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FCC Proposes to Increase Availability of Spectrum

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Released: July 23, 2013

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 13-102

Before the

Federal Communications Commission

Washington, D.C. 20554


)

In the Matter of
)


)

Amendment of the Commission's Rules with
)
GN Docket No. 13-185
Regard to Commercial Operations in the 1695-
)

1710 MHz, 1755-1780 MHz, and 2155-2180 MHz )

Bands
)


)

Service Rules for Advanced Wireless Services in
)
WT Docket No. 07-195
the 2155-2175 MHz Band
)
(Proceeding Terminated)

)

Service Rules for Advanced Wireless Services in
)
WT Docket No. 04-356
the 1915-1920 MHz, 1995-2000 MHz, 2020-2025
)
(Proceeding Terminated)
MHz, and 2175-2180 MHz Bands
)


)

Applications for License and Authority to Operate )
WT Docket No. 07-16
in the 2155-2175 MHz Band
)
(Proceeding Terminated)

)

Petitions for Forbearance Under 47 U.S.C. 160
)
WT Docket No. 07-30

)
(Proceeding Terminated)


NOTICE OF PROPOSED RULEMAKING AND

ORDER ON RECONSIDERATION


Adopted: July 23, 2013


Released: July 23, 2013

Comment Date: September 18, 2013


Reply Comment Date

:

October 16, 2013



By the Commission: Acting Chairwoman Clyburn and Commissioner Rosenworcel issuing separate
statements; Commissioner Pai approving in part, concurring in part and issuing a
statement

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Heading
Paragraph #
I. INTRODUCTION AND SUMMARY ................................................................................................... 1
II. BACKGROUND .................................................................................................................................... 4
A. Demand for Mobile Spectrum ......................................................................................................... 4
B. National Broadband Plan and Presidential Memoranda .................................................................. 5
C. NTIA Fast Track and 1755-1850 MHz Assessment Reports ........................................................... 8
D. Section 6401 of the Spectrum Act ................................................................................................. 10
E. FCC CSEA Notification Letter and NTIA Response .................................................................... 13
F. Commerce Spectrum Management Advisory Committee and Related Efforts ............................. 14
G. Additional Recent Developments .................................................................................................. 20
1. Developments Regarding the 2095-2110 MHz Band.............................................................. 20
2. Developments Regarding 1755 MHz and Related Bands ....................................................... 22



Federal Communications Commission

FCC 13-102


III. DISCUSSION ...................................................................................................................................... 24
A. Overview ........................................................................................................................................ 24
B. Proposed Bands for AWS-3 Service Rules .................................................................................... 29
1. 2155-2180 MHz ...................................................................................................................... 30
2. 1695-1710 MHz ...................................................................................................................... 31
3. 1755-1780 MHz ...................................................................................................................... 32
4. 2020-2025 MHz ...................................................................................................................... 35
C. Additional Bands, Including the Requirement to Identify 15 MHz of Contiguous
Spectrum for Commercial Use ....................................................................................................... 36
1. 1780-1850 MHz ...................................................................................................................... 37
2. 2095-2110 MHz ...................................................................................................................... 39
3. Other Frequencies .................................................................................................................... 40
D. Band-Use Configurations ............................................................................................................... 41
1. Base vs. Mobile Transmissions ............................................................................................... 41
a. Base Transmit ................................................................................................................... 42
b. Mobile Transmit ............................................................................................................... 44
2. Spectrum Block Sizes .............................................................................................................. 47
3. Spectrum Block Configuration ................................................................................................ 48
4. Service Areas ........................................................................................................................... 49
a. Geographic Area Licensing .............................................................................................. 49
b. Service Area Size .............................................................................................................. 50
E. Federal/non-Federal Sharing and Coordination ............................................................................. 53
1. 1695-1710 MHz Federal/non-Federal Sharing Framework ................................................. 54
a. Protection Zones for Incumbent Federal Operations ........................................................ 58
b. Coordination Interference Analysis; Potential Refinements ............................................. 60
c. Coordination Procedures ................................................................................................... 65
d. Relocating Federal government receive locations in the 1695-1710 MHz band .............. 72
2. 1755-1780 MHz ...................................................................................................................... 73
a. Industry Roadmap ............................................................................................................. 78
b. DoD Alternative Proposal ................................................................................................. 79
F. Increased Federal Access to Spectrum through Sharing ................................................................ 80
1. Federal Use of AWS-3 Spectrum including 2155-2180 .......................................................... 81
2. Increased Federal access 2025-2110 MHz and 5150-5250 MHz bands .................................. 82
G. Technical Rules .............................................................................................................................. 83
1. OOBE Limits ........................................................................................................................... 86
a. Interference between Adjacent Block AWS-3 Licensees ................................................. 87
b. Interference with Services in Other Bands -- Uplink Stations Operating in 1695-
1710, 1755-1780 and 2020-2025 MHz ............................................................................. 88
c. Interference with Services in Other Bands -- Base Stations Operating in 2155-
2180 MHz ......................................................................................................................... 94
d. Measurement of OOBE .................................................................................................... 95
2. Antenna Height Restrictions ................................................................................................... 96
3. Power Limits ........................................................................................................................... 99
4. Co-Channel Interference between AWS-3 Systems .............................................................. 104
5. Co-Channel Interference to BRS Channels 1 and 2 .............................................................. 109
6. Canadian and Mexican Coordination .................................................................................... 110
7. Other Technical Issues .......................................................................................................... 111
8. Receiver Performance ........................................................................................................... 112
H. Licensing and Operating Rules; Regulatory Issues ..................................................................... 113
1. Assignment of Licenses ......................................................................................................... 114
2. Flexible Use ........................................................................................................................... 115
a. Regulatory Framework ................................................................................................... 116
b. Regulatory Status ............................................................................................................ 117

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FCC 13-102


3. Foreign Ownership Reporting ............................................................................................... 120
4. Eligibility ............................................................................................................................... 121
5. Mobile Spectrum Holding Policies ....................................................................................... 122
6. License Term, Performance Requirements, Renewal Criteria, Permanent
Discontinuance of Operations ............................................................................................... 124
a. License Term .................................................................................................................. 124
b. Performance Requirements ............................................................................................. 126
c. Renewal Criteria ............................................................................................................. 134
d. Permanent Discontinuance of Operations ....................................................................... 138
7. Secondary Markets ................................................................................................................ 139
a. Partitioning and Disaggregation ..................................................................................... 139
b. Spectrum Leasing ........................................................................................................... 142
8. Other Operating Requirements .............................................................................................. 144
9. Facilitating Access to Spectrum and the Provision of Service to Tribal Lands .................... 146
10. Competitive Bidding Procedures ........................................................................................... 147
a. Application of Part 1 Competitive Bidding Rules .......................................................... 148
b. Revision to Part 1 Certification Procedures .................................................................... 149
c. Small Business Provisions for Geographic Area Licenses ............................................. 150
d. Commercial Spectrum Enhancement Act Requirements ................................................ 158
e. Multi-Stage Auction and Licensing Alternatives for 1.7 GHz ....................................... 159
11. Non-Federal Relocation and Cost Sharing ............................................................................ 162
a. 2155-2180 MHz .............................................................................................................. 162
b. 2020-2025 MHz .............................................................................................................. 163
I. Allocation Matters ....................................................................................................................... 170
1. 1695-1710 MHz .................................................................................................................... 170
2. 2020-2025 MHz .................................................................................................................... 172
3. 2155-2180 MHz .................................................................................................................... 173
4. 1.7 GHz Band ........................................................................................................................ 174
5. Other Bands, including 2025-2110 MHz and 5150-5250 MHz ............................................ 175
6. Statutory Requirements ......................................................................................................... 176
IV. ORDER ON RECONSIDERATION (WT DOCKET NOS. 07-16 AND 07-30) .............................. 179
V. PROCEDURAL MATTERS .............................................................................................................. 187
A. Disposition of Prior Proceedings ................................................................................................. 187
B. Ex Parte Presentations.................................................................................................................. 188
C. Comment Period and Filing Procedures ...................................................................................... 189
D. Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis ......................................................................................... 193
E. Paperwork Reduction Act Analysis ............................................................................................. 194
F. Further Information ...................................................................................................................... 195
VI. ORDERING CLAUSES ..................................................................................................................... 196
APPENDIX A Proposed Rules
APPENDIX B Initial Regulatory Flexibility Act Analysis

I.

INTRODUCTION AND SUMMARY

1.
Today we propose rules for spectrum in the 1695-1710 MHz, 1755-1780 MHz, 2020-
2025 MHz, and 2155-2180 MHz bands that would make available significantly more commercial
spectrum for Advanced Wireless Services ("AWS"). We will refer to these four bands collectively as
"AWS-3."1 The additional spectrum for mobile use will help ensure that the speed, capacity, and ubiquity

1 The Commission has previously referred to the 2155-2175 MHz band as the "AWS-3 band." See, e.g., Service
Rules for Advanced Wireless Services in the 2155-2175 MHz Band, WT Docket No. 07-195, Notice of Proposed
Rulemaking
, 22 FCC Rcd 17035 (2007) ("2007 NPRM"). We are revising this informal nomenclature: herein,
(continued....)

3


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FCC 13-102


of the nation's wireless networks keeps pace with the skyrocketing demand for mobile service.
Consistent with the Spectrum Act and sound spectrum policy, our goal remains to clear and allocate
spectrum in these bands for exclusive commercial use to the maximum extent feasible. Where clearing is
not possible, this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking explores novel approaches to spectrum sharing between
commercial and Federal operators. Today's action is another step in implementing the Congressional
directive in Title VI of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 ("Spectrum Act") to
allocate for commercial use and grant new initial licenses for flexible use in certain bands.2
2.
We propose to license the 2155-2180 MHz band for downlink/base station operations and
to license the 2020-2025 MHz band for uplink/mobile operations. Both of these bands are currently
allocated for non-Federal, commercial use and are in the Commission's inventory of bands available for
licensing. We propose to license the 1755-1780 MHz band for uplink/mobile operations on a shared basis
with Federal incumbents, if clearing is not feasible. We note that the record of the instant proceeding will
be informed by recommendations of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration
("NTIA"), which has tasked the Commerce Spectrum Management Advisory Committee ("CSMAC")
with studying the potential for Federal/non-Federal spectrum sharing. NTIA anticipates receiving final
reports from CSMAC working groups shortly. If NTIA endorses these reports, we will add them to the
record and anticipate that commenters will discuss NTIA's forthcoming recommendations in comments,
reply comments, or ex parte presentations, as appropriate, depending on the timing. We also propose to
allocate and license the 1695-1710 MHz band for uplink/mobile operations on a shared basis with Federal
incumbents within specified Protection Zones recommended by NTIA, if clearing is not feasible.
Commercial operation outside of these Protection Zones would not require coordination with Federal
incumbents.
3.
For all of the AWS-3 spectrum within the scope of this NPRM, i.e., spectrum for which
we seek comment regarding service rules for non-Federal use, we propose to assign licenses by
competitive bidding, offering five megahertz blocks that can be aggregated using Economic Areas
("EAs") as the area for geographic licensing. We also seek comment on whether, and if so how, to pair
any of the AWS-3 spectrum.

II.

BACKGROUND

A.

Demand for Mobile Spectrum

4.
Wireless broadband represents a critical component of economic growth, job creation,
and global competitiveness because consumers are increasingly using wireless broadband services to
assist them in their everyday lives.3 Demand for wireless broadband services and the network capacity
associated with those services is surging, resulting in a growing demand for spectrum to support these
(Continued from previous page)
"AWS-3" refers to the spectrum, separately and collectively, on which we seek comment in the instant NPRM
regarding service rules for non-Federal use of spectrum, including the following bands: 1695-1710 MHz, 1755-
1780 MHz, 2020-2025 MHz, and 2155-2180 MHz.
2 See Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, Pub. L. No. 112-96, 126 Stat. 156 (2012) ("Spectrum
Act").
3 Implementation of Section 6002(b) of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 Annual Report and
Analysis of Competitive Market Conditions With Respect to Mobile Wireless, Including Commercial Mobile
Services, WT Docket No. 11-186, Sixteenth Report, 28 FCC Rcd 3700, 3929-3931 361-66 (2013) ("Sixteenth
Mobile Wireless Competition Report"
); see also Service Rules for the Advanced Wireless Services H Block--
Implementing Section 6401 of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 Related to the 1915-1920
MHz and 1995-2000 MHz bands, WT Docket No. 12-357, Report and Order, FCC 13-88 at 2 (rel. Jun. 13, 2013)
("H Block R&O"); Service Rules for Advanced Wireless Services in the 2000-2020 MHz and 2180-2200 MHz
Bands, WT Docket Nos. 12-70, 04-356, ET Docket No. 10-142, Report and Order and Order of Proposed
Modification
, 27 FCC Rcd 16102, 16104 3 (2012) ("AWS-4 Service Rules R&O"); Connecting America: The
National Broadband Plan at 77-79 ("National Broadband Plan"), available at
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-296935A1.pdf (last visited June 20, 2013).

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FCC 13-102


services. Similarly, the number and type of devices being used by consumers to access content over
wireless broadband networks has proliferated. For example, the total number of mobile wireless
connections now exceeds the total U.S. population.4 As of the second quarter of 2012, 55 percent of U.S.
mobile subscribers owned smartphones, compared to 41 percent in July 2011.5 Ownership of tablets,
which were first introduced in the market in January 2010, nationwide, is also increasing.6 Pew Internet
research surveys, as of June 2013, show that 34 percent of American adults own a tablet computer, up
from 18 percent in September 2010.7 Tablets generated on average approximately 2.4 times the amount
of mobile traffic as the average smartphone in 2012.8 By 2017, just four years from now, Internet
Protocol ("IP") traffic from wireless and mobile devices will likely exceed traffic from wired devices,
according to some analyses. One forecast projects that wired devices will account for 45 percent of IP
traffic, while Wi-Fi and mobile devices will account 55 percent of IP traffic.9 Global mobile data traffic
is anticipated to grow thirteen-fold between 2012 and 2017.10 All of these trends are resulting in more
demand for network capacity and for capital to invest in the infrastructure, technology, and spectrum to
support this capacity.11 The demand for increased wireless spectrum, moreover, is expected to continue
increasing.12 In response, the Commission continues to work to make available additional licensed and
unlicensed spectrum to meet this growing demand.13

4 See CTIA The Wireless Association Wireless Industry Indices, Semi-Annual Data Survey Results, A
Comprehensive Report from CTIA Analyzing the U.S. Wireless Industry, Mid-Year 2012 Top-of-the-Line Survey
Results, Annualized Wireless Survey Results Dec. 1985 to June 2012 ("CTIA Semi-Annual Data Survey Results")
(estimating 321,716,905 total U.S. subscriber connections as of June 2012), available at
http://files.ctia.org/pdf/CTIA_Survey_MY_2012_Graphics-_final.pdf (last visited June 20, 2013). According to the
Bureau of the Census, the combined population of the fifty states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, as of
July 1, 2012, was estimated to be 313.9 million. See U.S. Census Bureau,
http://www.census.gov/popest/data/national/totals/2012/index.html (last visited June 20, 2013).
5 Nielsen Newswire, The Nielsen Company, Two Thirds of New Mobile Buyers Now Opting for Smartphones, July
12, 2012, available at http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/online_mobile/two-thirds-of-new-mobile-buyers-now-
opting-for-smartphones/ (last visited June 20, 2013).
6 See AWS-4 Service Rules R&O, 27 FCC Rcd at 16104 3 (2012); Sixteenth Mobile Wireless Competition Report,
28 FCC Rcd at 3711, 3862 2, 255.
7 See Kathryn Zickuhr, Pew Internet & American Life Project, "Tablet Ownership 2013" (June 10, 2013), available
at
http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2013/Tablet-Ownership-2013.aspx (last visited June 17, 2013).
8 See Cisco White Paper, Cisco Visual Networking Index: Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast Update, 2012-2017,
Executive Summary at 2, February 6, 2013, ("Data Traffic Forecast Update") available at
http://www.cisco.com/en/US/solutions/collateral/ns341/ns525/ns537/ns705/ns827/white_paper_c11-520862.pdf
(last visited June 20, 2013).
9 See Cisco White Paper, Cisco Visual Networking Index: The Zettabyte Era Trends and Analysis, at 2 May 29, 2013
("The Zettabyte Era,") available at
http://www.cisco.com/en/US/solutions/collateral/ns341/ns525/ns537/ns705/ns827/VNI_Hyperconnectivity_WP">http://www.cisco.com/en/US/solutions/collateral/ns341/ns525/ns537/ns705/ns827/VNI_Hyperconnectivity_WP
(last visited June 24, 2013).
10 See Data Traffic Forecast Update, Executive Summary at 3.
11 See CTIA Semi-Annual Data Survey Results (detailing growth in cumulative capital investment and cell sites).
12 The Council of Economic Advisors has found that "the spectrum currently allocated to wireless is not sufficient to
handle the projected growth in demand, even with technological improvements allowing for more efficient use of
existing spectrum and significant investment in new facilities." Council of Economic Advisors, The Economic
Benefits of New Spectrum for Wireless Broadband at 5 (Feb. 21, 2012), available at
http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/cea/factsheets-reports (last visited June 20, 2013).
13 See, e.g., Expanding the Economic and Innovation Opportunities of Spectrum Through Incentive Auctions, GN
Docket No. 12-268, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 27 FCC Rcd 12357 (2012) ("Incentive Auctions NPRM")
(continued....)

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B.

National Broadband Plan and Presidential Memoranda

5.
Both Congress and the President have recognized the importance of wireless broadband
to the national interest. In 2009, Congress directed the Commission to develop a National Broadband
Plan to ensure that every American has access to broadband capability.14 The National Broadband Plan,
released in 2010, recommended that the Commission make 500 megahertz of spectrum newly available
for broadband use within the next 10 years, of which 300 megahertz of spectrum between 225 MHz and
3.7 GHz should be made newly available for mobile use within five years.15 The National Broadband
Plan recognized that to achieve this goal some of this spectrum would come from spectrum allocated for
Federal use.16 It recommended that NTIA, in consultation with the Commission, conduct an analysis, of
the possibility of reallocating a portion of the 1755-1850 MHz band, which is adjacent to the AWS-1
uplink/mobile band at 1710-1755 MHz and currently allocated for Federal use, to pair with the 2155-2175
MHz band, which is currently allocated for services that support commercial use.17
6.
On June 28, 2010, the President released a memorandum entitled "Unleashing the
Wireless Broadband Revolution."18 The 2010 Presidential Memorandum stated that "America's future
competitiveness and global technology leadership depend, in part, upon the availability of additional
spectrum."19 The memorandum stressed that there are few technological developments that hold as much
potential to enhance America's economic competitiveness, create jobs, and improve the quality of our
lives as wireless high-speed access to the Internet.20 Expanded wireless broadband access will trigger the
creation of innovative new businesses, provide cost-effective connections in rural areas, increase
productivity, improve public safety, and allow for the development of mobile telemedicine, telework,
distance learning, and other new applications that will transform American's lives.21 The memorandum
also stated that spectrum and the new technologies it enables are essential to the Federal Government,
which relies on spectrum for important activities, such as emergency communications, national security,
law enforcement, aviation, maritime, space communications, and numerous other Federal functions.22 It
(Continued from previous page)
(proposing to hold the world's first incentive auction of repurposed television broadcast spectrum); AWS-4 Service
Rules R&O
, 27 FCC Rcd 16102 (making 40 megahertz of spectrum available for mobile broadband); Amendment of
Part 27 of the Commission's Rules to Govern the Operation of Wireless Communications Services in the 2.3 GHz
Band; Establishment of Rules and Policies for the Digital Audio Radio Satellite Service in the 2310-2360 MHz
Frequency Band, WT Docket No. 07-293, IB Docket No. 95-91, Order on Reconsideration, FCC 12-130, 27 FCC
Rcd 13651 (2012) (acting to free up 30 megahertz of spectrum for mobile broadband); 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) (pursuing opportunities for innovative
sharing use of small cells in 100 megahertz of spectrum in the 3.5 GHz band); Revision of Part 15 of the
Commission's Rules to Permit Unlicensed National Information Infrastructure (U-NII) Devices in the 5 GHz Band,
ET Docket No. 13-49, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 28 FCC Rcd 1769 (2013) (examining the potential to free up
195 megahertz of spectrum in the 5 GHz band suitable for "Gigabit Wi-Fi").
14 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, 115 Stat. 115, 516, 6001(k)(2), codified at 47 U.S.C.
1305(k)(2).
15 See National Broadband Plan at 76 and Recommendation 5.8 at 84-85 (Mar. 16, 2010.
16 National Broadband Plan at 76 and Recommendation 5.8 at 86.
17 Id. at 76 and Recommendation 5.8 at 84-87.
18 Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies, Unleashing the Wireless Broadband
Revolution
(rel. Jun. 28, 2010), published at 75 Fed. Reg. 38387 (Jul. 1, 2010) ("2010 Presidential Memorandum").
19 2010 Presidential Memorandum, 75 Fed. Reg. at 38387.
20 Id.
21 Id.
22 Id.

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further stated that spectrum is also critical for many state, local, and tribal government functions.23 The
2010 Presidential Memorandum directed NTIA to collaborate with the Commission to "make available a
total of 500 megahertz of Federal and non-Federal spectrum over the next ten years, suitable for both
mobile and fixed wireless broadband use."24
7.
On June 14, 2013, the President released another memorandum, "Expanding America's
Leadership in Wireless Innovation" stating that although existing efforts will almost double the amount of
spectrum available for wireless broadband, we must make available even more spectrum and create new
avenues for wireless innovation. 25 The 2013 Memorandum further stated that where technically and
economically feasible, spectrum sharing can and should be used to enhance efficiency among all users
and to expedite commercial access to additional spectrum bands, subject to adequate interference
protection for Federal users, especially users with national security, law enforcement, and safety-of-life
responsibilities.26

C.

NTIA Fast Track and 1755-1850 MHz Assessment Reports

8.
In response to the 2010 Presidential Memorandum, NTIA undertook a "fast-track" review
of several bands that could be reallocated to mobile use,27 including the 1675-1710 MHz band and the
1755-1780 MHz band, and proposed exploring Federal/non-Federal sharing of the 1755-1850 MHz
band.28 NTIA recommended that the 1695-1710 portion of the 1675-1710 MHz band be made available
for non-Federal wireless broadband systems, subject to geographic sharing requirements based on
"Exclusion Zones" around specified Federal meteorological earth station sites.29 NTIA deferred making
recommendations concerning the 1755-1780 MHz band, however, because it could not complete its
evaluation of the 1755-1780 MHz band by the October 2010 "fast track" deadline.30 NTIA then invited
Federal agencies with operations in the larger 1755-1850 MHz band to assess the feasibility of relocating
from the 1755-1850 MHz band within ten years and to determine whether their respective systems could

23 Id.
24 Id. at 38388.
25 Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies, Expanding America's Leadership in
Wireless Innovation (rel. Jun. 14, 2013), published at 78 Fed. Reg. 37431 (June 20, 2013) ("2013 Presidential
Memorandum").
26 Id., 78 Fed. Reg. at 37431.
27 See U.S. Department of Commerce, 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 (Oct. 2010) ("NTIA Fast Track Report") available at
http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/publications/fasttrackevaluation_11152010.pdf">http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/publications/fasttrackevaluation_11152010.pdf ) (last visited Feb. 11, 2013). At
the same time, NTIA issued a report that outlined the plans and milestones to achieve the President's 500 megahertz
goal. See U.S. Department of Commerce, Plan and Timetable to Make Available 500 Megahertz of Spectrum for
Wireless Broadband (Oct. 2010) available at
http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/publications/tenyearplan_11152010.pdf">http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/publications/tenyearplan_11152010.pdf .
28 See id. at 2-3-2-5.
29 See NTIA Fast Track Report at 2-2-2-3. See also U.S. Department of Commerce, Identification of 15 Megahertz
of Spectrum between 1675 and 1710 MHz for Reallocation from Federal Use to Non-Federal Use Pursuant to
Section 6401(a) of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (Feb. 2013) ("NTIA 1695-1710
Identification Report
") (available athttp://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/publications/1675-1710_mhz_report_to_president_02192013.pdf"> http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/publications/1675-
1710_mhz_report_to_president_02192013.pdf ) (last visited Feb. 20, 2013). In its final report on the 1695-1710
MHz band, "Exclusion Zones" were changed to "Protection Zones." See infra 15.
30 See id. at 2-2-2-4.

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transition out of the 1755-1780 MHz band within five years, the conditions under which relocation could
be accomplished, and the costs associated with the corresponding relocation.31
9.
Based on the assessments from these Federal agencies, NTIA concluded in March 2012,
in the NTIA 1755-1850 MHz Assessment Report, that while it would be possible to repurpose all 95
megahertz of the 1755-1850 MHz band, a number of significant challenges would have to be met. These
included the high cost and long timeline of repurposing 95 megahertz of spectrum, estimated at
approximately $18 billion over 10 years, assuming relocation of most existing Federal users, not
including costs to relocate incumbent non-Federal users in the Federal agencies' preferred destination
bands.32 In light of the critical challenges related to the estimated timelines, costs, and complexities of
completely clearing Federal users currently in the 1755-1850 MHz band, NTIA proposed a new path
forward for consideration "that relies on a combination of relocating Federal users and sharing spectrum
between Federal agencies and commercial users while ensuring no loss to critical capabilities."33
Additionally, NTIA states that a review of the agency evaluations indicates it is feasible to make the
1755-1780 MHz band available for commercial broadband wireless in five years--subject to exclusion
zones and new allocations for Federal use of other spectrum bands, including 2025-2110 MHz and 5091-
5250 MHz.34 NTIA did not evaluate the possibility for exclusive non-Federal use of the 1755-1780 MHz
band in the NTIA 1755-1850 MHz Assessment Report.35

D.

Section 6401 of the Spectrum Act

10.
In February 2012, Congress enacted Title VI of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job
Creation Act of 2012 (the "Spectrum Act").36 The Spectrum Act includes several provisions designed to
make more spectrum available for commercial use.37 The Spectrum Act established, among other things,
deadlines applicable to both the Secretary of Commerce and the Commission to identify, reallocate,
auction, and license, under flexible use service rules, spectrum for commercial use.38 Specifically, the

31 See U.S. Department of Commerce, An Assessment of the Viability of Accommodating Wireless Broadband in
the 1755-1850 MHz Band at 2-3 (Mar. 2012) ("NTIA 1755-1850 MHz Assessment Report") (available at
http://www.ntia.doc.gov/report/2012/assessment-viability-accommodating-wireless-broadband-1755-1850-mhz-band">http://www.ntia.doc.gov/report/2012/assessment-viability-accommodating-wireless-broadband-1755-1850-mhz-
band) (last visited June 20, 2013); Commerce Spectrum Management Advisory Committee, Working Group 2:
1755-1850 MHz Law Enforcement Surveillance, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, and other short links, Final Report
(Jan. 2013) ("WG2 Final Report") (availablehttp://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/publications/csmac_wg-2_final_report_jan-4-2012.pdf"> at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/publications/csmac_wg-
2_final_report_jan-4-2012.pdf) (last visited Apr. 10, 2013).
32 NTIA 1755-1850 MHz Assessment Report at iii. NTIA relied on analysis performed by the various Federal
agencies. Id. at 45.
33 See, e.g., U.S. Department of Commerce, National Telecommunications and Information Administration, Third
Interim Progress Report on the Ten-Year Plan and Timetable
at 5 (Nov. 2012) ("NTIA Fast Track 3rd Interim
Report
") (available athttp://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/publications/third_interim_progress_report_final.pdf"> http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/publications/third_interim_progress_report_final.pdf ) (last
visited Feb. 25, 2013). NTIA stated that this path seeks to optimize costs and speed implementation of commercial
systems. Id.
34 NTIA 1755-1850 MHz Assessment Report at 45-47. As a step toward overcoming these challenges, NTIA
recommended that the affected Federal agencies engage with industry to identify potential solutions, including
partial clearing scenarios and a phased approach to commercial auctions and entry. Id. at 50. NTIA also
recommended that clear regulatory mechanisms for sharing be established to address potential interference issues
from Federal operations to wireless broadband users during the transition period to ensure that Federal users are not
required to assume the responsibility of mitigating such interference. Id.
35 WG2 Final Report at 4.
36 See generally Spectrum Act.
37 Id. 6001-6703.
38 See generally id.

