COMMISSIONER JESSICA ROSENWORCEL
Service Rules for Advanced Wireless Services H Block--Implementing Section 6401 of the
Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 Related to the 1915-1920 MHz and 1995-
2000 MHz Bands
The possibilities for the 1915-1920 MHz and 1995-2000 MHz spectrum bands--known as the
PCS H Block--have long been undermined by interference concerns. But we are now poised to finally
bring this 10 megahertz of prize spectrum to market.
The H Block has quite a history. It features more than a few fits and starts. The lower portion of
the H Block started life as part of the unlicensed PCS band back when the rest of the PCS spectrum was
auctioned in 1994. To put this in context, think back to your first wireless phone. The odds are it
probably operated on PCS spectrum. Ten years after the first PCS auction, the Commission turned to the
H Block, and sought to auction it, too. But the interference potential was too great and the time was not
right. Four years later, the Commission again tried to tee up the H Block for auction. Yet once more,
efforts to limit interference hindered efforts to auction this spectrum.
Another four years down the road, Congress passed the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation
Act. In it, Congress identified 65 megahertz of spectrum for auction, including the H Block. Moreover,
Congress directed that the revenue from this spectrum serve as a down payment toward a nationwide,
interoperable public safety broadband network--known as the First Responder Network Authority.
In fact, the H Block is unique among the 65 megahertz identified by Congress. It is the only
specifically identified spectrum in the law that is paired and not already in use by federal agencies. That
distinction is critical. It means that revenue from the H Block will not be burdened by having to pay
upfront for the relocation of federal users. That means that the H Block is our best chance to provide
significant funding for our first responders before we get started on another kind of auction--incentive
So after an act of Congress, leaps forward in technology, and hard work by the Commission staff
to resolve longstanding interference concerns, we can finally auction the H Block for commercial use.
The only question is when. In the end, I hope our timing is guided by good spectrum policy--and
considers how we increase demand for this slice of our airwaves. After all, support for our nation's first
responders depends on it.
Thank you to the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau for your efforts. I am pleased to support
this Report and Order.
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