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Proposes Creation of New Citizens Broadband Radio Service in 3.5 GHz

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Released: April 23, 2014

Federal Communications Commission

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Before the

Federal Communications Commission

Washington, D.C. 20554

In the Matter of
)
)

Amendment of the Commission’s Rules with
)
GN Docket No. 12-354
Regard to Commercial Operations in the 3550-
)
3650 MHz Band
)

FURTHER NOTICE OF PROPOSED RULEMAKING

Adopted: April 23, 2014

Released: April 23, 2014

Comment Date: 40 days after publication in the Federal Register
Reply Comment Date: 60 days after publication in the Federal Register
By the Commission: Chairman Wheeler and Commissioners Clyburn, Rosenworcel and O’Rielly issuing
separate statements; Commissioner Pai concurring and issuing a statement.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Heading
Paragraph #
I. INTRODUCTION.................................................................................................................................. 1
II. BACKGROUND.................................................................................................................................... 9
III. DISCUSSION ...................................................................................................................................... 17
A. Proposed Regulatory Framework .................................................................................................. 18
1. Proposed Part 96 Rule Part...................................................................................................... 19
a. Subpart A – GENERAL RULES...................................................................................... 19
(i) Scope (§ 96.1) ............................................................................................................ 19
(ii) Definitions (§ 96.3) .................................................................................................... 23
(iii) Eligibility (§ 96.5) ...................................................................................................... 24
(iv) Authorization Required (§ 96.7) ................................................................................ 25
(v) Regulatory Status (§ 96.9).......................................................................................... 26
(vi) Frequencies (§ 96.11)................................................................................................. 27
(vii) Frequency Assignments (§ 96.13)............................................................................. 28
b. Subpart B – INCUMBENT PROTECTIONS................................................................... 38
(i) Protection of Federal Incumbents (§ 96.15)............................................................... 38
(ii) Protection of Existing Fixed Satellite Service Earth Stations in the 3550-3650
MHz Band (§ 96.17)................................................................................................... 39
(iii) Operation near Canadian and Mexican Borders (§ 96.19) ......................................... 40
c. Subpart C – PRIORITY ACCESS.................................................................................... 41
(i) Authorization (§ 96.21) .............................................................................................. 42
(ii) Priority Access Licenses (§ 96.23)............................................................................. 43
(iii) Application Window (§ 96.25)................................................................................... 53
(iv) Assignment of Licenses (§ 96.27).............................................................................. 54
(v) Aggregation of Priority Access Licenses (§ 96.29).................................................... 55
d. Subpart D – GENERAL AUTHORIZED ACCESS......................................................... 56

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(i) Authorization and General Authorized Access Use (§ 96.31 and § 96.33)................ 56
(ii) Contained Access Facilities (§ 96.35)........................................................................ 58
e. Subpart E – TECHNICAL RULES .................................................................................. 62
(i) Citizens Broadband Radio Service Devices General Requirements (§ 96.36)........... 62
(ii) End User Devices General Requirements (§ 96.37)................................................... 68
(iii) General Radio Requirements (§ 96.38)...................................................................... 69
f. Subpart F – SPECTRUM ACCESS SYSTEM................................................................. 90
(i) Spectrum Access System Purposes and Functionality (§ 96.43) ............................... 93
(ii) Information Gathering and Retention (§ 96.44) ......................................................... 99
(iii) Registration and Authorization of Citizens Broadband Radio Service Devices
(§ 96.45) ................................................................................................................... 102
(iv) Frequency Assignment (§ 96.46) ............................................................................. 103
(v) Security (§ 96.47)..................................................................................................... 104
(vi) Spectrum Access System Administrators (§ 96.48)................................................. 105
(vii) Spectrum Access System Administrator Fees (§ 96.47) ......................................... 109
2. Modifications to Existing Rule Parts..................................................................................... 110
a. Table of Frequency Allocations (§ 2.106) ...................................................................... 111
b. Procedures for Priority Access Licenses Subject to Assignment by Competitive
Bidding (§ 1.2101 et seq.)............................................................................................... 118
(i) Application of Part 1 Competitive Bidding Rules (§ 1.2101 et seq.)....................... 119
(ii) Applications Subject to Competitive Bidding.......................................................... 120
(iii) Bidding Process Options .......................................................................................... 122
c. Secondary Markets ......................................................................................................... 135
B. Other Issues.................................................................................................................................. 136
1. Protections for Federal Incumbent Access Tier Users .......................................................... 137
2. Protections for Citizens Broadband Radio Service Devices from Federal Radar
Systems.................................................................................................................................. 143
3. Protections for Fixed Satellite Service Earth stations ........................................................... 145
a. Earth Stations in the 3.5 GHz Band ................................................................................ 145
b. Earth Stations in the C-Band........................................................................................... 152
4. Enforcement Issues................................................................................................................ 162
5. Extension of Part 96 Rules to 3650-3700 MHz Band ........................................................... 163
IV. PROCEDURAL MATTERS.............................................................................................................. 170
A. Ex Parte Rules ............................................................................................................................. 170
B. Filing Requirements..................................................................................................................... 172
C. Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis......................................................................................... 176
D. Initial Paperwork Reduction Act Analysis................................................................................... 179
V. ORDERING CLAUSES..................................................................................................................... 180
APPENDIX A – Proposed Rules
APPENDIX B – Supplemental Proposed Rules for the 3650-3700 MHz band

I.

INTRODUCTION

1.
We are in the midst of a communications revolution that has connected us to each other as
never before through an ever increasing number of wireless devices. As a result of the continuing
proliferation of connected devices, demand for wireless broadband capacity is growing rapidly. New,
more efficient wireless network architectures and innovative approaches to spectrum management are
tools that can help maximize the utility of existing spectrum resources and make new spectrum bands
available for broadband access. As we previously discussed,1 our proposals for the 3550-3650 MHz band

1 See Amendment of the Commission's Rules with Regard to Commercial Operations in the 3550-3650 MHz Band,
GN Docket No. 12-354, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 27 FCC Rcd 15594, 15595, ¶ 1 (2012) (3.5 GHz NPRM).
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(3.5 GHz Band) focus on two components of the Commission’s ongoing efforts to address wireless
coverage and capacity issues: small cells and spectrum sharing—both of which were addressed in a
report issued by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST).2
2.
With this Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM or Further Notice), we
propose specific rules for a new Citizens Broadband Radio Service in the 3.5 GHz Band that would make
the 3.5 GHz sharing regime originally described by PCAST a reality. The 3.5 GHz Band could be an
“innovation band,” where we can explore new methods of spectrum sharing and promote a diverse array
of network technologies, with a focus on relatively low-powered applications. If successful, the spectrum
sharing model proposed for this band could ultimately be expanded to other spectrum bands and
“transform the availability of a precious national resource —spectrum—from scarcity to abundance.”3
3.
The proposed rules set forth herein build upon the record developed in response to a
series of prior proposals and workshops over the past sixteen months. These detailed proposals will allow
for more focused comment prior to establishing rules governing the proposed Citizens Broadband Radio
Service in a new Part 96 of the Commission’s rules.4 Specifically, the proposed rules would implement
an innovative and comprehensive framework to authorize a variety of small cell and other broadband uses
of the 3.5 GHz Band on a shared basis with incumbent federal and non-federal users of the band, with
oversight and enforcement through a Spectrum Access System (SAS). The proposed rules reflect our
belief that the 3.5 GHz Band could be an ideal “innovation band,” well suited to exploring the next
generation of shared spectrum technologies, to drive greater productivity and efficiency in spectrum use.
4.
The creation of the Citizens Broadband Radio Service was originally proposed in a
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (3.5 GHz NPRM or NPRM) released in December 2012.5 After
reviewing the record generated by the 3.5 GHz NPRM, we released a Public Notice to supplement the
record with focused comment on specific concepts for the 3.5 GHz Band (Licensing PN).6 The Licensing
PN
described a “Revised Framework” that elaborated on some of the alternative licensing and
authorization concepts set forth in the NPRM. 7 With this FNPRM we fulfill a commitment made in
issuing the Licensing PN that we would seek comment on specific detailed rules before publishing a First
Report and Order
in this proceeding.8
5.
As set forth in more detail below, we propose to establish a three-tiered authorization
framework – Incumbent Access, Priority Access, and General Authorized Access (GAA) tiers - based on
the recommendations of PCAST and originally proposed in the NPRM. 9 Under this framework, existing
primary operations – including authorized federal users and grandfathered Fixed Satellite Service (FSS)
earth stations - would compose the Incumbent Access tier and would receive protection from harmful
interference from Citizens Broadband Radio Service users. At this time, we propose to establish

2 See PCAST, Report to the President: Realizing the Full Potential of Government-Held Spectrum to Spur Economic
Growth (rel. July 20, 2012) (PCAST Report), available at
http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/microsites/ostp/pcast_spectrum_report_final_july_20_2012.pdf
(PCAST Report) at vi and 17-20.
3 See PCAST Report at vi.
4 See Appendix A.
5 See 3.5 GHz NPRM.
6 Commission Seeks Comment on Licensing Models and Technical Requirements in the 3550-3650 MHz Band, GN
Docket No. 12-354, Public Notice, 28 FCC Rcd 15300 (2013) (Licensing PN).
7 See Licensing PN, 28 FCC Rcd at 15301, ¶ 2.
8 See id. at 15301, ¶ 3.
9 See PCAST Report at 16-21, 82-84; 3.5 GHz NPRM, 27 FCC Rcd at 15612-22, ¶¶ 53-82.
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geographic Exclusion Zones10 based on the models suggested in the National Telecommunications and
Information Administration’s (NTIA) Fast Track Report to protect federal Incumbent Access tier
operations.11 We plan to work with NTIA in coming months to reassess these Exclusion Zones in light of
new technologies envisioned in this FNPRM and new data from technical studies evaluating the
coexistence of radars and wireless broadband services. If there are further developments that would
enable a reduction in the size of the Exclusion Zones, we encourage participants to file in the record to
ensure that there is sufficient opportunity for public comment prior to issuance of a Report and Order in
this proceeding.
6.
Interference management with respect to the three tiers of service, including adherence to
designated Exclusion Zones, would be managed by a dynamic SAS, conceptually similar to, but more
advanced than the databases used to manage Television White Spaces (TVWS) devices. Consistent with
the Revised Framework, we propose to define each Priority Access License (PAL) as an authorization to
use for one-year a 10 megahertz channel in a single census tract. PALs would be open to any prospective
licensee that meets basic FCC qualifications and mutually exclusive applications for PALs would be
subject to competitive bidding. PAL channels would be dynamically coordinated by the SAS and the
exact spectral location of a given PAL authorization could shift from time to time as directed by the SAS
during its license term.12 The GAA tier would be licensed-by-rule to permit open, flexible access to the
band to the widest possible group of potential users. We propose to reserve at all times for GAA use, a
minimum of 50 percent of the band that is not encumbered by Incumbent Access tier users in any given
location.
7.
We propose baseline technical standards for the operation of Citizens Broadband Radio
Service Devices (CBSDs) and End User Devices in the 3.5 GHz Band as well as general rules for the
operation of the SAS and approval of SAS Administrators. Many of these concepts were originally raised
in the NPRM and Licensing PN. We also seek further comment on other important issues raised in this
proceeding, including: (1) protection criteria for Incumbent Users; (2) potential protection of FSS earth
stations in the 3700-4200 MHz band (C-Band); (3) competitive bidding procedures for resolving mutually
exclusive applications for PALs; and (4) the possible extension of the proposed rules to include the 3650-
3700 MHz band. Some of these issues, particularly those dealing with protection criteria for Incumbent
Access tier users, may require additional focused input from government and private industry
stakeholders.
8.
Our goal in this FNPRM is to generate focused comment on specific proposed rule text as
a penultimate step before the establishment of a new rule part – Part 96 – authorizing fixed and mobile
wireless use of the 3.5 GHz Band.13 Our goal is to adopt rules that promote efficient and widespread use
of the 3.5 GHz Band for a variety of potential users. We emphasize that this is an iterative process and
that, while some issues remain open, the proposed rules set forth herein provide a clear framework that
would allow users to begin operations in the Citizens Broadband Radio Service in designated geographic
areas.

10 Unless otherwise noted, capitalized terms in this FNPRM are defined as set forth in section 96.3 of the Proposed
Rules. See Appendix A, § 96.3.
11 See NTIA, An Assessment of the Near-Term Viability of Accommodating Wireless Broadband Systems in the
1675-1710 MHz, 1755-1780 MHz, 3500-3650 MHz, 4200-4220 MHz, and 4380-4400 MHz Bands (rel. October
2010) (Fast Track Report), available at
http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/publications/fasttrackevaluation_11152010.pdf.
12 We do not propose to create a fixed bandplan (i.e., 10x10 megahertz channels). See infra section III (A)(1)(a)
(vii).
13 See Licensing PN, 28 FCC Rcd at 15301, ¶ 3.
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II.

BACKGROUND

9.
The Fast Track Report first identified the 3.5 GHz Band as potentially suitable for
commercial broadband use.14 NTIA recommended that this band could be made available for commercial
wireless broadband by 2015 based on the conditions outlined in the Fast Track Report.15 NTIA’s
recommendation included significant geographic restrictions to protect existing Department of Defense
(DoD) radar and FSS operations and to protect new commercial systems from co-channel interference
from high-powered military in-band shipborne and adjacent band DoD ground-based radar systems.16
The radar systems that operate in the 3.5 GHz Band overcome the inherent propagation limitations of this
frequency range by employing high transmitter power levels and high-gain antennas.17 These
characteristics of the radar systems were a contributing factor to the size of the exclusion zones in the Fast
Track evaluation.
10.
In July 2012, PCAST recommended that the Federal Government identify 1,000
megahertz of federal spectrum for shared use to create “the first shared use spectrum superhighways.”18
PCAST recommends that shared spectrum be organized into three tiers. To ensure interference
protection, all users would be required to register in a database modeled on the TVWS database.19 The
first tier would consist of incumbent federal users.20 These users would be entitled to full protection for
their operations within their deployed areas, consistent with the terms of their assignments.21 The second
tier would consist of users that would receive short-term priority authorizations to operate within
designated geographic areas.22 Secondary users would receive protection from interference from third tier
users but would be required to avoid interference with and accept interference from Federal Primary
users.23 Third tier users (GAA) would be entitled to use the spectrum on an opportunistic basis and would
not be entitled to interference protection. PCAST recommends that the Commission, in conjunction with
NTIA, work expeditiously to implement its recommendations in the 3.5 GHz Band.24
11.
The Commission’s December 2012 NPRM proposed a three-tier, license-by-rule
authorization framework, based on concepts described in the PCAST Report that are intended to facilitate
rapid broadband deployment while protecting existing incumbent users of the 3.5 GHz Band.25 The
NPRM solicited comment on all aspects of this proposal, including the appropriate licensing framework
and the potential uses of each service tier. The Commission received extensive comment from a wide
range of stakeholders in response.26 The NPRM also included a supplemental proposal to expand the

14 See Fast Track Report, at 1-6 – 1-7 and Appendix D.
15 Id. at 1-8.
16 Id. at 1-6 to 1-7, figures D-45 to D-55, and Appendix B.
17 Id. at 3-30 to 3-33.
18 PCAST Report at 50-52.
19 See 47 C.F.R. §§ 15.713-15.
20 See PCAST Report at 23-24.
21 Id.
22 Id. PCAST refers to the second tier as “Secondary Access."
23 Id.
24 Id. at 82-83.
25 See 3.5 GHz NPRM, 27 FCC Rcd at 15612-21, ¶¶ 53-77, PCAST Report at 16-21, 82-84.
26 See generally comments filed in Docket No. 12-354.
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proposed licensing and authorization model to an additional adjacent 50 megahertz of spectrum in the
3650-3700 MHz band, making up to 150 megahertz available for shared wireless broadband access.27
12.
As we noted in the NPRM, the technical characteristics of the 3.5 GHz Band and the
existence of important incumbent operations in the band in many areas of the country contribute to make
the band an ideal platform to explore innovative approaches to shared spectrum use and small cell
technology.28 NTIA’s Fast Track Report recommended, based on technical assumptions typical of
traditional macrocell deployments of commercial wireless broadband technology, that new commercial
uses of the band occur outside of large “exclusion zones” to protect Federal government operations.29
Given that the exclusion zones would cover approximately 60 percent of the U.S. population30 and
because of limited signal propagation in the band, the band did not appear to be well-suited for macrocell
deployment. However, as noted in the NPRM, these very disadvantages could be turned into advantages
if the band were used to explore spectrum sharing and small cell innovation.31 This proposal was based
on recommendations put forth by the FCC’s Technology Advisory Council (TAC), which has advocated
for the increased use of small cell devices in spectrum constrained areas and supported dedicating a
spectrum band to small cell uses.32 The combination of small cells and spectrum sharing technologies
could vastly increase the usability of the 3.5 GHz Band for wireless broadband and serve as a model for
future coexistence among services in other spectrum bands.
13.
In November 2013, in response to record comments received up to that point, we released
the Licensing PN, which described a Revised Framework that elaborated upon some of the licensing
concepts and alternatives set forth in the NPRM.33 The Revised Framework retains the three-tier model
proposed in the NPRM but expands eligibility to apply for PALs, and explores innovative means of
assigning authorizations within that tier.34 Like the NPRM’s main proposal, the Revised Framework
would leverage the unique capabilities of small cell and SAS technologies to enable sharing among users
in the Priority Access and GAA tiers. Specifically, the Revised Framework contains the following core
concepts:
 An SAS to dynamically manage frequency assignments and automatically enforce access
to the Priority Access and GAA tiers;
 Expansive eligibility for Priority Access tier use;
 Granular, but administratively-streamlined licensing of the Priority Access tier;
 Exclusive spectrum rights for Priority Access subject to licensing by auction in the event
of mutually exclusive applications;
 A defined “floor” of GAA spectrum availability, to ensure that GAA access is available
nationwide (subject to Incumbent Access tier use);

27 See 3.5 GHz NPRM, 27 FCC Rcd at 15620-23, ¶¶ 77-86.
28 Id. 27 FCC Rcd at 15601-03, ¶¶ 17-25.
29 See Fast Track Report at 1-6 – 1-7 and Appendix D.
30 See Fast Track Report at 1-6 – 1-7 and Appendix D and 3.5 GHz NPRM, 27 FCC Rcd at 15597 and 15601, ¶¶ 6
and 17-18.
31 See 3.5 GHz NPRM at 15630-35, ¶¶ 113-23
32 See Technical Advisory Council, Chairman’s Report, (rel. April 22, 2011) at 3, available at
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-306065A1.pdf.
33 See Licensing PN, 28 FCC Rcd at 15301, ¶ 2.
34 Id. at 15305-10, ¶¶ 10-27.
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 Additional GAA access to unused Priority Access bandwidth, as identified and managed
by the SAS, to maximize dynamic use of the unutilized portion of the band and ensure
productive use of the spectrum;
 Opportunities for Contained Access Users to obtain targeted priority spectrum use within
specific facilities (such as buildings) that meet certain requirements to mitigate the
potential for interference to and from Incumbent Users and other Citizens Broadband
Radio Service users; and
 A set of baseline technical standards to prevent harmful interference and ensure productive
use of the spectrum.35
14.
The Licensing PN generated a robust supplementary record, eliciting comments from a
wide range of stakeholders. While most commenters support expanding Priority Access tier eligibility
from “critical access” users to all qualified applicants,36 opinions were split on other specific aspects of
the Revised Framework. Notably, commenters diverged greatly on the band plan, PAL specifications,
authorization methodology, and technical specifications of CBSDs. These submissions are addressed in
greater detail on an issue-by-issue basis in Section III.
15.
In addition, we have convened two workshops to discuss technical issues related to this
proceeding.37 The first workshop explored broad issues that emanated from the original NPRM.38 More
recently, on January 14, 2014, the Bureau and OET hosted a workshop to further explore the technical
requirements, operational parameters, and architecture of the proposed SAS (SAS Workshop).39 A
diverse group of engineers representing industry stakeholders, trade associations, and academia submitted

35 See Licensing PN.
36 See e.g., Reply Comments of CTIA in Response to Licensing PN in GN Docket No. 12-354 (filed December 20,
2013) (CTIA Licensing PN Reply Comments) at 3; Comments of Alcatel-Lucent in Response to Licensing PN in
GN Docket No. 12-354 (filed December 5, 2013) (Alcatel-Lucent Licensing PN Comments) at 1-2; Comments of
Nokia Solutions and Networks US LLC in Response to Licensing PN in GN Docket No. 12-354 (filed December 5,
2013) (NSN Licensing PN Comments) at 4-8; Comments of Google, Inc. in Response to Licensing PN in GN
Docket No. 12-354 (filed December 5, 2013) (Google Licensing PN Comments) at 5; and Comments of the
Consumer Electronics Association in Response to Licensing PN in GN Docket No. 12-354 (filed December 5, 2013)
(CEA Licensing PN Comments) at 2-3; but see Comments of Utilities Telecom Council in Response to Licensing
PN
in GN Docket No. 12-354 (filed December 5, 2013) (UTC Licensing PN Comments) at 3-4; Reply Comments of
the American Petroleum Institute in Response to Licensing PN in GN Docket No. 12-354 (filed December 5, 2013)
(API Licensing PN Reply Comments) at 2-4.
37 FCC Wireless Telecommunications Bureau and Office of Engineering and Technology Announce Agenda for
Workshop on the 3.5 GHz Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, GN Docket No. 12-354, Public Notice, DA 13-367
(2013) (First 3.5 GHz Workshop PN); FCC Wireless Telecommunications Bureau and Office of Engineering and
Technology Announce Agenda for Workshop to Discuss the Creation of a Spectrum Access System in the 3.5 GHz
Band, GN Docket No. 12-354, Public Notice, 29 FCC Rcd 174 (rel. January 9, 2014) (SAS Workshop Agenda PN);
Workshop video and presentation materials available at: http://www.fcc.gov/events/35-ghz-spectrum-access-system-
workshop and http://www.fcc.gov/events/35-ghz-workshop.
38 See First 3.5 GHz Workshop PN; Video and presentation materials available at: http://www.fcc.gov/events/35-
ghz-workshop.
39 See Wireless Telecommunications Bureau and Office of Engineering and Technology Call for Papers on the
Proposed Spectrum Access System for the 3.5 GHz Band, GN Docket No. 12-354, Public Notice, 28 FCC Rcd
15843 (rel. November 18, 2013) (SAS Papers PN); SAS Workshop Agenda PN; Workshop video and presentation
materials available at: http://www.fcc.gov/events/35-ghz-spectrum-access-system-workshop. The Commission also
announced a two week online discussion to further explore topics addressed in the workshop. The results of that
discussion were added to the record. See Wireless Telecommunications Bureau and Office of Engineering and
Technology Submission for the Record in GN Docket No. 12-354 (filed March 31, 2014).
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technical papers in advance of the workshop and participated in panels throughout the day.40 We address
many of these submissions in greater detail below.41
16.
The purpose of this FNPRM is to solicit focused comment on specific proposed rules and
other specifically identified open issues. To the extent that parties require additional background on any
of the proposals we describe in this FNPRM, we encourage them to review prior releases in this docket,
including the NPRM, the Licensing PN, and the recorded footage of the two workshops.

III.

DISCUSSION

17.
With this FNPRM, we seek comment on proposed rules for the Citizens Broadband Radio
Service.42 These proposed rules build upon the concepts and proposals set forth in the NPRM and the
Licensing PN, in light of the record created in this proceeding. Notably, the proposed rules would:
 Implement the three-tier model proposed in the NPRM;
 Establish Exclusion Zones to ensure compatibility between incumbent federal operations
and Citizens Broadband Radio Service users;
 Create an open eligibility authorization system for Priority Access and GAA operations;
 Establish granular, exclusive spectrum rights for the Priority Access tier, consistent with
parameters discussed in the Licensing PN;
 Set a defined “floor” for GAA spectrum availability, to ensure that GAA access is
available nationwide (subject to Incumbent Access tier use);
 Set guidelines to allow Contained Access Users to request up to 20 megahertz of reserved
frequencies from the GAA pool for use within their facilities;
 Establish baseline technical rules for fixed or nomadic base stations operating in the 3.5
GHz Band;
 Set guidelines for the operation and certification of SASs in the band.
We seek detailed comment on these proposals, as well as viable alternative or supplemental rule
provisions that could help to achieve our stated objectives. We encourage commenters to focus their
submissions on the specific proposed rule text and structure. We further encourage commenters to
identify the specific costs and benefits associated with any proposal. To the extent possible, commenters
should provide specific data and information, such as actual or estimated dollar figures for each specific
cost or benefit addressed, including a description of how the data or information was calculated or
obtained, and any supporting documentation or other evidentiary support.

A.

Proposed Regulatory Framework

18.
Below we discuss the proposed Part 96 and its component subsections, as well as
proposed modifications to our existing rules designed to accommodate the new proposed Citizens
Broadband Radio Service. The discussion parallels the proposed structure of Part 96, as detailed in
Appendix A.43

40 See SAS Workshop Agenda PN; See generally, SAS workshop submissions in GN Docket No. 12-354.
41 See infra section III (A)(1)(e)-(f).
42 See Appendix A.
43 Where rule sections are mentioned in this FNPRM (e.g., § 96.1), these refer to sections of the proposed rules set
forth in Appendix A, unless otherwise noted.
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1.

Proposed Part 96 Rule Part

a.

Subpart A – GENERAL RULES

(i)

Scope (§ 96.1)

19.
We propose to implement the three-tier authorization framework originally described in
the NPRM and further discussed in the Licensing PN.44 This proposal is consistent with the framework
for the 3.5 GHz Band originally described in the PCAST Report.45 Under this framework, existing
primary operations – including authorized federal users and grandfathered FSS earth stations - would
make up the Incumbent Access tier and would receive protection from harmful interference consistent
with the proposed rules.46 The Citizens Broadband Radio Service would be divided into Priority Access
and GAA tiers of service, each of which would be required to operate on a non-interference basis with the
Incumbent Access tier.47 We also propose that any party that meets basic eligibility requirements under
the Communications Act be eligible to hold a PAL or, when authorized, operate a CBSD on a GAA basis
in the Citizens Broadband Radio Service.
20.
The proposed three-tier framework enjoys significant support from a diverse group of
commenters, including AT&T, Google, Public Knowledge, and the Open Technology Institute at the New
America Foundation.48 Others, including CTIA – The Wireless Association (CTIA), NSN, and
Qualcomm have argued that a two-tier framework that would prohibit or segregate GAA users would be a
more efficient way to manage the 3.5 GHz Band.49
21.
Some commenters, including some who have also expressed support for the three-tiered
model, argue that the 3.5 GHz Band should be divided between two and three-tiered authorization
schemes, at least on a transitional basis.50 Under this concept, as originally described by Verizon
Communications Inc. and Verizon Wireless Inc. (Verizon), a portion of the band would be set aside for a
“transitional framework” sub-band which would be licensed on a more traditional, exclusive-use basis
and would not include GAA users.51 The remainder of the band could be split between GAA-only use

44 See 3.5 GHz NPRM, 27 FCC Rcd at 15612-14, ¶¶ 53-60; Licensing PN, 28 FCC Rcd at 15304-13, ¶¶ 10-40.
45 See PCAST Report at 23-24.
46 See infra sections III(A)(1)(b) and (B)(1); Appendix A, § 96.15.
47 GAA users must also operate on a non-interference basis with respect to Priority Access Licensees. See Appendix
A, § 96.33.
48 See Google Licensing PN Comments at 1-2; Comments of AT&T Services Inc. in Response to Licensing PN in
GN Docket No. 12-354 (filed December 5, 2013) (AT&T Licensing PN Comments) at 3-6; Comments of the Open
Technology Institute at the New America Foundation and Public Knowledge in Response to Licensing PN in GN
Docket No. 12-354 (filed December 5, 2013) (OTI/PK Licensing PN Comments) at 3-4; See also Letter from
Amplex Electric, Inc. Aristotle Inc., Cambium Networks Ltd., CompTIA , Consumer Federation of America, Free
Press, Google, Highspeedlink, JAB Wireless, Inc. , Microsoft, New America Foundation , Public Knowledge,
Shelby Broadband, Texas Instruments, Ubiquiti Networks, Inc., and Wireless Internet Service Providers Association
to Marlene H. Dortch in GN Docket No. 12-354 (filed March 24, 2014) (Coalition Letter).
49 See Comments of Qualcomm Incorporated in Response to Licensing PN in GN Docket No. 12-354 (filed
December 5, 2013) (Qualcomm Licensing PN Comments) at 4-5; CTIA Licensing PN Reply Comments at 3; NSN
Licensing PN Comments at 8-15 (Proposing that the Commission assign the 3.5 GHz Band exclusively for Priority
Access and the 3650-3700 MHz band for GAA use).
50 See Comments of Verizon and Verizon Wireless in response to Licensing PN in GN Docket No. 12-354 (filed
December 5, 2013) (Verizon Licensing PN Comments); Reply Comments of AT&T Services Inc., in Response to
Licensing PN in GN Docket No. 12-354 (filed December 20, 2013) (AT&T Licensing PN Reply Comments) at 3.
51 See Verizon Licensing PN Comments at 10-11 (arguing that the geographic area, terms, and administration of
licenses in the “transitional framework” sub-band should approximate existing exclusive-use licensing models).
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and the proposed three-tiered sharing framework. The “transitional framework” sub-band could then be
phased out after the three-tier framework is proven to be workable in practice.52
22.
The specific Part 96 rules we propose today would apply the three-tier authorization
model across the entire 3.5 GHz Band, based, at least in part, on concerns about the impact that
Balkanization of this spectrum may have in terms of limiting the development of a robust and varied
shared spectrum ecosystem in the band. We seek comment on the proposed section 96.1 and encourage
commenters to consider the costs and benefits of any alternate proposals that they may put forward in
light of the recommendations of PCAST and the Commission’s goals for this band.
(ii)

Definitions (§ 96.3)

23.
Section 96.3 of the proposed rules sets forth definitions for various terms included in the
proposed Part 96. We seek comment on these definitions and any additional terms that may need to be
defined.
(iii)

Eligibility (§ 96.5)

24.
We propose that any entity, other than those precluded by section 310 of the
Communications Act be eligible to operate a CBSD on a Priority Access or GAA basis.53 Issues related
to qualifications for Priority Access, GAA, and Contained Access Users are explored in greater detail
below.54
(iv)

Authorization Required (§ 96.7)

25.
We propose that operators be authorized consistent with this part prior to operating
CBSDs in the Citizens Broadband Radio Service. The proposed rules governing authorizations for
Priority Access, GAA, and Contained Access Users are discussed in greater detail below.55 We seek
comment on this proposed rule and on the proposed changes to Part 1 of the Commission’s rules. We
also seek comment on whether the licensing and authorization methods described herein would require
the Commission to alter its existing rules governing filing, retention, and public access for licenses and
applications in the Wireless Radio Services.56
(v)

Regulatory Status (§ 96.9)

26.
We propose to allow Citizens Broadband Radio Service users to select whether to
provide service on a common carrier or non-common carrier basis, regardless of whether they operate in
the Priority Access tier, GAA tier, or both. Users that choose to offer services on a common carrier basis
would be required to comply with all of the Commission’s rules applicable to common carriers. This is
consistent with our approach in other licensed services.57 We seek comment on this proposal.
Specifically, should GAA users be permitted to provide common carrier services? Could the SAS
effectively coordinate and enforce these individual service selections, subject to appropriate Commission
oversight?