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Spectrum Act requires the allocation of spectrum in the following bands for services that support
commercial use:

25 megahertz at 2155-2180 MHz;

an additional contiguous 15 megahertz to be identified by the Commission;

15 megahertz between 1675-1710 MHz, to be identified by NTIA by February
22, 2013;

up to 10 megahertz at 1915-1920 MHz and 1995-2000 MHz, if the Commission
finds no harmful interference into the neighboring Personal Communications
Service ("PCS") band.39
The Spectrum Act states that the Commission shall grant new initial licenses for all of these bands by
February 2015.40 In June 2013 the FCC adopted service rules for certain bands listed above (1915-1920
and 1995-2000 MHz) in a separate FCC proceeding.41
11.
The Spectrum Act also amended the Commercial Spectrum Enhancement Act
("CSEA").42 In 2004, the CSEA created the Spectrum Relocation Fund ("SRF") to streamline the
process by which Federal incumbents can recover the costs associated with relocating their spectrum-
dependent systems from spectrum bands authorized to be licensed under the Commission's competitive
bidding authority.43 The Spectrum Act extended the CSEA cost reimbursement mechanism for Federal
incumbents to include sharing as well as relocation costs, and to facilitate Federal incumbents sharing of
spectrum with commercial users by expanding the types of expenditures that can be funded or reimbursed
from the SRF.44 These changes now permit agencies to receive funds associated with planning for
Commission auctions and relocations, spectrum sharing, the use of alternative technologies, the
replacement of existing government-owned equipment with state-of-the-art systems, and the research,
engineering studies, and economic analyses conducted in connection with spectrum sharing arrangements,
including coordination with auction winners.45 The Spectrum Act also created a new category of
allowable pre-auction costs that may, in certain circumstances, be funded before the start of a
Commission auction of licenses for applicable eligible frequencies.46 The Spectrum Act expresses
Congress' priority for relocation over sharing, stating: "In evaluating a band of frequencies for possible
reallocation for exclusive non-Federal use or shared use, the NTIA shall give priority to options involving
reallocation of the band for exclusive non-Federal use and shall choose options involving shared use only

39 Id. 6401.
40 Id. 6401(b).
41 See H Block R&O. See also Service Rules for the Advanced Wireless Services H Block Implementing Section
6401 of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 Related to the 1915-1920 MHz and 1995-2000
MHz Bands, WT Docket No. 12-357, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 27 FCC Rcd 16258 (2012) ("H Block
NPRM
").
42 47 U.S.C. 309(j), 923.
43 Id. 309(j).
44 Id. 923(g)(3).
45 Id.
46 Id.

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when it determines, in consultation with the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, that
relocation of a Federal entity from the band is not feasible because of technical or cost constraints."47
12.
The conclusion of any auction of eligible frequencies reallocated from Federal use to
non-Federal use or from Federal use to shared use, however, is contingent on the cash proceeds
attributable to such spectrum reaching 110 percent of the total estimated relocation or sharing costs
provided to the Commission by NTIA.48 Once the relocation and sharing costs of the Federal incumbents
are covered, the remainder of the proceeds attributable to eligible Federal spectrum, as well as the
proceeds attributable to the 2155-2180 MHz non-Federal band, must be deposited in the Public Safety
Trust Fund and then used to fund the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network to be established by
the First Responder Network Authority ("FirstNet").49

E.

FCC CSEA Notification Letter and NTIA Response

13.
The CSEA also requires the Commission to notify NTIA at least 18 months before the
start of an auction of eligible frequencies and for NTIA to notify the Commission of estimated relocation
and sharing costs, and timelines for such relocation or sharing, at least 6 months before the start of the
auction.50 Accordingly, on March 20, 2013, the Commission notified NTIA that it "plans to commence
the auction of licenses in the 1695-1710 MHz band and the 1755-1780 MHz band as early as September
2014"51 in order to satisfy the Spectrum Act licensing deadline of February 2015. On April 19, 2013,
NTIA responded with several requests to the Commission. In particular, NTIA notes that the Department
of Defense ("DoD") has identified the 2025-2110 MHz band as the preferred option to relocate most of its
operations in the 1755-1850 MHz band and that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
("NASA") and DoD identified the 5150-5250 MHz band as a comparable destination band for its
aeronautical mobile telemetry systems.52

F.

Commerce Spectrum Management Advisory Committee and Related Efforts

14.
In May 2012, NTIA established five joint government/industry working groups within its
Commerce Spectrum Management Advisory Committee ("CSMAC") to facilitate the implementation of
services that support commercial wireless broadband in the 1695-1710 MHz and 1755-1850 MHz
bands.53 Working Group 1 was charged with addressing sharing issues related to the 1675-1710 MHz

47 Spectrum Act 6701(a), codified at 47 U.S.C. 923(j)(1). If NTIA determines that relocation of a Federal entity
is not feasible, NTIA must notify the relevant Congressional committees of the "determination, including the
specific technical or cost constraints on which the determination is based." Id. at 923(j)(2).
48 Spectrum Act 6401(b)(3), codified at 47 U.S.C. 1451(b)(3) (proceeds to cover 110 percent of Federal
relocation or sharing costs) citing 47 U.S.C. 309(j)(16)(B).
49 Id. 6401(c)(3), codified at 47 U.S.C. 309(j)(8)(D)(ii).
50 47 U.S.C. 923(g)(4).
51 Letter from Julius Genachowski, Chairman, FCC, to Lawrence E. Strickling, Assistant Secretary for
Communications and Information, U.S. Department of Commerce at 1 (Mar. 20, 2013) ("FCC March 2013 Letter to
NTIA
") (availahttp://go.usa.gov/2VR5">ble at http://go.usa.gov/2VR5).
52 Letter from Lawrence E. Strickling, Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information, U.S. Department of
Commerce, to Julius Genachowski, Chairman, FCC at 3 (Apr. 19, 2013) ("NTIA Recommendations Letter"). See
infra
38.
53 See U.S. Department of Commerce, National Telecommunications and Information Administration, Framework
for Work within CSMAC
("NTIA Framework") (available at
http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/meetings/framework_for_work_within_csmac_20120525.pdf">http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/meetings/framework_for_work_within_csmac_20120525.pdf ) (last visited
May 14, 2013). NTIA chartered the Commerce Spectrum Management Advisory Committee ("CSMAC") in 2004
to advise it on a range of spectrum policy issues. Seehttp://www.ntia.doc.gov/category/csmac"> http://www.ntia.doc.gov/category/csmac. In January 2011,
NTIA amended CSMAC's Charter to permit CSMAC to focus on how best to execute the 2010 Presidential
Memorandum and NTIA's Fast Track Plan. See U.S. Department of Commerce, Charter of the Commerce
(continued....)

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band,54 while Working Groups 2-5 were charged with addressing sharing issues related to Federal
operations in the 1755-1850 MHz band.55 A critical decision for each working group, according to NTIA,
was to determine whether incoming non-Federal licensees would be able to share use of the spectrum
with particular incumbent Federal systems.56 If a working group were to find that sharing is feasible,
NTIA directed the group to explain the proposed manner of sharing in a way that could potentially be
incorporated into service rules.57
15.
1695-1710 MHz. Working Group 1 ("WG1") (Meteorological-Satellite) completed its
final report in February 2013 and the full CSMAC adopted it on February 21, 2013.58 The WG1 Final
Report
recommends that the Commission adopt a framework for reallocating the 1695-1710 MHz band
for commercial use with "Protection Zones," rather than the "Exclusion Zones"59 originally contemplated
in the NTIA Fast Track Report.60 Under this framework, commercial operations could be freely deployed
outside of the "Protection Zones."61 Operations inside the "Protection Zones," however, would require
prior Federal coordination.62 In February 2013, as required by the Spectrum Act, NTIA issued the NTIA
1695-1710 MHz Identification Report
, in which it reaffirmed its recommendation that the Commission
reallocate the 1695-1710 MHz segment of the 1675-1710 MHz band for wireless broadband use on a
(Continued from previous page)
Spectrum Management Advisory Committee ("CSMAC Charter") (available at
http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/publications/csmac_charter_04012011.pdf">http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/publications/csmac_charter_04012011.pdf ) (last visited May 14, 2013). NTIA
amended CSMAC's Charter again in 2013. See
http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/publications/csmac_2013_charter.pdf">http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/publications/csmac_2013_charter.pdf.
54 NTIA charged WG1 with recommending proposals that would allow commercial use of the band while lowering
any transfer costs and protecting incumbent Federal missions. In July 2012, WG1 began to meet extensively in
order to:
(1) provide refined Long-Term Evolution (LTE) system parameters that more accurately reflect
real world deployment scenarios; (2) review operating parameters of Federal systems affected by
commercial operations in the 1695-1710 MHz band; (3) modify the existing simulation model
used by NTIA to reach the conclusions about use/sharing of the 1695-1710 MHz band; and (4)
Identify areas for further consideration of possible alternatives that may maximize availability of
the spectrum in major market areas.
The full CSMAC approved WG1's Final Report at its February 23, 2013, meeting. WG1 Final Report at
1.Commerce Spectrum Management Advisory Committee Final Report Working Group 1 -- 1695-1710 MHz
Meteorological-Satellite, Final Report at 1 ("WG1 Final Report") (availablehttp://www.ntia.doc.gov/other-publication/2013/csmac-wg-1-final-report-v2"> at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/other-
publication/2013/csmac-wg-1-final-report-v2) (last visited May 14, 2013).
55 See NTIA Fast Track 3rd Interim Report at 5-8.
56 NTIA Framework at 3.
57 Id. See also Keynote Address by Assistant Secretary Strickling at Silicon Flatirons Conference (Feb. 11, 2013)
(available at:http://www.ntia.doc.gov/speechtestimony/2013/keynote-address-assistant-secretary-strickling-silicon-flatirons-conference"> http://www.ntia.doc.gov/speechtestimony/2013/keynote-address-assistant-secretary-strickling-silicon-
flatirons-conference) (last visited May 14, 2013).
58 Minutes of the CSMAC Meeting on Feb. 21, 2013 at 42 ("CSMAC Feb. 2013 Minutes") (available at
http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/publications/0221ntia.pdf">http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/publications/0221ntia.pdf) (last visited June 20, 2013). CSMAC adopted version
2 of the WG1 Final Report, which, relative to the earlier version, had a "slight difference in Appendix 1 for the
distances" that define the Protection Zones. Id.
59 The adoption of "Exclusion Zones" would have prevented potential commercial operations within the zones. See
WG1 Final Report at 5.
60 Id. at 2, 5.
61 Id. at 2.
62 Id.

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shared basis.63 On April 19, 2013, NTIA recommended that the Commission use the WG1 Final Report
recommendations in drafting proposed rules to implement shared use of the 1695-1710 MHz band.64
16.
1755-1850 MHz. NTIA established CSMAC Working Groups 2-5, comprised of
representatives and experts from industry and Federal agencies, to facilitate information sharing among
the interested stakeholders. In May 2012, NTIA asked each CSMAC working group to focus on the
following tasks:
Working Group 2 ("WG2") (Law Enforcement Surveillance, Explosive Ordnance Disposal
("EOD"), and other short distant links )--the correlation of agency city-by-city transition
plans with industry implementation priorities, and prioritizing vacating the 1755-1780 MHz
sub-band;
Working Group 3 ("WG3") (Satellite Control and Electronic Warfare)--the definition and
specification (including any interference acceptance rules) of zones around satellite sites, and
coordination path rules for electronic warfare development and training;
Working Group 4 ("WG4") (Tactical Radio and Fixed Microwave)--the definition and
specification (including any interference acceptance rules) of zones around Department of
Defense sites that require access, and relocation process of fixed microwave links starting
from 1755-1780 MHz; and
Working Group 5 ("WG5") (Airborne Operations (Air Combat Training System, Unmanned
Aerial Vehicles, Precision-Guided Munitions, Aeronautical Telemetry))--the determination
of protection requirements for Federal operations and understanding of the periodic nature of
airborne operations and the impact to commercial wireless systems from government airborne
operations.65

17.
Of the four working groups concentrating on the 1755-1850 MHz band, only WG2 has
issued a final report, which the full CSMAC adopted on February 21, 2013.66 The WG2 Final Report
found that Federal incumbents with video surveillance systems plan to transition operations from the
1755-1780 MHz band within five years, once funding and comparable spectrum is available.67 WG2 also
developed two lists of areas for agencies with transitioning video surveillance systems to consider based
on priorities established by the wireless industry.68 The first list addresses the 1755-1780 MHz band,
while the second list addresses the 1780-1850 MHz band.69 On April 19, 2013, NTIA endorsed the
recommendations contained in the WG2 Final Report.70

63 NTIA 1695-1710 Identification Report at 1. See also Letter from Karl B. Nebbia, Associate Administrator, NTIA
Office of Spectrum Management to Julius Knapp, Federal Communications Commission at 1 (dated Jan. 19, 2011).
64 NTIA Recommendations Letter at 1-2. "NTIA endorses the recommendations contained in [the WG1 Final
Report]
," id. at 1. Accordingly, herein we refer to NTIA and WG1 Final Report recommendations interchangeably,
with cites to the WG1 Final Report for convenient reference.
65 NTIA Framework at 3-4. See also NTIA Fast Track 3rd Interim Report at 5-8. See generally NTIA 1755-1780
MHz Assessment Report
at 1-5; NTIA Fast Track Report at 2-3-2-4.
66 CSMAC Feb. 2013 Minutes at 42-43.
67 WG2 Final Report at 6.
68 Id. at 4.
69 Id.
70 NTIA Recommendations Letter at 1-3. "NTIA endorses the recommendations contained in [the WG2 Final
Report]
," id. at 1. Accordingly, herein we refer to NTIA and WG2 Final Report recommendations interchangeably,
with cites to the WG2 Final Report for convenient reference. NTIA clarifies that the prioritized list of EAs will
serve as an input for consideration as the agencies develop their transition plans. See section III.E.2, infra.

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18.
In addition to the work of the CSMAC working groups, commercial wireless carriers are
working with the Department of Defense ("DoD") to monitor and gather information about several
systems identified in NTIA's 1755-1850 MHz Assessment Report that appear to be the most difficult,
costly, or time consuming to relocate.71 The carriers also requested special temporary experimental
authority from the Commission to conduct tests in the 1755-1780 MHz and 2155-2180 MHz bands for
commercial mobile broadband services, and to examine technical co-existence with a limited number of
incumbent Federal operations, in a defined number of geographic locations that may remain in the band
indefinitely, consistent with the CSMAC working groups' efforts.72 On August 14, 2012, the
Commission announced that it had granted the first authorization of testing in the 1755-1780 MHz band.73
19.
We are advancing proposals in today's NPRM in tandem with NTIA's work to ensure
that the statutory deadline under Section 6401 of the Spectrum Act can be met, and in light of the
importance of making needed spectrum available as soon as practicable. Today's proposals are subject to
revision in light of the recommendations we receive from NTIA after its evaluation of the output of these
working groups. We intend to incorporate NTIA's forthcoming recommendations into the record of this
proceeding and anticipate that commenters will discuss NTIA's recommendations in comments, reply
comments, or ex parte presentations, as appropriate, depending on the timing.

G.

Additional Recent Developments

1.

Developments Regarding the 2095-2110 MHz Band

20.
CTIA's Request to Auction 2095-2110 MHz. As discussed above, the Spectrum Act
requires the Commission to identify 15 megahertz of contiguous spectrum for commercial use.74 On
March 13, 2013, CTIA--The Wireless Association ("CTIA") urged the Commission to designate
spectrum currently used for Broadcast Auxiliary Service ("BAS") at 2095-2110 MHz as the fifteen
megahertz of contiguous spectrum required to be identified by the Commission under the Spectrum Act.75
CTIA argues that the 2095-2110 MHz band is ideal for this purpose because it is a contiguous band with
propagation characteristics ideally suited to mobile broadband and adjacent to current mobile broadband
spectrum. These characteristics make it suitable for modern mobile broadband technologies, such as the
Long-Term Evolution ("LTE") standard. CTIA states that the 2095-2110 MHz band can be paired with
the 1695-1710 MHz band that NTIA identified for reallocation under the Spectrum Act and is likely to
generate significant revenues through a competitive bidding process.76 CTIA acknowledges that BAS
currently uses the 2095-2110 MHz band and that, in addition to hosting BAS, the larger 2025-2110 MHz
band is also home to the Federal space operation service, the earth exploration-satellite service, and the
space research service.77 CTIA notes that the Commission requires coordination between Federal and

71 NTIA Fast Track 3rd Interim Report at 6.
72 Id.
73 Statement of FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski on FCC Granting the First Authorization of Testing in the 1755-
1780 MHz Band (dated Aug. 14, 2012) (available athttp://www.fcc.gov/document/genachowski-fcc-granting-authorization-testing-1755-1780-mhz"> http://www.fcc.gov/document/genachowski-fcc-granting-
authorization-testing-1755-1780-mhz) (last visited June 20, 2013).
74 See supra section II.D (Section 6401 of the Spectrum Act).
75 Letter from Steve Largent, President, CTIA, to Julius Genachowski, Chairman, FCC, GN Docket No. 09-51,
(dated Mar. 13, 2013) ("CTIA Letter") (attaching "Finding the FCC's 15 MHz Implementation of Section
6401(b)(2)(E) of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 Identification of 15 Megahertz of
Contiguous Spectrum for Mobile Broadband") ("CTIA White Paper").
76 CTIA White Paper at 2 and 9-12.
77 CTIA notes that the Commission elevated these Federal systems to primary status in 2000 and that there are
currently 11 locations in the United States where Federal satellite earth stations are permitted to operate on a co-
primary basis with non-Federal operations. CTIA White Paper at 13-14 citing Mobile-Satellite Service, Second
Report and Order and Second Memorandum Opinion and Order
, 15 FCC Rcd 12315 16 (2000).

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non-Federal users of the 2095-2110 MHz band and that terrestrial transmitters used for BAS not be high-
density systems.78 CTIA avers that issues between Federal and non-Federal users can be addressed by
band clearing, sharing, and rule changes.79
21.
Federal and non-Federal Opposition to Commercial Wireless in 2095-2110 MHz On
July 22, 2013, NTIA transmitted to the Commission a Feasibility Assessment for accommodation of
mobile broadband Long Term Evolution (LTE) systems in the 2025-2110 MHz band prepared by NASA
and recently submitted by the United States to I International Telecommunications Union Radio
Telecommunications Sector Joint Task Group 4-5-6-7.80 NTIA states that, recognizing the interest in the
potential for use of the band for wireless broadband, NASA performed a compatibility study examining
the potential for commercial broadband systems employing LTE technology on a shared basis with
forward link transmissions from NASA geostationary Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System (TDRSS)
satellites to some typical satellite users, which are in Low Earth Orbit.81 NTIA states that the results of
the study show that high-density terrestrial base stations or user equipment operating co-frequency in the
2025-2110 MHz band will exceed established protection criteria for the TDRSS spaceborne receivers by
an average of 16.4dB to 40.7 dB and that analysis of sharing with satellite systems of other
administrations will likely show similar results. 82 As requested by NTIA,83 we are adding this assessment
to the record of this proceeding and seeking comment on it. The Society of Broadcast Engineers (SBE)
has also expressed opposition.84 SBE states that allowing commercial use of 2095-2110 MHz, as CTIA
suggests, would delete two of seven shared channels used heavily for BAS, LTTS, and CARS.85
According to SBE, "there is simply not enough residual spectrum available between 2025 MHz and 2095
MHz to permit [Electronic News Gathering] to continue."86 SBE opines that other sources of fifteen
megahertz of contiguous spectrum should be studied such as portions of the 2360-2390 MHz band.87

78 Id., wherein the FCC adopted 47 C.F.R. 2.106 n.US346, which prohibits high-density mobile systems under the
non-Federal mobile allocation for the 2025-2110 MHz band. CTIA adds that n.US346 is the domestic version of
international n.5.391, 47 C.F.R. 2.106, n.5.391, which CTIA states came about as the result of ITU
Recommendation ITU-R SA.1154, adopted at the World Radiocommunication Conference in 1995). See id. at 14.
79 Id. at 13-14.
80 Letter from Karl B. Nebbia, Associate Administrator, Office of Spectrum Management, NTIA, to Julius P. Knapp,
Chief, Office of Engineering and Technology, FCC, at 1-2 (July 22, 2013) (GN Docket No. 09-51, ET Docket 10-
123) ("NTIA July 2013 Letter"). See also id., Enclosure 2 (United States of America, Feasibility Assessment for
Accommodation of
Mobile Broadband Long Term Evolution (LTE) Systems in the 2 025-2 110 MHz Band,
Document 4-5-6-7/170-E (dated 16 July 2013)).
81 NTIA July 2013 Letter at 2.
82 Id.
83 Id.
84 Letter from Ralph Hogan, President, Society of Broadcast Engineers, Inc. to Julius Genachowski, Chairman, FCC,
Robert McDowell, Commissioner FCC, Mignon Clyburn, Commissioner, FCC, Jessica Rosenworcel,
Commissioner, FCC, and Ajit Pai, Commissioner, FCC, GN Docket No. 09-51, (dated Mar. 18, 2013) ("SBE
Letter")
85 SBE Letter at 3-4. SBE notes that the 2095-2110 MHz band is part of the larger 2025-2110 MHz band that
consists of seven 12 megahertz channels shared by the Broadcast Auxiliary Service, the Local Television
Transmission Service ("LTTS"), the Cable Television Relay Service ("CARS"), as well as NASA, the Department
of Defense, and other cooperative sharing partners in this band. Id. at 2.
86 Id. at 4.
87 Id.

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2.

Developments Regarding 1755 MHz and Related Bands

22.
Industry Roadmap. Recently, T-Mobile filed a wireless industry proposal (Industry
Roadmap) for making the 1755-1780 MHz band available for commercial use in time to auction the band
at the same time as the 2155-2180 MHz band, which the Spectrum Act requires to be auctioned and
licensed by February 2015.88 The Industry Roadmap assesses Federal operations in the 1.7 GHz band and
proposes a combination of sharing, relocation, and channel prioritization for the majority of Federal
operations in the 1755-1850 MHz band to provide industry early access to the 1755-1780 MHz portion of
the band. The Industry Roadmap also acknowledges that additional study is necessary.
23.
DoD Alternative Proposal. On July 22, 2013, NTIA transmitted to the Commission
correspondence to NTIA from the Chief Information Officer of the DoD that outlines a proposal for
making 1755-1780 MHz available for auction and licensing in the near term, while protecting critical
DoD capabilities and preserving the necessary flexibility to address the long-term status of the 1780-1850
MHz portion of the band.89 Among other things, DoD proposes to share the 2025-2110 MHz band,
proposes not to seek access to the 5150-5250 MHz band for telemetry, and estimates the cost of
implementing its proposal at $ 3.5 billion.90

III.

DISCUSSION

A.

Overview

24.
First, we briefly describe spectrum bands that we could include in the group of AWS-3
bands and, where applicable, proposals or questions on which we are seeking comment. Next, we seek
comment on configuration issues such as downlink/uplink designations, pairing, block size, and service
areas for AWS-3. Because of the parallel CSMAC process, there are a number of different options for
proceeding in a manner consistent with the Spectrum Act. For purposes of this notice, we have described
the bands and configurations in a modular way. Commenters may put forward specific options that
involve all or a subset of the bands described below, and may contemplate paired or unpaired bands.
Because non-Federal use of the 1695-1710 MHz and 1755-1780 MHz bands is proposed on a shared basis
with Federal users if clearing is not feasible, we also consider recommendations and issues related to
Federal Band Reallocation, Sharing, and Coordination that aim to maximize commercial use of these
bands.
25.
For the 1695-1710 MHz band, we seek comment on NTIA's recommendations in the
WG1 Final Report, which reflects the significant progress that was made "to refine interference analysis
and develop a deeper understanding of the issues and options available for maximizing access to the
spectrum for commercial services while protecting incumbent Federal operations in the 1695-1710 MHz
and the adjacent 1675-1695 MHz bands."91 We propose to adopt the sharing framework described in the
WG1 Final Report including the recommended Protection Zones within which all non-Federal use must
be coordinated successfully with Federal incumbents prior to operation. We also propose to adopt the

88 Letter from Steve Sharkey, T-Mobile U.S., Inc., to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, Federal Communications
Commission, WT Docket Nos. 10-123, 07-195 (dated Jun. 24, 2013), at Attachment, Industry Roadmap to Assessing
the 1755-1850 MHz Band
(assesses the entire 1755-1850 MHz band in a manner that considers making the lower
band (1755-1780 MHz) available first, but also addresses the rest of the band up to 1850 MHz in order to meet
Federal agencies' concerns. The plan takes into account the NTIA instructions given to the CSMAC Working
Groups, which were directed to consider a plan that lowers the repurposing costs and/or improves or facilitates
industry access while protecting Federal operations from adverse impact. See id., T-Mobile Letter, at 1.
89 NTIA July 2013 Letter at 1. See also id., Enclosure 1 (Letter from Teresa M. Takai, Chief Information Officer,
DoD, to Lawrence E. Strickling, Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information, NTIA, U.S. Dept. of
Commerce (July 17 2013).
90 NTIA July 2013 Letter, Enclosure 1.
91 WG1 Final Report at 1.

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coordination methodology of the WG1 Final Report, including the recommendations to consider certain
refinements to the methodology. Additionally, we seek comment on coordination procedures.
26.
For the 1755-1780 MHz band, we anticipate the possibility of a "hybrid"
recommendation, in which some operations would be relocated,92 some would share the band with
commercial licensees, and some would not share the band (in certain geographic protection zones or
exclusion zones).93 In light of that possibility, and assuming that NTIA may endorse the CSMAC
recommendations, we seek comment on adopting Protection Zones, Exclusion Zones, and other sharing
measures or alternatives. Finally, we seek comment on technical, licensing, and operational rules as well
as regulatory issues.
27.
Our proposals regarding the 1695-1710 MHz and 1755-1780 MHz bands incorporate the
significant study and analysis conducted through the CSMAC's multi-stakeholder process. We reiterate
the priority in the Spectrum Act for relocation over sharing, and our goal remains to clear and allocate
spectrum for exclusive commercial use. In general, we seek comment on the potential for clearing (both
in the short and long term) for each band and the extent to which the sharing approaches described in the
CSMAC reports maximize commercial use of the spectrum.94 We encourage commenters to suggest
alternative approaches for maximizing the commercial use of these bands, to the extent technically and
economically feasible.
28.
In general, our discussion proceeds as follows. We first describe these proposed bands,
configurations, sharing arrangements, and licensing and service rules. We then propose specific changes
to our Table of Frequency Allocations for them, where necessary to implement the requirements of
Section 6401 of the Spectrum Act. We seek comment on various considerations in the course of this
discussion.

B.

Proposed Bands for AWS-3 Service Rules

29.
We begin our discussion by considering the various bands that might be subject to AWS-
3 service rules and other bands that have been implicated by related discussions in CSMAC, through
letters to the Commission, and other public fora.

