6/21 FCC Petition Calling For Expanding Shared Access in the 3700-4200 MHz Band

New America’s Open Technology Institute filed a joint petition with the Federal Communications Commission on behalf of more than 20 service providers, equipment vendors, trade associations and non-profit public advocacy groups proposing open and shared use of a large band of underutilized spectrum to make high-capacity home and business broadband more available and affordable in rural and underserved areas.

The Petition for Rulemaking seeks to add a new, licensed, point-to-multipoint (P2MP) fixed wireless service in the underutilized 3700-4200 MHz band used primarily by fixed satellite services (FSS). The proposed licensing scheme and operating rules will enable gigabit and near-gigabit broadband service in rural and underserved areas, and promotes competition for broadband delivery among various technologies and licensees.

The Petition is submitted by a broad-based coalition of broadband providers, technology companies, trade associations, and non-profit public policy advocacy groups. The Petition seeks expedited adoption under Section 7 of the Communications Act, which requires a public interest determination within one year.

Summary of Petition

  • Would authorize 500 megahertz of contiguous mid-band spectrum for licensed P2MP broadband services
  • The shared use of the band for P2MP broadband services can be implemented rapidly and simply by the FCC and service providers because: 
  1. Incumbent FSS and Fixed Service (point-to-point) will be protected from harmful interference.
  2. Existing Part 101 frequency coordination procedures will be used, pending transition to an automated frequency coordination system to be developed by a multi-stakeholder group.
  3. No new allocations are needed.
  4. There are no Federal government allocations in the band. 
  5. No sophisticated spectrum management techniques, like SAS, are required. 

See the full release, the joint petition and a summary of the joint petition here.