52 Verizon Licensing PN Comments at 3.
53 See 47 U.S.C. § 310; We note, however, that only qualified Contained Access Users operating in Contained
Access Facilities (CAFs) will be able to take advantage of the provisions of the proposed Section 96.35. See
Appendix A, § 96.35.
54 See infra section III(A)(1)(c)-(d).
55 See id.
56 See 47 C.F.R. §§ 1.901, et seq.
57 See e.g. 47 C.F.R. § 90.1309 (3650-3700 MHz Service) and 47 C.F.R. § 27.10 (Miscellaneous Wireless
Communications Services).
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(vi)

Frequencies (§ 96.11)

27.
We propose to include the 3550-3650 MHz band in Part 96. These proposed rules could
be expanded to include the 3650-3700 MHz band or other encumbered spectrum bands in the future. We
discuss our supplementary proposal to include the 3650-3700 MHz band in greater detail below.58 We
seek comment on the proposed section 96.11.
(vii)

Frequency Assignments (§ 96.13)

28.
Consistent with the concepts set forth in the Licensing PN, we propose to adopt rules
governing frequency assignments that would balance the needs of Priority Access Licensees and GAA
users. To foster a robust GAA ecosystem, a meaningful amount of the 3.5 GHz Band must be reserved
for GAA use in any given geographic area. To that end, we propose to reserve for GAA use a minimum
of 50 percent of the 3.5 GHz Band in any given census tract – after accounting for any frequencies
reserved for Incumbent Access tier use in the area - with the remainder to be assigned as PALs. We do
not propose to assign GAA users and Priority Access Licensees to fixed spectral locations (e.g., GAA
from 3550-3600 MHz and Priority Access from 3600-3650 MHz). Rather, under our proposal, the SAS
would dynamically assign PAL channels and GAA bandwidth in real time to promote efficient spectrum
use.
29.
Under this proposal, PALs would be assigned in 10 megahertz channels, consistent with
the processes described in section III(A)(1)(c) below, but we do not propose to establish a fixed channel
size for GAA users. Rather, GAA users would be permitted to operate on a range of frequencies within
the GAA pool, as determined by the SAS. In addition, in areas in which bandwidth has not yet been
assigned to PALs or where assigned bandwidth is not in actual use by Priority Access Licensees, such
bandwidth would be made available for additional GAA operations on an opportunistic basis. The SAS
would coordinate Priority Access and GAA operations consistent with its responsibilities under the
proposed rules.59
30.
Proportional Assignment of GAA and Priority Access Frequencies. In response to the
Licensing PN, commenters supported a wide range of potential frequency assignment models for the 3.5
GHz Band, ranging from rejection of a GAA Tier60 to fully dynamic assignment of GAA and Priority
Access rights based on demand and network needs.61 Of those commenters that supported the proposed
three-tier model, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Google argued that a higher, fixed quantity of spectrum should be
assigned for Priority Access use.62 Microsoft argued that a minimum of 50 megahertz of spectrum should
be retained for GAA use while Public Knowledge argued that no less than 50 percent of available

58 See infra section III(B)(4).
59 See Appendix A, §§ 96.43-48.
60 See e.g., Qualcomm Licensing PN Comments at 4-5; CTIA Licensing PN Reply Comments at 3.
61 See Comments of Federated Wireless LLC in Response to Licensing PN in GN Docket No. 12-354 (filed
December 5, 2013) (Federated Licensing PN Comments) at 32-33.
62 See AT&T Licensing PN Comments at 6 (Arguing that 70 megahertz of the band should be reserved for Priority
Access or 100 megahertz if the 3650-3700 MHz band is included); Comments of T-Mobile USA, Inc. in Response
to Licensing PN in GN Docket No. 12-354 (filed December 5, 2013) (T-Mobile Licensing PN Comments) at 3 (60
megahertz of the band should be reserved for Priority Access use if the Commission adopts a three-tier licensing
model); Google Licensing PN Comments at 15 (Commission should reserve 100 megahertz of spectrum for Priority
Access and 50 megahertz for GAA).
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spectrum should be reserved for GAA.63 WISPA argued that, in rural areas, 70 megahertz of the band
should be available for GAA use while in non-rural areas only 50 megahertz should be reserved.64
31.
We seek comment on whether the proposed rule appropriately balances public interest
considerations raised by commenters on this matter. Does the proposed 50 percent floor for GAA
bandwidth provide sufficient spectrum to foster a robust user ecosystem while ensuring that enough
spectrum is made available for multiple Priority Access Licensees? We seek comment on the proposed
rule, including any costs and benefits of the proposed approach. We also seek comment on alternative
approaches to the apportioning of available spectrum between the PAL and GAA tiers.
32.
Dynamic Frequency Assignment. Commenters differed as to whether frequency
assignments should be fixed or dynamically assigned by the SAS. Notably, Google and WISPA
supported dynamic assignment of Priority Access and GAA frequencies and argued that the SAS would
be able to efficiently and dynamically assign frequencies to appropriate parties.65 Commenters including
AT&T, T-Mobile, CTIA, and Ericsson argued for designated, fixed channel assignments, claiming that
dynamic frequency assignments would interfere with network planning and channel aggregation.66
33.
Under our proposal, in place of fixed channel assignments, the SAS would dynamically
assign bandwidth within given geographic areas to Priority Access Licensees and GAA users in
accordance with the procedures set forth in the proposed rules.67 The SAS would ensure that Priority
Access Licensees have access to allotted 10 megahertz channels and that GAA users are provided access
to at least 50 percent of the band. However, the exact spectral location of any given authorization,
whether Priority Access or GAA, would not be fixed. For example, a licensee might have Priority Access
rights for a single PAL, but the specific channel location assigned to that user would be managed by the
SAS and could be reassigned from time to time (e.g., from 3550-3560 MHz to 3630-3640 MHz).
Individual GAA users would be assigned available bandwidth of a size and spectral location determined
by the SAS (e.g., from 3550-3556 MHz or 3662-3673 MHz). The SAS would assign and maintain
appropriate frequency assignments and ensure that lower tier users do not interfere with higher tier users.
To the extent that some level of regional or national consistency of assignment facilitates the provision of
service, SAS providers would be free to agree upon a common assignment convention. However, such a
convention would not be specified in the rules, in order to allow the greatest degree of operational
flexibility.
34.
We seek comment on the proposed rule, including the capabilities that the SAS would
have to incorporate to manage operations in the band consistent with this proposal.68 Alternately, should
we adopt a more traditional model with static frequency assignments for GAA users and Priority Access
Licensees? What advantages and disadvantages would a fixed channel assignment model provide as
compared to the dynamic system set forth in the proposed rules?
35.
We also seek comment on our proposal to allow the SAS to assign a flexible amount of
bandwidth to individual GAA users. Should GAA users instead be assigned a consistent amount of

63 See Comments of Microsoft, Inc. in Response to Licensing PN in GN Docket No. 12-354 (filed December 5,
2013) (Microsoft Licensing PN Comments) at 4; OTI/PK Licensing PN Comments at 9-11.
64 See Comments of the Wireless Internet Service Providers Association in Response to Licensing PN in GN Docket
No. 12-354 (filed December 5, 2013) (WISPA Licensing PN Comments) at 14.
65 See WISPA Licensing PN Comments at 19; Google Licensing PN Comments at 10-13.
66 See AT&T Licensing PN Comments at 5-6; T-Mobile Licensing PN Comments at 10-12; Comments of Ericsson
in Response to Licensing PN in GN Docket No. 12-354 (filed December 5, 2013) (Ericsson Licensing PN
Comments) at 7; CTIA Licensing PN Reply Comments at 7-8.
67 See infra section III(A)(1)(f); Appendix A, §§ 96.23, 96.33, and 96.46.
68 SAS capabilities are addressed in greater detail in section III(A)(1)(f).
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bandwidth (e.g., 10 megahertz) like Priority Access Licensees? What would be the costs and benefits of
such an approach?
36.
GAA Access to Unused Priority Access Channels. The Revised Framework discussed
allowing GAA users to access unused Priority Access channels on an opportunistic basis. AT&T and T-
Mobile supported the concept of allowing GAA users to make use of unused Priority Access tier channels
so long as use was limited to unassigned and undeployed channels. Under their proposal, a channel
would be unavailable for GAA once it is assigned to a Priority Access Licensee. 69 Public Knowledge,
The New America Institute, Federated Wireless, and Google as well as a broad coalition of broadband
service providers, manufacturers, trade associations, and technology companies (Coalition) argued for a
more flexible model that would allow GAA use over Priority Access channels that are not in actual use.70
The rule we propose here would allow GAA use on unused PAL channels to promote efficient and
consistent use of spectrum.
37.
We seek comment on the proposed rule, including any costs and benefits of the proposed
approach. How should “use” be practically and consistently determined in this context? How should the
determination be made in the context of our dynamic frequency assignment proposal? If an assigned but
previously unused PAL channel is later determined to be “in use,” how long should a GAA user be given
to vacate the Priority Access channel? What should be the triggering event that reserves assignment of a
channel for PAL use? Should the event be based on action by a Priority Access Licensee (e.g., initiating
service in a portion of the PAL) or by the SAS (e.g., assigning a channel to the PAL in response to a
request from a Priority Access licensee)?
b.

Subpart B – INCUMBENT PROTECTIONS

(i)

Protection of Federal Incumbents (§ 96.15)

38.
Consistent with the three-tier construct, we propose in Section 96.15 to require that
CBSDs71 may not cause harmful interference to and must accept interference from authorized federal
users in the 3.5 GHz Band. As an initial matter, we also propose at this time that CBSDs comply with the
geographic Exclusion Zones based on the parameters set forth in the Fast Track Report to ensure
compatibility with federal operations, and that the SAS ensure that CBSDs do not operate within
Exclusion Zones.72 We discuss issues related to these requirements in more detail, including the size of
Exclusion Zones and our intention to revisit the appropriate incumbent protection criteria, in section
III(B)(1) below. We seek comment on these proposed rules.
(ii)

Protection of Existing Fixed Satellite Service Earth Stations
in the 3550-3650 MHz Band (§ 96.17)

39.
We also propose to protect existing FSS earth stations in the 3.5 GHz Band by requiring
that CBSDs not cause harmful interference to these sites. We discuss broader issues related to these
requirements in more detail in Section III(B)(3)(a) below and seek comment on the issue of protection for
“out-of-band” FSS earth stations in section III(B)(3)(b). We seek comment on these proposed rules.

69 See AT&T Licensing PN Comments at 6, note 12; T-Mobile Licensing PN Comments at 9-10.
70 See OTI/PK Licensing PN Comments at 11-12; Google Licensing PN Comments at 15-16; Reply comments of
Federated Wireless LLC in Response to Licensing PN in GN Docket No. 12-354 (filed December 20, 2013)
(Federated Licensing PN Reply Comments) at 6-10; Coalition Letter at 1.
71 Defined as “[f]ixed or Portable Base stations, or networks of such base stations, that operate on a Priority Access
or General Authorized Access basis in the Citizens Broadband Radio Service consistent with this rule part. Does not
include End User Devices.” See Appendix A.
72 See Fast Track Report at 1-6 to 1-7, figures D-45 to D-55, and Appendix B.
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(iii)

Operation near Canadian and Mexican Borders (§ 96.19)

40.
Our proposed rules note that Citizens Broadband Radio Service operations along the
Canadian and Mexican borders would be subject to international agreements with Mexico and Canada.
The SAS would be required to enforce these requirements. We seek comment on these proposed rules.
c.

Subpart C – PRIORITY ACCESS

41.
We propose not to limit eligibility for the Priority Access tier, to assign rights based upon
targeted PAL parameters, resolve mutually exclusive license applications via competitive bidding, and to
require access coordination through an SAS. These proposals are generally consistent with the Revised
Framework described in the Licensing PN.
(i)

Authorization (§ 96.21)

42.
Under our proposed rules, any entity eligible to hold an FCC license would be eligible to
apply for, and hold, a PAL.73 Commenters generally support expanding eligibility to the Priority Access
tier to a broader class of users than we proposed in the NPRM.74 Expanded access to the Priority Access
tier would promote more intensive use of the 3.5 GHz Band and would promote investment in new small
cell technologies. We propose to require all applicants for PALs to demonstrate their qualification to hold
an authorization and demonstrate how a grant of authorization would serve the public interest.75
Qualifications would include those under Section 310 of the Act regarding foreign ownership. The
Commission has broad authority to prescribe “citizenship, character, and financial, technical, and other
qualifications” for its licensees.76 We seek comment on how to apply this authority with respect to the 3.5
GHz Band, and whether to adopt the same policies in this respect that the Commission has established for
other services. We also propose that certain of the processes and requirements may be reasonably
automated by SAS Administrators, in accordance with the Commission’s rules. We seek comment on
these proposed rules, including on any limitations posed by our Title III obligations on the scope of
authority that may be delegated to such SAS Administrators.
(ii)

Priority Access Licenses (§ 96.23)

43.
Our proposed rules stipulate that Priority Access Licensees would receive interference
protection from GAA users but would operate on a non-interfering basis with respect to Incumbent
Users.77 Conceptually, the proposed PALs would be “building blocks” that an eligible licensee could
aggregate over frequency, time, and geography to meet diverse spectrum needs.78 The use of PALs - and
interactions between and among tiers - would be managed by the SAS. This licensing and access model is
consistent with the recommendations of PCAST and would effectively serve the public interest. We seek
comment on these proposed rules as described in more detail below.
44.
Geography. We propose to authorize PALs at the census tract level and to permit
geographic aggregation across license areas. As explained in the Licensing PN, census tracts offer a
variety of benefits, including geographic sizes varying by population density, nesting into other political

73 See Appendix A, § 96.5.
74 See e.g., AT&T Licensing PN Comments at 3; T-Mobile Licensing PN Comments at 4; Alcatel Lucent Licensing
PN
Comments at 2; Comments of Spectrum Bridge in response to Licensing PN in GN Docket No. 12-354 (filed
December 5, 2013) (Spectrum Bridge Licensing PN Comments) at 2; NSN Licensing PN Comments at 2; Google
Licensing PN Comments at 5; OTI/PK Licensing PN Comments at 16-17; Coalition Letter at 1.
75 See 47 U.S.C. §§ 303, 307, 309, 310.
76 47 U.S.C. § 308(b).
77 See Appendix A, § 96.23.
78 See Licensing PN, 28 FCC Rcd at 15305, ¶ 12.
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subdivisions including city lines, and aligning with other natural features that track population density.79
Under our proposal, PAL applicants could target specific geographic areas in which they need additional
coverage and avoid applying for areas that they do not intend to serve. Our proposal reflects the unique
technical characteristics of small cells to promote a high degree of spectral and spatial reuse while
facilitating flexible, targeted deployment of CBSDs.
45.
We received a diverse record in response to our proposal to use census tracts as a
licensing area. Some commenters agreed with our proposal.80 Others argued that census tracts were
inappropriate geographic license areas because the borders of census tracts frequently divide streets and
their relatively small size would make co-channel coordination between Priority Access Licensees more
difficult.81 Other commenters suggest that even smaller geographic areas, such as census block groups
would allow for granular and demand-focused assignments.82 Others proposed larger, more traditional
license areas such as counties, EAs, or CMAs.83 Google suggests license boundaries be based on
proposed network parameters and actual contours, as determined and enforced by the SAS.84
46.
Our census tract proposal occupies a middle ground among these diverse
recommendations, and is designed as an equitable means of achieving the Commission’s public interest
goals. Census tracts are sufficiently granular to promote intensive use of the band and are large enough,
either on their own or in aggregate, to support a variety of use cases, including small cell base stations and
backhaul. We seek comment on the proposed rule including any potential costs or benefits. Would
adopting alternative geographic license sizes further the public interest given the Commission’s goals and
contemplated use cases for the band? We also seek comment on whether PALs could be deployed on an
even more focused basis, employing a fine grained grid of “pixels” (i.e., small, regular geographic regions
that can be combined to approximate, with high resolution, the operational and protection contours of
various system deployments) to promote more targeted and customizable network deployment. If the
Commission adopts census tracts, or something smaller, as the appropriate geographic license area,
should package bidding or another mechanism that would allow applicants to bid on larger geographic
areas be adopted? To the extent that commenters believe that the use of census tracts would foreclose a
particular use case for the band, we encourage them to provide detailed technical analyses to support their
claims.
47.
Channels. As described in the Revised Framework and section III (A)(1)(a)(vii) above,
we propose to authorize PALs to operate over 10 megahertz unpaired channels.85 While a few
commenters argued for larger or smaller channels,86 the record generally supports our proposal to utilize

79 See id., 28 FCC Rcd at 15305-06, ¶ 15.
80 See WISPA Licensing PN Comments at 7; Spectrum Bridge Licensing PN Comments at 2-3 (Supporting census
tracts but arguing that a smaller grid may be preferable).
81 See AT&T Licensing PN Reply Comments at 6-7; Verizon Licensing PN Comments at 6-7; Reply Comments of
T-Mobile USA, Inc. in response to Licensing PN in GN Docket No. 12-354 (filed December 20, 2013) at 7-8;
Google Licensing PN Comments at 5-8.
82 See OTI/PK Licensing PN Comments at 19 (suggesting census block groups); Comments of Motorola Solutions in
in Response to Licensing PN GN Docket No. 12-354 (filed December 5, 2013) (Motorola Solutions Licensing PN
Comments) at 8-9 (suggesting 100 meter x 100 meter grid spaces); Microsoft Licensing PN Comments at 6-7
(suggesting census block groups).
83 See Qualcomm Licensing PN Comments at 3-4; Ericsson Licensing PN Comments at 7-8; NSN Licensing PN
Comments at 5; T-Mobile Licensing PN Comments at 6-7.
84 Google Licensing PN Comments at 5-8.
85 See Licensing PN, 28 FCC Rcd at 15307, ¶ 17.
86 See Federated Licensing PN Comments at 20-25 (Advocating the highest possible degree of granularity) and
Ericsson Licensing PN Comments at 8 (Advocating for an interim assignment of 60-80 megahertz spectrum blocks).
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10 megahertz channels for PALs with the ability to aggregate multiple channels.87 Ten megahertz
channels provide a flexible, scalable, practically deployable bandwidth for high data rate technologies that
would permit multiple Priority Access Licensees to operate effectively in a given geographic area. We
seek comment on the proposed rule.
48.
In addition, consistent with the Revised Framework, we propose that once the
Commission has assigned PAL rights to a user, the specific channels would be dynamically assigned to
the PALs by the SAS.88 As discussed previously, some commenters argue for fixed channel
assignments.89 Others, like Google and WISPA support the dynamic assignment model outlined in the
Revised Framework.90 We should maximize flexibility in the band to allow the SAS to use channel
assignments as a tool in maximizing efficiency and minimizing interference scenarios. However, we
propose that the SAS be permitted to assign specific frequencies to Priority Access Licensees upon their
request, when available and on a dynamic basis. To the extent a licensee has PALs in adjacent census
tracts, we propose that the SAS should endeavor to assign contiguous frequencies across geographic
boundaries. In addition, consistent with the dynamic nature of the proposed channel assignments, we
encourage SAS Administrators to make reasonable efforts to assign adjacent frequencies to licensees with
access rights to multiple channels in a single census tract. Dynamically assigning spectrum based upon
the demand within a geographic area at a given time would promote efficient use of the band across wider
geographic areas without compromising flexibility. We seek comment on this proposal. What effect
would such assignment have on spectrum efficiency as opposed to the use of channel bonding techniques
across non-contiguous spectrum? Would such a rule simplify or complicate the SAS’s ability to manage
the spectrum within any given census tract? What effect would such a rule have on the ability to predict
and take measures to prevent harmful interference among users within the same census tract and users in
nearby census tracts?
49.
Term. We propose to limit license terms to one-year with no renewal, but allow entities
to aggregate up to five consecutive years of licenses, through competitive bidding.91 PALs would
automatically terminate at the end of each year. As explained in the Licensing PN, we believe that this
approach would promote flexibility, simplify administration, and promote fungibility and liquidity in the
secondary market.92 Allowing applications for multiple years of PALs would provide Priority Access
Licensees with the certainty they may need to make capital investments in any PAL.
50.
The record related to these licensing concepts was also mixed. Some commenters agreed
with our proposal of one-year terms with the option to aggregate multiple years.93 Others argued for

87 See e.g., AT&T Licensing PN Comments at 3-5; Google Licensing PN Comments at 10-13; Motorola Solutions
Licensing PN Comments at 4; NSN Licensing PN Comments at 5-8 (Stating a preference for larger blocks but
agreeing that 10 megahertz blocks have some advantage); OTI/PK Licensing PN Comments at 20; Qualcomm
Licensing PN Comments (Supporting 10 megahertz or 20 megahertz unpaired channels); T-Mobile Licensing PN
Comments at 7.
88 See Licensing PN, 28 FCC Rcd at 15310-15311, ¶ ¶ 30-32.
89 See AT&T Licensing PN Comments at 5-6; T-Mobile Licensing PN Comments at 10-12; Ericsson Licensing PN
Comments at 7; See supra section III(A)(1)(a)(vii).
90 See WISPA Licensing PN Comments at 19; Google Licensing PN Comments at 10-13; See supra section
III(A)(1)(a)(vii).
91 See infra section III(A)(2)(b)(1).
92 Licensing PN, 28 FCC Rcd at 15306, ¶ 13.
93 See WISPA Licensing PN Comments at 14-15 (one-year terms with a four-year aggregation limit); OTI/PK
Licensing PN Comments at 16-18 (one-year terms with a three-year aggregation cap); Spectrum Bridge Licensing
PN
Comments at 2-3 (supporting one year “leases” but advocating a mix of fixed and variable length lease times);
See also AT&T Licensing PN Comments at 3-5 (supporting one-year terms but arguing for a “keep what you use”
(continued….)
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license terms shorter than one year94 while Microsoft agreed with the one-year proposal but argued for a
prohibition on term aggregation.95 On the other hand, several commenters including Ericsson, NSN, and
Qualcomm supported a more traditional licensing model with longer (e.g. 10-year) license terms.96
51.
Under this proposal, licensees would be able to hold up to five-years of PALs in a given
geographic area at any given time. Licensees holding less than five-years of PALs in a geographic area
may apply for additional PALs in the same geographic area, up to a total (including their existing PALs)
of five-years. For example, a licensee awarded five-years of PALs through the annual application
window in one year would be allowed to apply for a one year PAL through the annual application
window in the subsequent year.97
52.
We note that in response to the Licensing PN, several commenters argued for a shorter
temporal aggregation limit than we propose here. For example, WISPA suggests a four-year aggregation
cap, Public Knowledge and the New America Foundation suggest a three-year cap, Motorola Solutions
suggests only two years, and Microsoft suggests we not permit term aggregation (effectively a one-year
availability in the licensing window).98 AT&T, by contrast, suggests that licensees be permitted to retain
their authorizations indefinitely for areas in which they have deployed equipment and provided service
within one year.99 By combining short-term licenses with a multi-year application window, our proposal
for one-year licenses with term aggregation balances the competing public interest concerns expressed in
the record. We seek comment on the proposed one-year, non-renewable license terms and aggregation
limit, including any costs and benefits.
(iii)

Application Window (§ 96.25)

53.
We propose to accept applications for PALs annually and to make up to five consecutive
years of PALs available in any given application window. We seek comment on the proposed rule
including any potential costs or benefits.
(iv)
Assignment of Licenses (§ 96.27)
54.
We propose to adopt a geographic area license scheme for the Priority Access tier, which
permits the filing and acceptance of mutually exclusive applications. Section 309(j) of the
Communications Act requires that the Commission assign initial licenses through the use of competitive
bidding when mutually exclusive applications for such licenses are accepted for filing, except in the case
of certain specific statutory exemptions. Although the NPRM asked whether a licensing scheme for PALs
should include a “mission critical” eligibility criterion that might involve such exemptions,100 under our
current eligibility proposal such exemptions would not appear applicable here.101 Consistent with the
(Continued from previous page)
approach to renewals); Federated Licensing PN Comments at 17-25 (supporting one-year terms as a nominal level
but advocating for finer temporal granularity with usage fees).
94 See Motorola Solutions Licensing PN Comments at 7-8 (quarterly terms with a two-year aggregation cap).
95 Microsoft Licensing PN Comments at 6.
96 See Ericsson Licensing PN Comments at 7-8; NSN Licensing PN Comments at 4-5; Qualcomm Licensing PN
Comments at 7-8.
97 Stated differently, a licensee that successfully acquires rights to a PAL for years X through X+4 (e.g., years 1, 2,
3, 4, 5) during the year X (e.g., year 1) application window would be eligible to apply for, and acquire, rights to a
PAL in year X+5 (e.g., year 6) during the year X+1 (e.g., year 2) application window.
98 See OTI/PK Licensing PN Comments at 16-18; WISPA Licensing PN Comments at 15; Motorola Solutions
Licensing PN Comments at 7-9; Microsoft Licensing PN Comments at 6.
99 AT&T Licensing PN Comments at 5.
100 See 3.5 GHz NPRM, 27 FCC Rcd at 15618-19 and 22-23, ¶¶ 70-73, 85.
101 See 47 U.S.C. § 309(j)(1), (2).
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Commission’s policy that competitive bidding places licenses in the hands of those that value the
spectrum most highly, we believe that it would be in the public interest to adopt a licensing scheme for
PALs which allows the filing of mutually exclusive applications that, if accepted, would be resolved
through competitive bidding. Accordingly, in section III(A)(2)(b) below, we seek comment on a number
of proposals regarding competitive bidding rules that would apply to resolve any mutually exclusive
applications accepted for PALs in the Citizens Broadband Radio Service.
(v)

Aggregation of Priority Access Licenses (§ 96.29)

55.
OTI, New America Foundation, and Public Knowledge argue that when mutual
exclusivity exists no licensee should hold more than 20 megahertz of spectrum in a given license area.102
They argue that the limitation would allow future entrants and new competitors to enter the market.103 We
propose to allow licensees to hold up to three PALs in one census tract at one time (i.e., 30 megahertz in
one census tract at any time). Given the unique circumstances of this band and the proposed rules, it
would be difficult to apply the Commission’s traditional competitive review process with respect to
proposed transfers of licenses in the band. In this specific instance, a clear aggregation limit, applicable
to all PAL licensees in the band, could promote competitive access to the band while avoiding the need
for case-by-case review of license transfers. This approach should facilitate a liquid “spot market” in
PALs, as described further in section III(A)(2)(c), below. We seek comment on the proposed rule.
Should we set a higher or lower allowance? Should aggregation allowances only apply when mutual
exclusivity exists? Is an aggregation limit necessary when interested parties also have access to GAA
spectrum, along with other bands that can be used for Wi-Fi and other similar services? Should
aggregation limits change if the band is partially encumbered by Incumbent Users? What are the costs
and benefits of higher or lower allowances? Are there other methods to promote competition, incentivize
investment and innovation, and ensure spectrum availability for diverse uses?
d.

Subpart D – GENERAL AUTHORIZED ACCESS

(i)

Authorization and General Authorized Access Use (§ 96.31
and § 96.33)

56.
As explained above, we propose to reserve a floor of at least 50 percent of available
bandwidth in the 3.5 GHz Band in each census tract for GAA use, with additional frequencies to be made
available on an opportunistic basis when not in use by Priority Access Licensees.104 As described in the
NPRM and Licensing PN, GAA devices would be licensed-by-rule as under Section 307 of the
Communications Act105 to promote rapid deployment by a wide range of users at low cost and with
minimal barriers to entry.106 GAA users would be required to use only certified, Commission-approved
CBSDs and register with the SAS.107 Consistent with the proposed rules governing CBSDs, devices
operating on a GAA basis would be required to provide the SAS with all information required by the
rules – including operator identification, device identification, and geo-location information – upon initial
registration and as required by the SAS.108 GAA users would also be required to comply with the
instructions of the SAS and avoid causing harmful interference to Priority Access Licensees and
Incumbent Access tier users. Similar to unlicensed operations, GAA users would have no expectation of

102 OTI/PK Licensing PN Comments at 20.
103 OTI/PK Licensing PN Comments at 20.
104 See supra section III (A)(1)(a)(vii).
105 See 47 U.S.C. § 307(e)(1); Appendix A §§ 95.401 and 96.31.
106 See Licensing PN, 28 FCC Rcd at 15309, ¶ 23; 3.5 GHz NPRM, 27 FCC Rcd at 15616-17 and 15620, ¶¶ 61-63
and 75-76.
107 See Appendix A, § 96.36 and 96.39.
108 See Appendix A, § 96.36.
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interference protection from other Citizens Broadband Radio Service users.109 Are there other licensing
paradigms that the Commission should consider? If so, commenters are requested to provide a detailed
analysis of the pros and cons of the approach.
57.
As discussed previously, commenters took a variety of positions with regard to the
portion of the band that should be used for GAA as well as our proposals to allow dynamic and
opportunistic use of unused Priority Access channels.110 Some commenters also objected to our proposal
to authorize the GAA tier on a license-by-rule basis.111 These positions are discussed in greater detail in
sections III(A)(1)(a)(vii) and III(A)(2)(a). Our proposals would ensure widespread availability of GAA
frequencies for the broadest possible class of users and applications. We seek comment on the proposed
rules including potential costs and benefits.
(ii)

Contained Access Facilities (§ 96.35)

58.
As we noted in the NPRM and Licensing PN, a wide variety of critical services in the
United States have current and future spectrum needs and there is currently insufficient spectrum to
allocate exclusive bandwidth to all such services.112 While we believe that broad eligibility for use of the
3.5 GHz Band will produce significant public interest benefits, we continue to believe that “the high
spatial reuse characteristics of low-power 3.5 GHz transmissions, combined with access management
facilitated by the SAS, should allow the 3.5 GHz Band to be utilized on a shared, licensed basis by a
variety of critical users to provide high quality services to localized facilities.”113 To that end, the
Licensing PN sought comment on whether it would be in the public interest to allow critical users to
receive interference protections, akin to Priority Access users, within a limited portion (e.g., 20
megahertz) of the GAA pool inside the confines of their facilities.
59.
Commenters responding the Licensing PN diverged as to how the Commission should
treat critical facilities. Commenters including T-Mobile and Spectrum Bridge support allowing critical
access users to reserve spectrum on a highly localized basis.114 Motorola Solutions argues that critical
facilities should be assigned 20 to 30 megahertz of the 3.5 GHz Band and be permitted to utilize that
spectrum for indoor or outdoor applications, while UTC asserts that the entire Priority Access Tier should
be reserved for critical access facilities.115 Google argues that preferential treatment for critical facilities
should be limited to “available spectrum” and that such users should not be able to evict users that have
already deployed network facilities.116 In addition, PCIA argues that the Commission should provide for
the deployment of both critical and non-critical localized indoor networks.117
60.
We propose to allow Contained Access Users, such as hospitals, public safety
organizations, and local governments to request up to 20 megahertz of reserved frequencies from the
GAA pool for indoor use within their facilities in furtherance of the public interest. These frequencies
may be used only for private internal radio services and may not be made available to the general public.
Other GAA users would not be permitted to utilize the reserved frequencies within designated Contained

109 See 47 C.F.R. §15.5.
110 See supra section III(A)(1)(a)(vii).
111 See infra section III(A)(2)(a).
112 See 3.5 GHz NPRM, 27 FCC Rcd at 15618, ¶ 70; Licensing PN, 28 FCC Rcd at 15311-12, ¶ 36.
113 3.5 GHz NPRM, 27 FCC Rcd at 15619, ¶ 73.
114 See T-Mobile Licensing PN Comments at 12-13; Spectrum Bridge Licensing PN Comments at 6.
115 See Motorola Solutions Licensing PN Comments at 2-5; UTC Licensing PN Comments at 4-6.
116 See Google Licensing PN Comments at 19.
117 See Comments of PCIA in Response to Licensing PN in GN Docket No. 12-354 (filed December 5, 2013) (PCIA
Licensing PN Comments) at 5-6.
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Access Facilities (CAFs). Except for the ability to prohibit third-party use in CAFs, Contained Access
Users availing themselves of the reserved channels would still operate on a GAA basis and would have no
special rights with respect to interference from Incumbent Users and other Citizens Broadband Radio
Service users. We also propose that Contained Access Users must undertake reasonable efforts to
safeguard against harmful interference from GAA transmissions originating outside the CAF. The
“reasonable efforts” requirement would therefore ensure that Contained Access Users take advantage of
RF isolation intrinsic to the CAF, along with any other potential interference “self-help” measures, to
protect the RF environment within the CAF.118 Potential Contained Access Users would be required to
receive approval from the Commission to be eligible to utilize reserved frequencies. The public interest
would be served by giving designated Contained Access Users the ability to utilize reserved frequencies
indoors, within CAFs in this fashion. Moreover, the limited geographic and spectral impact of this
proposal will allow for the effective coexistence of Contained Access Users, Incumbent Users, and other
Citizens Broadband Radio Service operators.
61.
We seek comment on the proposed rule including any costs or benefits. Specifically,
what types of entities should be considered qualified Contained Access Users? Does this proposal
adequately address the spectrum needs of Contained Access Users? Would this proposal effectively
address a demonstrated spectrum need for certain users that would not otherwise be addressed by the
proposals in this FNPRM? Should this proposed framework be limited to Contained Access Users or
expanded to include other types of facilities, including outdoor facilities? Would the SAS be able to
effectively manage spectrum use by a large number of facilities? How would the SAS limit the operation
of other GAA users within CAF premises? Would this plan unacceptably encumber GAA spectrum? We
ask that commenters provide detailed technical and/or economic analysis to support their arguments.
e.