92 "For some systems, traditional relocation will be the recommendation. Systems such as point-to-point microwave
circuits are relatively straightforward to move and we have spectrum where these systems can be relocated."
Keynote Address by Assistant Secretary Strickling at Silicon Flatirons Conference (Feb. 11, 2013) ("Silicon
Flatirons Address").
93 Id.
In other cases such as satellite earth stations, defining geographic exclusion or coordination zones
to protect the earth stations may then allow commercial entry in large parts of the country not
affected by such zones. But in addition, we have added a third option to the discussions the
possibility that industry and the Federal agencies can both use spectrum in the same geographic
area through the use of today's new technologies. If Federal systems and commercial operations
can co-exist in the same spectrum band, the result will be more efficient use of that spectrum.
Id. Under this third option, CSMAC working groups are considering "the use of today's new commercial
technologies, which possess flexibility, agility and growing acceptance by international standards development
organizations such as the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP)." Testimony of Mr. Karl Nebbia, Associate
Administrator, Office of Spectrum Management, NTIA (House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on
Communications and Technology, Hearing on "Creating Opportunities through Improved Government Spectrum
Efficiency" held on September 13, 2012).
94 See supra 11.

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1.
2155-2180 MHz
30.
The 2155-2180 MHz band is already allocated for exclusive non-Federal fixed and
mobile use with a longstanding designation for emerging technologies such as AWS.95 The band is
immediately above the AWS-1 downlink band (2110-2155 MHz) and immediately below the AWS-4
downlink band (2180-2200 MHz). We are proposing downlink/base station use of 2155-2180 MHz under
rules similar to the AWS-1 and AWS-4 rules. We tentatively find that having additional spectrum that is
adjacent to that used for like services will promote efficiency in broadband deployment. As T-Mobile
observed in an earlier proceeding, "the creation of an additional AWS allocation immediately adjacent to
the current AWS-1 allocation will allow for more immediate equipment development and deployment."96
We do not propose to modify the allocation for this band, but in (section III.I below), we do propose
several changes to related footnotes in the Table of Frequency Allocations.
2.
1695-1710 MHz
31.
NTIA identified 1695-1710 MHz for services that support commercial use in accordance
with the Spectrum Act's mandate to identify new commercial spectrum for auction. The 1695-1710 MHz
band is immediately below the AWS-1 uplink band at 1710-1755 MHz. The lower part of the band
(1675-1700 MHz) is allocated to the meteorological aids service, restricted to radiosonde operation, and
to the meteorological-satellite service, restricted to space-to-Earth operation, on a primary basis for
Federal and non-Federal use.97 The upper part of the band (1700-1710 MHz) is allocated to the
meteorological-satellite service, restricted to space-to-Earth operation, on a primary basis for Federal and
non-Federal use. The 1700-1710 MHz band is also allocated to the fixed service on a primary basis for
Federal use and on a secondary basis for non-Federal use.98 We discuss possible changes to these
allocations in section III.I, below.
3.
1755-1780 MHz
32.
Internationally, the 1755-1850 MHz band, which is part of the larger 1710-1930 MHz
band, is allocated on a primary basis to the fixed and mobile services for all three International
Telecommunication Union ("ITU") regions.99 Domestically, the 1755-1850 MHz band is currently
allocated to the fixed and mobile services on a primary basis for Federal use and assigned to a wide range
of military and other government uses.100 NTIA reports that the Federal government uses the entire 1755-

95 47 C.F.R. 2.106, 101.69.
96 Comments of T-Mobile USA, Inc., ET Docket No. 10-142 at 7-8 (filed Jul. 8, 2011) ("Current technology can
more easily be extended to adjacent bands than to bands with different uplink/downlink separations."); See also
Comments of AT&T Inc., ET Docket No. 10-142 at 4 (filed Jul. 8, 2011) ("placing new mobile broadband services
in spectrum bands directly adjacent to existing mobile services can create efficiencies in developing infrastructure
equipment and consumer devices that will speed deployment and adoption of new services."); Comments of Sprint
Nextel Corporation, ET Docket No. 10-142 at 3 (filed Jul. 8, 2011) (noting that the proximity of 2 GHz spectrum to
AWS and PCS spectrum means that "compatible handsets likely could be produced relatively quickly to support
innovative wireless services").
97 The 1660-1670 MHz band is allocated to the radio astronomy service on a primary basis. Footnote US211 states
that, in the 1670-1690 MHz band, applicants for airborne or space station assignments are urged to take all
practicable steps to protect radio astronomy observations in the adjacent bands from harmful interference.
98 The use of the Federal fixed service allocation in this band is restricted by n.G118, which states that Federal fixed
stations may be authorized in the 1700-1710 MHz band only if spectrum is not available in the 1755-1850 MHz
band. 47 C.F.R. 2.106, n.G118.
99 Id. 2.106.
100 Id. See NTIA 1755-1850 MHz Assessment Report at 4. This band is also allocated to the space operation service,
restricted to Earth-to-space operation, on a primary basis for Federal use, footnote G42 states that this allocation "is
limited to the band 1761-1842 MHz, and is limited to space command, control, range, and range rate systems. 47
C.F.R. 2.106, n.G42.

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1850 MHz band across the nation and that the majority of Federal services that operate in the 1755-1780
MHz band also operate in the larger 1755-1850 MHz band.101 In total, NTIA reports that over 20
agencies use more than 3100 individual frequency assignments in the band, many of which cover multiple
systems and operating areas and that there are few bands to consider for repurposing and few comparable
bands to which Federal agencies can relocate their operations.102 Specifically, the Federal government
uses the 1755-1850 MHz band for the following services: (1) conventional fixed point-to-point
microwave communications systems; (2) military tactical radio relay systems; (3) air combat training
systems; (4) precision guided munitions; (5) high-resolution video data links, and other law enforcement
video surveillance applications; (6) tracking, telemetry, and command for Federal Government space
systems; (7) data links for short-range unmanned aerial vehicles; (8) land mobile robotic video functions
(e.g., explosive ordnance and hazardous material investigations and disposals); (9) control links for
various power, land, water, and electric power management systems; and (10) aeronautical mobile
telemetry.103
33.
From a non-Federal, commercial perspective, the 1755-1780 MHz band holds potential
as an extension to existing AWS spectrum. The band has several characteristics that make it especially
appealing for commercial wireless use. First, it is located adjacent to the AWS-1 uplink/mobile band at
1710-1755 MHz and thus, offers the benefits of contiguous bands. Second, it is regionally and
internationally harmonized for mobile broadband, raising the potential for commercial operators to
benefit from economies of scale achieved by equipment manufacturers developing equipment for a global
market. 104 Third, it could be paired with the 2155-2180 MHz band to symmetrically extend the AWS-1
band.105 The National Broadband Plan favored pairing the 1755-1780 MHz band with the 2155-2180
MHz band for similar reasons."106
34.
We propose uplink mobile use of 1755-1780 MHz under technical rules similar to AWS-
1 uplinks in the adjacent 1710-1755 MHz band, subject to Federal requirements including coordination
with incumbent Federal users, that emerge from the CSMAC process, if transmitted by NTIA. As
mentioned above, however, CSMAC working groups 3-5 have not yet issued final reports for NTIA's
consideration. We will consider CSMAC's recommendations, if NTIA accepts them, to inform the
service rules for the 1755-1780 MHz band, including terms of sharing and required protections to the
extent that relocation and clearing is not feasible. We intend to incorporate NTIA's forthcoming
recommendations into the record of this proceeding and anticipate that commenters will discuss NTIA's
recommendations in comments, reply comments, or written ex partes, as appropriate, depending on the
timing. We discuss these issues in greater detail below in section III.E below (Federal/non-Federal
Sharing and Coordination)
. Allocation issues are discussed in section III.I.

101 NTIA Fast Track Report at vi. NTIA 1755-1850 MHz Assessment Report at 4.
102 NTIA 1755-1850 MHz Assessment Report at vi.
103 NTIA Fast Track Report at vi-vii.
104 Comments of the Telecommunications Industry Association, ET Docket No. 10-123 at 10 (filed Apr. 22, 2011);
Comments of T-Mobile USA, Inc., ET Docket No. 10-123, at 7 (filed Apr. 22, 2011); Comments of CTIA--The
Wireless Association, ET Docket No. 10-123 at 7 (filed Apr. 22, 2011) ("Comments of CTIA to ET Docket No 10-
123"); Comments of 4G Americas, ET Docket No. 10-123 at 2 (filed Apr. 22, 2011). See also NTIA 1755-1850 MHz
Assessment Report
at 2-3.
105 Comments of CTIA to ET Docket No. 10-123 at ii. As noted in the Commission's letter to NTIA in March 2013,
the Commission included the 1755-1780 MHz band in the notification "to preserve the possibility of auctioning it
with the 2155-2180 MHz band." FCC March 2013 Letter to NTIA at 1.
106 National Broadband Plan at 86-87.

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4.
2020-2025 MHz
35.
The 2020-2025 MHz band is already allocated for the non-Federal fixed and mobile
services and is part of the 35 megahertz (1990-2025 MHz) that the Commission repurposed in 2000 from
BAS to emerging technologies such as Personal Communications Services ("PCS"), AWS, and Mobile
Satellite Service ("MSS").107 This repurposing was possible because BAS converted nationwide from
seven analog channels (each 17-18 megahertz wide) to seven digital channels (each 12 megahertz wide).
In 2004, the Commission proposed to license 2020-2025 MHz for uplink/mobile use paired with 2175-
2180 MHz.108 The Commission did not adopt this proposal and, in 2008 it proposed instead to combine
2175-2180 MHz and 2155-2175 MHz, to make a larger unpaired block at 2155-2180 MHz.109 The
Commission did not make a further proposal for the 2020-2025 MHz band immediately above the AWS-4
uplink band (2000-2020 MHz). Today, we propose uplink/mobile use of 2020-2025 MHz under rules
similar to the AWS-4 rules. We do not propose to modify the allocation for this band but, as described in
section III.I.2 below (Allocation Matters, 2020-2025 MHz, we propose changes to several related
footnotes in the Table of Frequency Allocations.

C.

Additional Bands, Including the Requirement to Identify 15 MHz of Contiguous
Spectrum for Commercial Use

36.
As discussed above, the Spectrum Act requires the Commission to identify an additional
15 megahertz of contiguous spectrum for commercial use. We seek comment on an appropriate candidate
for that choice, including, for example, the 1755-1780 MHz band identified above. As an alternative, we
also seek general comment on the allocation of other frequencies in order to meet or surpass this
requirement of the Spectrum Act, and more specific comment on those listed below. Parties that advocate
licensing any of the spectrum below or any alternative spectrum for wireless broadband should describe
in detail the technical, operational, and licensing rules that we should apply. For example, could the
service rules that we are proposing for 1695-1710 MHz, 1755-1780 MHz, 2020-2025 MHz, or 2155-2180
MHz, be applied? If so, would modifications be necessary to address issues related to specifically
identified bands? Issues related to the need for changes to the Table of Allocations are treated separately
in section III.I.
1.
1780-1850 MHz
37.
The 1780-1850 MHz band, which is part of the larger 1755-1850 MHz band, is allocated
to the fixed and mobile services on a primary basis for Federal use and assigned to a wide-range of
military and other government uses.110 As noted above, NTIA reports that the Federal government uses
the entire 1755-1850 MHz band across the nation and that the majority of Federal services that operate in

107 See 47 C.F.R. 74.690. Of the total 35 megahertz of spectrum, five megahertz was authorized for PCS and held
by Sprint Nextel; 10 megahertz was authorized for AWS and to be auctioned and licensed as AWS-2; and 20
megahertz was authorized for MSS, though it is now part of the AWS-4 spectrum.
108 See Service Rules for Advanced Wireless Services in the 1915-1920 MHz, 1995-2000 MHz, 2020-2025 MHz,
and 2175-2180 MHz Bands; Service Rules for Advanced Wireless Services in the 1.7 GHz and 2.1 GHz Bands; WT
Docket Nos. 04-356, 02-35, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 19 FCC Rcd 19263 (2004) ("2004 NPRM").
109 See Service Rules for Advanced Wireless Services in the 2155-2175 MHz Band, WT Docket No. 07-195, Service
Rules for Advanced Wireless Services in the 1915-1920 MHz, 1995-2000 MHz, 2020-2025 MHz and 2175-2180
MHz Bands, WT Docket No. 04-356, Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 23 FCC Rcd 9859, 9860 3 (2008)
("2008 FNPRM").
110 See NTIA 1755-1850 MHz Assessment Report at 4. This band is also allocated to the space operation service,
restricted to Earth-to-space operation, on a primary basis for Federal use, footnote G42 states that this allocation "is
limited to the band 1761-1842 MHz, and is limited to space command, control, range, and range rate systems. 47
C.F.R. 2.106, n.G42.

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the 1755-1780 MHz band also operate in the larger 1755-1850 MHz band.111 Although the commercial
wireless industry appears primarily interested in the 1755-1780 MHz portion of the 1755-1850 MHz band
to pair with the 2155-2180 MHz band, NTIA has been studying the entire 1755-1850 MHz band and
industry has not entirely dismissed the possibility of seeking access to this spectrum in the long term.112
NTIA reports that it appreciates the Commission's "recognition of the potential need to address rules to
accommodate the phased relocation of the entire 95 megahertz of the 1755-1850 MHz band."113
38.
Because of the commercial industry's focus on the 1755-1780 MHz band, NTIA makes
several requests of the Commission.114 First, NTIA requests consideration of the potential for a phased
transition to facilitate commercial access to the 1755-1780 MHz band in a shorter timeframe while
preserving longer-term repurposing and transition opportunities for the entire 1755-1850 MHz band.115
Second, NTIA requests that if a Commission auction of the 1755-1780 MHz band results in the relocation
of or sharing with Federal systems that currently have access to the entire 1755-1850 MHz band, agency
transition plans for the lower 25 megahertz account for those systems, even if the Commission holds
multiple auctions over time. 116 Third, NTIA requests that, if necessary, the Commission assist NTIA in
identifying and reallocating replacement spectrum to accommodate displaced Federal operations unless
these agencies can maintain comparable capability of systems via sharing or utilizing alternative
technology.117 We invite comment on the NTIA plan for ultimately making the entire 1755-1850 MHz
band available for wireless broadband based on a phased transition. How could this spectrum be used in
ways that would significantly answer the need for additional wireless spectrum? Should different
portions of the band be made available with different service rules, including, for example, technical
rules, and sharing/coordination provisions?
2.
2095-2110 MHz
39.
As discussed above, CTIA recommends that the Commission consider identifying 2095-
2110 MHz as the additional 15 megahertz for reallocation under this statutory provision.118 We invite
comment on CTIA's recommendation. We note that footnote 5.391 to the Table of Frequency
Allocations states administrations shall not introduce high-density mobile systems into this band.119
Parties that advocate licensing 2095-2110 for wireless broadband should explain how such use can be
reconciled with the footnote 5.391, including the underlying need to protect U.S. and foreign space
systems, and describe in detail the technical, operational, and licensing rules that we should apply.
Commenters should also describe potential effects on incumbent BAS users and Federal users,
particularly given that this proposal would appear to conflict with use of two of the seven BAS channels

111 NTIA Fast Track Report at vi. NTIA 1755-1850 MHz Assessment Report at 4.
112 NTIA Recommendations Letter at 3.
113 Id.
114 Id.
115 Id.
116 Id.
117 NTIA Recommendations Letter at 3 (noting that DoD identified the 2025-2110 MHz band as the preferred option
to relocate most of its operations and that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and DoD identified
the 5150-5250 MHz band as a comparable destination band for its aeronautical mobile telemetry systems). See also
Letter from Lawrence E. Strickling, Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information, U.S. Department of
Commerce, to Julius Genachowski, Chairman, FCC at 1 (Feb. 19, 2013) (stating, that it may be necessary to relocate
Federal aeronautical mobile telemetry systems from the 1755-1850 MHz band to the 5150-5250 MHz band and
citing, at n.10, NTIA 1755-1850 MHz Assessment Report at 45).
118 See CTIA Letter.
119 47 C.F.R. 2.106, n.5.391. See also id. at US n.346.

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available in the 20252110 MHz band. Additionally, as described above,120 NASA appears to strongly
oppose sharing this band with commercial cellular operations.121 The Society of Broadcast Engineers
("SBE") also opposes CTIA's proposal.122 We also observe that Federal agencies have identified the
20252110 MHz band as a potential relocation band for various Federal operations. We seek comment
on these considerations.
3.

Other Frequencies

40.
We invite commenters to propose any other band that would meet the Spectrum Act's
requirement for the Commission to identify 15 contiguous megahertz of spectrum. We encourage
commenters to identify specific bands, to explain what the band is currently used for, and how it might be
allocated and transitioned for commercial use under flexible use service rules for operations such as
wireless broadband service.

D.

Band-Use Configurations

1.

Base vs. Mobile Transmissions

41.
As discussed further below, we propose to allow the use of each AWS-3 band in a
manner that is compatible with the use of adjacent bands. Doing so reduces the risk of harmful
interference to co-channel or adjacent band operations or the need for highly restrictive technical limits
that would leave some AWS-3 spectrum underutilized. We believe our band-use proposals maximize the
potential usability of these bands. We seek comment on our proposals and invite commenters to propose
alternatives.
a.

Base Transmit

42.
In 2008, the Commission proposed to allow base and mobile operations in the 2155-2180
MHz band to support Time Division Duplex ("TDD") operations. To protect base operations in the
adjacent AWS-1 band from harmful interference due to mobile operations in the AWS-3 band, strict
power and out-of-band-emission ("OOBE") limits were placed on AWS-3 mobiles. These measures
included a slightly lower than normal mobile power limit and a mobile OOBE limit below 2155 MHz of
60 + 10 log10(P) dB.123 Recently, in the AWS-4 proceeding, the Commission addressed a similar
base/mobile adjacency scenario that was unavoidable because AWS-4 spectrum (2000-2020 MHz), which
is next to the H Block downlink band (1995-2000 MHz), was already the Mobile Satellite Service
("MSS") uplink band (and thus could only be used for AWS-4 mobiles). The Commission concluded that
certain assumptions underlying the 60 + 10 log10(P) dB proposal are outdated: to protect contemporary
AWS uses, the Commission found that a 70 + 10 log10(P) dB OOBE limit is necessary along with
significant power reductions in the first five megahertz of the uplink/mobile band124 that significantly
limit mobile operations to provide adequate isolation between adjacent mobile and base station
operations.125

120 See supra 21.
121 Id.
122 Id.
123 2008 FNPRM, 23 FCC Rcd at 9860 3.
124 See AWS-4 Service Rules R&O, 27 FCC Rcd 16102, 16127-16141 64-88.") In reaching these conclusions, the
Commission also noted that mobile broadband uses far more downlink than uplink spectrum, and therefore indicates
greater demand for downlink spectrum.
125 Id., 27 FCC Rcd at 16135-41 79-88, 136-148. In particular, the Commission noted that LTE mobiles
cannot tolerate as much interference as the UMTS mobiles considered in deriving the 60 + 10 log10(P) dB limit. Id.
at 88.

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43.
Unlike AWS-4, here we have the option to avoid designating uplink next to downlink,
which in turn avoids the need for guard bands or significant technical limits that mitigate interference
between uplink and downlink. As we recently concluded in connection with AWS-4, having mobiles (or
base and mobile TDD transmissions) requires significant power reductions and OOBE limits to prevent
harmful interference to adjacent bands. Allowing mobile transmit operations would appear to leave
significant portions of the 2155-2180 MHz band underutilized.126 Moreover, in addition to interference
with adjacent AWS-1 and AWS-4 base station transmissions, allowing mobiles in the 2155-2180 MHz
band appears to create the potential for harmful mobile-to-mobile interference among AWS-3 licensees
with dissimilar operations in adjacent blocks or service areas.127 Accordingly, we propose to allow base
and fixed (downlink), but not mobile, operations in the 2155-2180 MHz band. Such operations are
compatible with similar downlink operations in the adjacent AWS-1 band (2110-2155 MHz) and AWS-4
band (2180-2200 MHz). By designating downlink next to downlink, we avoid having to impose guard
bands or significant technical limits between adjacent services, thereby increasing the amount of usable
spectrum. We seek comment on this proposal. We invite commenters who disagree with this proposal to
submit test data and specific technical analyses in support of the OOBE, power, and other technical limits
they recommend. Commenters should discuss and quantify the costs and benefits of this proposal and
any proposed alternative approaches.
b.

Mobile Transmit

44.
We propose to allow mobile transmit operations (but to prohibit high-power fixed and
base station operations) in the 1695-1710 MHz, 1755-1780 MHz, and 2020-2025 MHz bands. Again, we
intend to reduce the risk of harmful interference to adjacent band operations or the need for highly
restrictive technical limits that could leave some AWS-3 spectrum underutilized. Each of these bands is
adjacent, on one or both sides, to AWS uplink/mobile bands. The 1695-1710 MHz and 1755-1780 MHz
bands are adjacent to the AWS-1 uplink/mobile band (1710-1755 MHz) and the 2020-2025 MHz band is
adjacent to the AWS-4/MSS uplink/mobile band (2000-2020 MHz). Authorizing high-power base
stations in these AWS-3 bands would appear to raise the potential for base-to-base interference to the
adjacent band AWS-1 and AWS-4 services.128 Possibly, base-to-base interference could be controlled by
measures such as power limits, OOBE limits, siting restrictions, and coordination, but these measures
would appear to be burdensome and might result in a less robust use of these AWS-3 bands.
45.
Another potential impediment to high-power use of two of these bands--1695-1710 MHz
and 1755-1780 MHz --arises because AWS-3 use might be shared with Federal services. NTIA's
recommendations for sharing 1695-1710 MHz are predicated on the use of low-power AWS-3 mobiles, as
is CSMAC's ongoing analysis of potential sharing of the 1755-1850 MHz band.129 AWS-3 base stations
in these Federal bands have not been analyzed, to date, and proposing such operations herein would
appear to result in additional delay, costs, and the possibility of NTIA concluding that Federal/non-
Federal sharing is impossible, or feasible only under severe restrictions on high-power AWS-3 use of
these two bands.
46.
For these reasons, we propose to permit only low-power, mobile-to-base transmissions in
the 1695-1710 MHz, 1755-1780 MHz, and 2020-2025 MHz bands. We seek comment on this proposal.
We invite commenters who disagree with this proposal to submit test data and specific technical analyses

126 Id., 27 FCC Rcd at 16135 80.
127 We are proposing to license AWS-3 spectrum by geographic areas, using five-megahertz blocks. See infra 47-
52. By comparison, the Commission's 2008 proposal involved a single nationwide license for all 25 megahertz.
2008 FNPRM, 23 FCC Rcd at 9860 3.
128 Base-to-base interference occurs when transmissions from one base station interfere with another base station's
reception of communications. High-power stations in the 2020-2025 MHz band would also increase the potential
for interference to mobile BAS and CARS receivers in the 2025-2100 MHz band.
129 See supra 14-19.

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in support of the OOBE or other technical limits they recommend. Commenters should discuss and
quantify the costs and benefits of this proposal and any proposed alternative approaches.
2.

Spectrum Block Sizes

47.
In determining the spectrum block sizes for the AWS-3 bands, we seek to maximize
utility and allow for efficient use of these bands. We believe that a minimum bandwidth of five
megahertz is required to accommodate the fullest range of wireless services.130 Five-megahertz blocks
can be used for new technologies and can be used for some data services, including broadband Internet
access.131 The Commission has also found that five-megahertz blocks would provide entry opportunities
for small and rural service providers,132 and can be aggregated to provide greater capacity where
needed.133 We therefore propose to license the AWS-3 spectrum in five-megahertz blocks, and seek
comment on this proposal. Commenters should discuss and quantify the costs and benefits of this
proposal and any proposed alternatives.
3.

Spectrum Block Configuration

48.
We have generally licensed other bands that support mobile broadband services on a
paired basis, matching specific downlink and uplink bands.134 We recognize that the new AWS bands
proposed in this NPRM could be configured in any number of pairings or even auctioned on an unpaired
basis. We therefore seek comment on a range of options. Should we pair any of the AWS-3 band
segments discussed in this NPRM, and if so how should they be paired? Or should we not specify
pairing? Are there likely to be competitive effects of our choice that we should consider? If we adopt the
unpaired approach, are any administrative measures necessary to keep track of how spectrum blocks are
being used? Additionally, if the unpaired spectrum is used to support asymmetrical downlink operations,
are there particular bands with which carrier aggregation could most easily be accommodated? Are there
bands with which carrier aggregation of AWS-3 spectrum is not advisable due to potential
intermodulation or other interference? In any event, we seek comment on requiring uplink/mobiles in the
1695-1710 MHz and 1755-1780 MHz bands to transmit only when controlled by an associated base
station whose location can be coordinated with relevant Federal users should they be required to
implement Protection Zones described in section III.E below (Federal/non-Federal Sharing and
Coordination)
.135 We invite comment on what approach to take, and the costs and benefits of particular
approaches.
4.

Service Areas

a.

Geographic Area Licensing

49.
We propose to license all AWS-3 spectrum blocks using a geographic area licensing
approach, and we seek comment on this proposal. A geographic licensing approach appears well suited
for the types of fixed and mobile services that would likely be deployed in these bands. Additionally,
geographic licensing appears consistent with the licensing approach adopted for other bands that support

130 Incentive Auctions NPRM, 27 FCC Rcd at 12403 127-28.
131 See generally id.
132 See, e.g., Service Rules for Advanced Wireless Services in the 1.7 GHz and 2.1 GHz Bands, WT Docket No. 02-
353, Report and Order, 18 FCC Rcd 25162, 25178 44 (2003) ("AWS-1 Service Rules R&O").
133 See Incentive Auctions NPRM, 27 FCC Rcd at 12404 130.
134 See, e.g., 47 C.F.R. 27.5(h) (AWS-1).
135 For example, the Protection Zones for the 1695-1710 MHz band are premised on the distance between the
incumbent Federal operations and non-Federal base station(s) that will enable the AWS-3 uplink/mobile operations.
Thus, even though the base station does not transmit in the 1695-1710 MHz band, its location inside a Protection
Zone triggers the coordination requirement. See infra section III.E.1.a (Protection Zones for Incumbent Federal
Operations)
.

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mobile broadband services.136 Moreover, adopting a geographic areas licensing approach would seem to
allow the Commission to assign new initial licenses in these bands through a system of competitive
bidding in accordance with the Spectrum Act. We seek comment on this approach, including the costs
and benefits of adopting a geographic area licensing scheme. In the event that a party does not support
using geographic licensing for a given band, it should explain its position, describe what type of licensing
scheme it supports and identify the costs and benefits associated with its alternative licensing proposal.
Commenters should also address how an alternative licensing approach would be consistent with the
statutory requirement to assign licenses in these bands through a system of competitive bidding and the
statutory objectives that the Commission is required to promote in establishing methodologies for
competitive bidding.137
b.

