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3.5 GHz Band / Citizens Broadband Radio Service


The proposed Citizens Broadband Radio Service would make 100 megahertz of spectrum in the 3.5 GHz Band (3550-3650 MHz), and up to 150 megahertz under a proposal to extend the band to 3700 MHz, available for shared wireless broadband use.

The Commission initiated this proceeding in December 2012 and adopted a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in April 2014 seeking comment on detailed rule proposals for the 3.5 GHz band. The proposed rules would implement a three-tiered authorization framework, based on the recommendations from a report by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), to authorize a variety of small cell and other broadband uses of the 3.5 GHz Band on a shared basis with incumbent federal (primarily Department of Defense radar systems) and non-federal (Fixed Satellite Service earth stations) users of the band. The proposal would make the spectrum available for flexible new uses such as small cell deployment and rural Internet access.

The proposed three tiers of access in the 3.5 GHz band include: Incumbent Access, Priority Access, and General Authorized Access. The Incumbent Access tier would include authorized federal and grandfathered Fixed Satellite Service users currently operating in the 3.5 GHz Band. These users would be protected from harmful interference from Priority Access and General Authorized Access users.

The Priority Access tier would be authorized as Priority Access Licenses (PALs). Any entity eligible to be a licensee under the Commission’s rules would be eligible to apply for, and hold, a PAL. Each PAL would be defined as an authorization to use for one-year a 10 megahertz channel in a single census tract. Licensees would be able to aggregate PALs across time, frequency, and geography.

The General Authorized Access tier would be licensed by rule to permit open, flexible access to the band for the widest possible group of potential users. Under the proposed rules, a minimum of 50 percent of the band would be reserved for General Authorized Access use. General Authorized Access users would also be permitted to operate opportunistically on unused Priority Access channels.

Citizens Broadband Radio Service devices would be coordinated by a spectrum access system, building upon the use of databases to manage Television White Spaces devices.

You can view the comments filed in this proceeding in our Electronic Comment Filing System.

Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (April 23, 2014)
3.5 GHz Spectrum Access Workshop (January 14, 2014)
Public Notice seeking Comment on Licensing Models and Technical Requirements (November 1, 2013)
3.5 GHz Workshop (March 14, 2013)
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (December 12, 2012)

Related Links:
Blog Post: New Ideas in the “Innovation Band” (April 23, 2014)
PCAST Report (July 2012)

Recent Commission Documents

Recent Public Comments

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To comment on this proceeding, please continue to Proceeding 12-148. To comment on a different proceeding, please continue to ECFS.


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