Subpart E – TECHNICAL RULES

(i)

Citizens Broadband Radio Service Devices General
Requirements (§ 96.36)

62.
To enable the SAS to authorize and effectively coordinate the use of shared spectrum in
the 3.5 GHz Band, CBSDs must transmit certain operational and identification information to the SAS.
In the NPRM, Licensing PN, and SAS Papers PN we sought comment on the types of information that
CBSDs should be required to transmit.119 Commenters took a wide range of positions with regard to
information transmission requirements for CBSDs.120 Elements of these proposals have been
incorporated into proposed rule 96.36. Specifically, we propose that CBSDs must provide the SAS with
the following information: (1) geographic location (within ±50 meters horizontal and ±3 meters vertical);
(2) antenna height above ground level (meters); (3) requested authorization status (Priority Access or
General Authorized Access); (4) unique FCC identification number; (5) user contact information; and (6)
unique serial number. This information must be communicated when the CBSD initially registers at the
SAS and at regular intervals thereafter. We also propose that CBSDs must follow directions and updates
sent by SAS in a timely manner. For managed networks, while it is likely that information exchanges

118 We note that Contained Access Users requiring stronger interference protections, or protections that extend
beyond the perimeter of a CAF, could also apply for PALs using the same procedures as other potential Citizens
Broadband Radio Service operators.
119 See SAS Papers PN, 28 FCC Rcd at 15845-46.
120 See e.g., WISPA Response to FCC Call for Papers on Proposed 3.5 GHz Spectrum Access System in GN Docket
No. 12-354 (filed January 3, 2014) (WISPA SAS Paper) at 3-4; InterDigital, Inc. Response to FCC Call for Papers
on Proposed 3.5 GHz Spectrum Access System in GN Docket No. 12-354 (filed January 3, 2014) (InterDigital SAS
Paper) at 11-13; Google, Inc. Response to FCC Call for Papers on Proposed 3.5 GHz Spectrum Access System in
GN Docket No. 12-354 (filed January 3, 2014) (Google SAS Paper) at 4; and Nokia Siemens Networks Response to
FCC Call for Papers on Proposed 3.5 GHz Spectrum Access System in GN Docket No. 12-354 (filed January 3,
2014) (NSN SAS Paper) at 6.
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between CBSDs and the SAS would be aggregated through a proxy such as a network access manager,121
the proposed requirements would still be applicable to all CBSDs operating in the band.
63.
Geo-location and Reporting Capability. For the SAS to predict and evaluate potential
interference and spectrum availability accurately it must have accurate location information for all
CBSDs. We propose that all CBSDs must accurately report the location of each of their antennas to
within ±50 meters (horizontal) and ±3 meters (vertical). The proposed horizontal geo-location
requirement is consistent with a similar requirement in the TVWS rules.122 We also propose that CBSDs
report their location to the SAS within 60 seconds of a change in location exceeding the accuracy
requirement. We seek comment on these proposals, including potential costs and benefits. Is this degree
of accuracy feasible with current technology? Should we require greater accuracy? What effect do the
accuracy requirements have on actual spectrum efficiency and the SASs ability to manage interference
potential among different users? Would the proposed geo-location requirement place undue burden on
equipment manufacturers or SAS operators? Is such a requirement reasonable to control the interference
environment among users? Is there a different timeframe for reporting that should be used?
64.
Interoperability. To facilitate our proposed dynamic approach to frequency
assignment,123 we propose to require CBSDs to be interoperable across all frequencies from 3550-3700
MHz. This would ensure that all CBSDS and End User Devices certified to operate in the band would be
capable of sending and receiving information regardless of the frequencies assigned by the SAS. It also
anticipates the possible inclusion of the 3650-3700 MHz band. Several commenters also supported band-
wide device interoperability.124 We seek comment on this proposal including any potential costs and
benefits. What effects would such a requirement have on equipment cost and design? What are the
implications of equipment that may only work over a portion of the band and may not be able to tune to
channels as assigned by the SAS? To what extent would an interoperability requirement promote
consumer choice, given the characteristics of this service? To what extent should we seek to align the
proposed interoperability requirement with existing international harmonization efforts for the 3.5 GHz
Band (e.g., 3GPP Bands 42 and 43)? Similarly, how are current coexistence efforts among products
conforming to multiple industry standards (e.g., 3GPP, IEEE 802.11 series) affected by the proposed
interoperability requirement?125
65.
Registration with SAS. As set forth in greater detail below,126 we also propose that
CBSDs be permitted to operate only if authorized by the SAS and if they follow frequency assignments
and power limitations set by SAS. We propose that CBSDs must move their transmission to another
channel or stop operation in the band as directed by SAS within a reasonable time. We seek comment on
the appropriate time for CBSDs to respond to instructions from the SAS. Is sixty seconds a reasonable
response timeframe or could a shorter response period be imposed? How does the timeframe affect the

121 See NSN SAS Paper at 6; Alcatel Lucent Inc. Response to FCC Call for Papers on Proposed 3.5 GHz Spectrum
Access System in GN Docket No. 12-354 (filed January 3, 2014) (Alcatel Lucent SAS Paper) at 4; T-Mobile USA,
Inc. Response to FCC Call for Papers on Proposed 3.5 GHz Spectrum Access System in GN Docket No. 12-354
(filed January 3, 2014) (T-Mobile SAS Paper) at 8; Ericsson and iconectiv Response to FCC Call for Papers on
Proposed 3.5 GHz Spectrum Access System in GN Docket No. 12-354 (filed January 3, 2014) (Ericsson SAS Paper)
at 6.
122 See 47 C.F.R. § 15.711(b).
123 See supra section III(A)(1)(a)(vii).
124 See Comments of Motorola Mobility LLC in response to Licensing PN in GN Docket No. 12-354 (filed
December 5, 2013) at 3-4; Reply Comments of Google Inc. in response to Licensing PN in GN Docket No. 12-354
(filed December 20, 2013) (Google Licensing PN Reply Comments) at 9-10.
125 See Letter from Jessica de Simone, Telecommunications Law Professionals PLLC on behalf of Motorola
Mobility, Inc. in GN Docket No. 12-354, Ex Parte (filed April 15, 2014).
126 See infra section III(A)(1)(f); Appendix A, §§ 96.43-48.
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overall spectrum efficiency within the band? What effect would this timeframe have on the ability of the
SAS to manage potential interference?
66.
Interference Reporting. Some commenters suggested that, to enable the SAS to tune or
update its predictive models and also address real time interference issues, CBSDs should be required to
provide the SAS with signal level measurements in their band or other adjacent frequency channels as
requested by SAS.127 Many technologies already support this capability to allow radio resource
management within a network.128 This capability could be a valuable tool for managing interference and
promoting productive coexistence between multiple operators in the 3.5 GHz Band. We propose to
require CBSDs to measure and report on their local signal level environment as set forth in the proposed
rules.129 We seek comment on this proposal. What effect would the incorporation of such capability have
on the cost of equipment? How should such a requirement be structured? Over what bandwidth or over
how many channels should such measurements be reported? Does the Commission need to adopt
measurement guidelines or procedures specifying how such measurements should be taken to ensure
consistency in reporting among users?
67.
Security. During the SAS Workshop many commenters also emphasized the importance
of end-to-end security for communications among CBSDs, End User Devices, and the SAS. 130 We are
mindful of the need to provide robust security for Federal information, personally identifiable
information, and sensitive business information that may be transmitted between these devices and the
SAS. To that end, we propose a security requirement for all communications between authorized SASs
and CBSDs. We also propose to adopt comprehensive procedures to test and certify CBSDs and
associated end user devices for operation in this band and to require the SAS to disconnect any device
whose proper operation has been compromised. We seek comment on these proposed security measures.
We ask commenters to suggest appropriate security protocols and discuss how these protocols would
effectively safeguard sensitive information transmitted among the SAS, CBSDs, and End User Devices.
If not, what additional measures should we adopt? Are there other enforcement mechanisms that can be
put in place to ensure proper security of devices?
(ii)

End User Devices General Requirements (§ 96.37)

68.
We propose that mobile, portable, or fixed End User Devices may operate only if they
can positively receive and decode an authorization signal transmitted by a CBSD, including the
frequencies and power limits for their operation.131 This requirement would effectively prevent End User
Devices from unauthorized operation in the 3.5 GHz Band and ensure that such devices operate only
according to the instructions transmitted from the SAS to the CBSD. We seek comment on this proposed
rule.
(iii)

General Radio Requirements (§ 96.38)

69.
Digital Modulation. We propose that systems operating in the Citizens Broadband Radio
Service use digital modulation techniques. We seek comment on this proposed rule.

127 See Google SAS Paper at 4.
128 See Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), Technical Specification Group Radio Access Network,
Evolved Universal Terrestrial Radio Access, Radio Resource Control (RRC), Protocol specification (Release 12),
3GPP TS 36.331 v. 11.7.0 (2014-03), available at: http://www.3gpp.org/DynaReport/36331.htm.
129 See Appendix A, § 96.36.
130See Google SAS Paper at 4-6; InterDigital SAS Paper at 16-17; Federated Wireless, LLC Response to FCC Call
for Papers on Proposed 3.5 GHz Spectrum Access System in GN Docket No. 12-354 (filed January 3, 2014)
(Federated SAS Paper) at 5-6.
131 See Appendix A, § 96.37.
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70.
Conducted and Emitted Power Limits. To prevent harmful interference among users of
the 3.5 GHz Band, we propose to establish appropriate and flexible power limits for CBSDs and End User
Devices when operating in this band. In the Licensing PN, we sought comment on limiting CBSD
emitted power to 24 dBm.132 We also sought comment on a 6 dBi antenna gain for installations requiring
an external antenna.133 With negligible cable and insertion loss, this makes the maximum effective
isotropically radiated power (EIRP) 1W or 30 dBm.134 We noted that these are consistent with the values
commonly assumed in various studies for small cell base stations.135 We also indicated that the maximum
operational EIRP of individual base stations might be reduced by the SAS to prevent interference and
promote efficient network operation.136 In addition, we assume that End User Devices would have
configurable maximum power levels below typical 24 dBm values and support for some form of power
control.137
71.
Commenters diverged greatly with regard to the maximum allowable power for devices
operating in the band, with many supporting variable power limits for different use cases. For instance,
CommScope supported a 24 dBm maximum transmit power for base stations with low gain antennas.138
T-Mobile supported a maximum transmit power of 24 dBm for GAA users and 37 dBm for Priority
Access devices.139 Verizon advocated a maximum transmit power of 30 dBm for outdoor Priority Access
base stations, while noting that 24 dBm might be appropriate for GAA indoor uses.140 Similarly,
Motorola Solutions, BliNQ, and Qualcomm supported maximum transmit power of 30 dBm for at least
some use cases.141 WISPA encouraged the Commission to allow higher power operations in rural areas of
the country.142
72.
Commenters also supported a wide range of allowable antenna gains for base stations -
from 6 dBi through 29 dBi - and maximum allowable power levels for different transmitters within that
range.143 For the combination of transmit power and antenna gain, commenters proposed a range of EIRP
from low 30 dBm to high 47 dBm for different use cases. Motorola Solutions, Qualcomm, and
CommScope (for lower than 12 dBi antenna gain) suggested a maximum EIRP of 30 dBm.144 Some,

132 See Licensing PN, 28 FCC Rcd 15314 at ¶¶ 45-46.
133 Id.
134 Id.
135 Id.
136 Id.
137 Id.
138 See Comments of CommScope in response to Licensing PN in GN Docket No. 12-354 (filed December 5, 2013)
(Commscope Licensing PN Comments) at 5-6 (recommending maximum transmit power of 24 dBM and maximum
EIRP of 30 dBM for devices with low gain antennas); See also T-Mobile SAS Paper at 13-14 (recommending
maximum transmit power of 24 dBm for GAA users).
139 See T-Mobile Licensing PN Comments at 13-14.
140 See Verizon Licensing PN Comments at 12.
141 See Motorola Solutions Licensing PN Comments at 6; Comments of BLiNQ Networks, Inc. in Response to
Licensing PN in GN Docket No. 12-354 (filed December 5, 2013) (BLiNQ Licensing PN Comments) at 7;
Qualcomm Licensing PN Comments at 4.
142 WISPA Licensing PN Comments at 8-12.
143 See CommScope Licensing PN Comments at 5-6; Verizon Licensing PN Comments at 12; BLiNQ Licensing PN
Comments at 7.
144 See Commscope Licensing PN Comments at 5; Motorola Solutions Licensing PN Comments at 6; Qualcomm
Licensing PN Comments at 4.
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including Google (36 dBm), CommScope (37 dBm for equal or higher than 12 dBi antenna gain), and
Verizon (47 dBm) argued for higher maximum EIRP figures.145
73.
We also received transmit power recommendations from parties who would like to utilize
the 3.5 GHz Band for point-to-point and backhaul service. BLiNQ argued that a maximum EIRP
allowance of 43 dBm would help enable non-line-of-sight (NLOS) backhaul applications as well as other
important services, such as rural point-to-point communications.146 CommScope also recommended 54
dBm EIRP for point-to-point backhaul and Verizon suggested that 53 dBm EIRP would be appropriate
for outdoor point-to-point service.147
74.
It is important to establish flexible rules that would allow for a wide variety of innovative
services to be deployed in the 3.5 GHz Band and we are encouraged that many commenters share this
view. Ensuring that the band is available for multiple use cases should encourage rapid network
deployment, promote the development of a robust device ecosystem, and help to ensure the long-term
viability of the band. Therefore, we propose to adopt different transmit power levels to accommodate a
range of Citizens Broadband Radio Service use cases. Except for fixed point-to-point radio systems
addressed below, we propose to adopt a 24 dBm (per 10 megahertz) peak transmit power for CBSDs that
are not operating in rural areas. For devices with a 6 dBi antenna gain, we propose a maximum aggregate
EIRP of 30 dBm for CBSDs located in non-rural areas. The power spectral density for such transmit
power would be 14 dBm/MHz. We also propose to adopt 30 dBm (per 10 megahertz) peak transmit
power for CBSDs that operate in rural areas.148 With 17 dBi antenna gain, we propose a maximum
aggregate EIRP of 47 dBm for CBSDs located in rural environments. The power spectral density for such
transmit power would be 20 dBm/MHz. These proposed transmit power limits are generally consistent
with recommendations in the record. These proposed maximum transmit power levels would help
promote productive use of the band.
75.
For fixed point-to-point radio systems, we propose a 30 dBm (per 10 megahertz) peak
transmit power limit for CBSDs. With a 23 dBi antenna gain, we propose a maximum aggregate EIRP of
53 dBm for CBSDs. We propose that the maximum allowable peak transmit power in this paragraph be
reduced by 1 dB for every 1 dB that the directional gain of the antenna exceeds 23 dBi. The power
spectral density for such transmit power would be 20 dBm/MHz.
76.
We also propose that maximum EIRP for End User Devices not exceed 23 dBm in 10
megahertz bandwidth. We also propose that CBSDs and End User Devices limit their operating power to
the minimum necessary for successful operation.
77.
We note that NTIA did not consider these proposed use cases or technical criteria in
calculating the Fast Track Exclusion Zones. What effects would these additional use cases have on the
size of the Exclusion Zones?
78.
We seek comment on these proposed rules. Are the proposals in this section appropriate
for the variety of use cases possible in the 3.5 GHz Band? Would these proposals further the public
interest by promoting efficient and innovative use of spectrum resources? Should the proposed definition
of “rural environments” be altered due to the use of small cells and in light of the fact that these systems
are proposed to be deployed in areas smaller than counties? In light of the flexible approach to EIRP
limits proposed herein, should we consider allowing higher power operations in the 3.5 GHz Band? We

145 See CommScope Licensing PN Comments at 5-6; Verizon Licensing PN Comments at 12; Google Licensing PN
Comments
at 20.
146 See BLiNQ Licensing PN Comments at 7-8.
147 See CommScope Licensing PN Comments at 6; Verizon Licensing PN Comments at 12.
148 For purposes of the proposed Part 96, a rural area would be defined as a county (or equivalent) with a population
density of 100 persons per square mile or less, based upon the most recently available Census data. See Appendix
A.
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encourage commenters to support their positions with detailed technical and cost benefit analyses taking
into account the various interference scenarios that may exist in this band among different CBSDs and
among CBSDs and Incumbent Users.
79.
Received Signal Strength Limits. To perform proper frequency assignments and
interference management, it is important for the SAS to have a baseline threshold for the maximum signal
level from CBSDs at the border of their service area. Therefore, Citizens Broadband Radio Service users
should ensure that the aggregate signal level from their CBSDs as well as transmissions from their
associated End User Devices at the edge of their authorized service areas remain at levels that would not
harm other CBSDs in the same or higher tiers. For small cell networks, the industry standards and studies
have shown 20 dB and 55 dB of interference rise over noise to be acceptable for picocells and femtocells
respectively.149 Based on these industry standards, and taking into account reasonable distance between
authorized use operations, we propose a signal level threshold of - 80 dBm measured by a 0 dBi isotropic
antenna in a 10 megahertz bandwidth anywhere along PAL service area boundaries between different
Citizens Broadband Radio Service users.150 We also propose to allow neighboring users to coordinate a
higher signal level threshold. We seek comment on this proposed rule. How should this signal level be
determined? Over what bandwidth should the signal threshold be measured? The proposal implies that
this signal level would need to be met at all points along the PAL service boundary at ground level and all
heights above ground level. Is such a requirement feasible? Should there be a single point at which this
signal level should be enforced? What is the effect of this proposal on operation of CBSDs and on the
interference potential within the band? How feasible would it be for the SAS to calculate and enforce
such a limit?
80.
Emission Limits. In the NPRM we sought comment on whether to adopt out-of-band
emission (OOBE) limits or other requirements to protect services in adjacent bands from harmful
interference. We also asked for comment on the appropriate OOBE limits for small cells in the 3.5 GHz
Band and the interference protection threshold limits of relevant services.151 Several commenters
highlighted the importance of protecting incumbent and adjacent band services but differed as to the
specific protection criteria.152 Some commenters presented co-existence analysis and protection distances

149 See 3GPP,Technical Specification Group Radio Access Network, Evolved Universal Terrestrial Radio Access
(E-UTRA), Radio Frequency (RF) requirements for LTE Pico Node B (release 11), 3GPP TR 36.931 version 11.0.0
(2012-09), available at: http://www.3gpp.org/DynaReport/36931.htm atsection 6.1.2.3.1; and 3GPP, Technical
Specification Group Radio Access Network, Evolved Universal Terrestrial Radio Access (E-UTRA), TDD Home
eNode B (HeNB) Radio Frequency (RF) requirements analysis (release 11), 3GPP TR 36.922 v11.0.0 (2012-09),
available at: http://www.3gpp.org/DynaReport/36922.htm.
150 Under our proposal, PAL boundaries within a single Priority Access Licensee’s service area would not be subject
to the -80 dBm threshold.
151 See 3.5 GHz NPRM, 27 FCC Rcd at 15637-15638, ¶¶ 136-138.
152 See e.g., Reply Comments of Baron Services, Inc. in response to NPRM in GN Docket No. 12-354 (filed April 5,
2013, corrected April 10, 2013) (Baron NPRM Reply Comments) at 6-8; Comments of Spectrum Bridge in response
to NPRM in GN Docket No. 12-354 (filed February 20, 2013) (Spectrum Bridge NPRM Comments) at 13-16;
Comments of WiMax Forum in response to NPRM in GN Docket No. 12-354 (filed February 20, 2013) (WiMax
Forum NPRM Comments) at 8; Comments of National Association of Broadcasters in response to NPRM in GN
Docket No. 12-354 (filed February 20, 2013) at 2-3; Comments of Pierre De Vries, Senior Fellow, Silicon Flatirons
Center for Law, Technology, and Entrepreneurship in response to NPRM in GN Docket No. 12-354 (filed February
20, 2013) at 6-14; Comments of the Satellite Industry Association in GN Docket No. 12-354 (filed February 20,
2013) (SIA NPRM Comments)at 18-20; Harris Corporation Reply Comments in response to NPRM in GN Docket
No. 12-354 (filed April 5, 2013) at 5-6; Letter from Aparna Sridhar, Telecom Policy Counsel, Google Inc. to Julius
Knapp and Ruth Milkman, ex parte, GN Docket No. 12-354 (filed September 3, 2013) (Google Letter); and
Declaration of Dr. Preston Marshall, Principal Systems Architect, Google Services, ex parte, GN Docket No. 12-354
(filed September 3, 2013) (Marshall Declaration).
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based on long-standing 43 + 10 log (P) dB OOBE limits.153 Issues specifically related to OOBE that
could affect the operations of earth stations in the C-Band are addressed in detail in section III(B)(3)(b).
We also seek comment on whether to specify particular OOBE limits.
81.
The Commission’s rules generally limit the amount of radio frequency (RF) power that
may be emitted outside of, or in a range of frequencies outside of, the assigned frequencies/channel(s) of
an RF transmission. Moreover, the Commission has previously concluded that in certain circumstances,
attenuating transmitter OOBEs to at least 43 + 10 log (P) dB is appropriate to minimize harmful
electromagnetic interference between operators.154 This limit has served well as a basis for development
of industry standards which may impose tighter limits in certain cases. For Priority Access and GAA
operations in the 3.5 GHz Band, we propose to apply the limit of 43 + 10 log (P), which is equivalent to –
13 dBm / MHz, to all emissions outside of channel assignments and frequency authorizations by SAS in
the 3.5 GHz Band. We seek comment on this limit and whether it should be more stringent (i.e., at a
lower power spectral density) given the state-of-the art of modern radio technologies, and the potential
gains in spectral efficiency and minimizing interference coupling distance between neighboring radios
operating in the 3.5 GHz Band.
82.
Notwithstanding the foregoing paragraph, we recognize the need for Citizens Broadband
Radio Service operations to protect incumbent and dissimilar radio services with sensitive weak signal
receivers such as in-band and out-of-band FSS earth stations and DoD radar systems.155 These incumbent
radio service operations may be within and adjacent to the 3.5 GHz Band. Protection thresholds for weak
signal receivers and minimizing the interference coupling distance to these receivers from new 3.5 GHz
Band transmitters may require greater out-of-band attenuation (lower than -13 dBm / MHz) than can be
achieved within the RF filter pass-band of 3.5 GHz Band radios. Striking the proper balance between the
emission limits of CBSDs and End User Devices, along with the protection thresholds of incumbent
receivers, may require more stringent OOBE limits in certain circumstances.156 We also recognize that
there has been considerable technological advancement in transmitter and receiver device technologies
deployed in the mobile broadband industry over recent years, such that more stringent OOBE limits may
be practical without undue burden to manufacturers and operators.
83.
For example, the current LTE standards for the use in PCS requires mobiles in 1850 –
1915 MHz to meet a limit of -50 dBm/MHz in 1930-1995 MHz.157 The current capabilities for mobile
broadband manufacturers will support this level of tolerance for interference. Given that other mobile
broadband service operations may already be imposing OOBE at the -40 dBm/MHz level, we propose this
limit specifically for CBSD emissions above 3680 MHz and below 3520 MHz. We recognize that a more
stringent limit would enable closer proximity of neighboring service operations. We seek comment as to
whether this limit should be more stringent at -50 dBm/MHz.

153 See Comments of Redline Communications Inc. in response to NPRM in GN Docket No. 12-354 (filed February
20, 2013) at 4; Comments of Tarana Wireless in response to NPRM in GN Docket No. 12-354 (filed February 20,
2013) at 4; Comments of the Utilities Telecom Council, Edison Electric Institute, and National Rural
Telecommunications Cooperative in response to NPRM in GN Docket No. 12-354 (filed February 20, 2013)
(UTC/EEI/NRTC NPRM Comments) at 23-24.
154 See e.g., 47 C.F.R. § 24.238(a); 27.53(h) (for PCS and AWS, respectively).
155 See infra section III(B)(1) and (3).
156 See infra section III(B)(3).
157 This applies to both LTE band 2, supporting PCS blocks A through F, and LTE band 25, supporting PCS blocks
A through G. See 3GPP,Technical Specification Group Radio Access Network, Evolved Universal Terrestrial Radio
Access (E-UTRA), User Equipment (UE) radio transmission and reception (release 12), 3GPP TS 36.101 V12.2.0
(2013-12), available at: http://www.3gpp.org/DynaReport/36101.htm (3GPP TS 36.101 rel. 12) at Table 6.6.3.2-1.
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84.
In general, while OOBE limits to -40 dBm/MHz are reasonable and not burdensome, a
spectral transition gap immediately above and below the edges of the 3.5 GHz Band may be necessary
given the limitations of RF/radio filter technology, in stepping down from an in-band limit of -13
dBm/MHz to an out-of-band emission limit of -40 dBm/MHz. Some current research indicates that a
transition gap of approximately 1 percent of the band edge frequency may be within the state-of-the-art of
existing radio/filter technologies.158 Therefore, we propose a transition gap of 30 MHz above 3650 MHz
and 30 MHz below 3550 MHz, for setting the OOBE attenuation levels to -40 dBm/MHz. We seek
comment on the size of this transition gap, whether it is in the range of existing RF filter technology, and
whether the gap could be smaller through the use of more narrow RF filters in CBSD and user devices
(e.g., two RF filters over 3550 – 3650 MHz, one covering the lower 50 MHz and the other covering the
upper 50 MHz).
85.
Reception Limits. Priority Access Licensees may be authorized for operation in the same
geographic area, with other Priority Access Licensees authorized to operate in adjacent or near-adjacent
channels. The potential for interference between two or more Priority Access Licensees depends on both
the transmitter and receiver performance of the respective radio systems, because unwanted RF energy
received by a CBSD can be caused by both the emissions from an adjacent licensee spilling into the
desired frequencies of operation, as well as the imperfections of radio receivers. Establishing an RF field
strength/power spectral density that PAL receivers would need to accept from nearby licensed
transmitters, would effectively define the spectrum rights between PALs,159 and enable the SAS to assign
these rights with clear obligations between respective licensees. We seek comment on this approach.
86.
While the Commission’s rules in this regard are technology neutral, we note the signal
strength levels of undesired interfering signals in widely adopted industry standards for receiver
performance (e.g., 3GPP LTE).160 We recognize the in-band and out-of-band blocking characteristics and
adjacent channel selectivity of modern radio receivers that must perform over a high dynamic range of RF
power levels. We note that the interfering signal mean power, for acceptable Home Base Station (HeNB;
Femtocell) adjacent channel selectivity and blocking, ranges in the relevant 3GPP standards between -28
dBm161 and -15 dBm162 (in all LTE channel bandwidths) with moderately high wanted signal power. The
3GPP interfering signal power for acceptable LTE User Equipment adjacent channel selectivity and
blocking performance, in many cases is -30 dBm or above.163 Therefore, we propose a power spectral
density limit of -30 dBm / 10 megahertz as the interference limit that CBSDs operating on a Priority
Access basis must accept, not to be exceeded with greater than 99 percent probability, unless the affected
user agrees to a higher or lower limit and communicates such agreement to the SAS. Establishing a
probability threshold is important because worst-case conditions for highly transient and unlikely RF
interference events would otherwise establish an excessive constraint on neighboring radio service

158 See International Wireless Industry Consortium, Mobile RF Filter Group, Ex Parte presentation in WT Docket
No. 12-268 (2012).
159See FCC Technological Advisory Council, Receivers and Spectrum Working Group, Interference Limits Policy -
The Use of Harm Claim Thresholds to Improve the Interference Tolerance of Wireless Systems, White Paper
(February 6, 2013) (TAC White Paper), available at:
http://transition.fcc.gov/bureaus/oet/tac/tacdocs/WhitePaperTACInterferenceLimitsv1.0.pdf (Last visited August 30,
2013); Licensing PN, 28 FCC Rcd 15315.
160 See 3GPP TS 36.101 rel. 12; and 3GPP, Technical Specification Group Radio Access Network, Evolved
Universal Terrestrial Radio Access, Base Station Radio Transmission and Reception (release 12), 3GPP TS 36.104
V12.2.0, available at: http://www.3gpp.org/DynaReport/36104.htm (3GPP TS 36.104 rel. 12).
161 See 3GPP TS 36.104 rel. 12 at Table 7.5.1-5.
162 See id. at Table 7.6.1.1-1b (at frequencies further than 20 MHz from band edge).
163 See 3GPP TS 36.101 rel. 12 at Table 7.6.2.1-2 (frequency range categories 2, 3 and 4).
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operations.164 Would such a scheme be feasible for the SAS to administer? That is, how difficult would it
be for the SAS to track, manage and enforce agreements between different users? What mechanism
would be used to communicate such agreements to the SAS? How would an SAS be assured that all
affected users are in agreement?
87.
As described previously, GAA users must not cause harmful interference to and must
accept harmful interference from Incumbent Users and Priority Access Licensees. Therefore, we propose
that a GAA CBSD be required to change its operational frequencies, lower its transmit power, or cease
transmitting in accordance with instructions from the SAS if its operations are causing harmful
interference to higher tier users. We seek comment on this proposal and any operational details necessary
to ensure that the requirement is complied with. What is an acceptable response time for GAA CBSDs to
comply with instructions from the SAS? How frequently should CBSDs be required to query the SAS
regarding the status of their operations or should CBSDs only query the SAS when they change location
in excess of the accuracy requirements and otherwise adjust operations only when receiving instructions
from the SAS? What are the implications for spectrum efficiency and network traffic for various
communication requirements between CBSDs and the SAS?
88.
We seek comment on these proposed rules. We also seek comment on methods and
procedures that may be employed by Priority Access Licensees or the SAS to enforce these thresholds.
We encourage commenters to provide detailed technical and cost benefit analyses analyses to support
their proposals.
89.
In addition, as we noted in the Licensing PN, the TAC has been studying spectrum
interference policy and receiver standards in general, and it recommends that the Commission consider
forming one or more multi-stakeholder groups to study such standards and interference limits policy at
suitable service boundaries, such as those related to the 3.5 GHz Band.165 The Wireless Innovation
Forum, in its comments to the Licensing PN, recommended that the FCC encourage the formation of
industry led multi-stakeholder groups, proposed key characteristics of such a process, and committed to
establishing such a multi-stakeholder process to develop recommendations for the 3.5 GHz Band and
other band opportunities.166 Consistent with the recommendations of the TAC, we encourage and suggest
industry action to charter a technical group of stakeholders to develop industry coordination agreements
and protocols, including technical options and methods for managing spectrum access that would improve
access to and make efficient use of the 3.5 GHz Band. What should the scope and charter be of such a
multi-stakeholder group? What should be the governance structure of such a group?
f.