Service Area Size

50.
If we use a geographic area approach for licensing these bands, we must determine the
appropriate size(s) of service areas on which licenses should be based. We seek to adopt a service area
for all bands that meets several statutory goals. These include facilitating access to spectrum by both
small and large providers, providing for the efficient use of the spectrum, encouraging deployment of
wireless broadband services to consumers, especially those in rural areas and tribal lands, and promoting
investment in and rapid deployment of new technologies and services consistent with our obligations
under Section 309(j) of the Communications Act.138
51.
Of the various geographic areas we might adopt here, Economic Areas ("EAs") represent
a natural market unit for local or regional service areas. The Bureau of Economic Analysis defines an EA
as "one or more economic nodes--metropolitan areas or similar areas that serve as centers of economic
activity--and the surrounding counties that are economically related to the nodes."139 EAs nest within
and may be aggregated up to larger license areas, such as Major Economic Areas ("MEAs") and Regional
Economic Area Groupings ("REAGs") for operators seeking larger service areas.140 EAs also represent a
close match to the geographic licensing approach used for the AWS-1 and AWS-4 bands.141 Given their
spectral proximity, the AWS-1 and AWS-4 bands appear to be the most likely candidates for ad hoc
operational consolidation with AWS-3 spectrum, in those cases where such consolidation may occur.
Using a compatible geographic licensing approach may therefore result in more efficient opportunities for
available spectrum to be put to use where needed.
52.
We therefore propose to license the AWS-3 bands on an EA basis (176 EAs) and seek
comment on this proposal and any alternatives. We ask commenters to discuss and quantify the
economic, technical, and other public interest considerations of licensing on an EA or other basis. We
also seek comment on whether there are costs and benefits to adopting our proposed EA licensing
approach for bands shared with Federal users. For example, to what extent do the Protection Zones of
incumbent Federal operations extend across EA boundaries and, if they do, is this a relevant factor to

136 See, e.g., 47 C.F.R. 27.6(h) and (i) (AWS-1 and AWS-4, respectively).
137 See 47 U.S.C. 309(j)(3)-(4).
138 See e.g., AWS-1 Service Rules R&O, 18 FCC Rcd 25162, 25174 31 (2003); see also 47 U.S.C. 309(j).
139 Final Redefinition of the BEA Economic Areas, 60 Fed. Reg. 13,114 (Mar. 10, 1995). There are 172 EAs. In
addition, the Commission separately licenses Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the United
States Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and the Gulf of Mexico, which have been assigned Commission-created EA
numbers 173-176, respectively. See 47 C.F.R. 27.6(a).
140 47 C.F.R. 27.6.
141 The AWS-1 B and C blocks and AWS-4 are licensed on an EA basis, and the AWS-1 D, E and F blocks are
licensed on an REAG basis. Only the AWS-1 A block is licensed on the smaller Metropolitan Statistical Area/Rural
Service Area (MSA/RSA) basis, which uses geographic areas that do not nest with EA/MEA/REAG areas. See 47
C.F.R. 27.6(h)(2), (i) (AWS-1 blocks licensed by EAs and AWS-4, respectively).

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consider in adopting EA licensing? We seek comment on alternative geographic area sizes that could be
used as the basis for licensing spectrum in these bands. Although we propose to separately license the
Gulf of Mexico separately consistent with AWS-1, AWS-4, and H Block, all of which license the Gulf as
a separate EA license,142 we also invite comment on whether to include the Gulf of Mexico as part of
larger service areas, as the Commission did for the Upper 700 MHz band.143 Commenters who advocate a
separate service area or areas to cover the Gulf of Mexico should discuss what boundaries should be used,
and whether special interference protection criteria or performance requirements are necessary due to the
unique radio propagation characteristics and antenna siting challenges that exist for Gulf licensees.

E.

Federal/non-Federal Sharing and Coordination

53.
Several of the bands included in this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking are presently
allocated for Federal use and are used by various Federal agencies to carry out their missions. Therefore,
enabling commercial access to these bands, if clearing is not practicable, may require some combination
of reallocation, relocation, sharing, and/or coordination. We seek comment on the most appropriate
solutions for particular bands, including those specifically identified below, that maximize commercial
access to these bands. These solutions may include clearing and reallocating, or where not feasible,
facilitating shared access to the bands. As noted above, NTIA intends for its CSMAC process to generate
actionable recommendations regarding non-Federal access to these bands. We intend to incorporate
NTIA's forthcoming recommendations into the record of this proceeding and anticipate that commenters
will discuss NTIA's recommendations, including corresponding rules and procedures the Commission
should adopt to effectuate them, in comments, reply comments, or written ex partes, as appropriate,
depending on the timing.
1.
1695-1710 MHz Federal/non-Federal Sharing Framework
54.
As noted above, in accordance with the Spectrum Act's mandate that NTIA identify
15 megahertz of spectrum for reallocation from Federal to non-Federal use, NTIA identified the 1695-
1710 MHz band and recommended that the Commission reallocate it for commercial use.144 In making
this recommendation, NTIA cited conclusions in the NTIA Fast Track Report, as well as
recommendations then being drafted by CSMAC Working Group 1 ("WG1"), that this band segment
could be reallocated for commercial use subject to the sharing framework described further below.145 On
April 19, 2013, NTIA recommended that the Commission use the WG1 Final Report recommendations in
drafting proposed rules to implement shared use of the 1695-1710 MHz band.146 Accordingly, we
propose that shared Federal and non-Federal use of the 1695-1710 MHz band follow the sharing
framework recommended by NTIA. This approach allows for exclusive commercial operations outside
predetermined Protection Zones without any Federal coordination, and for commercial operations inside
the Protection Zones after coordination to protect incumbent Federal operations. We seek comment
generally on the extent to which the proposed framework appropriately follows Congress' prioritization

142 See id. See also 47 C.F.R. 27.6(j ) (2013) (H Block); Service Rules for the 746-764 and 776-794 MHz Bands,
WT Docket No. 06-150, Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 22 FCC Rcd 8064, 8085
49 (2007) (700 MHz First Report and Order).
143 See Service Rules for the 746-764 and 776-794 MHz Bands, and Revisions to Part 27 of the Commission's
Rules, WT Docket No. 99-168, First Report and Order, 15 FCC Rcd 476, 500 56, n.137 (2000).
144 NTIA 1695-1710 MHz Identification Report at 1. In making this recommendation to the Commission, NTIA
recognized that, under Section 6401(b) of the Spectrum Act, the "FCC must allocate the spectrum identified in this
report for commercial use, adopt flexible-use service rules, and grant new initial licenses through a system of
competitive bidding no later than [February 22, 2015]. Id. at n.2 citing Spectrum Act 6401(b), 126 Stat. 222-223.
145 See NTIA 1695-1710 MHz Identification Report at 1-2.
146 See NTIA Recommendations Letter at 1.

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of relocation over sharing, except where technically or financially prohibitive.147 We seek comment on
more specific aspects of these recommendations below, as well as on any other sharing and coordination
issues or alternative approaches that are outside the scope of CSMAC's analyses and recommendations.
55.
The WG1 Final Report sets out a framework for sharing the band that protects both the
polar-orbiting satellites ("POES") that operate in the 1695-1710 MHz band as well as the geostationary
satellite earth stations that operate predominately in the adjacent 1675-1695 MHz band, but which overlap
slightly with the 1695-1710 MHz band.148 Additionally, WG1 established interference protection criteria
defining the allowed Interference Power Spectral Density ("IPSD") levels, tailored to each receiver's RF
characteristics. WG1 also refined the interference analysis methodology previously used for the NTIA
Fast Track Report
to more realistically model the operation of commercial LTE networks and draw the
parameters of the Protection Zones. The methodology used to derive the Protection Zones is provided in
Appendix 7 of the WG1 Final Report,149 but more work is needed to create all of the methods and
procedures necessary for the coordination process. As explained in the WG1 Final Report:
Details of the coordination framework are outline[d] in [WG1 Final Report]
Appendix 1. To create this coordination process, NTIA and FCC, in conjunction
with the affected federal agencies, need to establish: 1) a nationally-approved
interference prediction model, associated input parameters, and distribution of
aggregate IPSD limit among commercial licensees; 2) coordination procedures,
including an automated process, to the extent possible, to assess if the proposed
commercial network will meet the IPSD limits, to facilitate coordination allowing
commercial licensee operations within the Protection Areas; and 3) procedures
for implementing on-going real-time monitoring to ensure IPSD limits are not
being exceeded and that commercial operations can be adjusted immediately if
they are. The framework stipulates that the criteria and procedures for
coordination and operation within the Protection Zones, as well as enforcement
mechanisms, must still be clearly defined and subsequently codified in the FCC
rules and the NTIA manual, as appropriate.150

56.
The Commission has implemented a number of different coordination approaches in
other services with the aim of efficiently and expeditiously balancing access to spectrum against the need
to prevent harmful interference. For example, in the non-voice, non-geostationary mobile-satellite
service, prospective earth station licensees must coordinate with Federal government users prior to
operating.151 Similarly, our Part 101 rules for the Fixed Microwave Services set forth detailed frequency
coordination procedures152 and interference protection criteria.153 As discussed in greater detail below,

147 See supra 11.
148 Existing POES satellites are expected to be at end of life by 2030 as a new generation of satellites (GOES-R and
JPSS) are scheduled to be launched in 2016. Because the new satellites will operate outside of 1695-1720 MHz, it is
anticipated that commercial operations will have greater access to the band in the future after the current generation
of satellites is phased out. WG1 Final Report at 5 and App. 6 at 16.
149 See id. at App. 7 (Analysis Methodology Used to Compute Protection Distances for Federal Meteorological
Satellite Receivers).
150 Id. at 2 and App. 1 (A Framework for Federal Spectrum Sharing Rules for the 1695-1710 MHz Band) at 1-1.
151 See 47 C.F.R. 25.142(b)(2); see also 47 C.F.R. 25.279(b)(1).
152 See 47 C.F.R. 101.103.
153 See id. 101.105. Guidelines for applying the interference protection criteria are specified in the
Telecommunications Industry Association's Telecommunications Systems Bulletin TSB 10, "Interference Criteria
for Microwave Systems" (TSB 10). Other procedures that follow generally acceptable good engineering practices
are also acceptable to the Commission. See 47 C.F.R. 101.105(c).

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our Part 27 rules for the Advanced Wireless Services outline a coordination process that permits both
grandfathered Federal and non-Federal users to operate in the AWS-1 band.154 In general, our
coordination rules take as foundational that all parties subject to coordination will work in good faith to
accurately assess the potential for interference. We aim to provide flexibility to the parties involved to
conduct the interference analysis in an agreed-upon manner with an eye towards continually improving
accuracy.155
57.
Based on the Commission's experience with coordination, we tentatively agree with
NTIA's sharing framework recommendation, which is premised on coordination (assuming sharing is
necessary because relocation is not possible). In seeking comment on how to further develop and
implement NTIA's recommended sharing framework, we recognize, as did NTIA's recommendation, that
some criteria, procedures and mechanisms would be codified in the Commission's rules, while others
would be codified in the NTIA manual.156
a.

Protection Zones for Incumbent Federal Operations

58.
The framework for Federal and non-Federal shared operations in the band is predicated
on defined Protection Zones where commercial operations must meet strict coordination standards so as
to protect incumbent co-channel Federal polar orbiting satellites and adjacent Federal geo-stationary
operations in the 1675-1695 MHz band.157 NTIA's earlier Fast Track report had identified the 1695-1710
MHz band for reallocation subject to 18 Exclusion Zones that covered larger geographic areas where non-
Federal operations would be prohibited, thereby limiting commercial operations in the band.158 WG1
conducted further analyses, and refined the technical parameters for conducting interference analyses,
including LTE system parameters, propagation models, and Federal systems parameters to more
accurately depict real world operation of LTE networks and their interaction with the incumbent systems.
WG1's analysis also assumed that 1695-1710 MHz would be a mobile uplink band. Overall, the analysis
resulted in a significant reduction in the anticipated distance at which an LTE system would potentially
cause harmful interference to a Federal earth station receiver.159 Additionally, given the wide range of
measures that can be taken to further mitigate the potential interference, WG1 recommended the use of
Protection Zones (coordination areas) rather than Exclusion Zones. The WG1 effort focused on the 18
sites identified in the NTIA Fast Track Report and some locations the NTIA Fast Track Report considered
as single locations but included multiple antennas that are widely spaced.160 With the reductions in the
separation distances in the NTIA Fast Track Report, the WG1 Final Report notes that it may be necessary
to list each of these antennas separately to ensure adequate protection.161 Additionally, Government
participants in WG1 identified additional sites that they believe warrant protection and stated that they

154 See discussion infra at 67 and 47 C.F.R. 27.1134 (Protection of Federal Government Operations).
155 See WG1 Final Report at 5 ("[t]hese results may be further refined on a case by case basis as transition
discussions begin.")
156 We also note that some matters may be appropriately addressed as part of the FCC-NTIA coordination process
and/or in jointly released documents.
157 WG1 Final Report at 2. The GOES satellites, though primarily operating in spectrum adjacent to 1695-1710
MHz, overlap with the 1695-1710 MHz band by 250 kilohertz. For purposes of the interference analysis, they are
treated as co-channel. See also WG1 Final Report, Appendix 1 (A Framework for Federal Spectrum Sharing Rules
for the 1695-1710 MHz Band).
158 NTIA Fast Track Report at 2-1.
159 WG1 Final Report at 3-4.
160 Id. at 4.
161 Id.

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intend to raise the issue with NTIA.162 The agencies identified an additional 22 sites operating in and
adjacent to the 1695-1710 MHz band. On June 18, 2013, WG1 reported to the CSMAC that it completed
its analysis to compute protection distances for the new sites and consolidated sites with overlapping
zones, reducing the number of new sites to nine for a total of 27 sites that require protection.163 Although
the full CSMAC and NTIA have not yet approved the revised list, our proposal below assumes that
CSMAC and NTIA will approve/endorse a final list of Protection Zones substantially as recommended by
Working Group 1 but interested parties should be aware that neither assumption can be guaranteed, in
which case the final list of Protection Zones could differ from the proposal below.
59.
As previously stated, reflecting WG1's latest analysis, we are proposing to allow
uplink/mobile and low power fixed operations in this band when enabled by a base station(s) that is (1)
not located within a Protection Zone, or (2) located within a Protection Zone and successfully coordinated
with Federal incumbents.164 These Protection Zones are depicted in Table 1 below, which provide
maximum protection distances that we propose to adopt. We seek comment on this proposal.



162 Id. at 4, n.4.
163 CSMAC Working Group 1 Report, 1695-1710 MHz Meteorological-Satellite (draft, June 18, 2013), available at
http://www.ntia.doc.gov/other-publication/2013/csmac-working-group-1-wg-1-report-18-june-2013">http://www.ntia.doc.gov/other-publication/2013/csmac-working-group-1-wg-1-report-18-june-2013.
164 Such base stations would not transmit in the 1695-1710 MHz band. Rather, these stations would enable
uplink/mobiles within range to transmit in the 1695-1710 MHz band.

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Fast Track Report Sites


Earth Station Location


Latitude


Longitude


Maximum Protection

Population Impacted


Distance (km)


(%)
Wallops Island, Virginia
375645 N
752745 W
30
0.0088
Fairbanks, Alaska
645822 N
1473002 W
20
0.0329
Suitland, Maryland
385107 N
765612 W
98
3.129
Miami, Florida
254405 N
800945 W
51
1.5114
Hickam AFB, Hawaii
211918 N
1575730 W
28
0.3866
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
434409 N
963733 W
42
0.0874
Cincinnati, Ohio
390610 N
843035 W
32
0.5041
Rock Island, Illinois
413104 N
903346 W
19
0.1180
St. Louis, Missouri
383526 N
901225 W
34
0.6650
Vicksburg, Mississippi
322047 N
905010 W
16
0.0119
Omaha, Nebraska
412056 N
955734 W
30
0.2596
Sacramento, California
383550 N
1213234 W
55
0.9022
Elmendorf AFB, Alaska
611408 N
1495531 W
98
0.1664
Andersen AFB, Guam
133452 N
1445528 E
42
0.0683
Monterey, California
363534 N
1215120 W
76
0.3294
Stennis Space Center, Mississippi
302123 N
893641 W
57
0.2465
Twenty-Nine-Palms, California
341746 N
1160944 W
80
0.2191
Yuma, Arizona
323924 N
1143622 W
95
0.1321
8.78

New Sites


Barrow, Alaska
711922 N
1563641 W
35
0.00183
Boise, Idaho
433542 N
1161349 W
39
0.20683
Boulder, Colorado
395926 N
1051551W
2
0.0001
Columbus Lake, Mississippi
333204 N
883006 W
3
0.0001
Fairmont, West Virginia
392602 N
801133 W
4
0.00210
Guaynabo, Puerto Rico
182526 N
660650 W
48
0.6169
Kansas City, Missouri
391640 N
943944 W
40
0.4799
Knoxville, Tennessee
355758 N
835513 W
50
0.1679
Norman, Oklahoma
351052 N
972621 W
3
0.0001
1.48

Total 10.26


Table 1. Protection Zones for Federal Earth Stations

b.

Coordination Interference Analysis; Potential Refinements

60.
As noted above, to create this coordination process for Federal Earth Stations, NTIA and
the FCC in conjunction with the affected Federal agencies, need to establish a nationally-approved
interference prediction model, associated input parameters, and distribution of aggregate IPSD limits
among commercial licensees.165 WG1 established interference protection criteria (defined as IPSD
limits), setting permitted power spectral density levels at the inputs to the protected meteorological
satellite receivers.166 WG1 adopted an interference-based approach to coordination, requiring that the
commercial operator not be allowed to operate within the defined Protection Zones unless an engineering
analysis demonstrated that the proposed operations would not cause interference in excess of the
prescribed power spectral density limits. The Protection Zones themselves were developed based on an
interference analysis of a theoretical grid-based network of base stations, according to the methodology

165 See quotation in 55, infra.
166 See, e.g., WG1 Final Report, App. 2.

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documented in the report. NTIA recognized that some of the initial technical parameters and techniques
that WG1 developed were conservative, but adequate for providing a first order estimation of potential
interference sufficient for triggering coordination.167 Potential refinements include interference protection
criteria, application thereof where multiple operators may coexist with a single Federal receiver,
refinement of the propagation model, and use of clutter and terrain.168 We therefore seek general
comment on the interference analysis described in the WG1 Final Report, including potential
clarifications or solutions to unresolved issues identified in the report. We also seek comment on
potential refinements to this methodology.
61.
WG1 placed particular emphasis on the interference prediction model to be used for the
analysis as a critical area in need of improvement.169 There was considerable discussion on the
appropriate propagation model to incorporate in the analysis. The central issues raised in determining the
appropriate propagation model were how to account for clutter losses and time variability of interference,
and predicting the impact of the length of the transmission paths.170 With respect to the proper
propagation modeling to be used, the WG1 Final Report noted that "differences in propagation models
and application of terrain and clutter losses has a dramatic impact on results and can vary results by as
much as 40 dB."171 Incorporation of appropriate improvements in the methodology and the accuracy of
the technical parameters used could free up substantial proportions of the Protection Zones for
commercial operations. Ultimately, the propagation model used to determine the distances for the
Protection Zones was the point-to-point Irregular Terrain Model ("ITM").172 WG1 was unable to agree
upon the incorporation of clutter losses in the ITM model and concluded that "the analysis results would
be accurate enough for the intended purpose of recommending Protection Zones."173 Is the ITM model,
configured as described in the WG1 Final Report, sufficient for the purposes of coordination? How
should clutter be addressed? What other propagation models, as defined by standards bodies or other
organizations, are appropriate for use in coordination? Can measurement data be used in place of
predictions for particular sites or situations? Are there other commercial software products that would be
more suitable to conduct the interference analyses required? A number of concerns about the propagation
model are noted in the discussion in Appendix 7, particularly concerns from the Federal users about long
term fading effects and atmospheric ducting which may under predict interference in some of the models
proposed by industry. We seek comment on these issues and encourage proponents of any particular
propagation model(s) to specifically address any concerns previously raised by Federal or non-Federal
users, as applicable.
62.
WG1 adopted interference protection criteria based on an interference-to-noise ratio
("I/N") of -10 dB. In its report, WG1 identified that further consideration was needed regarding the
application of the criteria. The interference protection criterion WG1 developed for its analysis is fairly
well-defined in the report. Specifically, the total power level of acceptable interference to government
receivers was limited to 10 dB below the protected receiver's effective system noise floor as measured at
the receiver IF stage.174 The WG1 Final Report specifically raised the question of whether a 10 dB I/N

167 Id. at 4. "[I]it was determined that the analysis results would be accurate enough for the intended purpose of
recommending Protection Zones and that further refinement of the interference analysis was not necessary at this
time
." Id. (emphasis added).
168 See generally id. at 2.
169 Id..
170 Id, Appendix 7 at 5-6.
171 Id. at 4.
172 Id., Appendix 7 at 5.
173 Id. at 4, also noting "and that further refinement of the interference analysis was not necessary at that time."
174 Id., Appendix 7 at 9. See also WG1 Final Report at 2 and Appendix 2 (Calculation of IPSD).

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target would be sufficient in the presence of multiple commercial operators.175 One case where this may
occur is when a protected receiver is located near the geographic boundary between two commercial
operators where the interference could aggregate from multiple service providers.176 Should the
interference levels provided in Table 4 of Appendix 7177 of the WG1 Final Report be adopted as the
required protection criteria for a single commercial operator?178 That is, a request for coordination would
not be rejected as long as the predicted aggregate interference from that operator fell below the levels in
Table 4. Alternatively, should an I/N of -10 dB be applied to the total interference from all operators
whose base stations lie within the protection zone? If so, how should the interference be apportioned
among multiple operators? We seek comment on the appropriate interference criteria. We also seek
comment on how to apply these interference criteria in the case of multiple operators.
63.
The WG1 Final Report recommended that coordination within the Protection Zones
address both in-band and adjacent band interference issues but did not clearly identify requirements for
the protection of adjacent operations. We believe that clarifying this recommendation would be helpful to
both Federal and non-Federal operators. For example, should protection distances or interference criteria
be different for adjacent channel operations versus co-channel operations? The only mention of adjacent
channel operations refers to the GOES satellite earth stations. It is clear, that not only must the POES
systems operating in the 1695-1710 MHz band be protected, but also the GOES systems operating
primarily in the 1675-1695 MHz band. While WG1 categorized the GOES system as an adjacent band
operation, some of the operations are actually co-channel. The emission of GOES systems overlaps into
the 1695-1710 MHz band by 250 kilohertz. The methodology used in the interference analysis accounts
for both the selectivity of the satellite receivers and the out-of-band emission levels of the mobiles
operating outside of the earth station's operating band. Thus, there are existing mechanisms in the
methodology that can address adjacent channel concerns. There is a question as to whether purely
adjacent channel operations could exist. For example, are there cases where GOES and POES receivers
are not co-located or all POES carriers are not in use at a particular site and thus may not be co-channel to
a particular commercial operator using one of the three 5 megahertz blocks proposed under the band plan?
Are further refinements to the methodology needed to account for adjacent channel scenarios? We
propose that all commercial operators within the specified protection distance of a protected receiver,
whether they are co-channel or adjacent channel (operating within the 1695-1710 MHz band) coordinate
with the Federal users in the band. Should this proceeding be used to establish Protection Zones and
guidelines for adjacent channel operations as well?
64.
One example of an expected change to the methodology is the commercial system base
station configuration. In developing the interference calculation methodology for coordination, WG1
performed a basic analysis using a network of base stations placed along a uniform grid. However, it is
expected that any coordination will use the actual site locations for planned base station deployments.
This raises the question of whether other modifications of the methodology may be needed to provide a
more realistic assessment of the interference calculation. With the goal of facilitating a fair and equitable
coordination process, should the Commission jointly establish with NTIA minimum requirements for the
interference analysis and/or a set of best practices for conducting the engineering analysis? If so, what
requirements are needed? Are there additions or improvements to these parameters that should be
considered? Are there any other technical requirements or techniques that should be set in this
proceeding? Are there established models and methodologies in existing standards or regulatory bodies
that could be adopted? Commenters are asked to discuss the pros and cons of the recommended

175 Id., Appendix 1-1 (NTIA and FCC, in coordination with the affected Federal agencies, will establish acceptable
methods for distribution of the aggregate IPSD limits among commercial wireless licensees).
176 Id., Appendix 1-1.
177 Id., Appendix 7 at 9. See also WG1 Final Report at 2 and Appendix 2.
178 See Id., Appendix 7 Table 4. See also WG1 Final Report at 2 and Appendix 2 (IPSD calculation).

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methodology, and provide detailed arguments on any improvements that can be made to the
recommended analysis.
c.

Coordination Procedures

65.
We seek comment on what coordination procedures would best effectuate the
recommendations of the WG1 Final Report. As noted above, the Commission has employed a variety of
coordination models in different wireless and satellite services. We seek comment on whether any
existing coordination models or elements of those coordination models may be applicable to the 1695-
1710 MHz band. To the extent that existing models do not or only partially apply, we seek comment on
other approaches that address the unique circumstances surrounding Federal/non-Federal sharing in this
band. We especially seek comment on any and all issues related to coordination that are expressly
mentioned in the WG1 Final Report.
66.
Process Initiation. We ask commenters to propose methods by which a licensee can
initiate the coordination process. Should we provide any guidance on coordination timelines? Should
we set a specific time frame by which licensees are required to initiate the coordination process, i.e., how
much advance notice should a licensee provide prior to commencing operations? Should there be time
limits established on various phases of the coordination process itself? If a licensee intends to alter
operating plans after reaching a coordination agreement, should it have to fully re-coordinate with the
applicable Federal agencies? How should the Commission coordinate with NTIA in facilitating an
effective coordination procedure, consistent with our respective roles under the Spectrum Act?
67.
AWS-1 Precedent. In particular, we seek comment on whether the coordination
procedures established for non-Federal licensees to gain early access to adjacent AWS-1 uplink band
(1710-1755 MHz) could serve as a model for coordination in the 1695-1710 MHz band. In AWS-1,
recognizing the importance of protecting the Federal operations while opening up the spectrum to newly
licensed commercial users, the Commission worked closely with NTIA to craft a coordination procedure
before the full band transition was completed. Prior to operating, the AWS-1 licensee was required to
contact the appropriate Federal agency to get information necessary to perform an interference analysis.179
The AWS-1 licensee would first perform the interference analysis and then send it to the appropriate
designated agency contact for review.180 At the end of 60 days, if the Federal agency raised no objection,
the AWS-1 licensee was permitted to commence operations.181 NTIA required Federal agencies to
cooperate with AWS-1 licensees and provide, within 30 days of a request from an AWS-1 licensee
wishing to operate within a coordination zone, site-specific technical information that would allow the
licensee to complete the interference analysis.182 NTIA also required agencies that disapprove of an
interference analysis submitted by an AWS-1 licensee to provide the licensee with a detailed rationale for
its disapproval.183 Finally, Federal agencies were required to work in good faith to identify the source of
the harmful interference and work with AWS-1 licensees to eliminate or mitigate the interference.184
Would a similar procedure work here? If so, what exact procedures and timelines would be appropriate?
What is the best way to ensure balanced treatment of Federal and non-Federal users' interests?
Commenters are asked to provide the reasoning for their suggestions, and to discuss our authority to
implement these suggestions, where applicable.

179 The Federal Communications Commission and the National Telecommunications and Information
Administration--Coordination Procedures in the 1710-1755 MHz Band, Public Notice, 21 FCC Rcd 4730 (2006)
(AWS-1 Coordination Procedures PN).
180 Id., 21 FCC Rcd at 4733.
181 Id.
182 Id.
183 Id.
184 Id.

