The FCC approved new rules yesterday that will free 25 MHz of spectrum for mobile broadband use, the first part of its ambitious goal to make 500 MHz of spectrum available for mobile broadband over the next 10 years.
The commission voted unanimously to approve an order that changes rules governing the Wireless Communications Services spectrum in the 2.3 GHz band. The FCC said the spectrum can now be made available for mobile broadband use, and that rules will be put in place to avoid interference issues.
FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski called the order a "strong down payment on a vital national need." The FCC's national broadband plan calls for freeing up 300 MHz of spectrum for wireless broadband in the next five years.
The WCS spectrum has been the subject of a contentious battle for years, with satellite radio providers, which provide service in adjacent bands, expressing concern about potential interference issues. In its order, the commission set up power level limits for WCS spectrum users, and also allowed Sirius XM, the satellite radio provider, to use terrestrial repeaters to boost its signals.
- see this IDG News Service article
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