Subpart F – SPECTRUM ACCESS SYSTEM

90.
The overall effectiveness of our proposals depends largely on the development and
implementation of a robust SAS. We therefore propose to codify several high-level SAS requirements in
the Part 96 rules. Following the TVWS database model, we expect that industry participants will take it
upon themselves to develop technical implementations of these requirements and, where applicable, to
develop industry-wide standards.
91.
Our proposed rules also assume that multiple SAS Administrators and, consequently,
multiple SASs would be authorized to operate in the 3.5 GHz Band, much as multiple databases have

164 See 3GPP, Technical Specification Group Radio Access Network, Evolved Universal Terrestrial Radio Access,
TDD Home eNode B Radio Frequency requirements analysis (release 11), 3GPP TR 36.922 V11.0.0 (2012-09)
available at: http://www.3gpp.org/DynaReport/36922.htmat (3GPP TR 36.922 rel. 11) at Figure 6.2.2.2-2 (IoT level
of HeNB, note the worst case (i.e., highest level of IoT) in contrast to IoT with relatively high probability (e.g.,
99%)).
165 See TAC White Paper at ¶ 50.
166 See Wireless Innovation Forum Licensing PN Comments.
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been authorized in the TVWS context,167 to ensure that consumers are provided with a robust set of
choices in the marketplace. We seek comment on what techniques could be used to effectively coordinate
multiple SASs in the band. What other implementation challenges arise from the possibility of multiple
SAS providers? Are they solvable? We seek comment on the proposal to authorize multiple SAS
providers. In responding to the questions and proposed rules in this section, we ask commenters to
consider the implications of multiple authorized SASs and to address these issues in their filings.
92.
We also intend to institute a comprehensive approval process for SASs and SAS
Administrators that closely follows the multi-step process used to test, certify, and approve TVWS
databases and administrators. In the TVWS context, prospective database administrators were invited to
submit proposals outlining how their systems would meet the Commission’s requirements for database
operators and provide information sufficient to show that they have the technical expertise to administer a
database and a viable business plan for operating a database for a five-year term.168 OET then reviewed
these proposals and approved the proposals of those operators that met the requirements.169 Approved
operators were then required to attend mandatory workshops to ensure compliance with the rules, meet
milestone dates set by OET for reporting and compliance, and submit to rigorous real-world testing of all
database elements prior to making their services available to the public.170 By following the precedent set
in the TVWS proceeding, we can ensure that the technical solutions and developed by prospective SAS
Administrators are consistent with the letter and spirit of our high-level rules, especially with regard to the
protection of Incumbent Access tier users.171
(i)

Spectrum Access System Purposes and Functionality (§
96.43)

93.
We sought comment on the essential high level requirements of the SAS in both the
Licensing PN and the NPRM.172 In addition, in recognition of the complexity of the proposed SAS
framework, OET and the Bureau held a workshop to discuss the operational and functional parameters of
the SAS.173 The workshop and associated technical papers were organized according to the following
focus areas: (1) General Responsibilities and Composition of the SAS; (2) SAS Functional Requirements;
(3) SAS Monitoring and Management of Spectrum Use; and (4) Issues related to the Initial Launch and
Evolution of the SAS and Band Plan.174
94.
While commenters and workshop presenters submitted a diverse set of positions
regarding the necessary features of the SAS, most agreed that an effective SAS would need to be more

167 See FCC, “Whitespace Database Administrator Guide,” available at: http://www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/white-
space-database-administrators-guide (last visited February 20, 2014).
168 See Office of Engineering and Technology Invites Proposals from Entities Seeking to be Designated TV Band
Device Database Managers, ET Docket No. 04-186, Public Notice, 24 FCC Rcd 14136 (OET 2009). The
information requested in the Public Notice was based on rules for TVWS databases and administrators adopted in
Unlicensed Operation in the TV Broadcast Bands Additional Spectrum for Unlicensed Devices Below 900 MHz and
in the 3 GHz Band, ET Docket No. 04-186, ET Docket No. 02-380, Second Report and Order and Memorandum
Opinion and Order
, 23 FCC Rcd 16807 (2008).
169 See Unlicensed Operation in the TV Broadcast Bands Additional Spectrum for Unlicensed Devices Below 900
MHz and in the 3 GHz Band, ET Docket No. 04-186, ET Docket No. 02-380, Order, 26 FCC Rcd 554 (OET 2011).
170 See id. at 556-57 and 559-60, ¶¶ 9-10 and 15-19.
171 See supra section III(A)(1)(f)(vi).
172 See 3.5 GHz NPRM 27 FCC Rcd at 15625-28, ¶¶ 95-108; Licensing PN, 28 FCC Rcd at 15313, ¶¶ 41-43.
173 See SAS Workshop Agenda PN.
174 See id. SAS Papers PN.
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dynamic and responsive than the current TVWS database.175 Moreover, many commenters agreed that the
FCC should set only baseline parameters and guidelines for the SAS and should allow industry
stakeholders to develop detailed policies and standards to facilitate operation consistent with the
Commission’s rules.176 Some commenters that supported a two-tiered licensing model also advocated a
simplified, “binary” SAS that would only inform Priority Access Licensees whether or not they could
operate in a given area or frequency range without causing harmful interference to incumbents.177 Other
commenters opposed giving the SAS the ability to dynamically assign channels or modify the maximum
allowable transmit power for CBSDs.178
95.
After thorough review of the record and using the TVWS rules as a guide, we propose
that authorized SASs would perform the following core functions:
 Determine the available frequencies at a given geographic location and assign them to CBSDs;
 Determine the maximum permissible radiated transmission power level for CBSDs at a given
location and communicate that information to the CBSDs;
 Register and authenticate the identification information and location of CBSDs;
 Enforce Exclusion Zones to ensure compatibility between Citizens Broadband Radio Service
users and incumbent federal operations;
 Protect Priority Access Licensees from harmful interference from General Authorized Access
Users;
 Reserve the use of GAA channels for use in a CAF;
 Ensure secure transmission of information between the SAS and CBSDs.179
96.
Under our proposal, each SAS would provide nationwide service. Each SAS would also
collect and retain all information provided by CBSDs and Incumbent Users according to the proposed
rules and enforce robust security protocols to protect such information.180 If multiple SASs are
authorized, each SAS would be responsible for sharing this information with other authorized SASs to
ensure effective coordination of operations within the band. The proposed rules outline the essential
requirements for a successful SAS and would promote innovation and productive use of the 3.5 GHz
Band. Further, these rules represent the lightest regulatory approach possible to accomplish the core
objectives of the SAS.
97.
We seek comment on these proposed rules. Specifically, do the proposed rules
accurately describe the necessary functions of an SAS? What additional elements, if any, should be
included in the SAS? What responsibilities should SASs (and SAS Administrators) have to maximize use
by and minimize interference among GAA users, notwithstanding any absence of interference protection
rights that may be extended to such users under our rules? How should the Commission most
appropriately discharge its Title III responsibilities in supervising these and other functions that may be

175 See e.g., BLiNQ Licensing PN Comments at 14-16; WISPA Licensing PN Comments at 18-19; Google SAS
Paper.
176 See Spectrum Bridge Response to FCC Call for Papers on Proposed 3.5 GHz Spectrum Access System in GN
Docket No. 12-354 (filed December 20, 2013) (Spectrum Bridge SAS Paper); Google SAS Paper at 2-3.
177 See Qualcomm Response to FCC Call for Papers on Proposed 3.5 GHz Spectrum Access System in GN Docket
No. 12-354 (filed January 3, 2014) (Qualcomm SAS Paper); NSN SAS Paper.
178 See AT&T Licensing PN Reply Comments at 4-5 (Supporting fixed channel assignments for PALs); T-Mobile
SAS Paper.
179 See Appendix A, §§ 96.43 – 96.48.
180 See id., §§ 96.44 and 96.47 - 96.48.
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delegated to the SASs and SAS Administrators? Are the proposed rules unduly burdensome for potential
SAS Administrators? Could a compliant SAS be built and operated using existing or “in development”
technology?
98.
In addition, under this proposal multiple SASs could be authorized, much as multiple
databases have been authorized in the TVWS context,181 to ensure that consumers are provided with a
robust set of choices in the marketplace. We seek comment on what techniques could be used to
effectively coordinate multiple SASs in the band? What other implementation challenges could arise
from the possibility of multiple SAS providers? Are they solvable? We seek general comment on the
proposal to authorize multiple SAS providers.
(ii)

Information Gathering and Retention (§ 96.44)

99.
To protect Incumbent Users and effectively coordinate Citizens Broadband Radio Service
users, we propose that the SAS retain information on all operations within the 3.5 GHz Band. For
CBSDs, such information would include all data that they are required to transmit to the SAS pursuant to
the proposed section 96.36.182 For incumbent FSS operators, the SAS would maintain a record of the
location of protected earth stations as well as the direction and look angle of all earth station receivers and
any other information needed to perform its functions. For incumbent federal users, the SAS would
include only the geographic coordinates of the Exclusion Zones.183 We seek comment on these proposed
rules and alternative approaches.
100.
With regard to federal operations, if Exclusion Zones are altered or other incumbent
protection criteria implemented in future phases of this proceeding, the SAS may eventually need to
gather and manage a significant amount of data on federal operations. Much of this information is likely
to be sensitive or classified and would require additional safeguards that may not be necessary to protect
non-federal information. Some commenters raised the possibility of establishing a separate database to
store sensitive federal information and instruct registered SASs on the required protection contours for
federal operations.184 We seek comment on whether a separate database should be established for federal
information. Would such a database be more efficient and secure than entrusting federal information to
each registered SAS? What additional security measures should be required for a database holding
sensitive federal information? Who should maintain such a database? We will continue to work with
NTIA and incumbent federal users to develop this aspect of the SAS requirements.
101.
Some commenters have argued that the SAS should be required to incorporate spectrum
sensing information from CBSDs or other remote beaconing and sensing sites to accurately detect
incumbent usage models and respond to the interference environment.185 We seek comment on whether
such capabilities would be helpful for the operation of the SAS.
(iii)

Registration and Authorization of Citizens Broadband Radio
Service Devices (§ 96.45)

102.
In addition to gathering required information from CBSDs, the SAS would confirm and
verify the identity of any CBSD seeking to use the 3.5 GHz Band prior to authorizing its operation. The
SAS would also prevent CBSDs from operating within any Exclusion Zones. We seek comment on these
proposed rules.

181 See FCC, “Whitespace Database Administrator Guide,” available at: http://www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/white-
space-database-administrators-guide (last visited February 20, 2014).
182 See Appendix A, § 96.36.
183 See id, § 96.44 and 96.48.
184 See Ericsson SAS Paper at 4-5.
185 See Federated SAS Paper at 3-4; Comments of Shared Spectrum Company in Response to Licensing PN in GN
Docket No. 12-354 (filed December 5, 2013) (Shared Spectrum Licensing PN Comments).
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(iv)

Frequency Assignment (§ 96.46)

103.
As discussed in section III(A)(1)(a)(7) above, under our proposal, assignment of PAL
channels and GAA frequencies in the 3.5 GHz Band would be a dynamic process. The SAS would be
responsible for determining the available and appropriate frequencies at a location using the location
information supplied by CBSDs, compliance with Exclusion Zones, the authorization status and operating
parameters of CBSDs in the surrounding area, and such other information necessary to ensure effective
operations of CBSDs. The SAS would also take into consideration any channel requests submitted by
CBSDs as well as geographic and spectral efficiency considerations. We also propose that the SAS be
able to provide a list of available frequencies in a given area and confirm that any CBSDs causing
harmful interference to an Incumbent User have been deactivated or reassigned upon request. We seek
comment on these proposed rules.
(v)

Security (§ 96.47)

104.
We propose to require that the SAS employ protocols and procedures to ensure that all
communications and interactions between the SAS and CBSDs are accurate and secure and that
unauthorized parties cannot access or alter the SAS or the list of frequencies sent to a CBSD. These
protocols and procedures would be reviewed and approved by the Commission before the SAS
Administrator could be certified.186 We seek comment on these proposed rules and on any additional
safeguards needed to protect sensitive federal information.
(vi)

Spectrum Access System Administrators (§ 96.48)

105.
Drawing on our experience with the TVWS, we propose that SASs be operated only by
designated SAS Administrators that have been approved by the Commission. As noted above, this
approval process will be essential to determining that the SAS can meet the regulatory requirements,
without having to provide overly prescriptive and detailed rules about its implementation.187
106.
To this end, we propose that SAS Administrators be required to:
 maintain a regularly updated database that contains the information described in the
proposed rules;
 establish a process for acquiring and storing in the database necessary and appropriate
information from the Commission's databases;
 establish and follow a process for ensuring compatibility between Citizens Broadband
Radio Service users and Incumbent Users, including enforcement of Exclusion Zones;
 establish and follow processes for registering and coordinating Priority Access
Licensees and GAA users;
 establish and follow protocols and procedures to ensure that Incumbent Users are
protected from harmful interference from Citizens Broadband Radio Service
operators;
 establish and follow protocols and procedures to ensure that Priority Access Licensees
are protected from harmful interference from Priority Access and GAA users;
 establish and follow protocols and procedures to ensure that all communications and
interactions between the SAS and CBSDs are accurate and secure;
 make its services available on a non-discriminatory basis;

186 See supra section III(A)(1)(f)(vi).
187 See supra section III(A)(1)(f).
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 respond in a timely manner to verify, correct or remove, as appropriate, data in the
event that the Commission or a party brings claim of inaccuracies in the SAS to its
attention;
 securely transfer the information in the SAS to another designated entity in the event it
does not continue as the SAS administrator at the end of its term;
 cooperate with other SAS Administrators to develop a standardized process for
coordinating and exchanging required information;
 provide a means to make public information available to the public in an accessible
manner;
 establish protocols to maintain appropriate security clearances and other security
measures as may be determined by the Commission for access to and storage of
required federal incumbent information if required in future phases of this
proceeding.188
107.
Under our proposed rules, SAS Administrators would be authorized to provide service
for a five-year term, which could be renewed at the Commission’s discretion. We further propose that the
Bureau review applications for certification and establish procedures for reviewing the qualifications of
prospective SAS Administrators. What conflict of interest requirements, competitive or other selection
process, technical qualifications, or other standards should govern this process? Do other models
involving Commission selection of third-party assistance provide useful insights into these questions?
108.
We seek comment on this proposal. Do the proposed rules establish appropriate
qualifications for SAS Administrators? What procedures should the Bureau adopt to select SAS
Administrators, ensure that they are qualified to perform their duties, and ensure that SASs are able to
perform the functions required by the proposed rules. What steps should the Commission take to ensure
that SAS Administrators are properly supervised and operating within the bounds of the law?
Commenters should provide a detailed analysis, including economic costs and benefits, of any alternate or
supplemental approach they propose.
(vii)

Spectrum Access System Administrator Fees (§ 96.47)

109.
We propose to allow SAS Administrators to collect reasonable fees from Priority Access
Licensees and General Authorized Access users for use of the SAS and associated services. We based
this proposal on a similar rule adopted for TVWS database administrators.189 We seek comment on this
proposed rule. We also seek comment on whether SAS Administrators should be permitted to collect fees
from all Citizens Broadband Radio Service users. Specifically, should SAS Administrators be permitted
to collect fees from GAA users? Or should fees be collected only from Priority Access Licensees?
Would limiting fees to Priority Access Licensees effectively promote diverse and innovative use of the
GAA service tier? What role, if any, should the Commission play in resolving any disputes or other
issues regarding the collection of any such fees by the SAS Administrators?
2.

Modifications to Existing Rule Parts

110.
In addition to the proposed new Part 96, we also seek comment on any necessary
amendments to existing rule parts, as discussed below.

188 See Appendix A, § 96.48.
189 See 47 C.F.R. § 47.1515.
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a.

Table of Frequency Allocations (§ 2.106)

111.
In the NPRM, the Commission requested comment on the allocation structure that should
be used to accommodate the Citizens Broadband Radio Service.190 The NPRM proposed to retain the
primary allocation for existing federal radar systems in the 3.5 GHz Band, while also proposing to
allocate that band for non-federal fixed and mobile use. The NPRM observed that this proposed structure
is consistent with international allocations for use of the 3.5 GHz Band, and also appears consistent with
requirements for the allocation of flexible use spectrum under Section 303(y) of the Communications
Act.191 However, the NPRM sought comment on what allocation scheme would best accomplish the goals
set forth in that NPRM, and also inquired how that scheme should account for potential Federal fixed and
mobile use of the band.192
112.
The NPRM also proposed to restrict primary non-federal FSS earth station use in the
3600-3650 MHz band to the FSS earth stations licensed or applied for as of the effective date of the
Report and Order in this proceeding.193 Additionally, the NPRM noted the existence in the 3.5 GHz Band
of federal allocations for Aeronautical Radio Navigation Service and mobile ground-based radars, and
stated that the Commission would work with NTIA regarding the continued need for those allocations.194
Moreover, the NPRM noted the existence of a non-Federal secondary allocation for radiolocation
services, and requested comment on what existing 3.5 GHz band allocations should be maintained.195
Finally, the NPRM sought comment on the potential for interference to and from existing and future
international operations in the 3.5 GHz Band.196
113.
There was limited comment on the allocation proposals per se, although the great
majority of commenting parties support shared federal/non-federal use of the 3.5 GHz Band for new
broadband technologies.197 This suggests implicit support for adopting an allocation structure that will

190 3.5 GHz NPRM, 27 FCC Rcd at 15623-25, ¶¶ 87-94.
191 Id. at 15624-25, ¶ 91.
192 Id. at 15624, ¶ 90.
193 Id. at 15625, ¶ 92. In connection with the NPRM, the Commission also issued an order freezing applications for
new FSS earth stations more than 10 statute miles from a license earth station’s coordinates. Id. at 15642-45, ¶¶
154-55.
194 Id. at 15625, ¶ 93.
195 Id.
196 Id. at 15625, ¶ 94.
197 See, e.g., Comments of Microsoft Corporation in response to NPRM in GN Docket No. 12-354 (filed February
20, 2013) at 2 (Microsoft NPRM Comments); Comments of Motorola Solutions, Inc. in response to NPRM in GN
Docket No. 12-354 (filed February 20, 2013) (Motorola Solutions NPRM Comments) at 1-2; Comments of Nokia
Siemens Networks US LLC in response to NPRM in GN Docket No. 12-354 (filed February 20, 2013) (NSN NPRM
Comments) at 23; Comments of PCIA – The Wireless Infrastructure Association and the DAS Forum, a
Membership Section of PCIA in response to NPRM in GN Docket No. 12-354 (filed February 20, 2013,) at 2;
Comments of Qualcomm Incorporated in response to NPRM in GN Docket No. 12-354 (filed February 20, 2013)
(Qualcomm NPRM Comments)at ii; Comments of Shared Spectrum Company in response to NPRM in GN Docket
No. 12-354 (filed February 20, 2013) (Shared Spectrum NPRM Comments)at ii; Comments of T-Mobile USA, Inc.
in response to NPRM in GN Docket No. 12-354 (filed February 20, 2013) at 2-3; Comments of Wi-Fi Alliance in
response to NPRM in GN Docket No. 12-354 (filed February 20, 2013) at 2; WiMax Forum NPRM Comments at 8;
Reply Comments of AT&T Services, Inc. in response to NPRM in GN Docket No. 12-354 (filed April 5, 2013) at 2;
Reply Comments of Exelon Corporation in response to NPRM in GN Docket No. 12-354 (filed April 5, 2013) at 2;
Reply Comments of Spectrum Bridge, Inc. in response to NPRM in GN Docket No. 12-354 (filed April 5, 2013) at
1; Reply Comments of Verizon and Verizon Wireless in response to NPRM in GN Docket No. 12-354 (filed April 8,
2013) at 1; Reply Comments of Wireless Internet Service Providers Association in response to NPRM in GN Docket
No. 12-354 (filed April 5, 2013) at 2.
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allow for this type of use.198 Of the commenters that explicitly discuss the allocation proposals, the
Utilities Telecom Council, Edison Electric Institute, and National Rural Electric Cooperative Association
contend that a non-federal fixed and mobile allocation of the 3.5 GHz Band would spur innovation and
investment in new wireless technologies with little or no impact on incumbent uses, including federal
radar systems, and support the proposal to restrict FSS earth station use of the 3600-3650 MHz band to
the FSS earth stations licensed or applied-for as of the effective date of the Report and Order in this
proceeding.199 SIA, however, expresses concern about the impact on FSS earth stations and contends that,
if there are any small cell operations in allowed in the 3.5 GHz Band, they should be permitted only on a
secondary basis.200
114.
We propose to add new primary fixed and land mobile allocations to the 3.5 GHz Band to
permit commercial use of the band consistent with our accompanying licensing and service rule
proposals.201 The adoption of a United States allocation structure that permits that band to be used for
fixed and land mobile services on a primary basis is also consistent with the approach the Commission
has previously taken when it has determined that uses of other bands for new broadband purposes was in
the public interest.202 Moreover, the proposed allocation is consistent with the Region 2 International
allocation for the band.203 We do not think it serves the public interest to pursue a secondary fixed and
mobile allocation, as suggested by SIA, and we will continue to propose that FSS earth stations be
restricted to those that were licensed or applied for as of the effective date of the Report and Order in this
proceeding. As we observed in the NPRM, our proposed treatment of FSS earth stations is the same as
what has previously been implemented in the 3650-3700 MHz band.204 Additionally, we note that FSS
earth stations are authorized to use other nearby spectrum at 3.7-4.2 GHz on a primary basis.205 For these

198 See 47 C.F.R. § 2.102(a) (stating that “…the assignment of frequencies … and the actual use of such frequencies
… shall be in accordance with the Table of Frequency Allocations.”).
199 See UTC/EEI/NRTC NPRM Comments at 19.
200 See SIA NPRM Comments at 10-12 and 21.
201 We note that, while the NPRM proposed to include all mobile services in the new 3.5 GHz Band allocation, the
low-power nature of the proposed Citizens Broadband Radio Service makes it inconsistent with higher-power
aeronautical and maritime mobile uses. The United States falls under Region 2 in the International Table of
Frequency Allocations, and the Region 2 allocation for the 3.5 GHz Band is “Mobile except aeronautical mobile.”
See 47 CFR § 2.106. Thus, our proposal would be somewhat more restrictive than the Region 2 allocation, but in no
way would constrain the Citizens Broadband Radio Service. In particular, we note that our proposal would not
preclude Citizens Broadband Radio Service use on-board a vessel, as such use would fall under the definition of a
land mobile service rather than a maritime mobile service, provided that the subscriber was communicating through
a base station – rather than a coast station – within the geographical limits of the United States. The two services are
defined in our rules as follows: Land Mobile Service. “A mobile service between base stations and land mobile
stations, or between land mobile stations.” Maritime Mobile Service. “A mobile service between coast stations and
ship stations, or between ship stations, or between associated on-board communication stations; survival craft
stations and emergency position-indicating radiobeacon stations may also participate in this service.” See 47 C.F.R.
§ 2.1.
202 For example, when the Commission found that it was in the public interest to transfer TV Channels 52-69
(698-806 MHz) from broadcast use to new wireless and public safety uses, it added primary fixed and mobile
allocations to the 698-806 MHz band. See Reallocation of Television Channels 60-69, the 746-806 MHz Band,
ET Docket No. 97-157, Report and Order, 12 FCC Rcd 22953 (1998); and Reallocation and Service Rules for the
698-746 MHz Spectrum Band (Television Channels 52-59), GN Docket No. 01-74, Report and Order, 17 FCC Rcd
1022 (2002).
203 The 3.5 GHz band is already allocated on a primary basis in Region 2 for fixed and mobile except aeronautical
mobile services, but in the United States it is not allocated to those services. See 47 C.F.R. § 2.106.
204 See 3.5 GHz NPRM, 27 FCC Rcd at 15625, ¶ 92.
205 See 47 C.F.R. § 2.106.
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reasons, providing the Citizens Broadband Radio Service a primary allocation offers important new
opportunities to make robust use of our spectrum resources, and we propose appropriate technical rules to
protect existing incumbent FSS operations.
115.
We further observe that, with respect to the GAA tier, some commenting parties express
a preference for an unlicensed (Part 15) framework, rather than the NPRM’s proposed licensed-by-rule
framework.206 We nevertheless propose to adopt a primary fixed and land mobile allocation across the
entire band. Doing so could afford us the flexibility to adopt a licensing framework for all Citizens
Broadband Radio Service tiers that will ensure that these operations are prioritized over existing
secondary users in the band. This could also help ensure that quality spectrum is available for GAA
users. We seek comment on this proposal and other licensing frameworks.
116.
In addition to proposing to add fixed and land mobile allocations to the 3.5 GHz Band in
the non-Federal Table, we propose to remove the secondary radiolocation service allocation from that
band in the non-Federal Table and to add three US footnotes (US106, US107, and US433, respectively)
to: (1) permit 3.5 GHz Band non-federal stations in the radiolocation service that were licensed or
applied for prior to the effective date of any Report and Order we adopt in this proceeding to continue to
operate on a secondary basis until the end of the equipment’s useful lifetime; (2) limit primary FSS use of
the 3600-3650 MHz band to earth stations authorized prior to, or granted as a result of an application filed
prior to, the effective date of any Report and Order we adopt in this proceeding, and constructed within 12
months of initial authorization; and specify that FSS use of that band for all other earth stations will be on
a secondary basis to non-federal stations in the fixed and land mobile services; (3) both specify
provisions for 3.5 GHz Band federal use of the aeronautical radionavigation (ground-based) and
radiolocation services, and provide for continued federal use in light of new non-federal fixed and mobile
operations in the band; and (4) prohibit federal use of airborne radar systems in the 3.5 GHz Band. We
seek comment on these proposals, including whether the potential effects on federal incumbents would
serve the public interest.
117.
We also note that the NPRM sought comment on allowing federal fixed and mobile use in
the band. Should we consider permitting federal fixed and mobile operations in the 3.5 GHz Band? If so,
how should such uses be effectively implemented and managed? What, if any, implications would
federal fixed and mobile use have for non-federal use of the band?
b.

Procedures for Priority Access Licenses Subject to Assignment by
Competitive Bidding (§ 1.2101 et seq

.)
118.
If we adopt our proposed geographic area licensing approach for PALs that would permit
the filing and acceptance of mutually exclusive applications, we will be required to resolve such
applications through competitive bidding consistent with the mandate of Section 309(j) of the
Communications Act.207 Accordingly, we seek comment on a number of proposals relating to
competitive bidding for PALs in the 3.5 GHz Band.
(i)

Application of Part 1 Competitive Bidding Rules (§ 1.2101 et
seq.

)
119.
We consider here changes to the Commission’s general competitive bidding rules set
forth in Part 1, Subpart Q, of the Commission’s rules that may be necessary or desirable to conduct an
auction of initial PALs in the 3.5 GHz Band. We propose to employ the general competitive bidding
rules set forth in Part 1, Subpart Q to resolve any mutually exclusive applications received for initial

206 See, e.g., AT&T Licensing PN Comments at 2; Microsoft Licensing PN Comments at 5; Google Licensing PN
Reply Comments at 3-5; Reply Comments of Open Technology Institute of the New America Forum and Public
Knowledge in response to Licensing PN in GN Docket No. 12-354 (filed December 20, 2013) (OTI/PK Licensing
PN
Reply Comments) at 3.
207 47 U.S.C. § 309(j)(1).
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PALs. The Commission’s competitive bidding rules provide a framework from which the Commission
develops final procedures—through a series of public notices with opportunities for comment—for the
particular competitive bidding processes that it conducts. The public notice process allows both the
Commission and interested parties to focus and provide input on certain details of the auction design and
the auction procedures after the rules have been established and the remaining procedural issues are better
defined. Our experience with spectrum license auctions demonstrates the value of this approach and
therefore, we anticipate following a similar approach here. Under this proposal, any modifications that
the Commission may adopt for its Part 1 general competitive bidding rules in the future would apply to an
auction of PALs in the 3.5 GHz Band. In addition, consistent with our long-standing approach, auction-
specific matters such as the competitive bidding design and mechanisms, as well as minimum opening
bids and/or reserve prices, would be determined through these public notices. We seek comment on this
approach, including the costs and benefits of this approach. We also seek comment on whether any of our
Part 1 rules would be inappropriate or should be modified for an auction for licenses in the 3.5GHz Band.
(ii)

Applications Subject to Competitive Bidding

120.
To date, the Commission has considered two or more parties seeking to bid for a
particular license to present mutually exclusive applications for the license, irrespective of whether each
party subsequently bids for the license. Where only one party seeks a particular license offered in
competitive bidding, that license will be removed from the competitive bidding process and the
Commission will consider that party’s non-mutually exclusive application for the license through a
process separate from the competitive bidding.208 This has worked well with respect to defined licenses
that have parameters such as frequency and geography defined apart from and in advance of competitive
bidding.
121.
Here we have proposed that the Commission, on an annual basis, would open windows
for applications for available PALs. To accommodate the ability of licensees to aggregate consecutive
one-year terms, the Commission may offer multiple consecutive years of PAL rights simultaneously. At
the close of such a window, the Commission would hold an auction to assign PALs where there are
mutually exclusive applications pending. Consistent with the Commission’s approach in other spectrum
auctions, mutual exclusivity would be triggered when more applications are submitted than can be
accommodated geographically, temporally, and spectrally. Under our proposed licensing framework in
which we assign PALs in an auction that offers generic (non-frequency-specific) blocks, we propose to
determine that mutual exclusivity exists when the total number of applicants for a PAL in a specific
geographic area for a given year exceeds the total number of PALs available in that geographic area for
that year. We seek comment on this proposal.
(iii)

Bidding Process Options

122.
Competitive Bidding Design Options. The Commission’s current rules list types of
auction designs from which the Commission may choose when conducting competitive bidding for
spectrum licenses.209 These options include sequential and simultaneous auctions, single and multiple
round auctions, and auctions with combinatorial bidding.210 Since the Commission’s Part 1 competitive
bidding rules were originally adopted, auction design has evolved and continues to evolve in new
directions, sometimes combining several of these listed auction design elements and sometimes utilizing
different elements.

208 47 C.F.R. § 1.2102(a); see Implementation of Section 309(j) of the Communications Act - Competitive Bidding,
PP Docket No. 93-253, Second Report and Order, 9 FCC Rcd 2348 at 2376, ¶ 165 (1994).
209 See 47 C.F.R. § 1.2103.
210 47 C.F.R. § 1.2103(a).
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123.
In the Broadcast Incentive Auction Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, the Commission
proposed to revise the current list of auction design options set forth in section 1.2103 of the rules.211 In
particular, the Commission proposed a rule that provides for the establishment of specific auction
procedures governing bid collection, assignment of winning bids, and the determination of payment
amounts in spectrum license auctions.212 Such auctions may use one or more rounds of bidding and/or
contingent stages of bidding; and may incorporate bids or offers that simply specify a price for an item,
that indicate demand for an item at a specified price, or that are more complex. We anticipate that
procedures established to implement these broad auction design elements would take into account sound
economic principles and practice and the needs of the Commission and the bidders. We seek comment on
whether, in light of the licensing proposals set forth in this FNPRM, we should adopt any other or
additional revisions to section 1.2103 in addition to those proposed in the Broadcast Incentive Auction
proceeding. Given the large number of license areas and relatively short license terms envisioned for
PALs, are there any auction mechanisms that would enhance the Commission’s ability to effectively
manage the use of the Priority Access tier?
124.
Section 1.2104 of the Commission’s current rules sets forth various mechanisms that can
be used in connection with any system of competitive bidding for Commission licenses.213 For example,
the rules enable the Commission to determine how to sequence or group the licenses offered;214 whether
to utilize reserve prices,215 minimum opening bids and minimum or maximum bid increments;216 whether
to establish stopping or activity rules;217 and how to determine payments required in the event of bid
withdrawal, default, or disqualification.218 We note, however, that section 1.2104 does not attempt to list
exhaustively all potential aspects of the Commission’s procedures for competitive bidding.
125.
The Commission recently proposed to amend the current stopping rule contained in
section 1.2104 to permit the Commission to establish stopping rules before or during multiple round
auctions in order to terminate the auctions not only within a reasonable time, but also in accordance with
the goals, statutory requirements, and rules for the auction, including the reserve price or prices.219 The
revised stopping rule would thereby allow us to adopt criteria to determine, prior to terminating the
auction, whether such requirements have been met. We seek comment on whether we should adopt any
other revisions to section 1.2104, in addition to those proposed in the Broadcast Incentive Auction
proceeding?
126.
Payment Rules. Our existing competitive bidding rules also establish additional
procedures regarding the competitive bidding process. More specifically, our existing rules address
applications to participate in competitive bidding,220 communications among applicants to participate,221

211 See 47 C.F.R. § 1.2103; Expanding the Economic and Innovation Opportunities of Spectrum Through Incentive
Auctions, Docket No. 12-2678, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 27 FCC Rcd 12357 (BIA NPRM) at 12456, ¶¶ 298-
99 (2012).
212 See BIA NPRM, 27 FCC Rcd at 12456, ¶¶ 298-99.
213 47 C.F.R. § 1.2104.
214 47 C.F.R. § 1.2104(a)-(b).
215 47 C.F.R. § 1.2104(c).
216 47 C.F.R. § 1.2104(d).
217 47 C.F.R. § 1.2104(e)-(f).
218 47 C.F.R. § 1.2104(g). A bidder assumes a binding obligation to pay its full bid amount upon acceptance of the
winning bid at the close of an auction. 47 C.F.R. § 1.2104(g)(2).
219 See 47 C.F.R. § 1.2104(e); BIA NPRM, 27 FCC Rcd at 12457, ¶¶ 300-02.
220 See 47 C.F.R. § 1.2105.
221 See 47 C.F.R. § 1.2105(c).
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reporting requirements, upfront payments from competitive bidding participants,222 down and final
payments by winning bidders,223 and applications for licenses by winning bidders,224 as well as the
processing of such applications and default by and disqualification of winning bidders.225 We seek
comment on whether these existing rules require any revisions in connection with the conduct of an
auction of PALs.
127.
Specifically, we seek comment on whether we should revise any of our payment rules to
take into consideration the proposed short license term for PALs, and the potential for applicants to
become winning bidders for licenses that do not become effective until a year or more after the initial
PAL? For instance, should we revise our upfront payment requirement to better safeguard the
Commission against defaults by a winning bidder on consecutive years of a PAL? Should we require a
winning bidder for consecutive years of a PAL to make a larger down payment to better safeguard the
Commission from defaults in subsequent years? Currently, unless otherwise noted by public notice, the
Commission’s rules require that within 10 business days after being notified that it is a high bidder on a
particular license the winning bidder must submit its down payment necessary to bring its total deposits
up to twenty (20) percent of its winning bid(s) or it will be deemed to have defaulted.226 Should we
increase the down payment percentage here to be forty (40) percent of the winning bid(s)? Similarly,
unless otherwise specified by public notice, auction winners are required to pay the balance of their
winning bids in a lump sum within ten (10) business days following the release of a public notice
establishing the payment deadline.227 Here, we could collect the down payment required for each PAL at
the close of the auction, including PALs for consecutive years, but final payment(s) would not be due
until we are ready to grant a particular PAL at the beginning of the subsequent license term.
Alternatively, in order to provide further incentives for the productive use of spectrum, could the further
payment be required upon initiation of service in specific PAL? Will retaining down payments on deposit
for consecutive PALs, particularly if the down payment obligation for such PALs is increased, help the
Commission safeguard against the potential of default in subsequent years? Are there any statutory or
other legal considerations that the Commission should consider in designing payment rules to
accommodate these proposals?
128.
We also seek comment on whether we should revise our default rule to ensure that if a
winning bidder wins PALs in a licensing area for consecutive years and defaults on a payment obligation
for a PAL in that area, it loses its ability to be granted a license for any winning bids for PALs in that area
in any subsequent year, and is considered to be in default on those winning bids? Would such a default
provision ensure that a winning bidder could not game the results of an auction by bidding upon
consecutive year PALs only to seek to selectively pay for some but not others of those bids at a later date?
In situations where the Commission has determined that a bidder’s default might have a greater potential
to detrimentally impact the integrity of an auction, it has adopted a higher default percentage to serve as
deterrent against such an outcome. 228 If we hold an auction that offers individual PALs for several
consecutive years, should we hold a winning bidder for such licenses who defaults on its winning bids
responsible for a larger default payment? What percentage of the defaulted bid should be assessed as the
additional payment portion of the default payment obligation? Should the amount of the additional
payment be greater than the percentage prescribed in our rules for defaults on combinatorial bids?