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68.
Appeals. We seek comment on whether we should adopt an appeals process for licensees
whose coordination proposals are rejected by the government agency or the final decision maker in the
coordination process. If so, who should adjudicate the appeals and what should be the criteria for
reversal?
69.
Interference Power Spectral Density ("IPSD") Limits. To facilitate coordination, the
WG1 Final Report also recommended, to the extent possible, an automated process with the ability to
assess if proposed commercial networks will meet predetermined IPSD limits.185 We seek comment on
the extent to which such a process is possible and, if so, how best to implement this recommendation.
Are there automated processes already in place that we could adapt to this situation? How much of the
coordination process can be automated? What are the challenges associated with such an approach and
are they surmountable? Would the benefits of implementation exceed the associated costs? The WG1
Final Report
also recommended establishment of a testing program that would "demonstrate the viability
and effectiveness of proposed protection and mitigation methods before commercial licensees may begin
operations within a Protection Zone."186 We seek comment on establishing such a program. What would
it entail? Are there existing testing programs that can serve as a model?
70.
Enforcement. The WG1 Final Report states that clear enforcement procedures must be
established in order to protect Federal operations within the Protection Zones.187 We seek comment on
ways to deter and terminate commercial operations from causing harmful interference to Federal
operations through violations of the rules or of a coordination agreement. How should commercial
operators be notified to cease operations in such a situation? What can or should be done in the event that
there is a dispute between the parties as to the actual source of interference? Do our existing enforcement
procedures provide adequate remedies or do the special circumstances of this band require additional
enforcement mechanisms? What remedies, above and beyond notice to stop operations, are appropriate in
such circumstances? Would fines and/or loss of license be appropriate in this case? Commenters are
encouraged to propose adequate enforcement mechanisms that will ensure that incumbent Federal
operations do not suffer harmful interference.
71.
The WG1 Final Report notes that real-time monitoring of IPSD limits with automated
adjustments would be ideal in order to ensure that the established interference limits are not being
exceeded.188 Ideally, this real-time monitoring could quickly detect violations and facilitate immediate
adjustments to commercial operations so as to prevent harmful interference to Federal operations.
However, a real-time monitoring system would not necessarily determine the source of the problem. We
seek comment on whether establishing a real-time monitoring mechanism is possible and feasible. If so,
commenters are invited to describe how this can be accomplished.
d.

Relocating Federal government receive locations in the 1695-1710
MHz band

72.
Some of the Protection Zones set forth in Table 1 above are located in highly populated
urban areas where there is a continuously rising demand for commercial broadband services.189 NTIA did
not have the opportunity to study the possibility of relocating Federal receive sites in the band.190
Accordingly, and in response to an industry suggestion, NTIA recommends that before auction, the
feasibility and cost impact of relocating Federal operations in the 1695-1710 MHz band be explored for

185 WG1 Final Report at 2 and App. 2 (Calculation of IPSD).
186 Id. at 2.
187 Id. at 2.
188 Id. at 2.
189 Id. at 7.
190 Id. at 7.

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the top 100 markets, with the goal of creating an environment where there would be less restricted
commercial use of the band within the Protection Zones.191 If any studies consistent with this
recommendation are conducted, we intend to incorporate them into the record of this proceeding. Further,
NTIA has identified some challenges that a Federal receiver relocation study should address. These
include ensuring that:
1) a receive site is located in a suitable area to capture necessary data, 2) the location is in
a rural enough area to minimize the size of or need for Protection Zones in high
population areas, 3) reliable power is available, 4) adequate and redundant backhaul
facilities can be established to ensure highly reliable reception of data, 5) any delay in
receiving raw satellite data introduced by a remote receiver is minimal and does not
negatively impact the government mission, and 6) any suitable site is able to meet
applicable environmental statutory regulatory requirements to build-out such a facility.192

We seek comment on how to address these challenges, again, within the restricted time frame.
Commenters should also address, if possible, anticipated relocation/installation costs and timelines for
relocation. We also ask commenters to address whether, if we proceed to formulate regulations and
conduct an initial auction based on the recommended Protection Zones, it still would be appropriate and
feasible to conduct the relocation study thereafter, or whether there would be no benefits to such a study
subsequent to an initial auction of 1695-1710 MHz with the associated Protection Zones.

2.
1755-1780 MHz
73.
NTIA established CSMAC Working Groups 2-5 to analyze ways to facilitate commercial
operations in the 1755-1780 MHz band.193 To date, NTIA has endorsed the recommendations of Working
Group 2 (Federal law enforcement surveillance systems, explosive ordnance disposal systems, and other
short distant links). We anticipate that Working Groups 3-5 will, in the coming months, present their
recommendations to NTIA,194 which will, in turn, make recommendations addressing the remaining
Federal systems in the band to the Commission. We seek comment on appropriate relocation or sharing
arrangements for these systems if relocation is not feasible. As noted above, we intend to incorporate
NTIA's forthcoming recommendations into the record of this proceeding and anticipate that commenters
will discuss NTIA's recommendations in comments, reply comments, or ex parte presentations, as
appropriate, depending on the timing.
74.
As mentioned above, NTIA endorses the recommendations of WG2 that Federal law
enforcement surveillance systems, explosive ordnance disposal systems, and other short distant links can
be relocated out of the band within five years, once funding and comparable spectrum are available.195
NTIA also endorses Working Group 2's recommendations ranking Economic Areas to be transitioned
according to industry implementation priorities.196 NTIA notes that while industry would prefer Federal
relocation based on the ranking of economic areas ("EAs") on the suggested list, the agencies will need to
establish their timelines for clearing based on their operational requirements and that, in some cases,
operational needs may require clearing larger geographic areas.197 Accordingly, NTIA clarifies that the
prioritized list of EAs will serve as an input for consideration as the agencies develop their transition

191 Id. at 7.
192 Id. at 7.
193 See, e.g., WG2 Final Report at 4.
194 See NTIA Recommendations Letter at 1.
195 WG2 Final Report at 6.
196 Id. at 6-12.
197 See NTIA Recommendations Letter at 2.

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plans.198 Furthermore, due to the agencies' challenges in planning and implementing the transition of
these systems without impacting operational requirements, NTIA states that prospective bidders should
understand that agencies may not be able to vary significantly from the timelines in their published
transition plans, unless the Office of Management and Budget ("OMB") approves accelerated
implementation payments.199
75.
In the event that clearing is not feasible, we must prepare for the possibility that CSMAC
may present a "hybrid" recommendation, in which some operations would be relocated,200 some would
share the band with commercial licensees, and some (in geographic exclusion zones) would not share the
band.201 If so, and if the NTIA endorses the CSMAC recommendations, we could adopt Protection
Zones, Exclusion Zones, and other sharing measures to clearly define the potential for Federal and
commercial operations to share the 1755-1780 MHz band (spectrally, geographically, temporally,
dynamically, or any combination of these). We seek comment on what sharing measures would
appropriately maximize commercial access to the spectrum. We intend to incorporate NTIA's
forthcoming recommendations into the record of this proceeding and anticipate that commenters will
discuss NTIA's recommendations in comments, reply comments, or ex parte presentations, as
appropriate, depending on the timing. We also expect that commenters will discuss the CSMAC's
specific recommendations as well as various implementation details, including on the coordination
processes required for shared use of the band.
76.
Anticipating the possibility that CSMAC and NTIA are unable to recommend clearly
defined sharing parameters, we also seek comment on whether to issue "overlay" licenses that would
permit new licensees to gain access to the 1755-1780 MHz band only if they are able to reach
coordination agreements with affected Federal users, i.e., "operator-to-operator" coordination.202 Under
this alternative, we would adopt rules to license the 1755-1780 MHz band on a non-harmful interference
basis to, and subject to accepting harmful interference from, Federal incumbents that are not relocating or,
if they are relocating, until they are relocated under an approved plan.203 We seek comment on this
proposal.204

198 See WG2 Final Report at 12. NTIA further recommends that the FCC include the proposed prioritization list in
this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to give broad notice to commercial operators regarding the list. See NTIA
Recommendations Letter
at 2-3.
199 NTIA must make the transition plans, with the exception of classified or other sensitive information, publicly
available on its website no later than 120 days before the auction start date. 47 U.S.C. 923(h)(5). OMB may, in
consultation with NTIA, make additional payments to eligible Federal entities that are implementing a transition
plan in order to encourage such entities to complete the implementation more quickly, thereby encouraging more
timely access to the eligible frequencies. Id. at 928(f)(2)), 923(g)(3)(A)(v).
200 See supra note 92.
201 See supra note 93.
202 See e.g., 47 C.F.R. 27.53(h)(4). See also AWS-4 Service Rules R&O, 27 FCC Rcd. at 16149 109 (noting an
operator-to-operator agreement between DISH and Federal users of the adjacent 2200-2290 MHz band, which NTIA
transmitted to the Commission).
203 The Spectrum Act includes provisions that condition transfers from the Spectrum Relocation Fund to a Federal
incumbent conditioned on (1) the Federal incumbent's submission of a transition plan, (2) the approval of the
transition plan by a newly created Technical Panel, and (3) the publication of the plan on NTIA's Website. 47
U.S.C. 928(c)(2).
204 For a recent example of such an overlay license approach, see Amendment of Parts 1 and 22 of the Commission's
Rules with Respect to the Cellular Service, Including Changes in Licensing of Unserved Areas, Notice of Proposed
Rulemaking and Order,
27 FCC Rcd 1745 (2012). See also Fresno Mobile Radio, Inc. v. FCC, 165 F.3d 965 (D.C.
Cir. 1999).

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77.
Finally, as another alternative, we seek comment on the possibility that the 1755-1780
MHz band remain for exclusive Federal use and how that would affect the band configurations described
in section III.D above (Band-Use Configurations) and our Spectrum Act obligation to identify an
additional 15 megahertz of contiguous spectrum to allocate and auction for commercial use.
a.

Industry Roadmap

78.
As noted above,205 T-Mobile recently filed a wireless industry proposal (Industry
Roadmap) for making the 1755-1780 MHz band available for commercial use in time to auction the band
at the same time as the 2155-2180 MHz band, which the Spectrum Act requires to be auctioned and
licensed by February 2015.206 The Industry Roadmap assesses Federal operations in the 1.7 GHz band
and proposes a combination of sharing, relocation, and channel prioritization for the majority of Federal
operations in the 1755-1850 MHz band to provide industry early access to the 1755-1780 MHz portion of
the band. The Industry Roadmap also acknowledges that additional study is necessary. We add this
filing to the record of this proceeding and seek comment on the Industry Roadmap.
b.

DoD Alternative Proposal

79.
Also, as noted above,207 on July 22, 2013, NTIA transmitted to the Commission
correspondence to NTIA from the Chief Information Officer of the DoD that outlines a proposal for
making 1755-1780 MHz available for auction and licensing in the near term, while protecting critical
DoD capabilities and preserving the necessary flexibility to address the long-term status of the 1780-1850
MHz portion of the band.208 NTIA states that it only recently received this proposal and is not in a
position to endorse it at this time.209 According to DoD, under its proposal:
1. DoD retains access to the 1780-1850 MHz band
2. DoD is provided shared access to 2025 - 2110 MHz band, removing the need to relocate
broadcasters
3. DoD is not provided access to 5150-5250 MHz for telemetry, leaving the band available for
Wi-Fi consideration
4. DoD will modify selected systems to operate at both 1780- 1850 MHz & 2025-2110 MHz.
These include Small Unmanned Aerial Systems, Tactical Targeting Network
Technology, Tactical Radio Relay, and High Resolution Video systems
5. DoD will modify selected systems to operate in other existing Federal bands as
identified: Precision Guided Munitions to 1435- 1525 MHz, Point-to-Point Microwave
Links to 7125- 8500 MHz, and DoD Video Surveillance/Robotics to 4400-4940 MHz
6. DoD systems will share spectrum with commercial users in the 1755-1780 MHz band as
follows: Satellite Operations (SA TOPS), Electronic Warfare (EW), Air Combat Training System
(ACTS) (where required), and Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) at 6 sites.

205 See supra 22.
206 Letter from Steve Sharkey, T-Mobile U.S., Inc., to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, Federal Communications
Commission, WT Docket Nos. 10-123, 07-195 (dated Jun. 24, 2013), at Attachment, Industry Roadmap to Assessing
the 1755-1850 MHz Band
(assesses the entire 1755-1850 MHz band in a manner that considers making the lower
band (1755-1780 MHz) available first, but also addresses the rest of the band up to 1850 MHz in order to meet
Federal agencies' concerns. The plan takes into account the NTIA instructions given to the CSMAC Working
Groups, which were directed to consider a plan that lowers the repurposing costs and/or improves or facilitates
industry access while protecting Federal operations from adverse impact). See id., T-Mobile Letter, at 1.
207 See supra 23.
208 NTIA July 2013 Letter at 1. See also id., Enclosure 1 (Letter from Teresa M. Takai, Chief Information Officer,
DoD, to Lawrence E. Strickling, Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information, NTIA, U.S. Dept. of
Commerce (July 17 2013).
209 NTIA July 2013 Letter at 1.

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7. DoD will compress remaining operations into 1780 - 1850 MHz
8. Estimate of DoD costs is* $3.5B for 25 MHz.210

In the interest of obtaining input from all interested stakeholders on this proposal, as NTIA has
requested,211 we are adding this correspondence to the record of this proceeding and seeking public
comment on it as part of the AWS-3 rulemaking.

F.

Increased Federal Access to Spectrum through Sharing

80.
The 2013 Presidential Memorandum strongly encourages the FCC, in collaboration with
NTIA, where appropriate, to enable innovative and flexible commercial uses of spectrum, including
broadband, to be deployed as rapidly as possible. The 2013 Presidential Memorandum also encourages a
number of steps including identifying spectrum allocated for non-Federal uses that can be made available
for Federal agencies, on a shared or exclusive basis.212
1.

Federal Use of AWS-3 Spectrum including 2155-2180

81.
Shared use of spectrum bands by Federal and non-Federal users could facilitate the
increased use of "commercial-off-the-shelf" ("COTS") communication technologies to support important
government missions, including military uses. By allowing government users to tap into global scale
economies of the commercial market, the use of COTS devices, networks, and components could
potentially help improve the performance and cost of certain government communications systems, where
appropriate.213 Moreover, the use of such technologies might also increase electromagnetic compatibility
with commercial uses, thereby facilitating greater shared use of spectrum. Accordingly, we seek
comment on whether Federal users should be able to access the AWS-3 band(s), including spectrum not
presently allocated for Federal use (e.g., 2155-2180 MHz), on Federal lands or properties that are
generally unserved by commercial wireless networks. We seek comment on the benefits and drawbacks
of this proposal. We would expect that such locations might include, for example, military training
ranges in otherwise unpopulated areas and that Federal use of the band would be on terms and conditions
consistent with the commercial service rules we establish in this proceeding and in future proceedings.
We seek comment on specific locations where such access would be appropriate or inappropriate, as well

210 See NTIA July 2013 Letter, Enclosure 1.
211 See NTIA July 2013 Letter at 1. NTIA notes that it has not forwarded two attachments to the DoD letter that
have not yet been approved for public release, but that these attachments will be submitted when such approval is
received. Id at n.1.
212 See 2013 Presidential Memorandum at Sec. 7((b).
213 See, e.g., Implementing Public Safety Broadband Provisions of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act
of 2012, PS Docket No. 12-94, Comments of Ericsson at 2-3 (filed May 24, 2013) (advising Commission to
maintain as a key guiding principle in developing the rules for a nationwide public safety network, the ability of
public safety providers to use commercial off-the-shelf-technologies; Reply Comments of Oceus Networks at 3-5
(filed Jun. 10, 2013) (states that in developing LTE-based systems for the U.S. military, it understands that deviation
from standards will impact the availability of devices, increase costs, and prevent public safety users from fully
leveraging the commercial industry's research and development investments and that failure to adhere to
commercial standards will prevent public safety's ability to cost-effectively take advantage of future iterations of
LTE and standard commercial technologies). See also U.S. Department of Defense, DOD Releases Commercial
Mobile Device Implementation Plan, News Release No. 108-13 (Feb. 26, 2013),
http://www.defense.gov/releases/release.aspx?releaseid=15833">http://www.defense.gov/releases/release.aspx?releaseid=15833, citing DoD Mobile Device Strategy and
Implementation Plan,http://www.defense.gov/news/dodmobilitystrategy.pdf"> http://www.defense.gov/news/dodmobilitystrategy.pdf and
http://www.defense.gov/news/DoDCMDImplementationPlan.pdf">http://www.defense.gov/news/DoDCMDImplementationPlan.pdf ("The CMD Implementation Plan establishes the
framework to equip users and managers with mobile solutions that leverage commercial off-the-shelf products,
improve functionality, decrease cost, and enable increased personal productivity." Id., Attach. 1 at 1. Researches
Aim to Bring Smart Phones to Warfighters, News, American Forces Press Service (Dec. 2, 2010)
http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=61917">http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=61917.

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as comment on a regulatory framework that would enable such use in a manner consistent with the
Communications Act and the ongoing commercial use of these bands. We seek specific comment on any
amendments to Section 2.103 of our rules or any other rules that might be appropriate for Federal use of
such bands.214
2.

Increased Federal access 2025-2110 MHz and 5150-5250 MHz bands

82.
As noted above, NTIA indicates that in certain Federal relocation scenarios, DoD and
other Federal incumbents in the 1755-1850 MHz band would need access to other bands specifically, that
certain aeronautical systems could relocate to the 2025-2110 MHz and 5150-5250 MHz bands.215 NTIA
subsequently transmitted a more recent proposal from DoD that implicates the 2025-2110 MHz band but
not the 5150-5250 MHz band.216 We seek comment on these and any alternative relocation concepts,
including the viability of repacking incumbents into the 1780-1850 MHz band, recognizing that most
commenters will not have access to information about Federal system characteristics or mission
requirements. Nonetheless, we seek comment on the potential benefits and costs of implementing such a
relocation, particularly with respect to existing and potential future uses of those bands. In section III.I
below (Allocation Matters) we se
ek comment on any changes to the Table of Frequency Allocations that
would be necessary.

G.

Technical Rules

83.
Our rules for the AWS-3 bands must take account of the potential for permissible
operations to cause harmful interference to operations in other service areas, blocks or bands. In the
proposed band plan, AWS-3 spectrum would be licensed in five-megahertz blocks using EA licenses.217
Interference must therefore be considered between adjacent AWS-3 blocks, e.g., between 2155-2160
MHz and 2160-2165 MHz, as well as between AWS-3 operations in the 2155-2180 MHz band and
services in the adjacent AWS-1 and AWS-4 bands. Similarly, AWS-3 mobiles could interfere with
proximate Federal or non-Federal operations in the same or nearby bands.218
84.
Two predominant types of adjacent channel interference can occur. The first is caused by
out-of-band emissions ("OOBE") that fall directly within the passband of an adjacent-band receiver.219
Such emissions cannot be "filtered out," and can only be mitigated by: (1) providing sufficient physical
separation between the transmitter and receiver; and/or (2) suppressing OOBE at the source (i.e., the
transmitter). The second type of interference is caused by "receiver overload." Receiver overload
interference occurs when a strong signal from an adjacent band transmission falls just outside the
passband of a receiver, where the front-end filter of the receiver can provide only limited attenuation of
the unwanted signal. There are three ways to minimize receiver overload interference: (1) improve the
receiver performance including filtering; (2) limit the power of the transmitter; and (3) provide physical
separation between the transmitter and receiver.

214 47 C.F.R. 2.103 (Federal use of non-Federal frequencies).
215 See, e.g., supra 13.
216 See supra 79.
217 See supra 48.
218 In addition to technical rules, we are proposing license conditions and prior-coordination requirements to protect
Federal operations. See supra section III.E (Federal/non-Federal Sharing and Coordination).
219 A passband is "[t]he portion of spectrum, between limiting frequencies, that is transmitted with minimum relative
loss or maximum relative gain." See Alliance for Industry Telecommunications Solutions, Glossary, available
online at:http://www.atis.org/glossary/definition.aspx?id=2835"> http://www.atis.org/glossary/definition.aspx?id=2835.

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85.
We seek comment on possible technical and operational rules to protect these various
services from harmful interference.220 Where possible, we propose to adopt for AWS-3 the same
technical requirements as apply to AWS-1, where our experience indicates that the requirements have
facilitated good service while minimizing undesirable interference, and to AWS-4. We are especially
interested in whether specific AWS-3 spectrum considerations may warrant different requirements. We
also ask commenters to address any specific technical rules that would be required for specific AWS-3
bands that they propose, other than the ones identified in this notice.
1.

OOBE Limits

86.
Section 27.53(h) of our rules requires that out-of-band emissions from transmissions in
the AWS-1 bands be attenuated below the transmitter power (P) by a factor of not less than 43 + 10 log10
(P) dB outside of the licensee's frequency block.221 The same rule also specifies the measurement
procedure required to determine compliance with this OOBE standard. We seek comment on extending
the scope of section 27.53(h) to apply to AWS-3 as well, except as discussed otherwise below.
a.

Interference between Adjacent Block AWS-3 Licensees

87.
We anticipate that the characteristics of the future AWS-3 band systems will be
essentially identical to those of AWS-1. For this reason, we believe that the normal OOBE limit of 43 +
10 log10 (P) dB outside of the licensee's frequency block is appropriate to protect AWS-3 services
operating in adjacent spectrum blocks. We seek comment on this conclusion. Commenters should
discuss and quantify the costs and benefits of this and any proposed alternative approaches.
b.

Interference with Services in Other Bands -- Uplink Stations
Operating in 1695-1710, 1755-1780 and 2020-2025 MHz

88.
Interference with operations below 1695 MHz. The 1695-1710 MHz AWS-3 uplink band
is adjacent to satellite downlink spectrum at 1675-1695 MHz, which is allocated for Federal and non-
Federal satellite use. The rules for the AWS-1 uplink band at 1710-1755 MHz include an OOBE
attenuation limit of our standard 43 + 10 log10 (P) dB in order to protect satellite downlink spectrum
currently below 1710 MHz. We believe that the services used in these adjacent AWS bands will be
similar, and that the repurposing of 1695-1710 MHz essentially just shifts the boundary between AWS
uplink and satellite downlink services down from 1710 to 1695 MHz. We therefore propose to apply the
same standard OOBE limit of 43 + 10 log10 (P) dB to future AWS-3 operations at 1695-1710 MHz with
respect to spectrum below 1695 MHz. 222 We seek comment on this proposal. Commenters should
discuss and quantify the costs and benefits of this proposal and any proposed alternative approaches.
89.
Interference with operations above 1710 MHz. The 1695-1710 MHz AWS-3 uplink band
is adjacent to AWS-1 uplink spectrum at 1710-1755 MHz. Because we anticipate that the services used
in the adjacent AWS-3 and AWS-1 uplink bands will be similar, we propose that the appropriate OOBE

220 Operations that will eventually be relocated to other spectrum will also require protection until they do so. The
mechanisms for such interim measures are addressed in section III.E (Federal/non-Federal Sharing and
Coordination). In addition, some operations will continue to share these bands with AWS-3 services, and will
require protection indefinitely. Several CSMAC working groups are studying co-channel sharing issues between
future AWS-3 transmissions and Federal receivers, and we anticipate receiving recommendations on sharing
measures. See, e.g., supra III.E.2 (Federal/non-Federal Sharing and Coordination, 1755-1780 MHz.
221 47 C.F.R. 27.53(h). See AWS-1 Service Rules R&O, 18 FCC Rcd at 25198 92. The same limit applies
generally to AWS-4, but with an additional restriction to provide greater protection to the adjacent 1995-2000 MHz
band. 47 C.F.R. 27.53(h). 47 C.F.R. 27.53(i) provides that the Commission has authority to require greater
attenuation when an OOBE causes harmful interference.
222 In addition to technical rules for AWS-3 operations in the 1695-1710 MHz band, we are proposing coordination
requirements to protect certain Federal operations. See supra section III.E.1 (1695-1710 MHz Federal/non-
Federal Sharing Framework)
.

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limit for the AWS-3 uplink band at 1695-1710 MHz is 43 + 10 log10 (P) dB. We seek comment on this
proposal. Commenters should discuss and quantify the costs and benefits of this and any proposed
alternative approaches.
90.
Interference with operations below 1755 MHz. The 1755-1780 MHz AWS-3 uplink band
is also adjacent to AWS-1 uplink spectrum at 1710 -1755 MHz. Because we anticipate that the services
used in the adjacent AWS-3 and AWS-1 uplink bands will be similar, we again propose that the
appropriate OOBE limit for the AWS-3 uplink band at 1755-1780 MHz is 43 + 10 log10 (P) dB. We seek
comment on this proposal. Commenters should discuss and quantify the costs and benefits of this
proposal and any proposed alternative approaches.
91.
Interference with operations above 1780 MHz. The 1755-1780 MHz AWS-3 uplink band
is adjacent to Federal operations at 1780-1850 MHz. We propose the standard OOBE limit of 43 + 10
log10 (P) dB to address this adjacency, the same limit as the AWS-1 rules now provide for protecting
Federal spectrum above 1755 MHz.223 Like the situation described in paragraph 88 above, where the
boundary between AWS use and adjacent spectrum moves, but there is no significant change in the uses
on either side of the boundary, we believe it is appropriate to maintain the existing OOBE limit at the new
boundary.224 We seek comment on this proposal. Commenters should discuss and quantify the costs and
benefits of this proposal and any alternative approaches.
92.
Interference with operations below 2020 MHz. The 2020-2025 MHz AWS-3 uplink band
is adjacent to AWS-4/MSS uplink spectrum at 2000-2020 MHz. The rules applicable to AWS-4 mobile
stations operating in the 2000-2020 MHz band include a general OOBE attenuation of 43 + 10 log10 (P)
dB between the AWS-4 A and B blocks and above 2020 MHz. We anticipate the services in the adjacent
AWS-3 and AWS-4 bands will be similar in use. Accordingly we propose that the OOBE limits on
operations in the 2020-2025 MHz band mirror those of AWS-4, i.e., 43 + 10 log10 (P) dB below 2020
MHz. We seek comment on this proposal. Commenters should discuss and quantify the costs and
benefits of this and any proposed alternative approaches.
93.
Interference with operations above 2025 MHz. The 2020-2025 MHz AWS-3 uplink band
is adjacent to the 2025-2110 MHz band, which includes BAS and Cable Television Relay Service
("CARS") operations, as well as certain Federal government operations. As noted above, for AWS-4
uplinks at 2000-2020 MHz, the Commission recently adopted the 43 + 10 log10 (P) standard above 2020
MHz.225 Prior to AWS-4, the same OOBE limit was applicable to 2000-2020 MHz MSS/ATC uplinks
above 2020 MHz.226 We also note that in the AWS-4 proceeding, the Engineers for the Integrity of
Broadcast Auxiliary Services Spectrum ("EIBASS") stated that it did not object to a 43 + 10 log10 (P) dB
OOBE attenuation factor above 2025 MHz from low power, mobile type devices.227 Accordingly, we
propose to apply the standard 43 + 10 log10 (P) OOBE limit above 2025 MHz and seek comment on this
proposal. Commenters should discuss and quantify the costs and benefits of this and any proposed
alternative approaches, and whether the closer proximity of the 2020-2025 MHz band warrants any
additional protection.

223 47 C.F.R. 27.53(h).
224 In addition to technical rules for AWS-3 operations in the 1755-1780 MHz band, we are proposing license
conditions to protect Federal operations [in the 1755-1850 MHz band]. See, e.g., supra section IIII.E.2
(Federal/non-Federal Sharing and Coordination, 1755-1780 MHz).
225 47 C.F.R. 27.53(h). See AWS-4 Service Rules R&O, 28 FCC Rcd at 16146-47 104.
226 The former Ancillary Terrestrial Component (ATC) rules originally limited mobile emissions to 70 + 10 log10 (P)
dB above 2025 MHz, but the Commission waived that limit in 2009 and applied the 43 + 10 log10 (P) dB standard.
See New ICO Satellite Services G.P., 24 FCC Rcd 171, 193-194 61 (Intl. Bur. 2009) ("ICO Waiver Order").
227 See EIBASS Comments, WT Docket No. 12-70 at 3 (filed May 17, 2012). EIBASS did argue that additional
protections would be needed if the 2020-2025 MHz band were used for high-power base stations. Id.

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c.

