OMB approval eliminates regulatory hurdle to Wi-Fi use at 5150-5250 MHz

The final section of new rules opening up the 5.15-5.25 GHz band for broader Wi-Fi use has now been enacted after being vetted by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

In March 2014, the FCC lifted the prohibition on outdoor Wi-Fi operations in the U-NII-1 band and also increased allowable power levels in the band. The commission's order allows the use, under certain conditions, of existing Wi-Fi equipment designed to operate in the commonly used U-NII-3 band (5.725-5.825 MHz) in the newly opened U-NII-1 band (5150-5250 MHz).

CommLawBlog reported that all but one of the new rules--that being Section 15.207(j)--took effect in June. However, the OMB needed to examine that section because it involves "information collections" that are covered by the Paperwork Reduction Act. According to the Federal Register, on Aug. 27, 2014, OMB approved, for a period of three years, the section's information collection requirements.

Section 15.207(j) specifies that U–NII operators deploying more than 1,000 outdoor access points within the 5.15–5.25 GHz band must submit a letter to the FCC acknowledging that, should harmful interference to licensed services in this band occur, they will be required to take corrective action. Such action may include reducing power, switching off devices, changing frequency bands, and/or further reducing power radiated in the vertical direction.

This section is aimed at protecting incumbent U-NII-1 user Globalstar, which uses the 5.15-5.25 GHz band for four licensed mobile satellite service (MSS) feeder links serving its duplex voice service.

For more:
- see this CommLawBlog post
- see this Federal Register notice
- see this government publication

Related articles:
Cambium quickly jumps on 5150-5250 MHz bandwagon
Time Warner Cable anxious to exploit expanded 5 GHz access for 'community Wi-Fi'
FCC opens up 100 MHz of spectrum in 5 GHz band for unlicensed Wi-Fi
Globalstar open to outdoor Wi-Fi 5.1 GHz if its operations can be protected