222 See 47 C.F.R. § 1.2106.
223 See 47 C.F.R. § 1.2107.
224 See id.
225 See 47 C.F.R. § § 1.2107; 1.2109.
22647 C.F.R. § 1.2107.
227 47 C.F.R. § 1.2109.
228 See 47 C.F.R. § 1.2104(g)(2)(ii).
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129.
Would such a default rule adequately safeguard the Commission should a winning bidder
file bankruptcy between the close of an auction and the date of a future payment obligation? Commenters
should address in particular the application of the Bankruptcy Code’s requirement that an agency “may
not deny, revoke, suspend, or refuse to renew a license . . . or other similar grant to,” or “discriminate
with respect to such a grant against,” a debtor or a bankrupt “solely because” it “has not paid a debt that is
dischargeable” in bankruptcy.229 In other contexts, the Commission has addressed its potential financial
risks arising out of the bankruptcy of a winning bidder by requiring appropriate letters of credit for each
winning bid.230 However, these bids were for Mobility Fund Phase I financial support rather than for
spectrum licenses, and thus did not pose the risk of being unable to re-auction and put to more efficient
use the spectrum licensed to an entity that later files for bankruptcy. Would the Commission be restricted
by the bankruptcy laws in its efforts to recover and re-auction spectrum won by a defaulting bidder that
had filed for bankruptcy? Would the costs of obtaining a letter of credit be reasonable in light of the
expected value of the spectrum? Would a payment bond be equally effective in giving financial security
to the Commission and protecting the Commission from a winning bidder’s bankruptcy? Could bids be
aggregated for purposes of issuing a letter of credit, without jeopardizing the Commission’s ability to
recover the auction amounts and any reasonable penalty associated from default? Would the benefits of
our proposed annual payment mechanism outweigh the risks in bankruptcy and the associated costs?
130.
Further, we seek comment regarding whether we should amend any of our other Part 1
rules to accommodate our proposals for assigning PALs and facilitate more frequent auctions and the
dynamic auction mechanisms that may be required? For example, are there any changes that we should
make to the auction application process or the information that we collect from applicants to participate in
an auction of PALs? Do we need to amend any of our rules regarding prohibited communications for an
auction that offers generic spectrum blocks? In considering our proposed licensing model, are there any
particular aspects of the administration of auctions of PALs with which SAS Administrators or another
third party could be effective in assisting the Commission, consistent with its statutory responsibilities? 231
131.
Bidding Credits. In authorizing the Commission to use competitive bidding, Congress
mandated that the Commission “ensure that small businesses, rural telephone companies, and businesses
owned by members of minority groups and women are given the opportunity to participate in the
provision of spectrum-based services.”232 One of the principal means by which the Commission furthers
these statutory goals is the award of bidding credits to small businesses. To award these bidding credits,
the Commission defines eligibility requirements for small businesses on a service-specific basis, taking
into account the capital requirements and other characteristics of each particular service in establishing

229 See 11 U.S.C. § 525(a).
230 See 47 C.F.R. § 54.1007; GCI Communication Corp. Waiver of Section 54.1007(a) of the Commission’s Rules,
Order, 28 FCC Rcd 15874 (WTB Nov. 21, 2013); See also Connect America Fund; A National Broadband Plan for
Our Future; Establishing Just and Reasonable Rates for Local Exchange Carriers; High-Cost Universal Service
Support; Developing an Unified Intercarrier Compensation Regime; Federal-State Joint Board, WC Docket No. 10-
90, GN Docket No. 09-5, WC Docket No. 07-135, WC Docket No. 05-337, CC Docket No. 01-92, CC Docket No.
96-45, WC Docket No. 03-109, WT Docket No. 10-208, Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed
Rulemaking
, 26 FCC Rcd 17663, 17812 ¶ 449 (2011) (“It is well established that an LOC and the proceeds
thereunder are not property of a debtor’s estate under section 541 of Title 11 of the [Bankruptcy Code].”).
231 See Licensing PN, 28 FCC Rcd at 15309, ¶ 25.
232 See 47 U.S.C. § 309(j)(4)(D). Such entities are collectively described as “designated entities.” See 47 C.F.R.
§ 1.2110(a). In addition, section 309(j)(3)(B) of the Act provides that in establishing eligibility criteria and bidding
methodologies, the Commission shall promote “economic opportunity and competition . . . by avoiding excessive
concentration of licenses and by disseminating licenses among a wide variety of applicants, including small
businesses, rural telephone companies, and businesses owned by members of minority groups and women.” 47
U.S.C. § 309(j)(3)(B).
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the appropriate threshold.233 Bidding credits have proven an effective means to allow small businesses to
compete with larger, more well-established companies. However, we also note that in deciding whether
to offer bidding credits, the Commission takes into account both the nature of the service and the nature
of the parties most likely to be interested in using the spectrum.
132.
Many of our proposals for PALs envision more flexible and dynamic auction and
licensing mechanisms for effective and administratively streamlined management of the Priority Access
tier. We anticipate that the robust licensing and spectrum access models we propose could serve to ensure
that small businesses are given the opportunity to participate in the provision of the Citizens Broadband
Radio Service. We therefore seek comment on whether awarding bidding credits in the Citizens
Broadband Radio Service would be necessary to ensure the participation of small businesses in
competitive bidding.234 Would our proposals to offer numerous licenses within relatively small
geographic licensing areas, and our proposals to cap the number of licenses any particular entity may hold
in a license area adequately promote the dissemination of licenses among a wide variety of applicants,
including small businesses and rural telephone companies?235 Likewise, will the one-year license term
and the size of the license area we propose make it more likely that small businesses will be able to
effectively compete for a PAL and the opportunity to participate in the provision of Priority Access
service? Do the unique characteristics of this service reduce the likelihood that small businesses will face
barriers in gaining accessing to capital? We request that commenters address the expected capital
requirements for service in this band and other characteristics of the service. We invite commenters to
use comparisons with other services for which the FCC has already established auction procedures as a
basis for their comments regarding whether we should adopt small business size standards and bidding
credits for PALs and if so, the appropriate small business size standards. Moreover, to the extent that
commenters propose provisions to ensure participation by minority-owned or women-owned businesses,
they should address how such provisions should be crafted to meet the relevant standards of judicial
review.236
133.
We note that under our existing Part 1 rules, a winning bidder for a PAL will be eligible
to receive a bidding credit for serving a qualifying tribal land within that market, provided that it complies
with the applicable competitive bidding rules.237 We seek comment on whether any revisions to our rules
governing eligibility for or implementation of Tribal land bidding credits are necessary for PALs. In
addition, the Commission currently has under consideration various provisions and policies intended to
promote greater use of spectrum over tribal lands.238 We seek comment regarding whether any rules and
policies adopted in that proceeding should apply to any licenses that may be issued through competitive
bidding in a PAL auction. We also note that the award of bidding credits can be an administratively
intensive process, requiring verification of eligibility and other aspects of the application. We seek
comment on whether the relative costs of this process are greater in the context of highly granular PALs

233 See 47 C.F.R. § 1.2110(c)(1); Implementation of Section 309(j) of the Communications Act—Competitive
Bidding, PP Docket No. 93-253, Second Memorandum Opinion and Order, 9 FCC Rcd 7245 at 7269, ¶ 145 (1994).
See also Amendment of Part 1 of the Commission’s Rules – Competitive Bidding Procedures, WT Docket No. 97-
82, ET Docket No. 94-32, Third Report and Order and Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 13 FCC
Rcd 374 at 388, ¶ 18 (1997).
234 See 47 U.S.C. §309(j)(4)(B).
235 Id.
236 Adarand Constructors Inc. v. Pena, Secretary of Transportation, 515 U.S. 200 (1995) (requiring a strict scrutiny
standard of review for Congressionally mandated race-conscious measures); United States v. Virginia, 518 U.S. 515
(1996) (applying an intermediate standard of review to a state program based on gender classification).
237 See 47 C.F.R. §1.2110(f)(3).
238 Improving Communications Services for Native Nations by Promoting Greater Utilization of Spectrum over
Tribal Lands, WT Docket 11-40, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 26 FCC Rcd 2623 (2011) (Tribal Lands NPRM).
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as compared to more traditional FCC licenses for large geographic areas and license terms. We also seek
comment on the degree to which the administrative process for bidding credits might be reasonably
automated to reduce transaction costs.
134.
Commission Notices. Upon the conclusion of spectrum license auctions, the Commission
typically issues a public notice declaring the bidding closed and identifying the winning bidders. We
propose to do so for the PAL auction. We invite comment on this proposal and ask commenters to
address whether there are any other issues we should consider with respect to notifying auction
participants and the public of the auction results.
c.

Secondary Markets

135.
We seek comment on the extent to which our existing secondary market rules (both for
license transfers and for leases) might be appropriately modified with respect to the secondary market for
PALs in the 3.5 GHz Band. Commenters had varied opinions about the frequency with which we should
conduct auctions for PALs. Some commenters argued for more frequent auctions so as to accommodate
changes in market demand for PALs.239 Others noted that the development of a robust secondary market
in the 3.5 GHz Band would be beneficial for potential Priority Access Licensees.240 We emphasize that,
while auctions are a mode of initial assignment, the secondary market could provide a viable means of
matching supply and demand in units more granular than our proposed PAL structure. Indeed, we are
interested in the possibility that one or more spectrum exchanges, operating pursuant to our secondary
market rules, could facilitate a vibrant and deep market for PAL rights.241 Such an exchange could
improve the ability of individual licensees to obtain micro-targeted (in geography, time, and bandwidth)
access to priority spectrum rights narrowly tailored to their needs on a highly customizable, fluid basis.
We note that any spectrum exchange would be subject to the requirements of Section 310(d) of the
Communications Act and other relevant statutory provisions.242 To the extent that commenters agree with
this concept, we request specific and focused comment on any necessary changes to our Part 1 rules to
facilitate the secondary market for PALs in the 3.5 GHz Band. We are particularly interested in
modifications that could reduce transaction costs and allow increased automation of transfer and lease
applications. What would such a spectrum exchange entail? What legal, technical, or logistical issues
could be raised by this proposal?

B.

Other Issues

136.
In addition to the proposed rules described above, several other issues implicated by this
proceeding would benefit from additional, focused comment. We seek further, focused comment on the
following issues, and request that commenters provide suggested rules or other specific approaches to
implement any proposals they put forward:
 Interference protection for federal incumbents;
 Interference protection for CBSDs from federal radar transmissions;
 Interference protection for in-band FSS operations;
 Interference protection for FSS earth stations in the C-Band; and

239 Google Licensing PN Comments at 19-20; Reply Comments of Google, Inc. in response to NPRM (filed April 5,
2013) at 12; Federated Licensing PN Comments at 11-12; Comments of Telecommunications Industry Association
in response to NPRM in GN Docket No. 12-354 (filed February 20, 2013) (TIA NPRM Comments) at 5.
240 See Alcatel Lucent Licensing PN Comments at 6-7; TIA NPRM Comments at 5; Cantor Fitzgerald Telecom
Services, LLC, GN Docket No. 12-354, ex parte (filed July 31, 2013) (Cantor Ex Parte).
241 See Cantor Ex Parte.
242 47 U.S.C. § 310(d).
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 The potential integration of the 3650-3700 MHz band into the Citizens Broadband Radio
Service.
1.

Protections for Federal Incumbent Access Tier Users

137.
In the NPRM, the Commission requested comment on measures that would optimize the
use of spectrum while protecting both incumbent operations and prospective users of the band.
Incumbent operations of this band include high-powered DoD radar systems using ground-based,
shipboard, and airborne platforms, as well as non-Federal FSS earth stations used for receive-only, space-
to-earth operations and feeder links.243
138.
In its Fast Track Report, NTIA concluded that geographic separation and frequency
offsets could be used to minimize interference between commercial networks and ground-based, airborne,
and shipborne radar systems currently operating in the 3.5 GHz Band. However, NTIA’s analysis
indicated that it would be necessary to put in place extensive exclusion zones to prevent incumbent
operations and broadband wireless systems from causing interference to each other. NTIA concluded that
effective exclusion zone distances around ground-based and airborne radar systems would extend
approximately one to 60 kilometers, coupled with frequency offsets of 40 or 50 megahertz,244 while
exclusion zones around certain high-power shipborne Naval radars would require over-land separation
distances of several hundred kilometers.245 NTIA acknowledged, however, that its analysis assumed
deployment of high power, macrocell networks, and stated that its conclusions would require revision to
the extent the Commission proposes to implement systems with different technical characteristics.246
139.
In the NPRM, the Commission noted that the large exclusion zones and limited signal
propagation in the 3.5 GHz Band weighed against the use of macrocell deployment in the band. Instead,
the Commission stated that the use of the 3.5 GHz Band could be significantly increased through
spectrum sharing and application of small cell technology. The Commission therefore proposed the
creation of the Citizens Broadband Radio Service premised on 1) technical rules that focused on the use
of low-powered small cells, and 2) the use of a dynamic SAS to manage users of the band. In light of the
small cell deployment model, the Commission noted that some of the assumptions made in the Fast Track
Report’s analysis regarding the requisite exclusion zone distances would not apply and would need to be
revisited.247 The Commission indicated that it may be possible to reduce any exclusion zones through
technical and operational parameters for small cells in combination with an effective SAS and other
interference mitigation techniques. The Notice therefore requested technical analysis as to how
application of small cell and access management technologies may impact interference to and from
incumbent 3.5 GHz Band users as well as the size of exclusion zones necessary to ensure compatibility
with incumbent and prospective users of the band.248
140.
Many of the comments filed in response to the Notice supported the tentative conclusion
that the size of Exclusion Zones as estimated by NTIA should be re-evaluated given the proposal to apply
the small cell model.249 We note that the Exclusion Zones were a condition for the Executive Branch

243 See Fast Track Report at 3-30 – 3-33. See also 3.5 GHz NPRM, 27 FCC Rcd at 15602-15605, ¶¶ 22-28
(discussion of entities operating in the 3.5 GHz and adjacent bands).
244 Id. at 5-3 – 5-4.
245 Id. at 5-6, Table 5-4. See also 3.5 GHz NPRM, 27 FCC Rcd at 15633 ¶ 118.
246 Fast Track Report at 1-7.
247 3.5 GHz NPRM, 27 FCC Rcd at 15633, ¶ 118.
248 Id. at 15618, ¶ 68.
249 See e.g., Comments of AT&T Services, Inc. in response to NPRM in GN Docket No. 12-354 (filed February 20,
2013) at 12; Comments of the Consumer Electronics Association in response to NPRM in GN Docket No. 12-354
(filed February 20, 2013) at 8; Comments of InterDigital in response to NPRM in GN Docket No. 12-354 (filed
(continued….)
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agreeing to provide access to this spectrum for non-federal use.250 As a starting point for continued
analysis and discussion, we propose to implement the geographic Exclusion Zones proposed in the Fast
Track Report.251 Nevertheless, preliminary studies have been performed on the potential effects of small
cells on radar operations, with additional studies planned, that could lead to a reduction in Exclusion
Zones in the near future.252 We also note that the rules proposed in this FNPRM contemplate additional
uses other than small cells, with varying maximum transmit power levels and antenna gains, which must
factor into the consideration of Exclusion Zones.
141.
We are continuing our dialogue with NTIA and the federal agencies on this matter and, if
possible, plan to reduce the Exclusion Zone distances from the instant proposal based on the Fast Track
Report, which distances, we emphasize, we propose as a starting point for further analysis. We intend to
work collaboratively and expeditiously with NTIA and other relevant federal agencies on this project.
We emphasize that important technical studies involving federal agencies, industry, and academia are
underway and will likely provide data that will be informative in determining whether and to what extent
the size of the Exclusion Zones can be reduced. If there are further developments that would enable a
reduction in the size of the Exclusion Zones, we encourage participants to file them in the record to
ensure that there is sufficient opportunity for public comment prior to issuance of a Report & Order in
this proceeding. We will also consider any data and studies submitted in this proceeding in our ongoing
discussions with NTIA and other federal agencies on this topic.
142.
Additionally, in the NPRM, the Commission stated that GAA use could be allowed in
areas where small cell operations would not cause harmful interference to Incumbent Access tier users but
where signals from incumbent users could possibly interfere with GAA uses.253 However, the NPRM
noted that Priority Access users, which have quality-of-service expectations, would only be permitted
where CBSD operations would not interfere with incumbent operations, and where harmful interference
would not be reasonably expected from Incumbent Access tier operations.254 It may eventually be
practicable to authorize coordinated operations for GAA – and possibly Priority Access - tier users inside
the proposed Exclusion Zones. We anticipate such use would involve a level of dynamic access to the
spectrum and would be authorized through the SAS. However, adding this kind of dynamic element to
the SAS raises many technical and operational questions that are not ripe for resolution at this time.
Accordingly, we will explore the topic of dynamic coordinated access within the Exclusion Zones (i.e.,
converting Exclusion Zones to protection zones) in future phases of this proceeding.255 We seek comment
on allowing Citizens Broadband Radio Service operations within currently designated Exclusion Zones
and encourage commenters to submit technical analyses to support their positions.
(Continued from previous page)
February 20, 2013) at 3-4; Motorola Solutions NPRM Comments at 7; NSN NPRM Comments at 22-23; Qualcomm
NPRM Comments at 16-17; Shared Spectrum NPRM Comments at 3-4; TIA NPRM Comments at 3; Comments of
the National Cable and Telecommunications Association in response to NPRM in GN Docket No. 12-354 (filed
February 20, 2013) at 10.
250 See Fast Track Report 1-6 – 1-7 and 5-3 – 5-8.
251 See Fast Track Report at 5-6, Table 5-4; See also 3.5 GHz NPRM, 27 FCC Rcd at 15633 ¶ 118.
252 See Qualcomm NPRM Comments at 16-18; Jeffrey H. Reed, Charles Clancy, Virginia Tech (sponsored by
NSWC Dahlgren Division), Measurement Results for Radar and Wireless System Coexistence at 3.5 GHz,
(presented January 14, 2014), available at: http://wireless.fcc.gov/workshops/sas_01-14-2014/end/Reed-
VA_TECH.pdf; Frank Sanders, Robert Sole, and John Carroll, NTIA, Effects of Pulsed Radar Waveforms on LTE
(TDD) Receiver Performance (presented January 14, 2014), available at: http://wireless.fcc.gov/workshops/sas_01-
14-2014/end/Sanders-NTIA.pdf.
253 3.5 GHz NPRM, 27 FCC Rcd at 15614, ¶ 59.
254 Id. at 15618, ¶ 70.
255 See Appendix A.
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2.

Protections for Citizens Broadband Radio Service Devices from Federal
Radar Systems

143.
While the proposed Exclusion Zones will prevent interference from radar systems into
CBSDs, the possibility of future CBSD operations in close proximity to high power federal radar systems
may require that Priority Access Licensees and GAA users take reasonable measures to protect their
CBSDs from these high powered operations. Radar systems operating at the power levels described in
the NTIA Fast Track Report256 could lead to peak field strengths in excess of 180 dBuV/m (~33 dBm) at
line of sight distances of approximately 1 km.257 We also recognize that modern receiver technologies
incorporate Surface Acoustic Wave / Bulk Acoustic Wave filters that may have peak input power limits in
the range of 10 dBm to 33 dBm. To ensure that end users are not adversely affected by the hard failure of
receiver components due to interference from such radars, we propose that CBSDs must be capable
accept interference in authorized areas of operation up to a peak field strength level of 180 dBuV/m. We
seek comment on these proposals and ask that commenters support their proposals with detailed technical
analyses. How would such a requirement impact the design and cost of equipment for this band?
Alternatively, are there measures that licensees can take to minimize the potential of receiving
interference from federal incumbent operations?
144.
In addition to the high-power interference effects discussed in the previous paragraph,
pulsed radar signals can also cause degradation of CBSD receiver performance. NTIA recently
performed measurements to examine the impact of pulsed radar signals on digital receiver performance.258
Three receiver parameters were examined: (1) data throughput rates; (2) block error rates; and (3) internal
noise level. These performance parameters were measured as a function of radar pulse parameters and
the incident power level of radar pulses. We seek comments on how the NTIA report can be used to
develop thresholds for CBSD receivers to be used in assessing potential interference from federal
incumbent operations.
3.

Protections for Fixed Satellite Service Earth stations

a.

Earth Stations in the 3.5 GHz Band

145.
As noted in the NPRM, the Commission has licensed primary FSS earth stations to
receive on frequencies in the 3600-3650 MHz band in 37 locations.259 Currently, FSS earth station
facilities in 32 cities are authorized to receive in the 3625-3650 MHz sub-band, and Vizada, Inc. operates
two gateway earth stations (located northeast of Los Angeles and New York City) that provide feeder
links for Inmarsat’s L-band mobile-satellite service system.260 While the Commission directed the
International Bureau to cease accepting applications for new earth stations in the 3.5 GHz Band in an
order accompanying the NPRM, these existing stations would be included in the Incumbent Use tier and
afforded protection from lower-tier operations in the proposed Citizen’s Broadband Radio Service.261

256 See Fast Track Report at 4-59 to 4-69, ship radars #1 - #5. Peak radar transmit power levels vary depending on
the type of radars, up to 98 dBm for ship radar #3, main beam antenna gain 41.8 dB, with 3.4 dB transmit antenna
insertion loss.
257 Id. at 4-63, Ship radar #3, Peak transmit EIRP = 98 dBm – 3.4 + 41.8 dBi = 136.4 dBm. Free space path loss at 1
km (in dB, = 20 log (4
/ ) ≅ 103.6 dB at 3600 MHz), resulting in peak power at 1km = 136.4 dBm – 103.6 =
32.8 dBm, approximately 1 watt. 1 km is chosen in this calculation as an approximation of a minimum coupling loss
distance. 180 dBuV/m at 3600 MHz ≅ 31.7 dBm.
258 Department of Commerce, National Telecommunications and Information Administration, NTIA Report 13-499,
Effects of Radar Interference on LTE Base Station Receiver Performance (Dec. 2013).
259 See 3.5 GHz NPRM, 27 FCC Rcd at 15642-43and 15647-48, ¶¶ 154-55 and Appendix A.
260 See id. at 15647-48, Appendix A for a complete list of these FSS earth stations.
261 See id. at 15642-43, ¶¶ 154-55.
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146.
The NPRM also sought extensive comment on appropriate interference protection and
mitigation strategies for incumbent FSS earth stations.262 Specifically, the NPRM sought comment on
whether geographic protection zones would be necessary to protect existing FSS earth stations from
harmful interference.263 Commenters offered a variety of perspectives on these questions in the record.
147.
Notably, SIA filed several comments and letters arguing that the Commission should
allow small cell operations in the 3.5 GHz Band only if it can show that in-band and C-Band satellite
services will be protected from interference and asking the Commission to lift the freeze on earth station
applications in the band.264 SIA also submitted a technical analysis that indicated that in-band FSS earth
stations would require protection distances of up to 107.4 km to mitigate long-term interference and 487
km to mitigate short-term interference.265
148.
On September 3, 2013, Google made an ex parte submission addressing potential
interference from proposed Citizens Broadband operations into existing in-band and out-of-band satellite
earth stations.266 With regard to grandfathered FSS earth stations in the 3.5 GHz Band, Google asserts
that these earth stations can be protected by the SAS through a combination of coordination, spectral
separation, and protection zones.267 Google also asserts that SIA’s submission overstates the potential for
interference from CBSDs into in-band FSS earth stations.268 According to Google, these overstatements
are largely due to inappropriate assumptions about terrain, small cell emissions output, and typical small
cell power levels as well as a reliance on an ITU interference protection standard that was not intended to
apply in this context.269
149.
Harris Corporation filed comments encouraging the Commission to extend the Incumbent
Access tier to include satellite earth stations and incumbent teleport stations in the adjacent 3650-3700
MHz band and limit mobile and itinerant commercial use of the 3.5 GHz Band.270 Baron Services, Inc.
(Baron) also filed comments encouraging the Commission to adopt rules that would protect S-band
weather radar systems with equipment authorizations in the 3.5 GHz Band.271 To accomplish this, Baron
suggests that the Commission enforce substantial exclusion zones around S-band radar installations and
impose strict OOBE limits on Citizens Broadband Radio Service base stations and handsets.272 As stated
above, the proposed Citizens Broadband Radio Service would be co-primary with existing incumbent

262 See id. at 15635-36, ¶¶ 124-127.
263 Id.
264 See SIA NPRM Comments; Reply Comments of Satellite Industry Association in response to NPRM in GN
Docket No. 12-354 (SIA NPRM Reply Comments); Comments of Satellite Industry Association in response to
Licensing PN in GN Docket No. 12-354 (filed December 5, 2013) (SIA Licensing PN Comments); Reply Comments
of Satellite Industry Association in response to Licensing PN in GN Docket No. 12-354 (filed December 20, 2013)
(SIA Licensing PN Reply Comments); Letter from Patricia Cooper, President, Satellite Industry Association to
Marlene Dortch in GN Docket No. 12-354, Ex Parte (filed February 3, 2014) (SIA February 2014 Letter).
265 See Letter from Satellite Industry Association to Marlene Dortch, ex parte, GN Docket No. 12-354 (filed August
20, 2013) (SIA August 2013 Letter); Satellite Industry Association, Sharing Considerations Between Small Cells
and Geostationary Satellite Networks in the Fixed-Satellite Service in the 3.4-4.2 GHz Frequency Band, ex parte,
GN Docket No. 12-354 (filed August 20, 2013) (SIA Earth Station Interference Study) at 4.
266 See Google Letter and Marshall Declaration.
267 See Google Letter at 7.
268 Id. at 8.
269 Id. SIA responded to Google’s assertions in its February 2014 letter. See SIA February 2014 Letter.
270 See Harris NPRM Comments at 3-7.
271 See Baron NPRM Comments.
272 See id. at 4-8.
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operations and would supersede existing secondary uses of the band in the table of allocations.273 At this
time, as stated above, we do not believe that it would be in the public interest to grant Incumbent Access
tier status to current or planned non-federal secondary radiolocation operations in the band.
150.
We propose to require CBSDs to avoid causing harmful interference to currently
operational grandfathered FSS earth stations. It may be possible to minimize or eliminate geographic
protection areas around FSS earth stations by incorporating detailed information on the “look angles” of
FSS earth stations, the emissions characteristics of CBSDs and End User Devices, detailed regional
topographical information, and other relevant variables into the SAS. An analytic model of expected
aggregate power-flux density could be used by the SAS to authorize operations to ensure that aggregate
power-flux density interference limits are not exceeded, over a specified probabilistic function. Can a
Complementary Cumulative Distribution Function (CCDF) of the aggregate power flux density be used
for this purpose? We seek comment on the necessity of geographic protection areas and, if necessary, the
size of such areas. We also seek comment on additional or alternative mitigation strategies that could be
employed to prevent harmful interference to FSS earth stations from CBSDs. What criteria should the
SAS incorporate to ensure that FSS earth stations are protected while maximizing the areas available for
Citizens Broadband Radio Service operations? How would the SAS manage this data?
151.
We also seek comment on protection approaches other than protection areas. For
example, we are interested in whether field strength, power-flux density, or some other technical metric,
measured in relation to the earth station’s technical configuration (antenna characteristics, etc.) might
provide FSS earth stations with adequate protections while maximizing the available geographic area and
bandwidth for Citizens Broadband Radio Service Users. To the extent such an approach is dependent
upon operation of the SAS, we seek comment on what functionalities would need to be required by rule
and what functionalities could be specified through other means (e.g., industry standards, multi-
stakeholder groups, etc.). Again, we request that parties provide specific and actionable suggestions in
providing comments on this issue, including the potential costs and benefits of these approaches.
b.

Earth Stations in the C-Band

152.
In addition to protections for FSS earth stations in the 3.5 GHz Band, we sought
comment on the degree to which the performance of FSS receivers in the C-Band could be affected by
Citizens Broadband Radio Service users. 274 We also sought comment on methods for mitigating potential
harmful interference from Citizens Broadband Radio Service operations into these receivers. Parties
submitted multiple comments, presentations, and technical analyses related to this issue. These
submissions relied on very different assumptions about CBSDs, the capabilities of the SAS, receiver
performance, and other technical criteria and, as a result, commenters reached very different conclusions
regarding the need for protection for C-Band earth stations.
153.
Notably, a coalition of media companies and trade organizations, including Fox
Entertainment Group, Inc., Time Warner Inc., Viacom Inc., the Walt Disney Company, CBS Corporation,
and the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) (jointly, Content Interests) filed jointly to encourage
the Commission to study the potential for interference into C-Band satellite operations before considering
commercial operations in the 3.5 GHz Band.275 Their filings included technical reports from Comsearch

273 See supra section III(A)(2)(a).
274 See 3.5 GHz NPRM, 27 FCC Rcd at 15635-36, ¶¶ 124-127.
275 See National Association of Broadcasters, News Corporation, Time Warner Inc., Viacom Inc., CBS Corporation,
and The Walt Disney Company, ex parte, GN Docket No. 12-354 (Content Interests Letter) and Attachment A,
Comsearch, “Estimating the Required Separation Distances to Avoid Interference from Citizens Broadband Radio
Service Transmitters into C-Band Earth Stations” (Comsearch Report) (filed May 8, 2013); Reply Comments of
CBS Corporation, the National Association of Broadcasters, Fox Entertainment Group Inc., Time Warner Inc.,
Viacom Inc., and The Walt Disney Company response to NPRM in GN Docket No. 12-354 (Content Interests
(continued….)
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and Alion Science and Technology (Alion) that concluded that C-Band earth stations would require
significant geographic protection from CBSDs.276 Alion asserts that separation distances ranging from
600 meters to 9 Km277 would be required to protect C-Band earth station locations with appropriate filters
installed while unfiltered sites would require 19 to 33 Km separation distances.278 The separation
distances would increase to 14 to 28 Km for filtered sites if the full 3550-3700 MHz band is utilized.279
154.
The Comsearch Report largely comports with Alion’s findings. Comsearch noted that
the 43+10 log (P) dB OOBE limit proposed in the NPRM is equivalent to OOBE of -13 dBm/MHz (-43
dBW/MHz), the same as the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and LTE-Advanced (LTE-A)
baseline “Category A” limits.280 Comsearch suggests that adopting the ITU’s more stringent “Category
B” limit for OOBE would significantly reduce required protection zones around C-Band earth stations.281
According to Comsearch, interference could occur at a range of up to 47.6 km from C-Band receivers
with typical separation distances of 5.1 km if Category A devices are authorized by the Commission.282
The typical separation distance would be reduced to 0.7 km if devices are limited to Category B emission
limits.283
155.
SIA’s comments also addressed protection criteria for C-Band earth stations.284 SIA’s
technical analysis indicated that C-Band earth stations would require protection zones of up to 36.4 km to
protect them from OOBE in the 3.5 GHz Band.285 SIA also asserts that simply determining the size of
these protection zones is insufficient to ensure protection of existing FSS operations and that the
Commission must ensure that these protection zones are effectively enforced.286
156.
Google also made multiple submissions, including a detailed technical analysis,
addressing potential interference from proposed Citizens Broadband operations into C-Band earth
stations.287 Google asserts that emissions from small cells in the 3.5 GHz Band would cause minimal
interference issues to C-Band receivers and that any potential interference would come from operations in
close spatial and spectral proximity to those earth stations.288 Moreover, Google claims that the look
angle of C-Band earth stations can have a significant effect on potential interference from OOBE and that
(Continued from previous page)
NPRM Reply Comments) and Attachment A, Alion Science and Technology, “Effects of the Proposed Citizens
Broadband Radio Service to C-Band Domsat Earth Stations” (Alion Report) (filed April 5, 2013).
276 See Alion Report and Comsearch Report.
277 All interference calculations assume that commercial operations in the 3.5 GHz Band utilize 10 megahertz
bandwidth channels. See Alion Report at 2-3.
278 The specific distance varies depending on the elevation angle and interference to noise (I/N) ratio of each C-Band
earth station. See id.
279 Detailed charts showing proposed separation distances under different circumstances can be found at pages 13-18
of the Alion Report. See id. at 3, 13-18.
280 See id. at 6.
281 See Comsearch Report at 6.
282 Id. at 10.
283 Id.
284 See SIA NPRM Comments at 18-20; SIA NPRM Reply Comments at 22-24; SIA August 2013 Letter; SIA Earth
Station Interference Study; SIA February 2014 Letter.
285 See SIA Earth Station Interference Study at 6.
286 See SIA August 2013 Letter at 2-3.
287 See Google Letter and Marshall Declaration.
288 See Google Letter at 4-7.
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protection zones can be significantly reduced by including the positions of these receivers in the SAS.289
While SIA disagrees with many of Google’s conclusions, they agree that relevant data related to CBSDs
and earth stations could be programmed into the SAS to allow for real-time calculation of required
protection distances.290
157.
According to Google’s studies, accounting for the elevation angle of C-Band dishes
coupled with appropriate placement of Citizens Broadband devices can further reduce the required
separation distances and areas around C-Band earth stations.291 Using Google’s assumptions,292 the
maximum required protection distance for any C-Band earth station would be 1.67 km (with an excluded
area of only .55 km) for an earth station with a 5 degree elevation.293 The average protection area for a
typical earth station would be approximately 0.285 km.294 Google asserts that these shaped exclusion
zones could be managed and enforced by the SAS and that the same techniques could be applied to
grandfathered earth stations in the 3600-3650 MHz band.295
158.
Google also asserts that, due to differences in international C-Band allocations, many C-
Band earth stations in the U.S. “listen” to transmissions well outside of their authorized spectrum
allocations.296 Indeed, Google claims that many such earth stations “listen” for transmissions as low as
3400 MHz, a full 300 megahertz below their authorized allocation.297 The ITU studies cited by SIA
consider these equipment specifications in reaching their conclusions about harmful interference from
commercial operations in the 3.5 GHz Band.298 Google asserts that existing C-Band operators should not
be afforded special protections for equipment that listens well beyond their licensed allocation.299
Moreover, according to Google, many C-Band earth stations can effectively mitigate interference from
commercial operations in the 3.5 GHz Band by utilizing readily available, low-cost filters.300 Indeed,
Google asserts that C-Band operators already utilize similar filters to protect themselves from Federal
radar operations on the 3500-3700 MHz band.301
159.
While the proposed Part 96 rules do not necessarily address all concerns about potential
interference into C-Band earth stations raised in the record, they do include stricter-than-normal out of
band emission limits for CBSDs/user devices, and a spectrum access framework utilizing a dynamic SAS.
The SAS can calculate the expected aggregate power flux density at in-band station locations attributable
to authorized CBSDs and End User Devices, and authorize operations to ensure that interference
protection criteria are not exceeded. We propose an equivalent power flux density (EPFD), which would

289 See id. at 6-7 and Marshall Declaration at 7-17.
290 See SIA February 2014 Letter at 5-6.
291 Id. at 5-8.
292 See Marshall Declaration.
293 See id. at 13.
294 See id. at 13-14.
295 See id. at 14-17.
296 See Google Letter at 2.
297 See id.
298 See id.
299 See id.
300 See id. at 1-3 and Marshall Declaration at 4-7. In their Reply Comments, the Content Interests asserted that,
while RF front end filters may work in some circumstances, they are not a “panacea.” See Content Interests NPRM
Reply Comments at 3.
301 See Google Letter at 2-3.
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be the sum of the power flux densities produced at a geostationary satellite system receive Earth station,
by CBSD and End User Devices in the area of that earth station. The EPFD would be calculated to take
into account the off-axis discrimination of the Earth station receiving antenna assumed to be pointing in
its nominal direction. We seek comment as to whether CBSD and End User Device emission limits based
on EPFD and SAS authorization controls would adequately address concerns over potential interference
with C-Band earth stations, or whether additional protections are necessary.
160.
The “look angle” of FSS earth stations would have a significant impact on the potential
for interference from CBSDs, particularly those located at moderate angles (e.g., > 15°) from the axis of
the FSS earth station main lobe. We seek comment on the effect of the “look angles” of FSS earth
stations for potential interference from CBSDs, including any potential costs and benefits. Would the
SAS be able to effectively monitor and manage information on FSS earth station “look angles” to
calculate EPFD interference limits, and dynamically adjust any potential protection areas around these
earth stations accordingly?
161.
We also seek comment on additional mitigation strategies that could be employed to
prevent harmful interference to earth stations and reduce or eliminate the need for geographic separation
between CBSDs and C-Band earth stations. Specifically, to what degree could filters be utilized to reduce
or eliminate harmful interference? Are current commercially available filters sufficient? What would be
the likely cost of installing filters in C-Band and 3.5 GHz Band FSS earth stations?
4.