Interference with Services in Other Bands -- Base Stations
Operating in 2155-2180 MHz

94.
Interference with operations below 2155 MHz and above 2180 MHz. The 2155-2180
MHz AWS-3 downlink band is adjacent to the AWS-1 downlink spectrum at 2110-2155 MHz and to the
AWS-4/MSS downlink spectrum at 2180-2200 MHz. Because we anticipate that operations in 2155-
2180 MHz and in the adjacent downlink bands will be similar, we believe the standard attenuation factor
of 43 + 10 log10 (P) dB will be sufficient to protect AWS-1 and AWS-4/MSS receivers operating in the
bands adjacent to AWS-3.228 We seek comment on this proposal. Commenters should discuss and
quantify the costs and benefits of this and any proposed alternative approaches.
d.

Measurement of OOBE

95.
To fully define an emissions limit, the Commission's rules generally specify how to
measure the power of the emissions, such as the measurement bandwidth. For AWS-1 and AWS-4, the
measurement bandwidth used to determine compliance with this limit for fixed, mobile, and base stations
is generally one megahertz, with some modification within the first megahertz.229 We believe that it is
reasonable to apply this same procedure to all transmissions in the AWS-3 bands. We seek comment on
this proposal. Commenters should discuss and quantify the costs and benefits of this proposal and any
proposed alternative approaches.
2.

Antenna Height Restrictions

96.
We propose, as discussed below, that the flexible antenna height rules that apply to
AWS-1 should generally also apply to AWS-3. Additionally, because we do not propose to authorize
fixed operation in the 1695-1710 MHz and 1755-1780 MHz bands, we do not expect any special antenna
height restrictions are needed for those bands.
97.
Base stations. Specific antenna height restrictions for AWS-1 base stations are not set
forth in Part 27 of our rules. However, all Part 27 services are subject to section 27.56, which bans
antenna heights that would be a hazard to air navigation.230 Furthermore, the limitations of field strength
at the geographical boundary of the license discussed below also effectively limit antenna heights.231 We
similarly propose that no unique antenna height limits are needed for AWS-3 facilities; rather, we believe
that the general height restrictions are sufficient. We seek comment on this proposal, including the costs
and benefits of the proposal and any alternatives.
98.
Fixed stations. Section 27.50(d)(4) specifies a height restriction of 10 meters for fixed
stations operating in AWS-1 spectrum, and was deemed necessary to protect Federal operations in the
1710-1755 MHz and adjacent Federal bands.232 The height restriction was not applied to the AWS-4
band.233 Here, the 1695-1710 and 1755-1780 MHz bands are adjacent to the AWS-1 band and the Federal
operations that necessitated a height limitation for AWS-1 fixed stations, whereas the 2020-2025 MHz
band is not. Moreover, in defining the Protection Zones, CSMAC's assumptions did not include

228 47 C.F.R. 27.53(h). See AWS-4 Service Rules R&O, 27 FCC Rcd at 16147 106. When held by different
licensees, the standard attenuation factor also governs OOBE at the AWS-1 and AWS-4 block edges, e.g., between
AWS-4 A and B blocks. See AWS-4 Service Rules R&O, 27 FCC Rcd at 16125 59.
229 47 C.F.R. 27.53(h)(1).
230 Id. 27.56.
231 See infra section III.G.4 (Co-Channel Interference between AWS-3 Systems).
232 47 C.F.R. 27.50(d)(4). See Service Rules for Advanced Wireless Services in the 1.7 GHz and 2.1 GHz Bands,
WT Docket No. 02-353, Report and Order, 18 FCC Rcd at 25203-04 and n.279 (2003) ("AWS-1 Report and
Order")
.
233 See AWS-4 Service Rules R&O, 27 FCC Rcd at 16162 156.

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commercial fixed uplinks. We therefore propose not to authorize fixed stations in the 1695-1710 MHz
and 1755-1780 MHz bands; thus no height limit is necessary. We believe no such limit is necessary for
fixed stations in the 2020-2025 MHz band, and we propose to apply the same rules that govern low-
power fixed stations in the adjacent AWS-4 band. We seek comment on this proposal. Commenters
should address the costs and benefits of this proposal and of any proposed alternatives.
3.

Power Limits

99.
As discussed below, we generally propose to apply existing AWS-1 power limits to the
AWS-3 downlink and 2020-2025 MHz uplink bands, which CSMAC did not analyze. For AWS-3 uplink
bands with NTIA recommended Protection Zones, within which commercial use must be coordinated
successfully with Federal users prior to operation, CSMAC made technical assumptions about
commercial operations that are set forth in Appendix 3 of the WG1 Final Report.234 Specifically,
CSMAC assumed baseline LTE uplink characteristics. We are not proposing technical rules to require
AWS-3 licensees to comply with any particular industry standard such as LTE. Nonetheless, we believe
some technical rules must accommodate CSMAC's assumptions, or the Protection Zones might have to
be redrawn.
100.
Base Stations. The current AWS-1 and AWS-4 rules limit base station power in non-
rural areas to 1640 watts EIRP for emission bandwidths less than one megahertz and to 1640 watts per
MHz EIRP for emission bandwidths greater than one megahertz,235 and double these limits (3280 watts
EIRP or 3280 watts/MHz) in rural areas.236 The same limits apply to broadband PCS stations,237 and in
our experience have provided good service while avoiding harmful interference. Further, the higher
power limit for rural areas may promote the Commission's goals of furthering rural deployment of
broadband services. Therefore, we propose that section 27.50(d)(1)-(2), which set the power limits for
AWS-1 and AWS-4 base stations, should also apply to AWS-3 base stations operating in the 2155-2180
MHz band. We seek comment on this proposal, including the costs and benefits of the proposal and any
alternatives.
101.
The current AWS-1 rules also require that base stations with transmit power greater than
the non-rural limits described above (1640 Watts EIRP or 1640 watts/MHz EIRP) be coordinated with
licensees in adjacent AWS blocks and Broadband Radio Service ("BRS") licensees in the 2150-2160
MHz band authorized within 120 kilometers (75 miles), and with satellite entities operating in the 2025-
2110 MHz band.238 The AWS-4 rules require similar coordination between adjacent AWS-4 blocks
within 120 kilometers, but do not require coordination with BRS or with satellite operators in the 2025-
2110 MHz band because these bands are not adjacent to the AWS-4 uplink band.239 As AWS-3 base
station operations will be co-channel with BRS and directly adjacent to the AWS-1 and AWS-4 downlink
bands, but situated at least 45 MHz away from the 2025-2110 MHz satellite band, consistent with the
rationale in the Commission's decision in the AWS-4 Service Rules R&O, we do not see a need to carry all
of these requirements over to AWS-3. We propose that AWS-3 base stations with transmit power above
1640 watts EIRP and 1640 watts/MHz EIRP be required to coordinate with the following licensees

234 See WG1 Final Report, App. 3 (Baseline LTE Uplink Characteristics). This document reflects the consensus of
the LTE Technical Characteristics group of the CSMAC Working Groups. Participants included numerous Federal
and non-Federal representatives. Id. at 1.
235 47 C.F.R. 27.50(d)(1).
236 Id. 27.50(d)(2). The AWS-4 limits supersede a 32 dBW limit that previously governed ATC stations in the
2180-2000 MHz band. See ICO Waiver Order, 24 FCC Rcd at 188 47; TerreStar Networks Inc., 25 FCC Rcd 228,
235-36 23-24 (IB 2010).
237 47 C.F.R. 24.232.
238 Id. 27.50(d)(3), (8).
239 See id. 27.50(d)(8); see also AWS-4 Service Rules R&O, 27 FCC Rcd at 16156 133-34.

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authorized to operate within 120 kilometers (75 miles) of the base or fixed station operating in this band:
all BRS licensees authorized in the 2155-2160 MHz band and all AWS licensees authorized to operate on
adjacent frequency blocks in the AWS-3 band, the 2110-2155 MHz band or the 2180-2200 MHz band.
Because of the spectral separation between the 2155-2180 MHz band and the 2025-2110 MHz satellite
band, however, we do not propose to require coordination with these operators. We seek comment on this
proposal, including the costs and benefits of the proposal and any alternatives.
102.
Mobile and Portable (handheld) Stations. The Part 27 AWS rules specify a power limit
of 1 watt EIRP for the AWS-1 uplink band, and 2 watts EIRP for the AWS-4 uplink band.240 The lower
AWS-1 power limit was intended to simplify coordination with Government operations that would
remain in the 1710-1755 MHz band,241 a situation that the AWS-4 band did not present.242 The three
AWS-3 uplink bands present the same distinction: the 1695-1710 MHz and 1755-1780 MHz bands both
contain Government operations, while the 2020-2025 MHz band does not. In other respects, we
anticipate that the services in the AWS-3 bands will be similar to those in the AWS-1 and AWS-4 bands.
The existence or not of Government operations, however, dictates different power limits. In particular, as
described above, the Protection Zones that trigger coordination are based in part on CSMAC's
assumption that typical commercial user equipment will be LTE devices.243 We further note that the LTE
standard sets a maximum transmitter power output (TPO) of 23 dBm.244 CSMAC's analysis indicates
that such devices will have an actual EIRP varying between -40 dBm and 20 dBm EIRP,245 due to power
control and typical antenna gains/losses, and that it used these EIRP assumptions for the purpose of
defining the Protection Zones.246 As stated above, in accordance with the Spectrum Act, the Commission
intends to adopt flexible-use service rules for the AWS-3 band supporting terrestrial wireless service and
we are not proposing to mandate the use of any industry standard.247 We note that similar commercial
mobile services such as PCS, AWS-1 and the 700 MHz band deploy handsets using a variety of
technologies, including CDMA248 and UMTS,249 as well as LTE,250 whose devices most commonly
operate at a maximum EIRP of 23 dBm (200 mW) regardless of higher FCC power limits.

240 47 C.F.R. 27.50(d)(4). The former ATC rules originally specified a power limit of 1 dBW (1.25 watts) EIRP in
a bandwidth of 1.23 MHz for mobiles operating in 2000-2020 MHz. 47 C.F.R. 25.252(b)(1) (2003).
241 AWS-1 Service Rules Report and Order, 18 FCC Rcd at 25200 98.
242 See AWS-4 Service Rules R&O, 27 FCC Rcd at 16157-60.
243 See WG1 Final Report at 1.
244 See 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), Technical Specification Group Radio Access Network, Evolved
Universal Terrestrial Radio Access (E-UTRA); User Equipment (UE) radio transmission and reception (Release 11)
Table 6.2.2-1 (3GPP TS 36.101 v11.1.0, June 2012) ("LTE Standard, Table 6.2.2-1"), available at
http://www.3gpp.org/ftp/Specs/archive/36_series/36.101/36101-b40.zip">http://www.3gpp.org/ftp/Specs/archive/36_series/36.101/36101-b40.zip (last visited June 20, 2013).
245 See WG1 Final Report, App. 3 at 2-4, (Table, Tabulated CDF Data).
246 See id., App. 7 at 2.
247 See supra para. 10 (Spectrum Act requires Commission to license spectrum under flexible use service rules for
commercial use).
248 See "Recommended Minimum Performance Standards for cdma2000 Spread Spectrum Mobile Stations" 3GPP2
C.S0011-E, Version 1.0, April 2012, Table 4.4.5.3-1 availablhttp://www.3gpp2.org/Public_html/specs/C.S0011-E_v1.0_1x_MS_MPS_20120505.pdf">e at http://www.3gpp2.org/Public_html/specs/C.S0011-
E_v1.0_1x_MS_MPS_20120505.pdf (last visited July 11, 2013). PCS CDMA handsets are subject to power
limitations for Band Class 1. Station class II includes a range of maximum power limits from 200 milliwatts to
1 watt.
249 See 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), Technical Specification Group Radio Access Network User
Equipment (UE) radio transmission and reception (FDD) (Release 11) Table 6.1 (3GPP TS 25.101 v11.5.0, (2013-
03), available ahttp://www.3gpp.org/ftp/specs/html-INFO/25101.htm">t http://www.3gpp.org/ftp/specs/html-INFO/25101.htm (last visited July 11, 2013).
250 See LTE Standard, Table 6.2.2-1.

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103.
Nonetheless, because the Protection Zones are based on typical LTE devices operating at
a maximum EIRP of 20 dBm, we propose an EIRP power limit of 20 dBm (100 mW) for mobiles and
portables (handhelds) operating in the 1695-1710 MHz and 1755-1780 MHz bands. The Commission's
rules will govern all devices nationwide, rather than typical devices operating near the 27 Protection
Zones. Therefore, we seek comment on whether an EIRP limit of 23 dBm would necessitate enlarging
the Protection Zones, and if so, whether the benefits this higher power limit would outweigh the increased
burden of having to coordinate more commercial operations with Federal incumbents. For mobiles and
portables (handhelds) operating in the 2020-2025 MHz band, we propose a maximum of 2 watts EIRP.
Regarding the latter proposal, we believe there is virtually no risk of overloading BAS receivers in the
adjacent 2025-2110 MHz band given the likely separation distances, AWS-3 mobile nominal transmit
powers, steerable BAS antennas, and path losses. We further propose that mobile and portable stations
operating in these bands must employ a means for limiting power to the minimum necessary for
successful communications. We seek comment on these proposals, including the costs and benefits of the
proposals and any alternatives.
4.

Co-Channel Interference between AWS-3 Systems

104.
If we ultimately decide to license the AWS-3 bands on the basis of geographic service
areas that are less than nationwide, we will have to ensure that such licensees do not cause interference to
co-channel systems operating along common geographic borders.251 The current rules for AWS-1 and
AWS-4 address the possibility of harmful co-channel interference between geographically adjacent
licenses by setting a field strength limit from base stations of 47 dBV/m at the edge of the license
area.252 Due to the similarities between AWS-1, AWS-4, and AWS-3 spectrum use, we propose to amend
section 27.55(a)(1) to include the 2155-2180 MHz band.
105.
In recent filings in the H Block and Incentive Auctions proceedings, commenters have
suggested that the boundary limit be adjusted to accommodate varying channel bandwidths. In the H
Block proceeding, Sprint requested that the Commission modify the boundary limit to set a reference
measurement bandwidth of 1 MHz, with the aim of limiting boundary power density to the equivalent of
that first applied to PCS systems in 1993.253 At that time, operators were deploying mostly Digital
AMPS, PCS1900 and CDMA technologies, which had channel bandwidths of 30 kHz, 200 kHz and 1.25
MHz, respectively. Sprint claims that because today's LTE transmissions operate on much wider
bandwidths up to 20 MHz, a 47 dBV/m limit measured over the full channel bandwidth will effectively
result in a comparatively lower power level. Sprint proposed to adjust the field strength limit from 47
dBV/m to 62 dBV/m per MHz.254 Verizon has made a similar claim in the Incentive Auctions
proceeding, but proposed a field strength limit of 50 dBV/m per MHz.255 Sprint further suggested that
the boundary limits with Canada and Mexico should similarly be based on power density levels.256

251 If we authorize a single licensee in these bands, it will be unnecessary to adopt co-channel interference protection
criteria. Our co-channel protection rules would, however, apply to any partitioned portions of a nationwide license.
See 47 C.F.R. 27.55.
252 Id. 27.55(a)(1).
253 See Sprint Reply Comments, WT Docket No. 12-357 at 7-8 (filed Mar. 7, 2013) (Sprint H Block Reply
Comments). See also In the Matter of Amendment of the Commission's Rules to Establish New Personal
Communication Services, GN Docket No. 90-314, Second Report and Order, 8 FCC Rcd 7700 (1993) (adopted 47
C.F.R. 99.232 (field strength limits), which was subsequently renumbered as 47 C.F.R. 24.236).
254 See Sprint H Block Reply Comments at 8. Sprint argued that the power spectral density for a 30 kHz Digital
AMPS carrier at a 47 dBV/m field strength is equivalent to a 62 dBV/m LTE carrier with a 1 MHz bandwidth,
adjusting the field strength limit by the ratio of the bandwidths (10 log10 (1 MHz / 30 kHz) = 15 dB).
255 Verizon and Verizon Wireless Comments, Docket 12-268 at 58 (filed Jan. 25, 2013).
256 Sprint H Block Reply Comments at 8.

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106.
We tentatively agree with Sprint that, in concept, a boundary limit that adjusts for large
differences in channel bandwidths may be appropriate. The specific limit of 62 dBV/m per MHz
proposed by Sprint may not be the optimal solution. Sprint derives the value for the field strength based
on a comparison against a 30 kHz Digital AMPS signal. Other technologies may provide a more
appropriate reference upon which to base the value for the field strength. Also, there are other metrics
that may be used to limit the signal at the boundary, such as power flux density. We observe that the
Commission has already adopted a bandwidth-independent approach when setting boundary limits with
Canada and Mexico. For example, certain international limits are expressed as a power flux density (i.e.,
dBW/m2/MHz), a measure of power, whereas field strength is a measurement of voltage.
107.
We seek comment on what the appropriate boundary limit should be. Should the limit be
based on a field strength, a power flux density, or some other metric? What would the appropriate level
be? We encourage all interested parties to explore this issue in this proceeding to develop a full record of
the technical concerns and ramifications of such an approach. Please provide detailed technical analysis
to support any proposed limit.
108.
Finally, we propose that adjacent affected area licensees may voluntarily agree upon
higher field strength boundary levels. This concept is already codified in the field strength rules for both
PCS and AWS services, as Sprint acknowledges. Accordingly, to maintain consistency with the PCS and
other AWS bands, we propose to permit adjacent area licensees to agree to a higher field strength limit.
5.

Co-Channel Interference to BRS Channels 1 and 2

109.
The AWS-1 rules include provisions that protect BRS Channel 1 (2150-2156 MHz) and
Channel 2 (2156-2160/62 MHz).257 Because these BRS channels will be co-channel to licenses in the
AWS-3 downlink band at 2155-2180 MHz, we propose that the same AWS-1 provisions in sections
27.1132 and 27.1255 be applied to future AWS-3 licensees operating in the 2155-2180 MHz band.258 We
seek comment on this proposal. Commenters should address the costs and benefits of this proposal and
any proposed alternatives.
6.

Canadian and Mexican Coordination

110.
Section 27.57(c) of our rules indicates that AWS-1 and AWS-4 operations are subject to
international agreements with Mexico and Canada.259 We propose to apply the same limitation to the
AWS-3 band. Until such time as any adjusted agreements between the United States, Mexico, and/or
Canada can be agreed to, operations must not cause harmful interference across the border, consistent
with the terms of the agreements currently in force. We note that further modification (of the proposed or
final rules) might be necessary in order to comply with any future agreements with Canada and Mexico
regarding the use of these bands. We seek comment on this issue, including the costs and benefits of
alternative approaches to this issue.
7.

Other Technical Issues

111.
General Part 27 rules. There are several additional technical rules applicable to all
Part 27 services, including sections 27.51 Equipment authorization, 27.52 RF safety,260 27.54 Frequency

257 47 C.F.R 27.1132, 27.1255.
258 The Commission's licensing records reflect that there are fewer than five BRS incumbents licensed on these
channels, and that most of the stations use Channels 1 and/or 2 for fixed broadband uplink.
259 47 C.F.R. 27.57(c).
260 The Commission has initiated a review of its RF exposure limit rules in order to develop a current record
regarding whether existing regulations and policies limiting human exposure to radiofrequency radiation are
appropriately drawn. Reassessment of Federal Communications Commission Radiofrequency Exposure Limits and
Policies, ET Docket No. 13-84, Notice of Inquiry, 28 FCC Rcd 3498, 3570 205-06 (2013). To the extent that
commenters desire to propose changes to the RF standards, they should file in ET Docket No. 13-84.

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stability, 27.56 Antennas structures; air navigation safety, and 27.63 Disturbance of AM broadcast station
antenna patterns.261 As AWS-3 will be a Part 27 service, we propose that all of these general Part 27 rules
should apply to all AWS-3 licensees, including licensees who acquire their licenses through partitioning
or disaggregation (to the extent the rules permit such aggregation). We seek comment on this approach,
including its costs and benefits.
8.

Receiver Performance

112.
We invite comment on any potential for receiver overload interference between AWS-3
operations and non-AWS operations below 1695 MHz, above 1780 MHz, above 2025 MHz, and above
2180 MHz. If such a risk exists, we request that parties provide whatever information may be available
about the characteristics of the receivers operating or likely in the future to operate in these frequencies,
potential solutions to overload interference, and an assessment of the impact this might have on
deployment of AWS-3 service. We also invite comment on any other receiver issues that should be
considered in this proceeding that could affect the potential for harmful interference to adjacent channel
receivers and usability of the AWS-3 spectrum.

H.

Licensing and Operating Rules; Regulatory Issues

113.
We are proposing licensing and operating rules that will provide AWS-3 licensees with
the flexibility to provide any fixed or mobile service that is consistent with the allocations for this
spectrum. Specifically, we are seeking comment on the appropriate license term, criteria for renewal, and
other licensing and operating rules pertaining to the AWS-3 band. In addition, we seek comment on the
potential impact of all of our proposals on competition. In addressing these issues, commenters should
discuss the costs and benefits associated with these proposals and any alternative that commenters
propose.
1.

Assignment of Licenses

114.
The Spectrum Act states that the Commission shall grant new initial licenses for the
1695-1710 MHz and 2155-2180 MHz bands, and 15 additional megahertz of contiguous spectrum to be
identified by the Commission, through a system of competitive bidding pursuant to section 309(j) of the
Communications Act.262 Additionally, for all AWS-3 bands, including 1755-1780 MHz and 2020-2025
MHz, we propose to license on a geographic area basis, which will permit the acceptance of mutually
exclusive applications. As such, we propose to resolve all AWS-3 applications and assign licenses
through competitive bidding consistent with our statutory mandate.263 We seek comment in section
III.H.10 below on our proposals regarding the competitive bidding rules that would apply to license
assignments in these bands.
2.

Flexible Use

115.
Consistent with the Spectrum Act's mandate to license under flexible use service rules,264
we propose service rules that permit a licensee to employ the spectrum for any non-Federal use permitted
by the United States Table of Frequency Allocations,265 subject to the Commission's Part 27 flexible use

261 47 C.F.R. 27.51, 27.52, 27.54, 27.56, 27.63.
262 Spectrum Act, 6401(b). The Commission is required to establish by regulation a competitive bidding
methodology in accordance with section 309(j)'s statutory requirements when assigning licenses through auction.
See 47 U.S.C. 309(j)(3), (4).
263 47 U.S.C. 309(j).
264 Spectrum Act, 6401(b)(1)(b).
265 47 C.F.R. 2.106. In section III.I (Allocation Matters) infra, we propose amendments to the Table of Frequency
Allocations and tentatively conclude that these allocation proposals, together with our proposed service rules, satisfy
47 U.S.C. 303(y).

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and other applicable rules (including service rules to avoid harmful interference).266 Thus, we propose
that the spectrum may be used for any fixed or mobile service that is consistent with the allocations for
the band. If commenters think any restrictions are warranted, they should describe why such restrictions
are needed, quantify the costs and benefits of any such restrictions, and describe how such restrictions
would comport with the statutory mandates of section 6401 of the Spectrum Act.
a.

Regulatory Framework

116.
Consistent with the proposed flexible use of the AWS-3 band, we also propose licensing
the spectrum under the flexible regulatory framework of Part 27 of our rules.267 Unlike other rule parts
applicable to specific services, Part 27 does not prescribe a comprehensive set of licensing and operating
rules for the spectrum to which it applies. Rather, for each frequency band under its umbrella, Part 27
defines permissible uses and any limitations thereon, and specifies basic licensing requirements. We
believe that our Part 27 rules are consistent with the Spectrum Act's requirement for "flexible-use service
rules." We seek comment on our proposal to license the AWS-3 band under Part 27 service and licensing
rules, and any associated costs or benefits of doing so.
b.

Regulatory Status

117.
We propose to apply the regulatory status provisions of section 27.10 of the
Commission's Rules to licensees in the AWS-3 band. The Commission's current mobile service license
application requires an applicant for mobile services to identify the regulatory status of the service(s) it
intends to provide268 because service offerings may bear on eligibility and other statutory and regulatory
requirements.269 Under Part 27, the Commission permits applicants who may wish to provide both
common carrier and non-common carrier services (or to switch between them) under a single license to
request status as both a common carrier and a non-common carrier.270 Thus, a Part 27 applicant is not
required to choose between providing common carrier and non-common carrier services. We propose to
adopt this same approach here. Licensees in the AWS-3 band would be able to provide all allowable
services anywhere within their licensed area at any time, consistent with their regulatory status.271 We
believe that this approach is likely to achieve efficiencies in the licensing and administrative process, and
provide flexibility to the marketplace. We seek comment on the appropriate licensing approach and ask
that commenters discuss the costs and benefits of their proposed licensing approach.

266 Part 27 licensees must also comply with other Commission rules of general applicability. See 47 C.F.R. 27.3.
In addition, flexible use in international border areas is subject to any existing or future international agreements.
See supra section III.G.6 (Canadian and Mexican Coordination).
267 Part 27 licensees must also comply with other Commission rules of general applicability. See 47 C.F.R. 27.3.
268 In the LMDS Second Report and Order, the Commission required applicants for fixed services to indicate if they
planned to offer services as a common carrier, a non-common carrier, or both, and to notify the Commission of any
changes in status without prior authorization. Rulemaking to Amend Parts 1, 2, 21, and 25 of the Commission's
Rules to Redesignate the 27.5-29.5 GHz Frequency Band, to Reallocate the 29.5-30.0 GHz Frequency Band, to
Establish Rules and Policies for Local Multipoint Distribution Service and for Fixed Satellite Services, CC Docket
No. 92-297, Second Report and Order, Order on Reconsideration, and Fifth Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 12
FCC Rcd 12545, 12636-38, 12644-45, 12652-54 205-208, 225-226, 245-251 (1997) ("LMDS Second Report and
Order"
); aff'd, Melcher v. FCC, 134 F.3d 1143 (D.C. Cir. 1998).
269 See, e.g., infra section III.H.4 (Eligibility).
270 See 47 C.F.R. 27.10; Amendment of the Commission's Rules to Establish Part 27, the Wireless
Communications Service ("WCS"), GN Docket No. 96-228, Report and Order, 12 FCC Rcd 10785 at 10846-48
119-122 (1997) ("Part 27 Report and Order").
271 For instance, we note that to the extent a licensee provides a Commercial Mobile Radio Service, such service
would be subject to the provisions of Part 20 of the Commission's rules, 47 C.F.R. Part 20.

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118.
We further propose that applicants and licensees in the AWS-3 band be required to
indicate a regulatory status for any services they choose to provide. Apart from this designation of
regulatory status, we do not propose to require applicants to describe the services they seek to provide.272
We caution potential applicants that an election to provide service on a common carrier basis typically
requires that the elements of common carriage be present;273 otherwise the applicant must choose non-
common carrier status.274 If potential applicants are unsure of the nature of their services and their
classification as common carrier services, they may submit a petition with their applications, or at any
time, requesting clarification and including service descriptions for that purpose.275 We propose to apply
this framework to AWS-3 licensees and seek comment on this proposal, including the costs and benefits
of this proposal.
119.
We also propose that if a licensee were to change the service or services it offers such
that it would be inconsistent with its regulatory status, the licensee must notify the Commission.276 A
change in a licensee's regulatory status would not require prior Commission authorization, provided the
licensee was in compliance with the foreign ownership requirements of section 310(b) of the
Communications Act that would apply as a result of the change, consistent with the Commission's rules
for AWS-1 and AWS-4 spectrum.277 Consistent with our Part 27 rules, we propose to require licensees to
file the notification within 30 days of a change made without the need for prior Commission approval,
except that a different time period may apply where the change results in the discontinuance, reduction, or
impairment of the existing service.278 We seek comment on this proposal, including the costs and
benefits.
3.

