs? If so, what type of public interface will SAS operators be expected to provide?"

It also asks whether a web interface that provides timely information will suffice for the requirement that a SAS administrator be "available at all times" to immediately respond to requests from authorized commission personnel for information stored or retained by the SAS.

Google's filing also points out that the commission's Report and Order establishing rules for the 3.5 GHz band is the subject of numerous petitions for reconsideration. At the same time, the Report and Order itself presented a number of questions in a Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNRPM) and a subsequent public notice. Google wants to know if the April 15, 2016, deadline for being included in the first round of SAS and ESC reviews will be extended to allow potential applicants to address regulatory changes adopted in response to either the petitions or the second FNRPM.

The FCC's 3.5 GHz Report and Order set forth a three-tiered sharing paradigm, whereby the lowest tier, dubbed General Authorized Access (GAA), is open to anyone with an FCC-certified device. At that level, it costs nothing for commercial broadband users to access. In the Priority Access License (PAL) tier, users of the band can acquire -- via auction -- targeted, short-term licenses that provide interference protection from GAA users. At the top of the hierarchy are incumbent federal and commercial radar, satellite and other users that receive protection from all Citizen Broadband Service users.

Google also wants to know when the FCC expects the first PAL auction to occur.

The company's spectrum engineering lead, Andrew Clegg, and Preston Marshall plan to represent Google at the meeting for prospective SAS and ESC administrators next week.

Google and Federated Wireless are often mentioned when it comes to potential SAS administrators. Last fall, Federated Wireless, which started development in 2013, celebrated a milestone with the launch of its CINQ XP platform, a sort of Uber for spectrum in that it will be allocated when and where people need it. CINQ XP is the company's first commercial product that provides a private, cloud-based network for carriers to share spectrum and it will facilitate the use of the company's proprietary Spectrum Access System once testing and certification are completed.

For more:
- see this FCC filing

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