Enforcement Issues

162.
We acknowledge that the proposals in this FNPRM may raise unique enforcement issues
for the Commission. Managing real time interactions between a large number of potential Priority Access
Licensees and GAA Users while ensuring that Incumbent Users are protected from harmful interference
could present novel enforcement challenges for the Commission to address. Our proposals, including
SAS specifications, CBSD technical requirements, and security protocols would help address some of
these issues and facilitate secure and consistent access to the 3.5 GHz Band for all authorized users.
Regardless of the degree of automation incorporated into the SAS, the Commission retains ultimate
responsibility for ensuring that its rules are enforced. We seek comment on additional enforcement
techniques and protocols that could be implemented, inside or outside the SAS, to address the unique
enforcement concerns raised by the proposals set forth in this FNPRM.
5.

Extension of Part 96 Rules to 3650-3700 MHz Band

163.
In the NPRM, the Commission sought comment on a supplemental proposal to include
the adjacent 3650-3700 MHz band in the proposed regulatory regime.302 As noted in the NPRM,
incorporating this additional 50 megahertz would create a 150 megahertz contiguous block of spectrum
that could be used by existing licensees in the 3650-3700 MHz band – as well as new licensees – to
expand the services that they are already providing. Subsequently in the Licensing PN the Commission
sought comment on extending the Revised Framework to the 3650-3700 MHz band, and asked what
provisions would need to be made for existing operators and how much transition time would be
required.303
164.
Commenters generally support the proposal to create a 150 megahertz contiguous block
of spectrum,304 while a few commenters oppose changing the existing framework for the 3650-3700 MHz

302 3.5 GHz NPRM, 27 FCC Rcd at 15620-22, ¶¶ 77-82.
303 Licensing PN, 28 FCC Rcd at 15315-16, ¶ 51.
304 See e.g., Google Licensing PN Comments at 13-16; NSN Licensing PN Comments at 8-15; T-Mobile Licensing
PN
Comments at 14; Verizon Licensing PN Comments at 4-5; Qualcomm NPRM Comments at 19.
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band.305 In addition, WISPA believes that existing 3650–3700 MHz users should get priority access
protection and have five years to transition to the new framework.306
165.
There could be long term gains and significant public interest benefits to extending the
rules proposed here to the 3650-3700 MHz band, both in terms of terms of spectrum efficiency and
availability, and economies of scale for equipment across the full 150 megahertz. However, we recognize
the significant investment that incumbent 3650-3700 MHz licensees have made. Should we incorporate
3650-3700 MHz into the regulatory scheme proposed in this FNPRM, we would seek to do so in a way
that would maximize the benefits to all potential licensees, while minimizing the costs to incumbent
licensees. Below we set forth proposed rules in the event that we opt to incorporate the 3650-3700 MHz
band into our proposed regulatory framework.307
166.
If we extend these proposed rules, we propose to grandfather existing 3650-3700 MHz
operations for a period of five years after the effective date of the proposed rules. More specifically, we
would treat each incumbent 3650-3700 MHz nationwide licensee (Grandfathered Wireless Broadband
Provider) as an Incumbent User within the service contours of its registered base stations or fixed access
points during the transition period. During the transition period, existing licensees would be permitted to
operate stations in accordance with the technical rules in Part 90, Subpart Z, if any have been authorized,
and would have priority over GAA and Priority Access users in the 3650-3700 MHz band. During this
period, Grandfathered Wireless Broadband Providers would be required to avoid causing harmful
interference to federal users and grandfathered FSS earth stations, in accordance with existing Part 90
rules.308 After the transition period, Grandfathered Wireless Broadband Providers would be required to
protect incumbent operations in the 3650-3700 MHz band consistent with any applicable protection
criteria the Commission develops in conjunction with NTIA, DoD, and other stakeholders. Because the
Grandfathered Wireless Broadband Provider would continue to operate under Part 90 rules and would not
operate equipment that is authorized by the SAS, GAA use would not be permitted to interfere with the
service contour of Grandfathered Wireless Broadband Providers during the transition period.
167.
At the end of the transition period Grandfathered Wireless Broadband Providers would
have the option, available to all eligible 3.5 GHz Band users, to apply for PALs or to operate on a GAA
basis consistent with Part 96 rules. During the transition period, Grandfathered Wireless Broadband
Provider with overlapping service contours would be required to coordinate with one another as currently
required by Part 90, Subpart Z.309
168.
We seek comment on this proposed approach to incorporating the 3650-3700 MHz band
into the regulatory scheme described in this FNPRM. In particular, we seek comment on whether the five
year transition period proposed is appropriate. What are current equipment upgrade cycles for fixed and
mobile equipment in the 3650-3700 MHz band? Given upgrade cycles, what is the incremental cost of

305 See Comments of Neptuno Media, Inc. d/b/a Neptuno Networks in response to Licensing PN in GN Docket No.
12-354 (filed December 5, 2013) at 8-9; UTC Licensing PN Comments at 6 (The Commission should only extend
the Citizens Broadband Radio Service to the 3650-3700 MHz band if it adopts the licensing proposals set forth in
the NPRM); Reply Comments of KanOkla Communications, Inc. in response to Licensing PN in GN Docket No. 12-
354 (filed December 20, 2013) at 1-2 (Arguing that the Commission should maintain the status quo in the 3650-
3700 MHz band).
306 WISPA Licensing PN Comments at 19.
307 See Appendix B.
308 We note that operators in the 3650-3700 MHz band currently operate without restriction within the Exclusion
Zones we propose. As such, we do not propose to exclude Citizens Broadband Radio Service operations from these
areas. However, operators in the 3650-3700 MHz band t would be required to continue to protect grandfathered FSS
earth stations and the grandfathered federal radiolocation facilities listed in Section 90.1331 of the Commission’s
Rules. 47 C.F.R. § 90.1331.
309 47 C.F.R. § 90.1319.
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upgrading a 3650-3700 MHz system to one that can operate consistent with the proposed Part 96 rules
over a five year period? How do these costs weigh against the possibility of upgrading to equipment that
could access a full 150 megahertz on a PAL or GAA basis? We seek comment on our proposal to protect
the service contour of existing licensees. More specifically what criteria should be used to define the
existing service contour? What criteria should be used to define interference to the existing contour from
GAA users? We also seek comment on whether there are other grandfathering and transition mechanisms
that we should consider.
169.
We also seek comment on how the band should be assigned to GAA and Priority Access
tier users after the transition period. Under the proposed rules, a minimum of 50 percent of available
bandwidth would be made available for GAA use at any given time in any given geographic area. Would
this formulation still be in the public interest if the supplemental proposal is adopted? Notably, Microsoft
suggested that a minimum of 50 megahertz of spectrum should be reserved for GAA uses at all times.310
If we adopt the supplemental proposal, should we guarantee a fixed spectrum floor for GAA (i.e., 50
megahertz) and make the remainder of the spectrum available as PALs? We encourage commenters to
consider the costs and benefits of any proposals they put forth.

IV.

PROCEDURAL MATTERS

A.

Ex Parte

Rules

170.
This proceeding shall continue to be treated as a “permit-but-disclose” proceeding in
accordance with the Commission’s ex parte rules.311 Persons making ex parte presentations must file a
copy of any written presentation or a memorandum summarizing any oral presentation within two
business days after the presentation (unless a different deadline applicable to the Sunshine period applies).
Persons making oral ex parte presentations are reminded that memoranda summarizing the presentation
must (1) list all persons attending or otherwise participating in the meeting at which the ex parte
presentation was made, and (2) summarize all data presented and arguments made during the
presentation. If the presentation consisted in whole or in part of the presentation of data or arguments
already reflected in the presenter’s written comments, memoranda or other filings in the proceeding, the
presenter may provide citations to such data or arguments in his or her prior comments, memoranda, or
other filings (specifying the relevant page and/or paragraph numbers where such data or arguments can be
found) in lieu of summarizing them in the memorandum. Documents shown or given to Commission
staff during ex parte meetings are deemed to be written ex parte presentations and must be filed
consistent with section 1.1206(b).312 In proceedings governed by section 1.49(f)313 or for which the
Commission has made available a method of electronic filing, written ex parte presentations and
memoranda summarizing oral ex parte presentations, and all attachments thereto, must be filed through
the electronic comment filing system available for that proceeding, and must be filed in their native
format (e.g., .doc, .xml, .ppt, searchable .pdf). Participants in this proceeding should familiarize
themselves with the Commission’s ex parte rules.
171.
We note that our ex parte rules provide for a conditional exception for all ex parte
presentations made by NTIA or Department of Defense representatives.314 This FNPRM raises
significant technical issues implicating federal and non-federal spectrum allocations and users. Staff from
NTIA, DoD, and the FCC have engaged in technical discussions in the development of this FNPRM, and
we anticipate these discussions will continue after this FNPRM is released. These discussions will benefit

310 See Microsoft Licensing PN Comments at 4.
311 47 C.F.R. § 1.1200 et seq.
312 47 C.F.R. § 1.1206(b).
313 47 C.F.R. § 1.49(f).
314 See 47 C.F.R. §1.1204
52

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from an open exchange of information between agencies, and may involve sensitive information
regarding the strategic federal use of the 3.5 GHz Band. Recognizing the value of federal agency
collaboration on the technical issues raised in this FNPRM, NTIA’s shared jurisdiction over the 3.5 GHz
Band, the importance of protecting federal users in the 3.5 GHz Band from interference, and the goal of
enabling spectrum sharing to help address the ongoing spectrum capacity crunch, we find that this
exemption serves the public interest.

B.

Filing Requirements

172.
Pursuant to Sections 1.415 and 1.419 of the Commission’s rules,315 interested parties may
file comments and reply comments on or before the dates indicated on the first page of this document.
Comments may be filed using: (1) the Commission’s Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS), (2) the
Federal Government’s eRulemaking Portal, or (3) by filing paper copies.316
 Electronic Filers: Comments may be filed electronically using the Internet by accessing the
ECFS: http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/ecfs/ or the Federal eRulemaking Portal:
http://www.regulations.gov.
 Paper Filers: Parties who choose to file by paper must file an original and one copy of each
filing. If more than one docket or rulemaking number appears in the caption of this
proceeding, filers must submit two additional copies for each additional docket or rulemaking
number.
Filings can be sent by hand or messenger delivery, by commercial overnight courier, or by
first-class or overnight U.S. Postal Service mail. All filings must be addressed to the
Commission’s Secretary, Office of the Secretary, Federal Communications Commission.
o All hand-delivered or messenger-delivered paper filings for the Commission’s
Secretary must be delivered to FCC Headquarters at 445 12th St., SW, Room TW-
A325, Washington, DC 20554. All hand deliveries must be held together with rubber
bands or fasteners. Any envelopes must be disposed of before entering the building.
The filing hours are 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
o Commercial overnight mail (other than U.S. Postal Service Express Mail and Priority
Mail) must be sent to 9300 East Hampton Drive, Capitol Heights, MD 20743.
o U.S. Postal Service first-class, Express, and Priority mail must be addressed to 445
12th Street, SW, Washington DC 20554.
173.
Comments, reply comments, and ex parte submissions will be available for public
inspection during regular business hours in the FCC Reference Center, Federal Communications
Commission, 445 12th Street, S.W., CY-A257, Washington, D.C., 20554. These documents will also be
available via ECFS. Documents will be available electronically in ASCII, Microsoft Word, and/or Adobe
Acrobat.
174.
To request information in accessible formats (Braille, large print, electronic files, audio
format), send an e-mail to fcc504@fcc.gov or call the FCC’s Consumer and Governmental Affairs
Bureau at (202) 418-0530 (voice), (202) 418-0432 (TTY). This document can also be downloaded in
Word and Portable Document Format (PDF) at: http://www.fcc.gov.
175.
For additional information on this proceeding, please contact Paul Powell of the Wireless
Telecommunications Bureau at (202) 418-1613 or Paul.Powell@fcc.gov.

315 See id. §§ 1.415, 1.419.
316 See Electronic Filing of Documents in Rulemaking Proceedings, GC Docket No. 97-113, Report and Order, 13
FCC Rcd 11322 (1998).
53

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FCC 14-49

C.

Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

176.
As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (RFA),317 the Commission
prepared an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) relating to the NPRM. No parties filed
comments responding to that IRFA. We seek comment on how the proposed rules set forth herein could
affect the IRFA. These comments must be filed in accordance with the same filing deadlines as
comments filed in response to this FNPRM as set forth on the first page of this document and have a
separate and distinct heading designating them as responses to the IRFA.
177.
Our previous IRFA set forth the need for and objectives of our proposed rules;318 the legal
basis for the proposed action;319 a description and estimate of the number of small entities to which the
proposed rules would apply;320 a description of projected reporting, recordkeeping, and other compliance
requirements for small entities;321 steps taken to minimize the significant economic impact on small
entities and significant alternatives considered;322 and a statement that there are no federal rules that may
duplicate, overlap, or conflict with the proposed rules.323 Those descriptions remain unchanged by our
FNPRM, except that we now propose unrestricted eligibility for Priority Access use of the 3.5 GHz Band.
178.
Our FNPRM does, however, provide greater detail on some of the specific reporting,
recordkeeping, and other compliance requirements on which we are now seeking comment. For example,
it proposes qualifications requirements, and requirements to designate whether users have selected
common carrier status. It proposes specific requirements for interactions with the SAS. It would require
devices to be interoperable across all frequencies from 3550 MHz to 3700 MHz. It proposes Exclusion
Zones to ensure compatibility between incumbent federal operations and Citizens Broadband Radio
Service users, application window procedures for PALs, and limits on the geographic areas, time periods,
and numbers of PALs that may be acquired, as well as auction procedures that would govern mutually
exclusive applications therefor. It proposes a 24 dBm (per 10 megahertz) peak transmit power limit for
CBSDs in non-rural areas, and 30 dBm (per 10 megahertz) for rural areas. For fixed point-to-point radio
systems, it proposes a 30 dBm (per 10 megahertz) peak transmit power limit. It proposes a maximum
EIRP for End User Devices of 23 dBm (per 10 megahertz), and a -80 dBm signal level threshold as
measured by a 0 dBi isotropic antenna in 10 megahertz anywhere along any PAL service area boundaries.
It proposes OOBE of 43 + 10 log (P) dB, and 70 + 10 log (P) dB for emissions below 3520 MHz and
above 3680 MHz. In the 3.5 GHz NPRM, the Commission also asked for comment on other alternatives,
such as utilizing a two-tiered authorization framework, establishing a license-by-rule approach to Priority
Access, and utilizing an alternative “licensed light” framework akin to the authorization model currently
used for the 3650-3700 MHz band. This FNPRM also seeks comment on alternatives, including static
rather than dynamic frequency assignments and prescribed GAA bandwidths.

D.

Initial Paperwork Reduction Act Analysis

179.
This FNPRM contains proposed new and modified information collection requirements.
The Commission, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, invites the general public
and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to comment on the information collection

317 See 5 U.S.C. § 603. The RFA, see 5 U.S.C. § 601 et seq., has been amended by the Small Business Regulatory
Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (SBREFA), Pub. L. No. 104-121, Title II, 110 Stat. 857 (1996). The SBREFA
was enacted as Title II of the Contract with America Advancement Act of 1996 (CWAAA).
318 3.5 GHz NPRM, 27 FCC Rcd at 15649, App. B ¶¶ 2-5.
319 Id., 27 FCC Rcd at 15650, App. B ¶ 6.
320 Id., 27 FCC Rcd at 15650-51, App. B ¶¶ 7-12.
321 Id., 27 FCC Rcd at 15651, App. B ¶¶ 13-15.
322 Id., 27 FCC Rcd at 15652, App. B ¶¶ 16-18.
323 Id., 27 FCC Rcd at 15652, App. B ¶ 19.
54

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requirements contained in this FNPRM, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law
104-13. In addition, pursuant to the Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002, Public Law 107-
198,324 we seek specific comment on how we might “further reduce the information collection burden for
small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees.”

V.

ORDERING CLAUSES

180.
Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED, pursuant to Sections 1, 2, 4(i), 4(j), 7, 301, 302(a), 303,
307(e), and 316 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. §§ 151, 152, 154(i), 154(j),
157, 301, 302(a), 303, 307(e), and 316, that this Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in GN Docket
No. 12-354 IS ADOPTED.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Marlene H. Dortch
Secretary

324 See 44 U.S.C. § 3506(c)(4).
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APPENDIX A

Proposed Rules

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) proposes to amend parts 1, 2, 90, and
95 and add a new Part 96 to Part 47 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) as set forth below:

Part 1 – Practice and Procedure

1. The authority citation for Part 1 continues to read as follows:
AUTHORITY: 15 U.S.C. 79 et seq.; 47 U.S.C. 151, 154(i), 154(j), 155, 157, 225, 227, 303(r),
309, 1403, 1404, and 1451.
2. Section 1.901 is amended to read as follows:
§1.901 Basis and purpose
These rules are issued pursuant to the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 151 et
seq.
The purpose of these rules is to establish the requirements and conditions under which entities may
be licensed in the Wireless Radio Services as described in this part and in parts 13, 20, 22, 24, 26, 27, 74,
80, 87, 90, 95, 96, 97 and 101 of this chapter.
3. Section 1.902 is amended to read as follows:
§1.902 Scope
In case of any conflict between the rules set forth in this subpart and the rules set forth in Parts 13, 20, 22,
24, 26, 27, 74, 80, 87, 90, 95, 96, 97, and 101 of title 47, chapter I of the Code of Federal Regulations, the
rules in part 1 shall govern.
4. Section 1.907 is amended to read as follows:
§ 1.907 Definitions
****
Private Wireless Services. Wireless Radio Services authorized by parts 80, 87, 90, 95, 96, 97, and 101
that are not Wireless Telecommunications Services, as defined in this part.
****
Wireless Radio Services. All radio services authorized in parts 13, 20, 22, 24, 26, 27, 74, 80, 87, 90, 95,
96, 97 and 101 of this chapter, whether commercial or private in nature.
Wireless Telecommunications Services. Wireless Radio Services, whether fixed or mobile, that meet the
definition of “telecommunications service” as defined by 47 U.S.C. 153, as amended, and are therefore
subject to regulation on a common carrier basis. Wireless Telecommunications Services include all radio
services authorized by parts 20, 22, 24, 26, and 27 of this chapter. In addition, Wireless
Telecommunications Services include Public Coast Stations authorized by part 80 of this chapter,
Commercial Mobile Radio Services authorized by part 90 of this chapter, and common carrier fixed
microwave services, Local Television Transmission Service (LTTS), Local Multipoint Distribution

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 14-49

Service (LMDS), and Digital Electronic Message Service (DEMS), authorized by part 101 of this chapter,
and Citizens Broadband Radio Services authorized by part 96 of this chapter.
5. Section 1.1307 is amended to read as follows:
§ 1.1307 - Actions that may have a significant environmental effect, for which Environmental
Assessments (EAs) must be prepared.

* * * *
(b) * * * *
(2)(i) Mobile and portable transmitting devices that operate in the Commercial Mobile Radio Services
pursuant to part 20 of this chapter; the Cellular Radiotelephone Service pursuant to part 22 of this chapter;
the Personal Communications Services (PCS) pursuant to part 24 of this chapter; the Satellite
Communications Services pursuant to part 25 of this chapter; the Miscellaneous Wireless
Communications Services pursuant to part 27 of this chapter; the Maritime Services (ship earth stations
only) pursuant to part 80 of this chapter; the Specialized Mobile Radio Service, the 4.9 GHz Band
Service, or the 3650 MHz Wireless Broadband Service pursuant to part 90 of this chapter; the Wireless
Medical Telemetry Service (WMTS), or the Medical Device Radiocommunication Service (MedRadio)
pursuant to part 95 of this chapter; or the Citizens Broadband Radio Service pursuant to part 96 of this
chapter are subject to routine environmental evaluation for RF exposure prior to equipment authorization
or use, as specified in §§ 2.1091 and 2.1093 of this chapter.
* * * * *

Part 2 – Frequency Allocations and Radio Treaty Matters; General Rules and Regulations

6. The authority citation for Part 2 continues to read as follows:
AUTHORITY: 47 U.S.C. 154, 302a, 303, and 336, unless otherwise noted.
7. Section 2.106, the Table of Frequency Allocations, is amended as follows:
a. Revise pages 39-40.
b. In the list of United States (US) Footnotes, add footnotes US106, US107, and US433.
§ 2.106 Table of Frequency Allocations.
The revisions and additions read as follows:
* * * * *
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Table of Frequency Allocations 2655-4990 MHz (UHF/SHF)
Page
39
International Table
United States Table
FCC Rule Part(s)
Region 1 Table
Region 2 Table
Region 3 Table
Federal Table
Non-Federal Table
2655-2670
2655-2670
2655-2670
2655-2690
2655-2690
FIXED 5.410
FIXED 5.410
FIXED 5.410
Earth exploration-
FIXED US205
Wireless
MOBILE except
FIXED-SATELLITE
FIXED-SATELLITE (Earth- satellite (passive)
MOBILE except

aeronautical
(Earth-to-space)
to-space)
Radio astronomy
aeronautical mobile
Communications
mobile 5.384A
(space-to-Earth) 5.415 5.415
US385
Earth exploration-satellite (27)
BROADCASTING-
MOBILE except
MOBILE except
Space research
(passive)
SATELLITE
aeronautical mobile
aeronautical mobile
(passive)
Radio astronomy
5.208B 5.413 5.416
5.384A
5.384A
Space research (passive)
Earth exploration-satellite BROADCASTING-
BROADCASTING-
(passive)
SATELLITE
SATELLITE
Radio astronomy
5.413 5.416
5.413 5.416
Space research (passive) Earth exploration-satellite Earth exploration-satellite
(passive)
(passive)
Radio astronomy
Radio astronomy
5.149 5.412
Space research (passive) Space research (passive)
5.149 5.208B
5.149 5.208B 5.420
2670-2690
2670-2690
2670-2690
FIXED 5.410
FIXED 5.410
FIXED 5.410
MOBILE except
FIXED-SATELLITE
FIXED-SATELLITE (Earth-
aeronautical mobile
(Earth-to-space)
to-space)
5.384A
(space-to-Earth)
5.415
Earth exploration-satellite 5.208B 5.415
MOBILE except
(passive)
MOBILE except
aeronautical mobile
Radio astronomy
aeronautical mobile
5.384A
Space research (passive) 5.384A
MOBILE-SATELLITE
Earth exploration-satellite (Earth-to-
(passive)
space) 5.351A 5.419
Radio astronomy
Earth exploration-satellite
Space research (passive) (passive)
5.149 5.412
Radio astronomy
Space research (passive)
5.149
5.149
US205
US385
2690-2700
2690-2700
EARTH EXPLORATION-SATELLITE (passive)
EARTH EXPLORATION-SATELLITE (passive)
RADIO ASTRONOMY
RADIO ASTRONOMY US74
SPACE RESEARCH (passive)
SPACE RESEARCH (passive)
5.340 5.422
US246
2700-2900
2700-2900
2700-2900
AERONAUTICAL RADIONAVIGATION 5.337
METEOROLOGICAL
Aviation (87)
Radiolocation
AIDS
AERONAUTICAL
RADIONAVI-
5.423 5.424
GATION 5.337 US18 5.423 US18
Radiolocation G2
5.423 G15
2900-3100
2900-3100
2900-3100
RADIOLOCATION 5.424A
RADIOLOCATION
MARITIME
Maritime (80)
RADIONAVIGATION 5.426
5.424A G56
RADIONAVIGATION
Private Land
5.425 5.427
MARITIME
Radiolocation US44
Mobile (90)
RADIONAVIGATION
5.427 US316
5.427 US44 US316
3100-3300
3100-3300
3100-3300
RADIOLOCATION
RADIOLOCATION G59 Earth exploration-satellite Private Land
Earth exploration-satellite (active)
Earth exploration-
(active)
Mobile (90)
Space research (active)
satellite (active)
Space research (active)
5.149 5.428
Space research (active) Radiolocation
US342
US342
3300-3400
3300-3400
3300-3400
3300-3500
3300-3500
RADIOLOCATION
RADIOLOCATION
RADIOLOCATION
RADIOLOCATION
Amateur
Private Land
Amateur
Amateur
US108 G2
Radiolocation US108
Mobile (90)
Fixed
Amateur Radio
Mobile
(97)
5.149 5.429 5.430
5.149
5.149 5.429
US342
5.282 US342
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3400-3600
3400-3500
3400-3500
FIXED
FIXED
FIXED
FIXED-SATELLITE
FIXED-SATELLITE
FIXED-SATELLITE
(space-to-Earth)
(space-to-Earth)
(space-to-Earth)
Mobile 5.430A
Amateur
Amateur
Radiolocation
Mobile 5.431A
Mobile 5.432B
Radiolocation 5.433
Radiolocation 5.433
5.282
5.282 5.432 5.432A
3500-3700
3500-3600
3500-3550
3500-3550
FIXED
FIXED
RADIOLOCATION G59 Radiolocation
Private Land
FIXED-SATELLITE
FIXED-SATELLITE
AERONAUTICAL
Mobile (90)
(space-to-Earth)
(space-to-Earth)
RADIONAVI-
MOBILE except
MOBILE except
GATION (ground-
aeronautical mobile
aeronautical mobile
based) G110
Radiolocation 5.433
5.433A
3550-3650
3550-3600
Radiolocation 5.433
RADIOLOCATION G59 FIXED
AERONAUTICAL
LAND MOBILE
5.431
RADIONAVI-
US106 US433
GATION (ground-
3600-4200
3600-3700
3600-3650
based) G110
FIXED
FIXED
FIXED
Satellite
FIXED-SATELLITE
FIXED-SATELLITE
FIXED-SATELLITE

(space-to-Earth)
(space-to-Earth)
(space-to-Earth)
Communications
Mobile
MOBILE except
US107 US245
(25)
aeronautical mobile
LAND MOBILE
Private Land
Radiolocation 5.433
Mobile (90)
US106 US433
US106 US107 US245
US433
3650-3700
3650-3700
FIXED
FIXED-SATELLITE
(space-to-Earth)
5.435
NG169 NG185
US109 US349
MOBILE except
aeronautical mobile
US109 US349
3700-4200
3700-4200
3700-4200
FIXED
FIXED
Satellite
FIXED-SATELLITE (space-to-Earth)
FIXED-SATELLITE

MOBILE except aeronautical mobile
(space-to-Earth)
Communications
NG180
(25)
Fixed Microwave
(101)
4200-4400
4200-4400
AERONAUTICAL RADIONAVIGATION 5.438
AERONAUTICAL RADIONAVIGATION
Aviation (87)
5.439 5.440
5.440 US261
4400-4500
4400-4500
4400-4500
FIXED
FIXED
MOBILE 5.440A
MOBILE
4500-4800
4500-4800
4500-4800
FIXED
FIXED
FIXED-SATELLITE
FIXED-SATELLITE (space-to-Earth) 5.441
MOBILE
(space-to-Earth)
MOBILE 5.440A
US245
5.441 US245
4800-4990
4800-4940
4800-4940
FIXED
FIXED
MOBILE 5.440A 5.442
MOBILE
Radio astronomy
US203 US342
US203 US342
4940-4990
4940-4990
FIXED
Public Safety
MOBILE except
Land Mobile
5.339 US342 US385
aeronautical mobile
(90Y)
G122
5.339 US342 US385

5.149 5.339 5.443
Page 40
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* * * * *

UNITED STATES (US) FOOTNOTES

* * * * *
US106 In the band 3550-3650 MHz, non-Federal stations in the radiolocation service that were
licensed or applied for prior to [effective date of Report and Order] may continue to operate on a
secondary basis until the end of the equipment’s useful lifetime.
US107 In the band 3600-3650 MHz, the following provisions shall apply to earth stations in the
fixed-satellite service (space-to-Earth):
(a) Earth stations authorized prior to, or granted as a result of an application filed prior to, [effective
date of Report and Order], and constructed within 12 months of initial authorization may operate
indefinitely on a primary basis. Applications for new earth stations or modifications to earth station
facilities shall not be accepted, except for changes in polarization, antenna orientation or ownership.
(b) The assignment of frequencies to new earth stations shall be authorized on secondary basis to
non-Federal stations in the fixed and land mobile services.
* * * * *
US433 In the band 3550-3650 MHz, the following provisions shall apply to Federal use of the
aeronautical radionavigation (ground-based) and radiolocation services and to non-Federal use of the
fixed and land mobile services:
(a) Airborne radar systems shall not be authorized.
(b) Non-Federal stations in the fixed and land mobile services shall not be authorized within [XXX
km] of the territorial sea baseline.
(c) Ground-based radar systems operate at the following fixed sites: [RESERVED]. Non-federal
operations shall not be permitted within [XX km] of these fixed sites.
* * * * *
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§ 2.1091 Radiofrequency radiation exposure evaluation: mobile devices
* * * * *
(c)(1) Mobile devices that operate in the Commercial Mobile Radio Services pursuant to part 20 of this
chapter; the Cellular Radiotelephone Service pursuant to part 22 of this chapter; the Personal
Communications Services pursuant to part 24 of this chapter; the Satellite Communications Services
pursuant to part 25 of this chapter; the Miscellaneous Wireless Communications Services pursuant to part
27 of this chapter; the Maritime Services (ship earth station devices only) pursuant to part 80 of this
chapter; the Specialized Mobile Radio Service, and the 3650 MHz Wireless Broadband Service pursuant
to part 90 of this chapter; and the Citizens Broadband Radio Service pursuant to part 96 of this
chapter are subject to routine environmental evaluation for RF exposure prior to equipment authorization
or use if:
* * * * *
§ 2.1093 Radiofrequency radiation exposure evaluation: portable devices
* * * * *
(c)(1) Portable devices that operate in the Cellular Radiotelephone Service pursuant to part 22 of this
chapter; the Personal Communications Service (PCS) pursuant to part 24 of this chapter; the Satellite
Communications Services pursuant to part 25 of this chapter; the Miscellaneous Wireless
Communications Services pursuant to part 27 of this chapter; the Maritime Services (ship earth station
devices only) pursuant to part 80 of this chapter; the Specialized Mobile Radio Service, the 4.9 GHz Band
Service, and the 3650 MHz Wireless Broadband Service pursuant to part 90 of this chapter; the Wireless
Medical Telemetry Service (WMTS) and the Medical Device Radiocommunication Service (MedRadio),
pursuant to subparts H and I of part 95 of this chapter, respectively, unlicensed personal communication
service, unlicensed NII devices and millimeter wave devices authorized under §§15.253(f), 15.255(g),
15.257(g), 15.319(i), and 15.407(f) of this chapter; and the Citizens Broadband Radio Service pursuant to
part 96 of this chapter are subject to routine environmental evaluation for RF exposure prior to equipment
authorization or use.
* * * * *

Part 90 – Private Land Mobile Radio Services

8. The authority citation for Part 90 continues to read as follows:
AUTHORITY: Sections 4(i), 11, 303(g), 303(r), and 332(c)(7) of the Communications Act of
1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 154(i), 161, 303(g), 303(r), 332(c)(7).
9. Section 90.103 is amended by revising the “3500 to 3650” entry in the Megahertz portion of the
Radiolocation Service Frequency Table in paragraph (b) to read as follows:
§ 90.103 Radiolocation Service.
* * * * *
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RADIOLOCATION SERVICE FREQUENCY TABLE
Frequency or band
Class of station(s)
Limitation
Kilohertz
* *
* *
*
Megahertz
420 to 450 ……….….…….
......do
21
2450 to 2500 ……….…….
......do
9, 22, 23
2900 to 3100 …….….…….
......do
10, 11
3100 to 3300 ……………...
......do
12
3300 to 3500 ……………...
......do
12, 13
3500 to 3550 ……………...
......do
12
* *
* *
*

Part 95 – Personal Radio Services

10. The authority citation for Part 95 continues to read as follows:
AUTHORITY: Secs. 4, 303, 48 Stat. 1066, 1082, as amended; 47 U.S.C. 154, 303.
11. Section 95.401 is amended to read as follows:
§ 95.401 (CB Rule 1) What are Citizens Band Radio Services?
*****
(h) Citizens Broadband Radio Service – The rules for this service, including technical rules, are
contained in Part 96 of the Commission’s rules. Only Citizens Broadband Radio Service Devices
authorized on a General Authorized Access basis, as those terms are defined in section 96.3, are
considered part of the Citizens Band Radio Services.
12. Section 95.601 is amended to read as follows:
§95.601 Basis and purpose
This section provides the technical standards to which each transmitter (apparatus that converts
electrical energy received from a source into RF (radio frequency) energy capable of being radiated)
used or intended to be used in a station authorized in any of the Personal Radio Services listed below
must comply. This section also provides requirements for obtaining certification for such transmitters.
The Personal Radio Services to which these rules apply are the GMRS (General Mobile Radio
Service)—subpart A, the Family Radio Service (FRS)—subpart B, the R/C (Radio Control Radio
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Service)—subpart C, the CB (Citizens Band Radio Service)—subpart D, the Low Power Radio
Service (LPRS)—subpart G, the Wireless Medical Telemetry Service (WMTS)—subpart H, the
Medical Device Radiocommunication Service (MedRadio)—subpart I, the Multi-Use Radio Service
(MURS)—subpart J, and Dedicated Short-Range Communications Service On-Board Units (DSRCS-
OBUs)—subpart L.
A new Part 96 is added to read as follows:
13. The authority citation for Part 96 reads as follows:
AUTHORITY: Sections 4(i), 303, and 307 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47
U.S.C. 154(i), 303, and 307.