Foreign Ownership Reporting

120.
We propose to apply the provisions of section 27.12 of the Commission's rules to
applicants for licenses in the AWS-3 band.279 Section 27.12 implements section 310 of the
Communications Act, including foreign ownership and citizenship requirements that restrict the issuance
of licenses to certain applicants.280 An applicant requesting authorization to provide services in this band
other than broadcast, common carrier, aeronautical en route, and aeronautical fixed services would be

272 See Part 27 Report and Order, 12 FCC Rcd at 10848 121; see also LMDS Second Report and Order, 12 FCC
Rcd at 12644 223; 47 C.F.R. 101.1013.
273 See 47 U.S.C. 153(51) ("A telecommunications carrier shall be treated as a common carrier under this chapter
only to the extent that it is engaged in providing telecommunication services"); see also 47 U.S.C. 332(c)(1)(A)
("A person engaged in the provision of a service that is a commercial mobile service shall, insofar as such person is
so engaged, be treated as a common carrier for purposes of this chapter.").
274 See Part 27 Report and Order, 12 FCC Rcd at 10848 121-22. The Commission examined services in the
LMDS Second Report and Order and explained that any video programming service would be treated as a non-
common carrier service. LMDS Second Report and Order, 12 FCC Rcd at 12639-42 213-17.
275 Part 27 Report and Order, 12 FCC Rcd at 10848 121.
276 See 47 C.F.R. 27.10(d); see also 47 C.F.R. 27.66.
277 47 U.S.C. 310(b); see infra section III.H.3 (Foreign Ownership Reporting).
278 See 47 C.F.R. 27.66.
279 Id. 27.12 (except as provided in 27.604, 27.1201, and 27.1202, any entity other than those precluded by
310 of the Communications Act is eligible to hold a license under Part 27). See also Review of Foreign Ownership
Policies for Common Carrier and Aeronautical Radio Licensees under Section 310(b)(4) of the Communications Act
of 1934, as amended, IB Docket No. 11-133, Second Report and Order, 28 FCC Rcd 5741 (2013) ("Foreign
Ownership Policies"
).
280 47 U.S.C. 310.

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subject to the restrictions in section 310(a), but not to the additional restrictions in section 310(b).281 An
applicant requesting authorization for broadcast, common carrier, aeronautical en route, or aeronautical
fixed services would be subject to both sections 310(a) and 310(b). We do not believe that applicants for
this band should be subject to different obligations in reporting their foreign ownership based on the type
of service authorization requested in the application. Consequently, we propose to require all applicants
to provide the same foreign ownership information, which covers both sections 310(a) and 310(b),
regardless of which service they propose to provide in the band. We note, however, that we would be
unlikely to deny a license to an applicant requesting to provide exclusively services that are not subject to
section 310(b), solely because its foreign ownership would disqualify it from receiving a license if the
applicant had applied for authority to provide such services. However, if any such licensee later desires
to provide any services that are subject to the restrictions in section 310(b) we would require the licensee
to apply to the Commission for an amended license, and we would consider issues related to foreign
ownership at that time. We request comment on this proposal, including any costs and benefits.
4.

Eligibility

121.
For the AWS-3 band, we propose to adopt an open eligibility standard and seek comment
on this approach. In particular, we seek comment on whether adopting an open eligibility standard for the
licensing of the AWS-3 band would encourage efforts to develop new technologies, products, and
services, while helping to ensure efficient use of this spectrum.282 We note that an open eligibility
approach would not affect citizenship, character, or other generally applicable qualifications that may
apply under our rules. Additionally, section 6004 of the Spectrum Act restricts participation in auctions
required under the Spectrum Act, which will include most of the AWS-3 band, by "person[s] who [have]
been, for reasons of national security, barred by any agency of the Federal Government from bidding on a
contract, participating in an auction, or receiving a grant."283 In the Incentive Auctions NPRM and in the
H Block NPRM, the Commission sought comment on whether section 6004 permits or requires the
Commission to restrict eligibility of persons acquiring licenses on the secondary market, whether and to
what extent such a restriction is consistent with other provisions of the Communications Act, and what
procedures and rules, if any, should apply to persons acquiring licenses on the secondary market.284
Recently, in the H Block R&O, the Commission adopted an eligibility rule providing that "[a] person
described in 47 U.S.C. 1404(c) is ineligible to hold a license that is required by 47 U.S.C. Chapter 13
(Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, Pub. L. No. 112-96, 125 Stat. 156 (2012)) to be
assigned by a system of competitive bidding under Section 309(j) of the Communications Act, 47 U.S.C.
309(j)."285 We note that this revised eligibility restriction will govern most of the AWS-3 spectrum.286

281 See id. 310(b) (stating that "[n]o broadcast or common carrier or aeronautical en route or aeronautical fixed
radio station license shall be granted to" certain entities).
282 See id. 309(j)(3).
283 See Spectrum Act, 6004; 47 U.S.C. 1404.
284 H Block NPRM, 27 FCC Rcd at 16286 74-75. The Commission noted that section 6004 does not address
eligibility to acquire licenses through transfers, assignments, or other secondary market mechanisms from the initial
or subsequent licensee. See, e.g., Incentive Auctions NPRM, 27 FCC Rcd at 12483-84 382 (citing Spectrum Act at
6004(c)).
285 See H Block R&O at App. A. See also 47 C.F.R. 27.12(b). In the H Block R&O, the Commission also adopted
a revision to the bidding application and certification procedures. See 47 C.F.R. 1.2105(a)(2)(xii).
286 In the H Block R&O, the Commission noted that until appropriate application forms are revised, applicants for
spectrum subject to Section 6004 will be required to include a certification as an attachment to the application and
for applicants that are not individuals, the same attribution standards that were adopted for short-form applications
will apply. H Block R&O at 187.

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5.

Mobile Spectrum Holding Policies

122.
We seek comment generally on whether and how to address any mobile spectrum
holdings issues involving AWS-3 spectrum in order to meet our statutory requirements and our goals for
the AWS-3 band. Section 309(j)(3)(B) of the Communications Act provides that, in designing systems of
competitive bidding, the Commission shall "promot[e] economic opportunity and competition and
ensur[e] that new and innovative technologies are readily accessible to the American people by avoiding
excessive concentration of licenses."287 More recently, section 6404 of the Spectrum Act recognizes the
Commission's authority "to adopt and enforce rules of general applicability, including rules concerning
spectrum aggregation that promote competition."288 In September, 2012, we initiated a proceeding to
revisit the mobile spectrum holdings policies that apply to both transactions and auctions, including which
spectrum bands are relevant to our competitive analysis.289 The Commission also has sought comment on
some mobile spectrum holdings issues with respect to particular spectrum bands in service
rulemakings.290
123.
We seek comment on whether the acquisition of each of the various bands identified in
this proceeding for potential AWS-3 spectrum should be subject to the same general mobile spectrum
holding policies applicable to frequency bands that the Commission has found to be suitable and available
for mobile telephony/broadband services. Alternatively, depending on the specific service rules and
requirements that will apply to AWS-3 spectrum, should we distinguish AWS-3 spectrum for purposes of
evaluating mobile spectrum holdings? Commenters should discuss and quantify any costs and benefits
associated with any proposals on the applicability of spectrum holdings policies to AWS-3 spectrum.
6.

License Term, Performance Requirements, Renewal Criteria, Permanent
Discontinuance of Operations

a.

License Term

124.
We propose to establish a 10-year term for licenses for the AWS-3 band. The
Communications Act does not specify a term limit for AWS band licenses.291 The Commission has
adopted 10-year license terms for most wireless radio services licenses.292 To maintain this consistency
among wireless services, in the H Block R&O and the AWS-4 Service Rules R&O, the Commission
adopted 10 year license terms.293 We continue to believe that a 10-year license term is appropriate, and
consequently propose, a 10 year license term for the AWS-3 spectrum. We seek comment on this
proposal, including any costs and benefits of the proposal. In addition, we invite commenters to submit
alternate proposals for the appropriate license term, which should similarly include a discussion on the
costs and benefits.

287 47 U.S.C. 309(j)(3)(B).
288 Spectrum Act, 6404.
289 See Policies Regarding Mobile Spectrum Holdings, WT Docket No. 12-269, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 27
FCC Rcd 11710 (2012) ("Mobile Spectrum Holdings NPRM"). During the pendency of the Mobile Spectrum
Holdings NPRM
, the Commission is continuing to apply its current case-by-case approach to evaluate mobile
spectrum holdings during the consideration of secondary market transactions and initial spectrum licensing after
auctions. See Mobile Spectrum Holdings NPRM, 27 FCC Rcd at 11718, n. 59.
290 See H Block NPRM, 27 FCC Rcd at 16286 76-77; Incentive Auctions NPRM, 27 FCC Rcd at 12484 384.
See also AWS-4 NPRM, 27 FCC Rcd at 3596-97 110-11.
291 The only statutory limit on license terms is eight years for licenses in the broadcast services. See 47 U.S.C.
307(c)(1); see also 47 C.F.R. 73.1020(a).
292 See, e.g., 47 C.F.R. 24.15, 27.13(a).
293 H Block R&O, 193; AWS-4 Service Rules R&O, 27 FCC Rcd at 16200 262.

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125.
Under our license term proposal, if a license in these bands is partitioned or
disaggregated, any partitionee or disaggregatee would be authorized to hold its license for the remainder
of the partitioner's or disaggregator's original license term.294 This approach is similar to the partitioning
provisions the Commission adopted for BRS,295 for broadband PCS,296 for the 700 MHz band,297 and for
AWS-1 licenses at 1710-1755 MHz and 2110-2155 MHz,298 and AWS-4.299 We emphasize that nothing
in our proposal is intended to enable a licensee, by partitioning or disaggregating the license, to confer
greater rights than it was awarded under the terms of its license grant. Similarly, nothing in our proposal
is intended to enable any partitionee or disaggregatee to obtain rights in excess of those previously
possessed by the underlying licensee. We seek comment on these proposals, including the cost and
benefits thereof.
b.

Performance Requirements

126.
The Commission establishes performance requirements to promote the efficient
deployment of wireless services, including to rural areas, and to ensure that spectrum is used. Over the
years, the Commission has applied different performance and construction requirements to different
spectrum bands based on considerations relevant to those bands. For example, within four (4) years, an
AWS-4 licensee must provide reliable terrestrial signal coverage and offer terrestrial service to at least
forty (40) percent of its total AWS-4 population. Within seven (7) years, an AWS-4 licensee must
provide reliable terrestrial signal coverage and offer terrestrial service to at least seventy (70) percent of
the population in each of its license areas.300 Similarly, for licensees operating in the 2.3 GHz Wireless
Communications Services ("WCS") band, the Commission adopted performance requirements that
included population-based construction requirements (40 percent of the license area's population within
four (4) years and 75 percent within six-and-a-half (6.5) years) and reporting requirements.301 More
recently, in the H Block R&O, the Commission required licensees within four (4) years to provide reliable
signal coverage and offer service to at least forty (40) percent of the population in each of its license areas

294 "Partitioning" is the assignment of geographic portions of a license along geopolitical or other boundaries.
"Disaggregation" is the assignment of discrete portions of "blocks" of spectrum licensed to a geographic licensee or
qualifying entity. Disaggregation allows for multiple transmitters in the same geographic area operated by different
companies on adjacent frequencies (thus increasing the possibility of harmful interference). For further detail, see
infra
section III.H.7.a (Partitioning and Disaggregation).
295 See Amendment of Parts 21 and 74 of the Commission's Rules With Regard to Filing Procedures in the
Multipoint Distribution Service and in the Instructional Television Fixed Service, MM Docket No. 94-131, PP
Docket No. 93-253, Report and Order, 10 FCC Rcd 9589, 9614 46 (1995).
296 See Geographic Partitioning and Spectrum Disaggregation by Commercial Mobile Radio Services Licensees, WT
Docket No. 96-148, GN Docket No. 96-113, Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 11
FCC Rcd 21831, 21870 76-77 (1996).
297 See Service Rules for the 746-764 and 776-794 MHz Bands, and Revisions to Part 27 of the Commission's
Rules, WT Docket No. 99-168, First Report and Order, 15 FCC Rcd 476, 506-08 74-78 (2000); Reallocation and
Service Rules for 698-746 MHz Spectrum Band (Television Channels 52-59), GN Docket No. 01-74, Report and
Order
, 17 FCC Rcd 1022, 1079-81 152-157 (2002).
298 AWS-1 Report and Order, 18 FCC Rcd at 25193-95 81-83.
299 AWS-4 Service Rules R&O, 27 FCC Rcd at 16200 263.
300 AId., 27 FCC Rcd at 16173-74 187. In the AWS-4 Service Rules R&O, we noted that the incumbent licensee
generally supported our seven year end-of-term buildout benchmark and agreed to aggressively build out the
spectrum. As a result of this commitment, we adopted a final buildout requirement of 7 years. Id.
301 See 47 C.F.R. 27.14(p) (2012). See Amendment of Part 27 of the Commission's Rules to Govern the Operation
of Wireless Communications Services in the 2.3 GHz Band, WT Docket No. 07-293, Establishment of Rules and
Policies for the Digital Audio Radio Satellite Service, IB Docket No. 95-91, Order on Reconsideration, 27 FCC Rcd
13651, 13696-13701 111-121 (2012).

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and within ten (10) years, provide reliable signal coverage and offer service to at least seventy-five (75)
percent of the population in each of its license areas.302
127.
We continue to believe that performance requirements play a critical role in ensuring that
licensed spectrum does not lie fallow, and now propose to establish the following performance
requirements. We seek comment on the following buildout requirements for the AWS-3 band:
AWS-3 Interim Buildout Requirement: Within four (4) years, an AWS-3 licensee shall
provide reliable signal coverage and offer service to at least forty (40) percent of the
population in each of its license areas.

AWS-3 Final Buildout Requirement: By the end of the license term, i.e., within ten (10)
years, an AWS-3 licensee shall provide reliable signal coverage and offer service to at least
seventy-five (75) percent of the population in each of its license areas.

128.
We propose these performance requirements in an effort to foster deployment
expeditiously in the AWS-3 band for the provision of wireless, terrestrial broadband service, and to
enable the Commission to take appropriate corrective action should such deployment fail to occur.
Specifically, the interim benchmark at four years would ensure that a licensee begins deploying facilities
quickly, thereby evidencing meaningful utilization of the spectrum. At the same time, by proposing a
relatively low population threshold in the interim benchmark, we acknowledge that large-scale network
deployment may ramp up over time as equipment becomes available and a customer base is established.
In addition, by proposing a final buildout requirement timeline of ten years, we believe we allow a
reasonable amount of time for any AWS-3 licensee to attain nationwide scale.303
129.
We seek comment on these proposed buildout requirements. We encourage comment on
whether our proposals represent the appropriate balance between requirements that are too low as to not
result in meaningful buildout and those that would be so high as to be unattainable. We also seek
comment on whether other benchmarks represent more appropriate requirements. In particular, are there
appropriate performance benchmarks for any AWS-3 uplink spectrum paired with downlink spectrum in a
band other than AWS-3? In this event, should the performance requirements applicable to that downlink
band apply? How should we account for the areas where Federal use limits or prohibits AWS-3 use? We
also seek comment on alternative methodologies for measuring population coverage requirements in the
Gulf of Mexico. Commenters should discuss and quantify how any supported buildout requirements will
affect investment and innovation as well as discuss and quantify other costs and benefits associated with
the proposal.
130.
Penalties for Failure to Meet Construction Requirements. Along with construction
benchmarks, we seek to adopt meaningful and enforceable consequences, or penalties, for failing to meet
the benchmarks. Building on what we have learned from other bands and considering the unique
characteristics of the AWS-3 band, we propose and seek comment, including on the costs and benefits, of
the following penalties in the event an AWS-3 licensee fails to satisfy its buildout requirements:
In the event an AWS-3 licensee fails to meet the AWS-3 Interim Buildout Requirement in its
license area, the term of the license shall be reduced by two years.


302 H Block R&O, 195.
303 The population of each EA can be dramatically different so we believe it is more appropriate to require the
licensee to cover a certain percentage of the population in each EA rather than a certain number of people in each
EA. See Metropolitan Area and BEA Economic Area Projections of Economic Activity and Population to the Year
2005, Survey of Current Business, 56, 64-72 (June 1996).

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In the event an AWS-3 licensee fails to meet the AWS-3 Final Buildout Requirement in its
license area, the AWS-3 licensee for each license area in which it fails to meet the buildout
requirement shall terminate automatically without Commission action.

131.
We further propose that, in the event a licensee's authority to operate terminates, the
licensee's spectrum rights would become available for reassignment pursuant to the competitive bidding
provisions of section 309(j). Further, consistent with the Commission's rules for other spectrum bands,
including AWS-1 and the BRS, we propose that any AWS-3 licensee who forfeits its license for failure to
meet its performance requirements would be precluded from regaining the license.304
132.
Compliance Procedures. Consistent with section 1.946(d) of the Commission's rules, we
propose to require AWS-3 licensees to demonstrate compliance with the performance requirements by
filing a construction notification within 15 days of the relevant milestone certifying that they have met the
applicable performance benchmark.305 Further, we propose that each construction notification include
electronic coverage maps and supporting documentation, which must be truthful and accurate and must
not omit material information that is necessary for the Commission to determine compliance with its
performance requirements.306
133.
Electronic coverage maps must accurately depict the boundaries of each license area in
the licensee's service territory. If a licensee does not provide reliable signal coverage to an entire license
area, we propose that its map must accurately depict the boundaries of the area or areas within each
license area not being served. Further, we propose that each licensee also must file supporting
documentation certifying the type of service it is providing for each licensed area within its service
territory and the type of technology used to provide such service. Supporting documentation must
include the assumptions used to create the coverage maps, including the propagation model and the signal
strength necessary to provide reliable service with the licensee's technology.
c.

Renewal Criteria

134.
Pursuant to section 308(b) of the Communications Act, the Commission may require
renewal applicants to "set forth such facts as the Commission by regulation may prescribe as to the
citizenship, character, and financial, technical, and other qualifications of the applicant to operate the
station" as well as "such other information as it may require."307 We propose to adopt AWS-3 license
renewal requirements consistent with those adopted in the 700 MHz First Report and Order, the AWS-4
Report and Order
, and the H Block R&O. 308 We emphasize that, as the Commission made clear in these

304 See, e.g., 27 C.F.R. 27.14(a), (o).
305 See 47 C.F.R. 1.946(d) ("notification[s] must be filed with Commission within 15 days of the expiration of the
applicable construction or coverage period").
306 See, e.g., 47 C.F.R. 1.17 (Truthful and accurate statements to the Commission); 47 C.F.R. 1.917(c) ("Willful
false statements . . . are punishable by fine and imprisonment, 18 U.S.C. 1001, and by appropriate administrative
sanctions, including revocation of station license pursuant to 312(a)(1) of the Communications Act of 1934, as
amended.").
307 47 U.S.C. 308(b).
308 Service Rules for the 698-746, 747-762 and 777-792 MHz Bands, WT Docket No. 06-150, Report and Order
and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
, 22 FCC Rcd at 8093-94 75-77 (2007) ("700 MHz First Report and
Order"
); AWS-4 Service Rules R&O at 269-71; H Block R&O, 223-227. See also Amendment of Parts 1, 22,
24, 27, 74, 80, 90, 95, and 101 To Establish Uniform License Renewal, Discontinuance of Operation, and
Geographic Partitioning and Spectrum Disaggregation Rules and Policies for Certain Wireless Radio Services, WT
Docket No. 10-112, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Order, 25 FCC Rcd at 6997-98, 7002-09 2, 16-32
(2010) ("WRS Renewals NPRM and Order").

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proceedings, a licensee's performance showing and its renewal showing are two distinct showings.309 A
performance showing provides a snapshot in time of the level of a licensee's service, while a renewal
showing provides information regarding the level and types of service provided over the entire license
term.310 As the Commission has emphasized, a licensee that meets the applicable performance
requirements might nevertheless fail to meet the renewal requirements.311
135.
We propose that applicants for renewal of AWS-3 licenses file a "renewal showing," in
which they demonstrate that they have been and are continuing to provide service to the public (or, if
consistent with the licensee's regulatory status, it is using the spectrum for private, internal
communication), and substantially complying with the Communications Act and the Commission's rules
and policies.312 We propose to apply to AWS-3 the same renewal showing requirement recently adopted
for the H Block. Specifically, we adopt the following renewal criteria requirements. We require the
renewal showing to include a detailed description of the renewal applicant's provision of service during
the entire license period and discuss: (1) the level and quality of service provided by the applicant
(including the population served, the area served, the number of subscribers, the services offered); (2) the
date service commenced, whether service was ever interrupted, and the duration of any interruption or
outage; (3) the extent to which service is provided to rural areas; (4) the extent to which service is
provided to qualifying Tribal land as defined in 1.2110(e)(3)(i) of the Commission's rules; and (5) any
other factors associated with the level of service to the public.313
136.
As explained above, today we are proposing that AWS-3 licensees meet four and ten-year
performance obligations.314 We seek comment on whether the public interest would be served by
awarding AWS-3 licensees renewal expectancies where they have (1) maintained at least the level of
service required at the four year performance benchmark over the next six years while increasing service
levels towards compliance with the end-of-term benchmark, (2) met the final (ten year) benchmark, and
(3) otherwise complied with the Communications Act and the Commission's rules and policies during
their license term. We also seek comment on whether AWS-3 licensees should obtain a renewal
expectancy at the end of subsequent license terms, if they continue to provide at least the level of service
required at the ten year performance benchmark through the end of any subsequent license terms.
Commenters should discuss and quantify the costs and benefits of this approach.
137.
Finally, consistent with the AWS-4 Report and Order, the 700 MHz First Report and
Order and the H Block R&O, we propose to prohibit the filing of mutually exclusive renewal
applications,315 and that if a license is not renewed, the associated spectrum would be returned to the
Commission and subsequently made available for assignment.316 We seek comment on these proposals,
including on the associated costs and benefits.

309 H Block R&O, 223; AWS-4 Service R&O, 27 FCC Rcd at 16202 270; 700 MHz First Report and Order, 22
FCC Rcd at 8093 75; see also WRS Renewals NPRM and Order, 25 FCC Rcd at 6997-98, 7004-11 2, 21-35.
310 H Block R&O, 223; AWS-4 Service Rules R&O, 27 FCC Rcd at 16201 264.
311 AWS-4 Service Rules R&O, 27 FCC Rcd at 16202 270.
312 See WRS Renewals NPRM and Order, 25 FCC Rcd at 6997-98, 7002-09 2, 16-32.
313 See H Block R&O, 223. See also AWS-4 Service R&O, 27 FCC Rcd at 16202 271; 700 MHz First Report and
Order
, 22 FCC Rcd at 8093 75; WRS Renewals NPRM and Order, 25 FCC Rcd at 7043, App. A (proposed rule
1.949(c)(4)).
314 See supra section III.H.6.b (Performance Requirements).
315 See AWS-4 Service Rules R&O, 27 FCC Rcd at 16202 272; 700 MHz First Report and Order, 22 FCC Rcd at
8093-8094 76-77; H Block R&O, 224.
316 WRS Renewals NPRM and Order, 25 FCC Rcd at 6998, 7013-14 3, 43-44; 700 MHz First Report and Order,
22 FCC Rcd at 8093 76.

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d.

Permanent Discontinuance of Operations

138.
We also request comment on the Commission's rules governing the permanent
discontinuance of operations, which are intended to afford licensees operational flexibility to use their
spectrum efficiently while ensuring that spectrum does not lie idle for extended periods.317 Under section
1.955(a)(3) of the Commission's rules, an authorization will automatically terminate, without specific
Commission action, if service is "permanently discontinued."318 For the AWS-3 band, for providers that
identify their regulatory status as common carrier or non-common carrier, we propose to define
"permanently discontinued" as a period of 180 consecutive days during which the licensee does not
provide service to at least one subscriber that is not affiliated with, controlled by, or related to, the
provider in an EA (or smaller service area in the case of a partitioned EA license). This approach is
consistent with the definition that the Commission has adopted for the H Block and the AWS-4 band.319
We propose a different approach, however, for licensees that use their licenses for private, internal
communications, because such licensees generally do not provide service to unaffiliated subscribers.320
For such private, internal communications, we propose to define "permanent discontinuance" as a period
of 180 consecutive days during which the licensee does not operate.321 Licensees would not be subject to
this requirement until the date of the first performance requirement benchmark, which is proposed as four
years from the date of license grant, so they will have adequate time to construct their network. In
addition, consistent with section 1.955(a)(3) of the Commission's rules, we propose that, if an AWS-3
licensee permanently discontinues service, the licensee must notify the Commission of the discontinuance
within 10 days by filing FCC Form 601 and requesting license cancellation. An authorization will
automatically terminate without specific Commission action if service is permanently discontinued even
if a licensee fails to file the required form. We seek comment on these proposals, including the associated
costs and benefits.
7.

Secondary Markets

a.

Partitioning and Disaggregation

139.
The Commission's Part 27 rules generally allow for geographic partitioning and spectrum
disaggregation.322 Geographic partitioning refers to the assignment of geographic portions of a license to
another licensee along geopolitical or other boundaries. Spectrum disaggregation refers to the assignment
of discrete amounts of spectrum under the license to another entity. Disaggregation allows for multiple
transmitters in the same geographic area operated by different companies on adjacent frequencies in the
same band. As the Commission noted when first establishing partitioning and disaggregation rules,
allowing such flexibility could facilitate the efficient use of spectrum by enabling licensees to make
offerings directly responsive to market demands for particular types of services, increasing competition

317 See WRS Renewals NPRM and Order, 25 FCC Rcd at 7017 49-50.
318 47 C.F.R. 1.955(a)(3).
319 See H Block R&O at 230; AWS-4 Service Rules R&O, 27 FCC Rcd at 16203 274; WRS Renewals NPRM and
Order
, 25 FCC Rcd at 7018 54.
320 See WRS Renewals NPRM and Order, 25 FCC Rcd at 7022 68, 7047 App. A 1.953.
321 In other words, the rule that we propose for private, internal communications does not include a requirement that
the licensee provide service to an unaffiliated subscriber in order to avoid triggering the permanent discontinuance
rule. See id.
322 See 47 C.F.R. 27.15.

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by allowing market entry by new entrants, and expediting provision of services that might not otherwise
be provided in the near term.323
140.
We propose to permit partitioning and disaggregation by licensees in the AWS-3 band.
To ensure that the public interest would be served if partitioning or disaggregation is allowed, we propose
requiring each AWS-3 licensee that is a party to a partitioning, disaggregation, or combination of both to
independently meet the applicable performance and renewal requirements. We believe this approach
would facilitate efficient spectrum use, while enabling service providers to configure geographic area
licenses and spectrum blocks to meet their operational needs.324 We seek comment on these proposals.
Commenters should discuss and quantify the costs and benefits of these proposals with respect to
competition, innovation, and investment.
141.
We also seek comment on whether the Commission should adopt additional or different
mechanisms to encourage partitioning and/or disaggregation of AWS-3 spectrum and the extent to which
such policies ultimately may promote more service, especially in rural areas. Commenters should discuss
and quantify the costs and benefits of promoting more service using mechanisms to encourage
partitioning and disaggregation of AWS-3 spectrum, including the effects of the proposal.
b.

