FCC OKs More Mobile Broadband Spectrum Adjacent To Satellite Radio Repeaters
May 20, 2010 at 5:27 PM (PT)
The FCC has adopted rules to take 25 megahertz of spectrum for mobile broadband service in much of the U.S., a move that had been opposed by SIRIUS XM RADIO for possible interference to terrestrial repeaters and by aeronautical mobile telemetry operators for the same reason. The Report and Order amends the Wireless Communications Service (WCS) and alter the present constraints that have restricted the use of the spectrum to fixed services.
SIRIUS XM will be permitted to operate its terrestrial repeaters at the same time as wireless companies build out and operate the new frequencies.
Chairman JULIUS GENACHOWSKI called the move "a strong down payment on a vital national need. And it comes at an important moment as 4G technologies are starting to be commercially deployed."
Commissioner MICHAEL COPPS said, "Today’s Order brings much-needed regulatory clarity to the range of services operating in the 2.3 GHz spectrum band. Without question, it has been a difficult challenge to address the needs of all the affected operators -- and, more importantly, the consumers -- of satellite radio, flight testing and future wireless broadband services. I believe that our decision today can provide a workable pro-consumer framework -- one that brings innovative wireless broadband technologies to American consumers and one that protects important incumbent services upon which existing customers rely."
Commissioner ROBERT MCDOWELL said that he is "pleased that our work paves the way for deployment of mobile broadband in the Wireless Communications Services spectrum, while also protecting adjacent satellite radio, aeronautical mobile telemetry, and deep space network operations from harmful interference. This means that the mobile broadband marketplace will be even more competitive, and that American consumers will continue to benefit..... The extensive technical record -- which includes field testing -- gives us the confidence to conclude that instances where WCS would seriously degrade, obstruct or repeatedly interrupt satellite radio transmission occur rarely, if at all. Thus, clear rules and tight coordination procedures are all the more important. I am voting to support today’s decision because it promotes competition among multiple mobile platforms, encourages new entry into the mobile market, and provides more incentives for investment and innovation."
"No longer can we allow spectrum that can be used for mobile broadband to sit unused," asserted Commissioner MIGNON CLYBURN. "In the Report and Order before us, we demonstrate exactly how serious we are about this endeavor."
And Commissioner MEREDITH ATWELL BAKER said, "I have repeatedly said that one of the keys to increased domestic broadband deployment is to make more efficient use of existing spectrum. By 2020, mobile broadband will be the primary Internet access tool around the world, and we must work together to put all available spectrum to its highest and best use. Today we take one more step down that road and close a long and difficult chapter of our spectrum policy."