Part 96 – Citizens Broadband Radio Service

Subpart A – GENERAL RULES
§ 96.1 – Scope
§ 96.3 – Definitions
§ 96.5 – Eligibility
§ 96.7 – Authorization Required
§ 96.9 – Regulatory Status
§ 96.11 – Frequencies
§ 96.13 – Frequency Assignments
Subpart B – INCUMBENT PROTECTION
§ 96.15 – Protection of Federal Incumbents
§ 96.17 – Protection of Existing Fixed Satellite Service (FSS) Earth Stations in the 3550-3650 MHz Band
§ 96.19 – Operation Near Canadian and Mexican Borders
Subpart C – PRIORITY ACCESS
§ 96.21 – Authorization
§ 96.23 – Priority Access Licenses
§ 96.25 – Application Window
§ 96.27 – Competitive Bidding Procedures
§ 96.29 – Aggregation of Priority Access Licenses
Subpart D – GENERAL AUTHORIZED ACCESS
§ 96.31 – Authorization
§ 96.33 – General Authorized Access Use
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§ 96.35 – Contained Access Facilities (CAFs)
Subpart E – TECHNICAL RULES
§ 96.36 – Citizens Broadband Radio Service Device (CBSD) General Requirements
§ 96.37 – End User General Requirements
§ 96.38 – General Radio Requirements
§ 96.39 – Equipment Authorization
§ 96.41 – RF Safety
Subpart F – SPECTRUM ACCESS SYSTEM
§ 96.43 – Spectrum Access System Purposes and Functionality
§ 96.44 – Information Gathering and Retention
§ 96.45 – Registration and Authorization of Citizens Broadband Radio Service Devices
§ 96.46 – Frequency Assignment
§ 96.47 – Security
§ 96.48 – Spectrum Access System Administrators
§ 96.49 – Spectrum Access System Administrator Fees

Subpart A - GENERAL RULES

96.1 – Scope
(a) This section sets forth the regulations governing use of devices in the Citizens Broadband
Radio Service. Citizens Broadband Radio Service Devices (CBSDs) may be used in the frequency bands
listed in section 96.11. The operation of all CBSDs shall be coordinated by one or more authorized
Spectrum Access Systems (SASs).
(b) The Citizens Broadband Radio Service includes Priority Access and General Authorized
Access tiers of service. Priority Access Licensees and General Authorized Access Users shall be
authorized to operate only outside of the Exclusion Zones detailed in section 96.15 and must not cause
harmful interference to Incumbent Users, including authorized federal users and the fixed satellite service
(FSS) sites set forth in sections 96.15 and 96.17. General Authorized Access Users must not cause
harmful interference to Priority Access Licensees and must accept interference from Priority Access
Licensees, consistent with section 96.33.
96.3 – Definitions
Census Tract: Census tracts are relatively permanent statistical subdivisions of a county or
equivalent entity that are updated by local participants prior to each decennial census as part of the
Census Bureau's Participant Statistical Areas Program. Census tracts are defined by the United States
Census Bureau and current census tract maps can be found at https://www.census.gov/geo/maps-
data/maps/2010tract.html.
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Citizens Broadband Radio Service Device (CBSD): Fixed or Portable Base stations, or networks
of such base stations, that operate on a Priority Access or General Authorized Access basis in the Citizens
Broadband Radio Service consistent with this rule part. Does not include End User Devices.
Contained Access Facility (CAF): An indoor or otherwise physically contained location used by
Contained Access Users for the express purpose of performing core mission operations.
Contained Access Use: Private internal radio services, not made commercially available to the
public, employed by Contained Access Users.
Contained Access User: Qualified government and non-government entities entitled to protection
within CAFs in furtherance of a mission that supports the public interest.
End User Device: A fixed, portable, or mobile device authorized and controlled by an authorized
CBSD. These devices may not be used as intermediate service links or to provide service to other End
User Devices.
Exclusion Zone: A geographic area wherein no CBSD shall operate. Exclusion Zones shall be
enforced and maintained by the SAS.
Fast Track Report: National Telecommunications and Information Administration, “An
Assessment of the Near-Term Viability of Accommodating Wireless Broadband Systems in the 1675-
1710 MHz, 1755-1780 MHz, 3500-3650 MHz, 4200-4220 MHz, and 4380-4400 MHz Bands” (October
2010).
Geo-Location Capability: The capability of a CBSD to determine its geographic coordinates
within the level of accuracy specified in section 96.36 (i.e., 50 meters horizontally and 3 meters
vertically). This capability is used by a SAS to determine frequency availability and maximum power
limits for CBSDs.
General Authorized Access User: An authorized user of CBSDs operating on a General
Authorized Access basis, as set forth in this part.
Incumbent User: A federal entity or fixed satellite service operator authorized to operate on a
primary basis on frequencies designated in section 96.11.
Priority Access License (PAL): A license to operate on a Priority Access basis, consistent with
section 96.21, et seq.
Priority Access Licensee: A holder of one or more PALs. Priority Access Licensees shall be
entitled to protection from harmful interference from General Authorized Access Users and other Priority
Access Licensees within the defined limits of their PAL, consistent with the rules set forth in this part.
Rural Area. For purposes of this part, a Rural Area is defined as a county (or equivalent) with a
population density of 100 persons per square mile or less, based upon the most recently available Census
data.
Spectrum Access System (SAS): A system that maintains records of all authorized services and
devices in the Citizens Broadband Radio Service frequency bands, is capable of determining the available
channels at a specific geographic location, provides information on available channels to CBSDs that
have been certified under the Commission's equipment authorization procedures, determines and enforces
maximum power levels for CBSDs, and enforces protection criteria for Incumbent Users and Priority
Access Licensees, and performs other functions as set forth in section 96.43, et seq. Spectrum Access
System shall also refer to multiple Spectrum Access Systems operating in coordination and in accordance
with this rule part.
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SAS Administrator: An entity authorized by the Commission to operate an SAS in accordance
with the rules and procedures set forth in section 96.48.
96.5 – Eligibility
Any entity, other than those precluded by section 310 of the Communications Act of 1934, as
amended, 47 U.S.C. 310, is eligible to be a Priority Access Licensee or General Authorized Access User
under this part, except as set forth in section 96.35.
96.7 – Authorization Required
(a) CBSDs must be used and operated consistent with the rules in this part.
(b) Authorizations for PALs may be granted upon proper application, provided that the applicant
is qualified in regard to citizenship, character, financial, technical and other criteria established by the
Commission, and that the public interest, convenience and necessity will be served. See 47 U.S.C. 301,
308, 309, and 310. The holding of an authorization does not create any rights beyond the terms,
conditions, and period specified in the authorization and shall be subject to the provisions of the
Communications Act of 1934, as amended.
96.9 – Regulatory Status
(a) Priority Access Licensees and General Authorized Access Users are permitted to provide
services on a non-common carrier and/or on a common carrier basis. An authorized Citizens Broadband
Radio Service user may render any kind of communications service consistent with the regulatory status
in its authorization and with the Commission's rules applicable to that service.
96.11 – Frequencies
(a) The Citizens Broadband Radio Service shall be authorized in the 3550-3650 MHz frequency
band.
96.13 – Frequency Assignments
(a) A minimum of fifty percent of the bandwidth, rounded to the nearest 10 megahertz, available
for Citizens Broadband Radio Service users in a given census tract must be reserved for General
Authorized Access use. The remaining bandwidth shall be made available to Priority Access Licensees,
consistent with the procedures in subpart C of this rule part.
(b) Each PAL shall be authorized to use a 10 megahertz channel as set forth in section 96.23.
(c) Any frequencies designated for Priority Access that are not in use by a Priority Access
Licensee may be utilized by General Authorized Access Users.
(d) The SAS shall assign particular authorized users to specific frequencies, which may be
reassigned by the SAS.

Subpart B - INCUMBENT PROTECTION

96.15 – Protection of Federal Incumbents
(a) CBSDs must not cause harmful interference to and must accept harmful interference from
federal users authorized to operate on frequencies set forth in section 96.11.
(1) To ensure compatibility between incumbent federal operations and Citizens Broadband Radio
Service user, an Exclusion Zone consistent with the recommendations of the Fast Track Report shall be
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maintained around terrestrial federal radiolocation sites and the coastline. This Exclusion Zone shall be
enforced by the SAS.
(3) The SAS must immediately suspend operation of any CBSDs found to be causing harmful
interference to Incumbent Users until such harmful interference can be resolved.
96.17 - Protection of Existing FSS Earth Stations in the 3550-3650 MHz Band
(a) CBSDs shall not cause harmful interference to the FSS earth stations listed in the chart below:

Earth Station

State

City

Call Sign

Coordinates

No.

1
CA
Livermore
KA232
37° 45' 40.0" N, 121° 47' 53.0" W
2
CA
Malibu
E980066
34° 04' 52.6" N, 118° 53' 52.9" W
KA273
34° 04' 50.3" N, 118° 53' 46.4" W
KA91
34° 04' 49.7" N, 118° 53' 43.9" W
KB32
34° 04' 51.0" N, 118° 53' 44.0" W
3
CA
Mountain Home
KA86
37° 45' 01.7" N, 121° 35' 38.8" W
4
CA
Napa
E950307
38° 14' 43.7" N, 122° 16' 50.9" W
5
CA
Nuevo
E010206
33° 47' 46.1" N, 117° 05' 15.1" W
E020169
33° 47' 46.5" N, 117° 05' 15.0" W
E020314
33° 47' 46.0" N, 117° 05' 14.0" W
E020315
33° 47' 45.0" N, 117° 05' 15.0" W
6
CA
Salt Creek
KA371
38° 56' 20.2" N, 122° 08' 48.0" W
KA372
38° 56' 21.0" N, 122° 08' 49.2" W
KA373
38° 56' 22.3" N, 122° 08' 49.6" W
7
CA
San Ramon
E6241
37° 45' 39.7" N, 121° 47' 56.8" W
8
CA
Santa Paula
KA31
34° 24' 05.0" N, 119° 04' 26.0" W
KB34
34° 24' 05.0" N, 119° 04' 29.4" W
KA249
34° 24' 05.0" N, 119° 04' 29.4" W
E980136
34° 24' 06.0" N, 119° 04' 21.8" W
9
CA
Somis
KA318
34° 19' 31.0" N, 118° 59' 41.0" W
10
CA
Sylmar
KA274
34° 19' 04.0" N, 118° 29' 00.0" W
E6148
34° 18' 55.0" N, 118° 29' 12.0" W
11
CT
Southbury
KA312
41° 27' 06.3" N, 073° 17' 21.4" W
KA313
41° 27' 06.3" N, 073° 17' 16.4" W
WA28
41° 27' 05.0" N, 073° 17' 21.0" W
WB36
41° 27' 05.3" N, 073° 17' 19.4" W
WB36
41° 27' 05.1" N, 073° 17' 19.0" W
12
FL
Medley
E960068
25° 51' 19.0" N, 080° 19' 52.0" W
13
Miami
KA407
25° 48' 35.0" N, 080° 21' 10.0" W
KA412
25° 48' 35.0" N, 080° 21' 11.0" W
14
GUM
Pulantat
KA28
13° 25' 00.0" N, 144° 44' 57.0" E
15
GUM
Yonagu
KA326
13° 25' 05.2" N, 144° 45' 05.7" E
16
HI
Haleiwa
E080059
21° 40' 10.4" N, 158° 01' 59.4" W
KA25
21° 40' 14.6" N, 158° 02' 03.1" W
17
HI
Kapolei
E010016
21° 20' 08.0" N, 158° 05' 25.0" W
E980250
21° 20' 12.6" N, 158° 05' 21.1" W
E100091
21° 20' 10.2" N, 158° 05' 18.0" W
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Earth Station

State

City

Call Sign

Coordinates

No.

E030087
21° 20' 09.0" N, 158° 05' 25.0" W
18
HI
Paumalu
KA265
21° 40' 27.0" N, 158° 02' 16.0" W
KA266
21° 40' 15.5" N, 158° 02' 06.1" W
KA267
21° 40' 14.1" N, 158° 02' 06.1" W
KA270
21° 40' 24.0" N, 158° 02' 16.0" W
19
MD
Clarksburg
KA260
39° 13' 05.0" N, 077° 16' 12.0" W
KA275
39° 13' 07.0" N, 077° 16' 12.0" W
KA259
39° 13' 05.6" N, 077° 16' 12.4" W
KA263
39° 13' 04.4" N, 077° 16' 13.9" W
KA264
39° 13' 05.2" N, 077° 16' 13.9" W
20
MD
Hagerstown
KA262
39° 35' 57.0" N, 077° 45' 23.0" W
E030071
39° 35' 57.9" N, 077° 45' 17.3" W
E030082
39° 35' 57.9" N, 077° 45' 21.4" W
E030100
39° 35' 59.6" N, 077° 45' 21.4" W
E030101
39° 35' 59.6" N, 077° 45' 17.4" W
E030103
39° 35' 59.1" N, 077° 45' 18.4" W
E000296
39° 35' 54.0" N, 077° 45' 35.0" W
KA261
39° 35' 57.0" N, 077° 45' 22.0" W
E100118
39° 35' 55.0" N, 077° 45' 22.0" W
21
ME
Andover
E000700
44° 38' 01.2" N, 070° 41' 51.3" W
KA386
44° 37' 58.2" N, 070° 41' 55.3" W
KA349
44° 37' 58.2" N, 070° 41' 54.0" W
22
NJ
Franklin
E6777
41° 07' 04.0" N, 074° 34' 33.0" W
23
NY
Hauppauge
E950436
40° 49' 15.4" N, 073° 15' 48.4" W
24
PA
Catawissa
E980493
40° 53' 39.3" N, 076° 26' 19.8" W
25
PA
Roaring Creek
KA444
40° 53' 35.9" N, 076° 26' 22.6" W
WA33
40° 53' 37.5" N, 076° 26' 21.8" W
26
PR
Humacao
E872647
18° 09' 05.0" N, 065° 47' 20.0" W
27
PR
San Juan
E050314
18° 24' 23.9" N, 066° 01' 46.6" W
28
TN
Nashville
E960050
36° 14' 05.7" N, 086° 45' 21.4" W
E960073
36° 14' 05.7" N, 086° 45' 19.4" W
E970010
36° 14' 06.2" N, 086° 45' 20.4" W
29
VA
Alexandria
KA81
38° 47' 36.0" N, 077° 09' 59.0" W
E970267
38° 47' 38.0" N, 077° 09' 46.0" W
30
VA
Bristow
E000696
38° 47' 02.4" N, 077° 34' 21.9" W
E000152
38° 47' 01.6" N, 077° 34' 24.3" W
E000726
various
31
VA
Sterling
E030336
38° 59' 07.0" N, 077° 26' 45.0" W
32
VA
Quicksburg
E000589
38° 43' 45.4" N, 078° 39' 25.1" W
E990175
38° 43' 45.4" N, 078° 39' 24.2" W
33
WA
Brewster
KA294
48° 08' 50.5" N, 119° 41' 33.2" W
E960222
48° 08' 51.0" N, 119° 41' 29.0" W
E120128
48° 08' 50.0" N, 119° 41' 28.0" W
34
WA
Yacolt
KA221
45° 51' 46.4" N, 122° 23' 44.3" W
KA323
45° 51' 45.5" N, 122° 23' 43.8" W
35
WV
Albright
KA413
39° 34' 07.0" N, 079° 34' 45.0" W
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Earth Station

State

City

Call Sign

Coordinates

No.

36
WV
Etam
KA378
39° 16' 50.0" N, 079° 44' 13.0" W
WA21
39° 16' 48.0" N, 079° 44' 14.0" W
37
WV
Rowlesburg
KA351
39° 16' 52.1" N, 079° 44' 10.7" W
These operational restrictions shall be enforced by the Spectrum Access System authorized pursuant to
section 96.48 below.
(1) These protection criteria shall only apply to FSS earth stations that are in actual use. FSS
earth station licensees must inform SAS Administrators of their operational status annually, no later than
30 days before the end of the preceding calendar year.
(2) CBSDs may operate within areas that may cause harmful interference to FSS earth stations
listed in this section provided that the licensee of the FSS earth station and an SAS Administrator
mutually agree on such operation and the terms of any such agreement are provided to SAS and can be
enforced by the SAS.
96.19 – Operation Near Canadian and Mexican Borders
Citizens Broadband Radio Service operation in the 3550-3650 MHz band is subject to current and
future international agreements with Mexico and Canada. The terms of these agreements shall be
enforced by the SAS.

Subpart C - PRIORITY ACCESS

96.21 – Authorization
(a) In general, applications for PALs must:
(1) Demonstrate the applicant's qualifications to hold an authorization;
(2) State how a grant would serve the public interest, convenience, and necessity;
(3) Contain all information required by FCC rules and application forms;
(4) Propose operation of a facility or facilities in compliance with all rules governing the Citizens
Broadband Radio Service; and
(5) Be amended as necessary to remain substantially accurate and complete in all significant
respects, in accordance with the provisions of §1.65 of this chapter.
(b) Authorization processes and requirements may be reasonably automated by SAS
Administrators approved by the Commission in accordance with section 96.48. The Commission shall
oversee these processes consistent with its responsibilities under the Communications Act of 1934, as
amended.
(c) CBSDs used for Priority Access must register with the SAS and comply with its instructions
consistent with section 96.36.
96.23 – Priority Access Licenses
(a) Frequencies shall be made available for Priority Access use, consistent with section 96.13.
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(b) Priority Access Licensees shall be protected from harmful interference from CBSDs operated
by other Priority Access Licensees and General Authorized Access Users, consistent with the technical
rules and interference avoidance criteria set forth in sections 96.36 and 96.38. Priority Access Licensees
must protect Incumbent Users from harmful interference, consistent with sections 96.15 and 96.17.
(c) PALs shall have the following parameters:
(1) Geography: Each PAL shall consist of a single census tract, as defined in the 2010 census.
(i) Contiguous Geographic Areas: The SAS shall make reasonable efforts to assign
geographically contiguous PALs held by the same licensee to the same frequencies.
(2) Channels: Each PAL shall consist of a 10 megahertz channel within the frequency range set
forth in section 96.13. Channels shall be assigned by the SAS and the exact frequencies of specific
assigned channels may be changed at the SAS Administrator’s discretion, in coordination with other SAS
Administrators. Priority Access Licensees may request a particular channel or frequency range but will
not be guaranteed a particular assignment.
(i) Contiguous Channel Frequencies: The SAS shall make reasonable efforts to assign multiple
channels held by the same Priority Access Licensee to contiguous frequencies.
(3) License Term: Each PAL shall be issued for one-year. Each PAL shall automatically
terminate at the end of its one-year term and may not be renewed. However, Priority Access Licensees
may reapply for subsequent authorizations in the same census tract, subject to the limitations set forth in
section 96.25. Priority Access Licensees may hold consecutive PALs up to the maximum established in
96.25.
(d) CBSDs operating under a PAL authorization must register with an SAS and comply with its
instructions in accordance with sections 96.36, 96.45, and 96.46.
(e) Unused PAL channels shall be made available for assignment by the SAS for General
Authorized Access use provided:
(1) General Authorized Access operation on unused PAL channels must obey the same field
strength limits established in section 96.38 with respect to any operational areas within the PAL
assignment; and
(2) Generally Authorized Access Users shall have no expectation of interference protection from
any other users and shall operate on a non-interfering basis with respect to Priority Access Licensees and
Incumbent Users, consistent with sections 96.15, 96.17, and 96.23.
96.25 – Application Window
(a) Applications for PALs will be accepted annually. The annual application window and
application process will be announced by the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau via Public Notice.
(b) The Wireless Telecommunications Bureau may make up to five consecutive years of any PAL
available through the same application window. Applicants may apply for PALs up to five years in
advance of the effective license date.
96.27 – Competitive Bidding Procedures
(a) Mutually exclusive initial applications for PALs are subject to competitive bidding. The
general competitive bidding procedures set forth in part 1, subpart Q of this chapter will apply unless
otherwise provided in this subpart.
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96.29 – Aggregation of Priority Access Licenses
(a) Priority Access Licensees may aggregate up to three channels in any single census tract.

Subpart D - GENERAL AUTHORIZED ACCESS

96.31 – Authorization
(a) Any party meeting the eligibility requirements set forth in section 96.5 is authorized to operate
a CBSD on a General Authorized Access basis by this rule without an individual station license.
(b) CBSDs used for General Authorized Access must register with the SAS and comply with its
instructions consistent with sections 96.36, 96.45, and 96.46.
96.33 – General Authorized Access Use
(a) Frequencies shall be made available for General Authorized Access use consistent with the
section 96.13.
(b) General Authorized Access Users shall be permitted to utilize frequencies assigned to PALs
when such frequencies are not in use, as determined by the SAS.
(c) Frequencies that are available for General Authorized Access Use shall be made available on
a shared basis and shall not be assigned for the exclusive use of any party.
(d) General Authorized Access Users shall have no expectation of interference protection from
other General Authorized Access Users and shall avoid causing harmful interference to Priority Access
Licensees and Incumbent Users, consistent with sections 96.15, 96.17, and 96.23.
96.35 –Contained Access Facilities (CAFs)
(a) Commission approved Contained Access Users may request an assignment of up to 20
megahertz of frequencies reserved for GAA use from the SAS to be reserved for Contained Access Use
inside a CAF.
(1) The requestor must certify to the SAS that it will use the reserved frequencies for Contained
Access Use within each specifically requested location.
(b) Such reserved frequencies shall not be available for use by other General Authorized Access
Users within the physical confines of the CAF, provided:
(1) The requestor undertakes reasonable efforts to safeguard against harmful interference from
General Authorized Access transmissions originating outside the CAF;
(2) All other rules applicable to General Authorized Access Users apply to CAF use of the
reserved frequencies, including, but not limited to the requirements that that there shall be no expectation
of interference protection from other General Authorized Access Users and that CAF users shall not cause
harmful interference to Priority Access Licensees and Incumbent Users, consistent with sections 96.15,
96.17, and 96.23.

Subpart E - TECHNICAL RULES

96.36 Citizens Broadband Radio Service Device (CBSD) General Requirements
(a) Geo-location and Reporting Capability:
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(1) The CBSD shall be able to determine its geographic coordinates (referenced to the North
American Datum of 1983 (NAD83)) to an accuracy of ±50 meters horizontal and ±3 meters elevation.
Such geographic coordinates shall be reported to SAS at the time of first activation from a power-off
condition.
(2) A CBSD must re-establish its position and report that position within 60 seconds to the SAS
each time it is activated from a power-off condition.
(3) A CBSD must check its location at least once every 60 seconds while in operation and report
to SAS any location changes exceeding ±50 meters horizontal and ±3 meters elevation within 60 seconds
of such location change.
(b) Interoperability: All CBSDs must be capable of operating on any frequency from 3550-3700
MHz as instructed by the SAS.
(c) Registration with SAS: A CBSD must register with and be authorized by an SAS prior to its
initial service transmission. The CBSD shall provide the SAS with its geographic location, antenna
height above ground level (meters), requested authorization status (Priority Access or General Authorized
Access), unique FCC identification number, and unique serial number. If any of this information
changes, the CBSD shall update the SAS within 60 seconds. A CBSD shall only operate at or below the
maximum power level and within locations/areas permitted by the SAS on the frequencies authorized by
the SAS.
(1) A CBSD must query the SAS regarding frequency availability at 10 minute intervals and it
must also receive any incoming commands from the SAS about any changes to power limits and
frequency availabilities. CBSD operation must cease within 60 seconds if the SAS indicates that an
assigned frequency is no longer available or as otherwise instructed by the SAS.
(d) Interference Reporting: CBSDs shall report to an SAS if they experience interference in
exceeding a threshold as set by an SAS. Such interference reporting may be based on received
interference signal strength in the same and adjacent channels, packet error rates or other common
standard metrics as set by SAS.
(e) Security: CBSDs shall incorporate adequate security measures sufficient to ensure that they
are capable of communicating with respect to lists of available frequencies only with SASs operated by
approved SAS Administrators, and that communications between CBSDs and SASs, between individual
CBSDs, and between CBSDs and mobile devices are secure to prevent corruption or unauthorized
interception of data.
(1) For purposes of obtaining operational limits and availabilities and their updates, CBSDs shall
only contact SASs operated by SAS Administrators approved by the Commission in accordance with
section 96.48.
(2) All communications between CBSDs and SASs are to be transmitted using secure methods
that protect the systems from corruption or unauthorized modification of the data.
(3) Communications between a CBSD and all End User Devices for purposes of obtaining
operational power and frequency assignments shall employ secure methods that protect the system from
corruption or unauthorized modification of the data.
(4) An SAS shall be protected from unauthorized data input or alteration of stored data. To
provide this protection, the SAS Administrator shall establish communications authentication procedures
sufficient to ensure that the data that the CBSDs receive is from an authorized source.
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(f) Device Security: All CBSDs and End User Devices must contain security features sufficient to
protect against modification of software by unauthorized parties. Applications for certification of CBSDs
and End User Devices must include an operational description of the technologies and measures that are
incorporated in the device to comply with the security requirements of this section. In addition,
applications for certification of CBSDs and End User Devices must identify at least one of the SAS
databases operated by a designated SAS database administrator that the device will access for
channel/frequency availability and affirm that the device will conform to the communications security
methods used by such databases.
(g) Airborne operations by CBSDS and End User Devices are prohibited.
96.37 - End User Devices General Requirements
Mobile, portable or fixed End User Devices may operate only if they can positively receive and
decode an authorization signal transmitted by a CBSD, including the frequency channels and power limits
for their operation.
96.38 – General Radio Requirements
The requirements in this section apply to CBSDs and their associated End User Devices, unless otherwise
specified.
(a) Digital Modulation: Systems operating in the Citizens Broadband Radio Service must use
digital modulation techniques.
(b) Conducted and Emitted Power Limits: Unless otherwise specified in this subsection, the
maximum conducted output power, maximum transmit antenna gain, maximum Equivalent Isotropically
Radiated Power (EIRP), and maximum Power Spectral Density (PSD) of any CBSD and End User
Device must comply with the limits shown in the table below:

Maximum

Conducted

Output

Maximum

Maximum

Power

EIRP

Conducted

(dBm/10
(dBm/10

PSD

megahertz)**
megahertz)
(dBm/MHz)

End User Device

All

n/a
23
n/a

CBSD

Baseline*

24
30
14

CBSD

Rural Areas

30
47
20

Fixed Point to
Point System

CBSD

(PTP)
30
53
20
1.
*Baseline is all cases not qualified under rural or fixed PTP.
2.
** Maximum Conducted Output Power (as defined in paragraph (4) of this
section)
(1) For fixed point-to-point radio systems, the maximum conducted output power in paragraph (b)
must be reduced by 1 dB for every 1 dB that the directional gain of the antenna exceeds 23dBi.
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(2) CBSDs shall limit their operating power to the minimum necessary for successful operations.
(3) CBSDs shall include transmit power control capability and the capability to adjust maximum
EIRP in response to instructions from an SAS (either directly or through an intermediary system).
Applicants for PAL or General Authorized Access use of the band must include a description of these two
functionalities for all CBSDs and End User Devices.
(4) Maximum Conducted Output Power is defined as the total transmit power delivered to all
antennas and antenna elements averaged across all symbols in the signaling alphabet when the transmitter
is operating at its maximum power control level. Power must be summed across all antennas and antenna
elements. The average must not include any time intervals during which the transmitter is off or is
transmitting at a reduced power level. If multiple modes of operation are possible (e.g., alternative
modulation methods), the maximum conducted output power is the highest total transmit power occurring
in any mode.
(c) Received Signal Strength Limits: CBSD transmissions shall be managed such that the median
signal strength at any location on the boundary of a co-channel PAL shall not exceed -80 dbm as
measured by a 0 dBi isotropic antenna in 10 megahertz unless the affected licensees or incumbents agree
to a different field strength and communicate that to SAS.
(d) 3.5 GHz Emissions and Interference Limits:
(1) General protection levels. Except as otherwise specified below, for channel and frequency
assignments made by the SAS to CBSDs operating in the 3550 -3650 MHz band, the power of any
emission outside the fundamental emission (whether in or outside of the authorized band) shall be
attenuated below the transmitter power (P) by at least 43 + 10 log10(P) dB.
(2) Additional protection levels. Notwithstanding the foregoing paragraph (d)(1) of this section, the
power of any emissions below 3520 MHz and above 3680 MHz shall be attenuated below the transmitter
power (P) in watts by at least 70 + 10 log10(P) dB.
(3) Measurement procedure:
(i) Compliance with this provision is based on the use of measurement instrumentation employing a
resolution bandwidth of 1 megahertz or greater. However, in the 1 megahertz bands immediately outside
and adjacent to the licensee's authorized frequency channel, a resolution bandwidth of no less than one
percent of the fundamental emission bandwidth may be employed. A narrower resolution bandwidth is
permitted in all cases to improve measurement accuracy provided the measured power is integrated over
the full reference bandwidth (i.e., 1 MHz or 1 percent of emission bandwidth, as specified). The emission
bandwidth is defined as the width of the signal between two points, one below the carrier center
frequency and one above the carrier center frequency, outside of which all emissions are attenuated at
least 26 dB below the transmitter power.
(ii) When measuring unwanted emissions to demonstrate compliance with the limits, the CBSD and
End User Device nominal carrier frequency/channel shall be adjusted as close to the licensee's authorized
frequency block edges, both upper and lower, as the design permits.
(iii) Emission power measurements shall be performed with a peak detector in maximum hold.
(4) When an emission outside of the authorized bandwidth causes harmful interference, the
Commission may, at its discretion, require greater attenuation than specified in this section.
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(e) Reception Limits:
(1) Priority Access Licensees must accept adjacent channel and in-band blocking interference
(emissions from other Priority Access users transmitting between 3550 and 3650 MHz) up to a power
spectral density level not to exceed -30dBm/10 megahertz with greater than 99% probability, unless the
affected licensees agree to a higher or lower power spectral density limit and communicate with the terms
of such agreement to the SAS.
(2) General Authorized Access operations are subject to the conditions that they cause no harmful
interference to Incumbent Users or Priority Access Licensees and they can claim no protection from
interference received from Incumbent Users or Priority Access Licensees. The operator of a General
Authorized Access CBSD shall be required to cease operating the device upon notification by a SAS that
the device is causing harmful interference. Operation shall not resume until the condition causing the
harmful interference has been corrected.
(3) PA and GAA Licensees must accept interference in authorized areas of operation from federal
radar systems up to a peak field strength level of 180 dBuV/m.
96.39 – Equipment Authorization
(a) Each CBSD or End User Device utilized for operation under this part and each transmitter
marketed as set forth in §2.803 of this chapter must be of a type which has been certificated for use under
this part.
(b) Any manufacturer of radio transmitting equipment to be used in these services must request
equipment authorization following the procedures set forth in subpart J of part 2 of this chapter.
Equipment authorization for an individual transmitter may be requested by an applicant for a station
authorization by following the procedures set forth in part 2 of this chapter.
96.41 – RF safety
Licensees and manufacturers are subject to the radio frequency radiation exposure requirements
specified in § 1.1307(b), 1.1310, 2.1091, and 2.1093 of this chapter, as appropriate. Applications for
equipment authorization of mobile or portable devices operating under this section must contain a
statement confirming compliance with these requirements for both fundamental emissions and unwanted
emissions. Technical information showing the basis for this statement must be submitted to the
Commission upon request.

Subpart F – SPECTRUM ACCESS SYSTEM

96.43 – Spectrum Access System Purposes and Functionality
The SAS serves the following purposes:
(a) To determine and provide to CBSDs the available channels/frequencies at their location.
(b) To determine the maximum permissible transmission power level available to CBSDs at a
given location and communicate that information to the CBSDs.
(c) To register the identification information and location of CBSDs.
(d) To retain information on and enforce Exclusion Zones in accordance with sections 96.15 and
96.17.
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(e) To protect Priority Access Licensees from harmful interference from General Authorized
Access Users consistent with 96.23.
(f) To reserve the use of GAA channels for use in a CAF consistent with 96.35.
(g) To ensure secure transmission of information between the SAS and CBSDs.
96.44 - Information Gathering and Retention
(a) The SAS shall maintain information on registered CBSDs, FSS locations listed in section
96.17, and Exclusion Zones
(1) For CBSDs, such information shall include all information required by section 96.36.
(2) For incumbent FSS operators, the SAS shall maintain a record of the location of protected
earth stations as well as the direction and look angle of all earth station receivers and any other
information reasonable necessary to perform its functions under this part.
96.45 - Registration and Authorization of Citizens Broadband Radio Service Devices
(a) An SAS must collect required information from CBSDs in accordance with the provisions of
this part. CBSDs composed of a network of base and fixed stations may employ a subsystem for
aggregating and communicating all required information with the SAS.
(1) The SAS must also verify that the FCC identifier (FCC ID) of a device seeking access to its
services is valid. A list of devices with valid FCC IDs and the FCC IDs of those devices is to be obtained
from the Commission's Equipment Authorization System.
(2) The SAS shall not permit CBSDs within Exclusion Zones to register or operate within the
Citizens Broadband Radio Service.
96.46 - Frequency Assignment
(a) The SAS will determine the available and appropriate channels/frequencies at a given location
using the geographic information supplied by CBSDs, the frequency assignment data for Incumbent
Users in the SAS, the authorization status and operating parameters of CBSDs in the surrounding area,
and such other information necessary to ensure effective operations of CBSDs consistent with this part.
(1) Upon request from the Commission or a CBSD, the SAS shall confirm whether frequencies
are available in a given geographic area.
(2) Upon request from the Commission, the SAS shall confirm that CBSDs in a given geographic
area and frequency band have been shut down in response to a request from an Incumbent User.
96.47 – Security
(a) The SAS shall employ protocols and procedures to ensure that all communications and
interactions between the SAS and CBSDs are accurate and secure and that unauthorized parties cannot
access or alter the SAS or the list of frequencies sent to a CBSD.
(b) Communications between CBSDs and the SAS, between individual CBSDs, and between
different SASs, shall be secure to prevent corruption or unauthorized interception of data. An SAS shall
be protected from unauthorized data input or alteration of stored data.
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(c) An SAS shall verify that the FCC identification number supplied by a CBSD is for a certified
device and may not provide service to an uncertified device.
96.48 – Spectrum Access System Administrators
The Commission will designate one or more entities to administer the SAS. The Commission
may, at its discretion, permit the functions of an SAS, such as a data repository, federal information
database, registration, and query services, to be divided among multiple entities; however, it shall
designate one or more specific entities to be an SAS Administrator responsible for coordination of the
overall functioning of an SAS and providing services to operators in the Citizens Broadband Radio
Service. Each SAS Administrator designated by the Commission shall:
(a) Maintain a regularly updated database that contains the information described in section
96.44.
(b) Establish a process for acquiring and storing in the database necessary and appropriate
information from the Commission's databases and synchronizing the database with the current
Commission databases at least once a day to include newly licensed facilities or any changes to licensed
facilities.
(c) Establish and follow a process for registering and protecting the Incumbent Users and
enforcing the protection criteria set forth in sections 96.15 and 96.17.
(d) Establish and follow a process for registering and coordinating Priority Access Licensees.
(e) Establish and follow a process for registering and coordinating General Authorized Access
Users.
(g) Establish and follow protocols and procedures sufficient to ensure that Incumbent Users are
protected from harmful interference from Priority Access Licensees and General Authorized Access
Users consistent with sections 96.15 and 96.17.
(h) Establish and follow protocols and procedures sufficient to ensure that Priority Access
Licensees are protected from harmful interference from spectrally or geographically adjacent Priority
Access Licensees and from General Authorized Access Users.
(i) Establish and follow protocols and procedures sufficient to ensure that all communications and
interactions between the SAS and CBSDs are accurate and secure and that unauthorized parties cannot
access or alter the SAS or the information transmitted from the SAS to CBSDs.
(j) Make its services available to Priority Access Licensees and General Authorized Access Users
on a non-discriminatory basis.
(k) Provide service for a five-year term. This term can be renewed at the Commission's discretion.
(l) Respond in a timely manner to verify, correct or remove, as appropriate, data in the event that
the Commission or a party brings claim of inaccuracies in the SAS to its attention. This requirement
applies only to information that the Commission requires to be stored in the SAS.
(m) Secure transfer the information in the SAS, along with the IP addresses and URLs used to
access the system, and a list of registered CBSDs, to another designated entity in the event it does not
continue as the SAS administrator at the end of its term. It may charge a reasonable price for such
conveyance.
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(p) If more than one SAS is developed, the administrators shall cooperate to develop a
standardized process for providing on a daily basis or more often, as appropriate, the data collected
pursuant to section 96.44.
(q) Provide a means to make all information that the rules require the SAS to collect available to
the public in a reasonably accessible fashion.
(r) Coordinate with other SAS Administrators including, to the extent possible, sharing
information, facilitating non-interfering use by CBSDs connected to other SASs, maximizing available
General Authorized Access frequencies by assigning PALs to similar channels in the same geographic
regions, and other functions necessary to ensure that available spectrum is used efficiently consistent with
this part.
96.49 – Spectrum Access System Administrator Fees
(a) An SAS Administrator may charge Citizens Broadband Radio Service users a reasonable fee
for provision of the services set forth in section 96.43, et seq.
(b) The Commission, upon request, will review the fees and can require changes in those fees if
they are found to be excessive.
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APPENDIX B

Proposed Rules


3650 Addendum
In this Appendix, proposed additions to existing and proposed rules are underlined and proposed deletions
are noted in strike through text,

Part 2 – Frequency Allocations and Radio Treaty Matters; General Rules and Regulations

2.106 – Table of Frequency Allocations.

Part 90 – Private Land Mobile Radio Services

90.1303 – Eligibility
(a) Any entity, other than those precluded by section 310 of the Communications Act of 1934, as
amended, 47 U.S.C. 310, is eligible to hold a license under this part.
(a) Eligibility under this part is limited to entities authorized under this Part as of [adoption date].
(b) Eligibility for all authorized users under this Part terminates 5 years after [adoption date].
90.1307 – Licensing
(a) The 3650-3700 MHz band is licensed on the basis of non-exclusive nationwide licenses. Non-
exclusive nationwide licenses will serve as a prerequisite for registering individual fixed and base
stations. A licensee cannot operate a fixed or base station before registering it under its license and
licensees must delete registrations for unused fixed and base stations.
(a) The Commission shall issue no new non-exclusive nationwide licenses for this band after
[adoption date],
90.1311 – License Term
(a) The license term is ten years, beginning on the date of the initial authorization (non-exclusive
nationwide license) grant. Registering fixed and base stations will not change the overall renewal period
of the license.
(a) All licenses will terminate in accordance with the procedures set forth in Part [x referencing
relevant Part 96 rules] 5 year after [adoption date].
90.1338 – Grandfathered Operation and Transition to Citizens Broadband Radio Service
(a) Existing licenses as of [adoption date] may continue to operate fixed or base stations that were
registered prior to [adoption date] in a manner consistent with the rules in this Part for a period of 5 years
after [adoption date].
(1) Fixed and Base station registrations (for access points) filed prior to [adoption date] will be
afforded protection from interference caused by GAA users for 5 years from [adoption date]
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(b) Existing licensees as of [adoption date] may register new fixed and base stations under their
existing non-exclusive nationwide license until 5years after [adoption date]. Registrations filed after
[adoption date] will not be afforded protection from harmful interference unless the licensee applies
separately under the provisions in section 96.23.
(c) Existing licensees as of [adoption date] may add new mobile or portable stations (as defined in
90.1333) and/or add new subscriber units that operate above the power limit defined in 90.1333, but
otherwise comply with the requirement to operate only if they can positively receive and decode an
enabling signal from a base station. Such mobile/portable/subscriber units may operate until 5 years after
[adoption date].
(d) After 5 years from [adoption date], licensees that wish to continue operation must either apply
for a PAL license and operate consistent with the rules set forth in Part 96, subpart C or operate as a
GAA user consistent with the Rules in Part 96, subpart D .

Part 96 – Citizens Broadband Radio Service

Subpart A - GENERAL RULES

96.3 – Definitions
Grandfathered Wireless Broadband Licensee: A licensee authorized to operate in the 3650-3700
MHz band under the rules in Part 90 subpart Z as of date of [adoption].
96.7 – Authorization Required
(c) (c) Grandfathered Wireless Broadband Licensees are authorized as to operate their fixed base
station access points that were registered as of [adoption date], for a period of 5 years [from the date of
adoption].

Subpart [X] - INCUMBENT PROTECTION

96.20 – Protection of Existing Operators in the 3650-3700 MHz Band
(a) Grandfathered Wireless Broadband Licensees shall be granted Incumbent User status for the
area of operation and frequencies of their fixed base station access points that were registered prior to
[adoption date] for 5 years from [adoption date]. Notwithstanding this status, Grandfathered Wireless
Broadband Licensees shall avoid harmful interference to authorized federal users and grandfathered FSS
earth stations consistent with the rules governing Citizens Broadband Radio Service operators in this part.
(1) The area of operation for Grandfathered Wireless Broadband Licensees will be defined as the
service contour of an existing registered base or fixed access point. Registered subscriber units
(subscriber units that were registered because they operate above the mobile power limit listed in
90.1333) will not be included in these service contour calculations. These contours will be included in
the SAS.
(2) Grandfathered Wireless Broadband Licensees may operate within their service contours
consistent with the technical rules in Part 90, subpart Z until 5 years from [adoption date].
(3) Where the service contours of Grandfathered Wireless Broadband Licensees overlap, the
licensees will be required to share the spectrum as previously required under the technical rules in Part 90,
subpart Z. After 5 years from [adoption date] licensees that wish to continue operation after that date
must apply for PALs consistent with the rules set forth in Part 96 subpart C or operate as a GAA user
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consistent with the Rules in Part 96, subpart D . Mutually exclusive applications for PALs in the initial
window after these grandfathering provisions sunset will be resolved as set forth in section 96.27.
(a) To protect authorized federal operations in the 3650-3700 MHz band, an Exclusion Zone of
[XX] kilometers from the following locations shall be maintained.
St. Inigoes, MD—3810N., 76, 23W.
Pascagoula, MS—3022N., 88, 29W.
Pensacola, FL—302128N., 87, 1626W.
This Exclusion Zones shall be enforced by the SAS.
(b) To protect grandfathered FSS earth stations in the 3650-3700 MHz band a protection zone of
150 kilometers from the locations of grandfathered FSS earth stations shall be maintained for 5 years
from [adoption date] for Citizens Broadband Radio Services operating in the 3650 -3700 MHz band.
Thereafter, such FSS earth stations shall be protected from harmful interference consistent with the
protections afforded other FSS earth stations pursuant to section 96.17.

Subpart [X] – SPECTRUM ACCESS SYSTEM

96.43 – Spectrum Access System
(a) . . .
(b) . . .
. . .
(3) For incumbent federal users, the SAS shall maintain a record of any information submitted by
federal users necessary to protect their operations in the 3550-3650 3700 MHz band.
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STATEMENT OF

CHAIRMAN TOM WHEELER

Re:
Amendment of the Commission’s Rules with Regard to Commercial Operations in the
3550-3650 MHz Band
, Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, GN Docket No. 12-354
Today we take an important step towards a new spectrum future. Not only are we proposing to
open up the 3.5 GHz band, but we are also enabling the powerful new concept of spectrum sharing among
multiple users on an hierarchical basis.
In July 2012, the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) issued a
landmark report on maximizing the potential of wireless spectrum to grow our economy and enable other
benefits for the American people. The PCAST report highlighted spectrum sharing as a next-generation
policy innovation that holds the potential to revolutionize the way we manage our airwaves. With this
item, the Commission takes another significant step to turning this concept into reality.
Both the PCAST and the FCC’s Technological Advisory Council, which I was honored to lead,
recommended that the Commission target the 3.5 GHz as an “innovation band.” Building on what the
Commission has already done under the leadership of Chairman Genachowski and Chairwoman Clyburn,
that’s exactly what we’re doing in this item.
This Notice proposes a three-tiered spectrum access model, which includes federal and non-
federal incumbents, priority access licensees, and general authorized access users. The three-tiered
construct was a key aspect of the PCAST report, and is necessary to realizing the full potential of
spectrum sharing.
Second, it proposes a single, highly flexible band plan, avoiding the analog trap of Balkanizing
spectrum into sub-bands, each with its own sets of rules.
Third, the Notice anticipates a wide range of flexible uses. Small cells will undoubtedly be a core
use case, but we would not limit the band to such use.
Finally, the Notice reflects economic incentives. Even with the most efficient technology, there
will always be places and times where there is rivalry for spectrum access. To that end, the Notice
proposes a flexible auction and licensing scheme that leverages the technical capabilities of a Spectrum
Access System (SAS) database. Think of the SAS as a traffic cop for spectrum in that it can assess what
spectrum is available so that it can be accessed by prioritized users.
I know that the three-tier construct and non-traditional licensing scheme is a bit nouveau. That’s
by design; if we are going to have sufficient spectrum for the needs of the 21st century, we are going to
have to think anew. This proposal could unlock vast new opportunities for wireless – in huge verticals
like energy, healthcare, and financial services. We also see the 3.5 GHz band as a potential home for new
technologies like LTE-Unlicensed, which could inhabit the General Authorized Access tier. Or it could
allow for new flavors of Wi-Fi. There is huge upside within this proceeding. We should not flinch from
the opportunity simply because it is not standard operating procedure.
Thank you to the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, the Office of Engineering and
Technology, the International Bureau, and the Office of the General Counsel for their outstanding, out-of-
the-box work on this issue.
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STATEMENT OF

COMMISSIONER MIGNON L. CLYBURN

Re:
Amendment of the Commission’s Rules with Regard to Commercial Operations in the
3550-3650 MHz Band
, Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, GN Docket No. 12-354
There are some who say that – like oil and water – regulation and innovation just don't mix. All
too often, they contend, regulation effectively protects incumbents and stifles innovation by creating
barriers to entry for new entrants and disruptive technologies.
This proceeding, which builds upon recommendations in the July 2012 PCAST Report, offers a
possible rebuttal to that position. It clearly shows the federal government understands that technological
advances can enable us to depart from traditional regulatory models and adopt new approaches, with
lower administrative costs, which could spur even greater innovation from incumbent carriers, and new
entrants. Because repurposing federal spectrum for commercial use can take years, and the country’s
demand for mobile broadband services will not wait that long, the PCAST Report recommended that
commercial services share underutilized federal spectrum to the maximum extent possible. The advances
in small cell networks and the concepts in the successful TV White Space databases, make that degree of
spectrum sharing possible.
So, in 2012, we adopted an NPRM that proposed new spectrum management concepts with a
license by rule framework which would provide for Incumbent Access, Priority Access, and General
Authorized Access tiers. We proposed a highly flexible band plan to facilitate rapid broadband
deployment while protecting existing federal and commercial incumbent users in the 3.5 Gigahertz band.
That NPRM also improved on the PCAST recommendation by including the 3650 to 3700 megahertz
band. This band is used extensively by wireless Internet service providers, or WISPs, to provide
broadband in rural and other underserved areas.
This Further Notice brings even more creativity to the proceeding, by revising the licensing
framework, in order to incentivize more efficient use of the Priority Access tier. Instead of licensing that
tier to only certain institutions by rule, we propose to expand the eligibility to all entities and establish
granular flexible Priority Access Licenses that would amount to a 10 megahertz license, for one census
tract, for one year that can be aggregated. If more than one entity wants the same license for the same
year, there will be an auction. Although these licenses would have some of the key features of traditional
FCC licenses, such as exclusive spectrum rights, because they are shorter in duration, they would not
have other features, such as performance requirements. The goal is to establish a license, with lower
administrative costs, that would allow for micro-targeted network deployments; and easy aggregation, to
serve a larger footprint for a longer period of time.
By enabling aggregation, this framework would allow for the type of predictability that would
attract larger carriers, to invest in equipment for the band. Because we also propose to require
interoperability across all three tiers throughout the 150 megahertz in the band, this approach has the
added benefit of bringing greater spectrum availability and equipment scale economies to WISPs, new
entrants, and small businesses who want to provide service in the band.
I want to thank Roger Sherman, Julie Knapp, and the staffs of the Wireless Bureau, OET and
International Bureau, and my legal advisor, Louis Peraertz, for their hard work on this item and their
contributions throughout this proceeding.
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STATEMENT OF

COMMISSIONER JESSICA ROSENWORCEL

Re:
Amendment of the Commission’s Rules with Regard to Commercial Operations in the
3550-3650 MHz Band
, Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, GN Docket No. 12-354
If you want to get a glimpse into the future of spectrum policy, take a look at the 3.5 GHz band.
What we are poised to do with this band is creative, innovative, and could serve as the blueprint for
making smarter use of our airwaves going forward.
But before looking ahead, it is helpful to look back at how we got here. Four years ago, the
National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) identified the 3.5 GHz band as
one of the spectrum bands most suitable for shared use between government and commercial interests.
But the response to the NTIA proposal was muted, interest was limited, and enthusiasm was hard to find.
Because it was apparent to everyone that protecting existing users in the band—from Department of
Defense radars to commercial fixed satellite services—would mean significant geographic limitations for
new services. As a result, the ability to make use of this spectrum was limited in the most populous areas
of the country. Moreover, because the band is above 3 GHz, it did not hold much appeal for mobile
broadband. After all, signals at high frequency like this can fade too quickly.
So the outlook for commercial opportunity in the 3.5 GHz band was not good. But now, based on
recommendations from the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, rather than
discarding this band as junk, we are staring at new opportunities. These opportunities will be built on a
creative three-tiered approach to spectrum access. This proposal simultaneously protects existing users,
creates new spectrum licenses custom-built for small cell deployments, and opens up more spectrum for
unlicensed services—the jet fuel of wireless innovation. This is very cool—and very smart, too.
But setting aside history and the here and now, I want to talk about what our proposals mean for
the future.
First, with our work on the 3.5 GHz band we demonstrate that we are leaving behind the tired
notion that we face a choice between licensed and unlicensed airwaves. This kind of division is a
simplistic relic from the spectrum past. We cannot let it haunt us in the future. Because there is no doubt
that good spectrum policy requires both licensed and unlicensed services. Moreover, the next generation
of wireless devices and the coming Internet of Things will not rely on a single spectrum band to function.
Instead, services will overcome spectral and physical challenges by moving from frequency to
frequency—sometimes on spectrum that is licensed and sometimes on spectrum that is unlicensed.
Second, with our work on the 3.5 GHz band we make clear that small cells have a big future.
They can expand connectivity and facilitate more efficient use of existing frequencies. They can cover
areas that cannot be reached using macro cell services—and at the same time they can limit interference
risk. In fact through small cell use, what was once considered a weakness of higher spectrum bands—
namely short propagation distance—can be turned into a strength.
Third, if we can manage the exclusion zones that have previously limited interest in the 3.5 GHz
band, we may have also discovered the key to unlocking use of another 120 megahertz in the 5 GHz band.
That’s because the same kinds of federal radar systems that use the 3.5 GHz band also operate in the
5350-5470 MHz band. If this band sounds familiar, that’s because it was a band identified by Congress
in the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act as a potential new home for unlicensed services. But
our efforts to realize this potential have been frustrated by the usual and familiar—the needs of existing
users in the band, including federal radar systems.
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However, as we move closer to solutions for the 3.5 GHz band, we just might have blueprint for
freeing more spectrum for unlicensed services in the 5350-5470 MHz band. In other words, what we
learn from managing exclusion zones in the 3.5 GHz band could yield possibilities for commercial
services in the 5 GHz band. That would be a good way to honor our directive from Congress, a good way
to reduce congestion on licensed service networks, and a good way to increase unlicensed spectrum
opportunities. These are all good things that can lead to more spectral support for the Internet of Things.
So thank you to the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau and Office of Engineering and
Technology for your creative work on the 3.5 GHz band and for your continuing work on more
innovative spectrum possibilities in the future.
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CONCURRING STATEMENT OF

COMMISSIONER AJIT PAI

Re:
Amendment of the Commission’s Rules with Regard to Commercial Operations in the
3550-3650 MHz Band
, Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, GN Docket No. 12-354
To those familiar with spectrum policy, it should be no surprise that federal incumbents aren’t the
most efficient users. The 3.5 GHz band is a case in point—relatively minor use of that band along the
nation’s coasts has left the majority of this spectrum under-utilized for decades. Now it’s time to put it to
work for consumers. As I observed when we launched this proceeding,1 a simple test must guide our
approach: What works? Can our proposals for the 3.5 GHz band be implemented in the real world? Can
consumer products be brought to market in a timely manner? We must approach the 3.5 GHz band from
a practical perspective, not merely a theoretical one.
When viewed through this lens, today’s item is a mixed bag, and I therefore will be voting to
concur. I am pleased that our proposals have improved in some respects over the course of the last
sixteen months. For example, while the 2012 NPRM proposed that the Commission set aside the entire
category of tier two priority access authorizations for a small and defined set of preferred users, today’s
item moves in a different direction. It liberalizes access to the band and proposes that any entity should
be eligible to hold a priority access authorization. The item finds that open eligibility will promote more
intensive use of the band and promote investment in new small cell technologies that could make 3.5 GHz
a success. That’s the right approach.
Unfortunately, much of this item is “déjà vu all over again” as Yogi Berra once put it, and
represents a disappointing lack of progress. The foremost problem involves exclusion zones. Back in
2010, when the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) first identified the
3.5 GHz band for possible commercial use, the agency drew enormously large protection zones around
the federal incumbent users. It developed these zones based on its analysis and modeling of a specific
type of commercial use—one that involved high-power, high-site, macro-cell deployments.
In light of NTIA’s determination, our 2012 NPRM declined to pursue a macro-cell approach for
the 3.5 GHz band. Instead, we sought comment on low-power, small cell deployments.2 Because this
kind of network architecture is vastly different from traditional deployments, we noted that some key
NTIA assumptions would “not apply and would need to be revisited.”3 We indicated our view that those
2010 exclusion zones could be reduced significantly in light of our small cell proposal. And we asked
commenters to perform and provide the technical analyses that would be necessary to do so.4
They did. The private sector took up the Commission’s call and supplied us with detailed and
unchallenged technical analyses showing that NTIA’s 2010 exclusion zones can be dramatically reduced
for small cell deployments.5 The calculations performed by Qualcomm have been particularly helpful.

1 See Amendment of the Commission’s Rules with Regard to Commercial Operations in the 3550–3650 MHz Band,
GN Docket No. 12-354, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 27 FCC Rcd 15594, 15658 (2012) (Statement of
Commissioner Ajit Pai).
2 See, e.g., id. at 15597, para. 6.
3 Id. at 15633, para. 118.
4 See, e.g., id. at 15629–34, paras. 109–18.
5 See, e.g., Letter from John W. Kuzin, Senior Director of Government Affairs – Regulatory, Qualcomm, to Marlene
H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No. 12-354 (Apr. 15, 2014) (Qualcomm Ex Parte Letter); see also
Qualcomm Comments at iii, 17 (Feb. 20, 2013).
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They show that NTIA’s exclusion zones, which reached a maximum of 346 miles, can be reduced to less
than 10 miles for small cell deployments.6
But unfortunately, the FCC has not done its part. Today’s item does not incorporate the
unrebutted technical evidence showing that the 2010 exclusion zones can be dramatically reduced while
still protecting incumbent federal users—evidence we asked parties to submit. In fact, the Commission
refuses even to seek comment on that analysis and simply proposes to codify the 2010 exclusion zones.
Instead of going where the facts take us, the Commission double downs on where they don’t. To be clear,
the Commission does not simply seek comment on this issue. It proposes to adopt those zones as rules.
This is surprising for two basic reasons. First, I have yet to hear from anyone who believes
NTIA’s 2010 exclusion zones are appropriate for the type of small cell uses we’re proposing for this
band. Indeed, even NTIA did not propose that the Commission adopt those zones for small cell use cases.
Its Fast Track Report included the express caveat that NTIA would “need to revise the analysis” for any
use case other than the high-power one it studied.7 Similarly, the 2012 PCAST Report explained that
those zones would be necessary for high-power, wide-area uses but concluded that low-power uses
greatly minimize the need for exclusion zones and could even eliminate them entirely.8
Second, I have serious concerns about what the item’s proposed exclusion zones mean for the
success of the 3.5 GHz band. I noted at the outset of this proceeding that a decision to adopt those zones
would mean that 60 percent of the U.S. population would be prohibited from using 3.5 GHz devices. I
explained that this was particularly troublesome because the substantial majority of spectrum-limited
markets in the U.S. would fall within those zones. And now the record indicates that the band simply
“would not be commercially viable” were the 3.5 GHz band only available for consumer use outside of
those 2010 zones.9
So, to summarize: The entity that drew the 2010 exclusion zones did not recommend that they
apply here; PCAST found that they are not needed for small cell deployments; the unchallenged record
evidence shows that they’re unnecessary to protect federal incumbents; and no one that I’m aware of
believes that they make sense for the use cases we’re considering. Nonetheless, we once again propose to
codify them.
Going forward, the success of the 3.5 GHz band depends on shrinking the proposed exclusion
zones. I hope interested parties take advantage of the Commission’s characterization of this proposal as a
“starting point” and, once again, share their ideas and analysis on how to accomplish that goal.
Beyond the exclusion zones, I have additional concerns regarding some of today’s proposals. For
instance, I question the proposal to impose a hard, 30 MHz cap on the amount of priority access spectrum
that any one entity can hold. Similarly, I question the item’s proposal to carve out 20 MHz of spectrum
as a set aside for certain groups of preferred users. I am skeptical that these attempts to pick winners and
losers will serve the public interest.
Notwithstanding these concerns, I look forward to learning from the record that will be compiled
as a result of today’s item. And I hope we meaningfully improve our proposals so that American
consumers will be able to benefit from the 3.5 GHz band. In this sentiment, I take inspiration from
another of Yogi Berra’s wise aphorisms, “It ain’t over ‘til it’s over.”

6 See Qualcomm Comments at 17 (Feb. 20, 2013).
7 See NTIA, An Assessment of the Near-Term Viability of Accommodating Wireless Broadband Systems in the
1675–1710 MHz, 1755–1780 MHz, 3500–3650 MHz, 4200–4220 MHz, and 4380–4400 MHz Bands at 1–7 (2010).
8 See President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, Report to the President: Realizing the Full
Potential of Government-Held Spectrum to Spur Economic Growth at 7 n.33 (July 20, 2012); see id. at 51.
9 See, e.g., Qualcomm Ex Parte Letter at 1.
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STATEMENT OF

COMMISSIONER MICHAEL O’RIELLY

Re:
Amendment of the Commission’s Rules with Regard to Commercial Operations in the
3550-3650 MHz Band
, Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, GN Docket No. 12-354
Today, we take another step towards allocating the 3.5 GHz Band for additional wireless uses.
Currently, this valuable spectrum is used for federal and non-federal services, such as radar systems and
satellite earth stations. In the future, it could be opened up for use by small cell systems, wireless
backhaul, or the next innovative wireless technology. But, we are faced with balancing the introduction
of new wireless services with the challenging task of protecting incumbents from harmful interference.
That is why I strongly prefer clearing federal government users and reallocating over sharing. In
this unique case, however, it may be worthwhile to pursue sharing to move forward quickly instead of
waiting for a better solution or for clearing to be completed. To this end, the 3.5 GHz Band will be one
big experiment in terms of the proposed sharing design and licensing scheme. We place a lot of trust that
this novel effort will be successful. But, if it does not meet expectations, we are not precluded from
altering it in the future. Accordingly, I will vote in favor today’s further notice that seeks to ask
questions, acquire additional information, and obtain necessary data on how this experiment should best
proceed. While I will keep an open mind as the record develops, I have several concerns that I would like
to see addressed before any final rulemaking.
First, I worry that the proposed exclusion zones are too large to attract adequate interest and
investment in this band. Despite evidence in the record showing that low-power small cell systems will
not require such large exclusion zones, there has been no progress in reducing their size, even for this
limited purpose. Today’s further notice walls off the same 60 percent of the United States population as
introduced by NTIA in 2010 and put forth in the Commission’s original notice in December 2012.1 The
3.5 GHz Band would be largely unusable on the east and west coasts and along the Gulf. As you can see
from the slide, New England, Florida, South Carolina, Louisiana; almost all of New York, Virginia,
California; and half of Texas are in exclusion zones.2 I hope and trust that they can be substantially
reduced and that there will be opportunities for the new wireless operators and federal incumbents to
coordinate in these areas.
Second, I am concerned that the proposed term and geographic size of the Priority Access
Licenses, or “PALs,” may also hinder investment and innovation. For example, the PALs may be
licensed for one year terms that may be aggregated up to five years. There is no certainty that, after
making the capital expenditure during that time, a licensee would be able to continue its priority access.
Additionally, the item proposes to license PALs by census tracts, which means there would be
approximately 74,000 licenses.3 As a result, applicants could face the difficulty of bidding on thousands
of licenses in order to cover any one metropolitan area.

1 U.S. Department of Commerce, National Telecommunications and Information Administration, An Assessment of
the Near-Term Viability of Accommodating Wireless Broadband Systems in the 1675-1710 MHz, 1755-1780 MHz,
3500-3650 MHz, 4200-4220 MHz, and 4380-4400 MHz Bands
(rel. Oct. 2010) (NTIA Fast Track Report), available
at
http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/publications/fasttrackevaluation_11152010.pdf; Amendment of the
Commission’s Rules with Regard to Commercial Operations in the 3550-3650 MHz Band
, GN Docket No. 12-354,
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Order, 27 FCC Rcd 15594 (2012).
2 NTIA Fast Track Report at 5-7, Fig. 5-3.
3 U.S. Department of Commerce, Census Bureau, 2010 Census Tallies of Census Tracts, Block Groups & Blocks,
https://www.census.gov/geo/maps-data/data/tallies/tractblock.html (last visited Apr. 22, 2014).
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Third, this further notice supports a three-tiered use system that includes incumbents, PALs, and
General Authorized Access (GAA) users. If this is not complicated enough, the Commission proposes to
reserve up to 20 megahertz of spectrum for critical users within indoor facilities and may expand this
preferential treatment to certain outdoor facilities. This could reduce available spectrum for GAA users.
And, although we have not fully defined this class of users at this stage, it does not appear that many
hospitals, public safety entities or local governments are actively seeking this spectrum. Why not
eliminate Contained Access User set-asides and allow GAA or PAL providers to offer services to these
users? Similarly, if critical users have a need, why can’t they apply for GAA spectrum or PALs?
Further, this item proposes spectrum aggregation limits for PALs in the 3.5 GHz Band which I
believe to be completely unnecessary. Given the propagation characteristics of this spectrum and its ease
of reuse, there will be plenty of opportunity for operators to deploy any number of devices and services in
this spectrum.
Finally, the 3.5 GHz Band is ideal for placement of small cells which are helping carriers manage
network congestion as data use increases exponentially every year. We need to do all we can to enable
more efficient small cell deployment to bring better wireless broadband service to Americans. Therefore,
I hope that the Commission will expeditiously conclude this proceeding to make the additional spectrum
available for this purpose. At the same time, we should work to finalize the proceeding to implement
section 6409 of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act, or separate off for its own proceeding
consideration of just small cells, whichever can be done faster. If we want the 3.5 GHz experiment to
work, we need to move on small cell siting.
I thank the dedicated staff from the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, the Office of
Engineering and Technology and the International Bureau for all of their efforts so far, including sensitive
and complicated negotiations with NTIA and other federal agencies, and for all the work that lies ahead to
get this rulemaking across the finish line.
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Composite Depiction of Exclusion Zone Distances,
Shipborne Radar Systems
Source: NTIA Fast Track Report at 5-7, Fig. 5-3.
90

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