Spectrum Leasing

142.
In 2003, in order to promote more efficient use of terrestrial wireless spectrum through
secondary market transactions, while also eliminating regulatory uncertainty, the Commission adopted a
comprehensive set of policies and rules to govern spectrum leasing arrangements between terrestrial
licensees and spectrum lessees.325 These policies and rules enable terrestrially based Wireless Radio
Service licensees holding "exclusive use" spectrum rights to lease some or all of the spectrum usage
rights associated with their licenses to third party spectrum lessees, which then are permitted to provide
wireless services consistent with the underlying license authorization.326 Through these actions, the
Commission sought to promote more efficient, innovative, and dynamic use of the terrestrial spectrum,
expand the scope of available wireless services and devices, enhance economic opportunities for
accessing spectrum, and promote competition among terrestrial wireless service providers.327 In 2004, the
Commission built upon this spectrum leasing framework by establishing immediate approval procedures
for certain categories of terrestrial spectrum leasing arrangements and extending the spectrum leasing
policies to additional Wireless Radio Services.328

323 Geographic Partitioning and Spectrum Disaggregation by Commercial Mobile Radio Service Licensees, WT
Docket No. 96-148, Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 11 FCC Rcd 21831, 21833 1
(1996).
324 See generally WRS Renewals NPRM and Order, 25 FCC Rcd 6996, 6998-99, 7029-33 5, 91-97.
325 Promoting Efficient Use of Spectrum Through Elimination of Barriers to the Development of Secondary
Markets, WT Docket No. 00-230, Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 18 FCC Rcd
20604 (2003) ("Secondary Markets First Report and Order"), Erratum, 18 FCC Rcd 24817 (2003).
326 Secondary Markets First Report and Order, 18 FCC Rcd at 20609-13, 20648-49 8-9, 12-13, 91-92. Wireless
Radio Services do not include satellite services. 47 C.F.R. 1.907. Under these secondary market policies and
rules, the service rules and policies applicable to the licensee under its license authorization including all technical,
interference, and operational rules apply to the spectrum lessee as well. Id., 18 FCC Rcd at 20648-49 91-92;
see 47 C.F.R. 1.9020(c)-(d), 1.9030 (c)-(d), 1.9035(c)-(d). The rules and procedures for spectrum leasing
arrangements are set forth in Part 1, Subpart X. 47 C.F.R 1.9001 et seq.
327 See id., 18 FCC Rcd at 20607 2.
328 Promoting Efficient Use of Spectrum Through Elimination of Barriers to the Development of Secondary
Markets, WT Docket No. 00-230, Second Report and Order, Order on Reconsideration, and Second Further Notice
of Proposed Rulemaking
, 19 FCC Rcd 17503 (2004) (Secondary Markets Second Report and Order). We note that
(continued....)

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143.
We propose that the spectrum leasing policies and rules established in those proceedings
be applied to the AWS-3 in the same manner that those policies apply to other Part 27 services.329 We
seek comment on this proposal. Commenters should discuss the effects on competition, innovation and
investment, and on extending our secondary spectrum leasing policies and rules to the AWS-3 band.
8.

Other Operating Requirements

144.
Even though licenses in the AWS-3 band may be issued pursuant to one rule part,
licensees in this band may be required to comply with rules contained in other parts of the Commission's
rules by virtue of the particular services they provide. For example:
Applicants and licensees may be subject to the application filing procedures for the Universal
Licensing System, set forth in Part 1 of our rules.330

Licensees may be required to comply with the practices and procedures listed in Part 1 of our
rules for license applications, petitions for declaratory ruling under Section 310(b),331
adjudicatory proceedings, etc.

Licensees may be required to comply with the Commission's environmental provisions,
including section 1.1307. 332

Licensees may be required to comply with the antenna structure provisions of Part 17 of our
rules.

To the extent a licensee provides a Commercial Mobile Radio Service ("CMRS"), we
propose that such service would be subject to the provisions of Part 20 of the Commission's
rules, including 911/E911 and hearing aid-compatibility requirements, along with the
provisions in the rule part under which the license was issued. 333 Part 20 applies to all
CMRS providers, even though the stations may be licensed under other parts of our rules.334

To the extent a licensee provides interconnected VoIP services, we propose that the licensee
would be subject to the E911 service requirements set forth in Part 9 of our rules.335

The application of general provisions of Parts 22, 24, 27, or 101 would include rules related
to equal employment opportunity, etc.

145.
We seek comment on whether these provisions should apply to AWS-3 licensees and, if
so, whether we need to modify any of these rules to ensure that AWS-3 licensees are covered under the
necessary provisions. We seek comment on applying these rules to the AWS-3 spectrum and specifically
(Continued from previous page)
there may be limitations on the use of such immediate approval procedures where certain foreign ownership
questions must be addressed. See Foreign Ownership Policies at 96, 110.
329 Id. See e.g., 47 C.F.R. 1.9005(j).
330 See 47 C.F.R. Part 1, Subpart F.
331 Foreign Ownership Policies. App. B (codifying new rules effective 30 days after publication in Federal
Register).
332 47 C.F.R. 1.1307.
333 47 C.F.R. Part 20; see also 47 C.F.R. 27.3(g).
334 See, e.g., Service Rules for the 698-746, 747-762 and 777-792 MHz Bands, WT Docket No. 06-150, Second
Report and Order
, 22 FCC Rcd 15289, 15478-79 550-53 (2007).
335 47 C.F.R. Part 9.

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on any rules that would be affected by our proposal to apply elements of the framework of these parts,
whether separately or in conjunction with other requirements. What are the potential problems that may
be associated with the Commission's adoption of any of these potential requirements, and how do they
compare to the potential benefits?
9.

Facilitating Access to Spectrum and the Provision of Service to Tribal Lands

146.
The Commission currently has under consideration various provisions and policies
intended to promote greater use of spectrum over Tribal lands.336 We propose to extend any rules and
policies adopted in that proceeding to any license that may be issued through competitive bidding in this
proceeding. We seek comment on this proposal, including any costs and benefits.
10.

Competitive Bidding Procedures

147.
As discussed above, the Spectrum Act requires the Commission to grant new initial
licenses for the use of spectrum in certain specified frequency bands through a system of competitive
bidding.337 We will therefore assign licenses in the 1695-1710 MHz, 1755-1780 MHz, and 2155-2180
MHz bands through competitive bidding. In addition, because we propose to license the 2020-2025 MHz
band on a geographic area basis, which procedure will permit the acceptance of mutually exclusive
applications, we will also resolve such applications through competitive bidding consistent with our
statutory mandate.338 Accordingly, we seek comment on a number of proposals relating to competitive
bidding for licenses for spectrum in these bands. We also note below that we have recently amended our
rules to require an additional certification that will be required of applicants in any short-form application
to participate in competitive bidding for licenses in certain AWS-3 bands at issue herein.
a.

Application of Part 1 Competitive Bidding Rules

148.
We propose that the Commission would conduct any auction for licenses for spectrum in
the 1695-1710 MHz, 1755-1780 MHz, 2020-2025 MHz, and 2155-2180 MHz bands in conformity with
the general competitive bidding rules set forth in Part 1, Subpart Q, of the Commission's rules, and
substantially consistent with the competitive bidding procedures that have been employed in previous
auctions.339 Specifically, we propose to employ the Part 1 rules governing competitive bidding design,
designated entity preferences, unjust enrichment, application and payment procedures, reporting
requirements, and the prohibition on certain communications between auction applicants.340 Under this

336 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"
).
337 See 47 U.S.C. 1451(b)(1)-(2). The spectrum, as specified in the Spectrum Act, is as follows: 1915-1920 MHz,
1995-2000 MHz, 2155-2180 MHz, the 15 megahertz of spectrum identified by NTIA pursuant to 47 U.S.C.
1451(a)(3), and 15 megahertz of contiguous spectrum to be identified by the Commission. See id. 1451(b)(2).
Pursuant to the Spectrum Act's directive, on December 17, 2012, the Commission released a Notice of Proposed
Rulemaking proposing service rules and licensing procedures for the 1915-1920 MHz and 1995-2000 MHz bands.
See H Block NPRM, 27 FCC Rcd 16258 (2012). As noted above, recently the Commission notified NTIA that,
pursuant to CSEA, as amended by the Spectrum Act, it plans to commence the auction of licenses in the 1695-1710
MHz band and the 1755-1780 MHz band as early as September 2014. See FCC March 2013 Auction Notification
Letter.
338 47 U.S.C. 309(j).
339 See 47 C.F.R. 1.2101-1.2114.
340 See, e.g., Amendment of Part 1 of the Commission's Rules--Competitive Bidding Procedures, WT Docket No.
97-82, Order, Memorandum Opinion and Order and Notice of Proposed Rule Making, 12 FCC Rcd 5686 (1997);
Third Report and Order and Second Further Notice of Proposed Rule Making, 13 FCC Rcd 374 (1997) ("Part 1
Third Report and Order"
); Order on Reconsideration of the Third Report and Order, Fifth Report and Order, and
Fourth Further Notice of Proposed Rule Making
, 15 FCC Rcd 15293 (2000), aff'd in part and modified in part,
(continued....)

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proposal, such rules would be subject to any modifications that the Commission may adopt for its Part 1
general competitive bidding rules in the future. We also seek comment on whether any of our Part 1 rules
would be inappropriate or should be modified for an auction of licenses in these frequency bands.
b.

Revision to Part 1 Certification Procedures

149.
Section 6004 of the Spectrum Act prohibits "a person who has been, for reasons of
national security, barred by any agency of the Federal Government from bidding on a contract,
participating in an auction, or receiving a grant" from participating in a system of competitive bidding
under section 309(j) required to be conducted under Title VI of the Spectrum Act.341 In the H Block
Report and Order
, the Commission implemented this Spectrum Act mandate by adding a national
security certification to the various other certifications that a party must make in any short-form
application to participate in competitive bidding as required under our existing rules.342 Accordingly, an
applicant to participate in an auction offering licenses for spectrum in the AWS-3 bands required by the
Spectrum Act to be assigned by auction will be required to certify, under penalty of perjury, that it and all
of the related individuals and entities required to be disclosed on the short-form application are not
persons who have "been, for reasons of national security, barred by any agency of the Federal
Government from bidding on a contract, participating in an auction, or receiving a grant." 343 As with
other required certifications, failure to include the required certification by the applicable filing deadline
would render the application unacceptable for filing, and the application would be dismissed with
prejudice.344
c.

Small Business Provisions for Geographic Area Licenses

150.
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."345 In addition, Section 309(j)(3)(B) of the Communications Act provides that,
in establishing eligibility criteria and bidding methodologies, the Commission shall seek to promote a
number of objectives, including "economic opportunity and competition . . . by avoiding excessive
(Continued from previous page)
Second Order on Reconsideration of the Third Report and Order, and Order on Reconsideration of the Fifth Report
and Order
, 18 FCC Rcd 10180 (2003); Seventh Report and Order, 16 FCC Rcd 17546 (2001); Eighth Report and
Order
, 17 FCC Rcd 2962 (2002); Second Order on Reconsideration of the Part 1 Fifth Report and Order, 20 FCC
Rcd 1942 (2005); Implementation of the Commercial Spectrum Enhancement Act and Modernization of the
Commission's Competitive Bidding Rules and Procedures, WT Docket 05-211, Report and Order, 21 FCC Rcd 891
(2006) ("CSEA/Part 1 Report and Order"), recons. pending; Second Report and Order and Second Further Notice
of Proposed Rule Making
, 21 FCC Rcd 4753 (2006) ("CSEA/Part 1 Designated Entity Second Report and Order
and Second FNPRM"
), recons. pending; Order on Reconsideration of the Second Report and Order, 21 FCC Rcd
6703 (2006) (modified by Erratum and Notice of Office of Management and Budget Approval of Information
Collections
, 21 FCC Rcd 6622 (WTB 2006)), petition for review dismissed sub nom. Council Tree Communications,
Inc. v. FCC
, 503 F.3d 284 (3d Cir. 2007); Second Order on Reconsideration of the Second Report and Order, 23
FCC Rcd 5425 (2008), vacated in part, Council Tree Communications, Inc. v. FCC, 619 F.3d 235 (3d Cir. 2010);
Order, FCC 12-12 (Feb. 1, 2012).
341 See Spectrum Act 6004(b)-(c).
342 See H Block R&O at 253; see also 47 C.F.R. 1.2105(a)(2)(xii).
343 See H Block R&O at 254. For purposes of this certification, "person" is defined as an individual, partnership,
association, joint-stock company, trust, or corporation. See H Block R&O at 253; see also 47 U.S.C. 153(39)
("The term `person' includes an individual, partnership, association, joint-stock company trust or corporation.").
For purposes of this certification, "reasons of national security" is defined to mean matters relating to the national
defense and foreign relations of the United States. See H Block R&O at 253; see also 18 U.S.C. app. 3 1(b)
(defining "national security" as "the national defense and foreign relations of the United States").
344 See 47 C.F.R. 1.2105(b)(1).
345 47 U.S.C. 309(j)(4)(D).

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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."346 One of the principal means by which the Commission fulfills this mandate is through the
award of bidding credits to small businesses.
151.
In the Competitive Bidding Second Memorandum Opinion and Order, the Commission
stated that it would define 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
the appropriate threshold.347 Further, in the Part 1 Third Report and Order, the Commission, while
standardizing many auction rules, determined that it would continue a service-by-service approach to
defining small businesses.348
152.
In the event that the Commission assigns geographic area licenses for spectrum in the
1695-1710 MHz, 1755-1780 MHz, 2020-2025 MHz, and 2155-2180 MHz bands, we believe that this
spectrum would be employed for purposes similar to those for which spectrum in the AWS-1 band is
used. We therefore propose to establish the same small business size standards and associated bidding
credits for these bands as the Commission adopted for the AWS-1 band.349 These small business size
standards and associated bidding credits were adopted for the AWS-1 band because of the similarities
between the AWS-1 service and the broadband PCS service.350 The Commission also followed this
approach when proposing small business size standards and associated bidding credits in the AWS-2
NPRM
and H Block NPRM, and when adopting them in the AWS-4 Service Rules R&O.351 Thus, we
propose to define a small business as an entity with average annual gross revenues for the preceding three
years not exceeding $40 million, and a very small business as an entity with average annual gross
revenues for the preceding three years not exceeding $15 million.352 We seek comment on this proposal,
including the costs and benefits associated with the proposal.
153.
We propose to provide small businesses with a bidding credit of 15 percent and very
small businesses with a bidding credit of 25 percent, as set forth in the standardized schedule in Part 1 of
our Rules.353 We seek comment on the use of these standards and associated bidding credits, with
particular focus on the appropriate definitions of small businesses and very small businesses as they may
relate to the size of the geographic area to be served and the spectrum allocated to each license.
Commenters should discuss and quantify any costs or benefits associated with these standards and
associated bidding credits as they relate to the proposed geographic areas. In discussing these issues,

346 Id. 309(j)(3)(B).
347 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, 7269 145 (1994); 47 C.F.R. 1.2110(c)(1).
348 Part 1 Third Report and Order, 13 FCC Rcd at 388 18; 47 C.F.R. 1.2110(c)(1).
349 See 47 C.F.R. 24.720 (1994); AWS-1 Report and Order, 18 FCC Rcd at 25220 149. See also AWS-4 Service
Rules R&O
, 27 FCC Rcd 16102, 16185 217) (adopting the AWS-1 size standards and associated bidding credits
for small businesses for any AWS-4 licenses awarded through competitive bidding); H Block NPRM, 27 FCC Rcd at
16295-97, 105-111 (2012) (proposing to use the AWS-1 size standards and associated bidding credits for small
businesses for any H Block licenses awarded through competitive bidding).
350 Service Rules for Advanced Wireless Services in the 1.7 GHz and 2.1 GHz Bands, WT Docket No. 02-353,
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 17 FCC Rcd 24135, 24164-65 76-77 (2002).
351 See 2004 NPRM, 19 FCC Rcd at 19308-09 122-23; H Block NPRM, 27 FCC Rcd at 16295-97, 105-111;
AWS-4 Service Rules R&O, 27 FCC Rcd at 16185 217.
352 We are coordinating these proposed small business size standards with the U.S. Small Business Administration.
353 In the Part 1 Third Report and Order, the Commission adopted a standard schedule of bidding credits, the levels
of which were developed based on our auction experience. Part 1 Third Report and Order, 13 FCC Rcd at 403-04
47; see also 47 C.F.R. 1.2110(f)(2).

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commenters are requested to address and quantify the expected capital requirements for services in these
bands and other characteristics of the service. Commenters are also invited to use comparisons with other
frequency bands for which the Commission has already established service rules as a basis for their
comments and any quantification of costs and benefits regarding the appropriate small business size
standards.
154.
In establishing the criteria for small business bidding credits, we acknowledge the
difficulty in accurately predicting the technology and market conditions that will exist at the time these
frequencies are licensed. Thus, our forecasts of types of services that will be offered over these bands
may require adjustment depending upon ongoing technological developments and changes in market
conditions.
155.
We seek comment on whether the small business provisions we propose today are
sufficient to promote participation by businesses owned by minorities and women, as well as rural
telephone companies. To the extent that commenters propose additional 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.354
156.
We also seek comment on whether to use a different approach to bidding credits. To the
extent commenters support a different approach to bidding credits than those discussed here, they should
support their proposals with relevant information, including costs and benefits of their alternative
proposals on the types of system architecture that are likely to be deployed in these bands, the availability
of equipment, market conditions, and other factors that may affect the capital requirements of the types of
services that may be provided.
157.
Finally, we note that under our Part 1 rules, a winning bidder for a market 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.355 The Commission currently has under consideration
various provisions and policies intended to promote greater use of spectrum over tribal lands. We
propose to extend any rules and policies adopted in that proceeding to any licenses in the 1695-
1710 MHz, 1755-1780 MHz, 2020-2025 MHz, and 2155-2180 MHz bands that may be assigned through
competitive bidding.356 We seek comment on this proposal.
d.

Commercial Spectrum Enhancement Act Requirements

158.
As noted above, the CSEA established the SRF to reimburse Federal agencies operating
on certain frequencies that have been reallocated from Federal to non-Federal use for the cost of
relocating their operations.357 The SRF is funded from cash proceeds attributable to "eligible
frequencies" in an auction involving such frequencies.358 CSEA requires NTIA to notify the Commission
of estimated relocation costs and timelines for relocation from eligible frequencies by eligible Federal

354 See, e.g., Adarand Constructors, Inc. v. Pea, 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).
355 47 C.F.R. 1.2110(f)(3).
356 Tribal Lands NPRM, 26 FCC Rcd 2623, 2630-31 19-20.
357 See supra 11. See also 47 U.S.C. 928 (Spectrum Relocation Fund).
358 47 U.S.C. 928(b). "Eligible frequencies" are defined as those in the 216-220 MHz band, the 1432-1435 MHz
band, the 1710-1755 MHz band, the 2385-2390 MHz band, and any other band of frequencies reallocated from
Federal use to non-Federal use or to shared use after January 1, 2003 that is assigned by competitive bidding
pursuant to Section 309(j) of the Communications Act, 47 U.S.C. 309(j). See 47 U.S.C. 923(g)(2).

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entities at least six months in advance of a scheduled auction of eligible frequencies.359 CSEA further
requires that the total cash proceeds from any auction of "eligible frequencies" must equal at least 110
percent of estimated relocation costs of eligible Federal entities,360 and prohibits the Commission from
concluding any auction of eligible frequencies that falls short of this revenue requirement.361 We invite
comment on the applicability of the 110 percent requirement in the CSEA to the various relocation and
sharing scenarios discussed herein.362 We also note that the proceeds of spectrum required to be
auctioned under Section 6401 of the Spectrum Act are to be deposited in the Public Safety Trust Fund
established under Section 6413 of the Spectrum Act. Commenters may wish to discuss the potential
interplay between these Spectrum Act provisions and the CSEA.
e.

Multi-Stage Auction and Licensing Alternatives for 1.7 GHz

159.
We recognize that the Federal/non-Federal sharing scenarios being considered by
CSMAC are very complex and workable rules may prove difficult to implement prior to the licensing
deadlines imposed by the Spectrum Act. Therefore, we seek comment on alternative licensing constructs
that could facilitate ongoing "operator-to-operator" negotiations between licensees in commercial bands
(e.g., 2155 MHz) and Federal agencies occupying complementary Federal bands (e.g., 1.7 GHz), should
sharing or relocation for exclusive use not be possible.
160.
We expect that such approaches would contain a licensing component, which would
provide that licensees in the commercial bands are granted an exclusive license for the shared
Federal/non-Federal band with all non-Federal operations subject to successful coordination with all
Federal operators. They might also contain a mechanism to allow for the conveyance of funds to
facilitate commercial access in a manner consistent with applicable laws, including, but not limited to, the
CSEA and the Miscellaneous Receipts Act.363
161.
For example, under this scenario, could the license for the commercial bands be paired
with an "overlay" license in Federal bands providing that commercial use of such bands would be entirely
contingent upon successful coordination with incumbent Federal users? Alternatively, could the

359 47 U.S.C. 923(g)(4). On March 20, 2013, the Commission notified NTIA that it "plans to commence the
auction of licenses in the 1695-1710 MHz band and the 1755-1780 MHz band as early as September 2014." FCC
March 2013 Letter to NTIA
at 1.
360 See 47 U.S.C. 309(j)(3)(F). Section 309(j)(16)(A) of the Communications Act, which was added by Section
203(b) of CSEA, requires the Commission to revise its existing regulations to prescribe methods by which the total
cash proceeds from any auction of licenses authorizing use of "eligible frequencies" shall equal at least 110 percent
of the total estimated relocation costs provided to the Commission by NTIA. See 47 U.S.C. 309(j)(16)(A). In
implementing rules and procedures necessary to comply with CSEA, the Commission amended its reserve price rule
to provide that, for any auction of "eligible frequencies" requiring recovery of estimated relocation costs, the
Commission will establish a reserve price or prices pursuant to which the total cash proceeds from any auction of
eligible frequencies shall equal at least 110 percent of the total estimated relocation costs of provided to the
Commission by NTIA. See Implementation of the Commercial Spectrum Enhancement Act and Modernization of
the Commission's Competitive Bidding Rules and Procedures, Report and Order, 21 FCC Rcd 891, 894 6-7
(2006) (implementing provisions of CSEA) (CSEA Implementation Report and Order); 47 C.F.R. 1.2104(c). The
Commission also modified its Tribal land bidding credit rule to enable the Commission, in auctions subject to
CSEA, to award all eligible applicants tribal land bidding credits on a pro rata basis in the event that the net winning
bids at the close of bidding (exclusive of tribal land bidding credits) are not sufficient both to meet the reserve
price(s) and to award all eligible applicants full tribal land bidding credits. See id. at 896-898 13-16; 47 C.F.R.
1.2110(f)(3)(v). The reserve price and Tribal land bidding credit rules adopted by the Commission in the CSEA
Implementation Report and Order
remain in effect today.
361 See 47 U.S.C. 309(j)(16)(B).
362 See 47 U.S.C. 309(j)(8)(D) (as amended by Section 6401(c) of the Spectrum Act.
363 31 U.S.C. 3302(b) (an official or agent of the Government receiving money for the Government from any source
shall deposit the money in the Treasury as soon as practicable without deduction for any charge or claim).

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commercial licenses grant to the licensee exclusive eligibility status with respect to a future assignment of
rights in such Federal bands? Could an auction proceed in two stages, to enable the initial assignment of
a "negotiation right" and subsequent payments into the Spectrum Relocation Fund to facilitate relocation
or upgrades pursuant to the CSEA? For example, the first stage could assign commercial licenses and any
concomitant rights to negotiate with incumbent Federal users for the use of Federal spectrum. The second
stage would consist of a supplementary round with participation limited to eligible commercial licensees,
and a reserve price set based on the 110 percent funding requirement established by the CSEA. What
approaches would generate the most certainty, and therefore expected value, in the use of the spectrum?
11.

Non-Federal Relocation and Cost Sharing

a.
2155-2180 MHz
162.
There are two non-Federal incumbent services still authorized in portions of the 2155-
2180 MHz band: there are approximately 250 Fixed Microwave Service ("FS") licenses in the 2160-2180
MHz band and approximately five BRS licensees in the 2150-2160/62 MHz band. The FS operations in
the 2160-2180 MHz band are typically configured to provide two-way microwave communications using
paired links in the 2110-2130 MHz band. While few BRS systems remain, in the past BRS systems were
deployed via three types of system configurations: high-power video stations, high-power fixed two-way
systems, and low-power, cellularized two-way systems.364 Under the Commission's rules, AWS licensees
in these bands must protect incumbent operations or relocate the incumbent licensees to comparable
facilities, until the applicable "sunset date," after which the incumbents must cease operating if the AWS
licensee intends to operate a station in the relevant area.365 The Commission's rules also address cost-
sharing reimbursement to cover the scenario where relocation of an incumbent system benefits more than
one AWS licensee.366 We propose to extend to the AWS-3 band the current relocation and cost sharing
rules for both the FS in the 2160-2180 MHz band and the BRS in the 2150-2160/62 MHz band. We seek
comment on this proposal.
b.
2020-2025 MHz
163.
Background. The 2020-2025 MHz band is part of the 1990-2025 MHz band that the
Commission reallocated from the BAS to emerging technologies ("ET") such as PCS, AWS, and MSS.367
Consistent with the relocation principles first established in the Commission's Emerging Technologies
proceeding, each new entrant had an independent responsibility to relocate incumbent BAS licensees.368
In addition, as a general rule, the Commission's traditional cost-sharing principles are applicable to the

364 Amendment of Part 2 of the Commission's Rules to Allocate Spectrum Below 3 GHz for Mobile and Fixed
Services to Support the Introduction of New Advanced Wireless Services, Including Third Generation Wireless
Systems, ET Docket No. 00-258, Ninth Report And Order and Order, 21 FCC Rcd at 4480 12 (2006) ("AWS
Allocation Ninth R&O")
. The 2150-2160/62 MHz BRS band is subdivided into two channels: Channels 1 from
2150-2156 MHz and Channel 2a/2 from 2156-2160/62 MHz.
365 47 C.F.R. 27.1250-27.1255, 101.69-101.82; AWS Allocation Ninth R&O, 21 FCC Rcd at 4481-4503, 4505-07,
4515-19, 4526-33, 15-54, 58-63, 74-85, 104-125.
366 47 C.F.R. 27.1160-1190.
367 See supra section III.B.4 (Proposed Bands for AWS-3 Service Rules, 2020-2025 MHz). See also 47 C.F.R.
74.690. Of the total 35 megahertz of spectrum, five megahertz was authorized for PCS and held by Sprint; 10
megahertz is authorized for, and to be auctioned and licensed as, AWS; and 20 megahertz is authorized for MSS and
AWS-4.
368 Improving Public Safety Communications in the 800 MHz Band, WT Docket No. 02-55, ET Docket No. 00-258,
ET Docket No. 95-18, Fifth Report and Order, Eleventh Report and Order, Sixth Report and Order, and
Declaratory Ruling
, 25 FCC Rcd at 13876 5 (2010) ("2010 BAS Ruling").

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1990-2025 MHz band.369 Sprint, which is the PCS licensee at 1990-1995 MHz, completed the BAS
transition for the entire 35 megahertz in 2010.370 In 2011, Sprint notified the Commission that it entered
in a private settlement with DISH to resolve the dispute with MSS licensees with respect to MSS
licensees' obligation to reimburse Sprint for their share of the BAS relocation costs.371 Accordingly, the
only remaining cost-sharing obligations in the 1990-2025 MHz band are attributable to the remaining,
unassigned ten megahertz of spectrum in the 1990-2025 MHz band: 1995-2000 MHz and 2020-2025
MHz.372
164.
In the AWS Allocation Sixth R&O, the Commission determined that all new entrants to
the 1990-2025 MHz band may be required to bear a proportional share of the costs incurred in the BAS
clearance on a pro rata basis according to the amount of spectrum each licensee is assigned. However,
the Commission did not decide specifically how to allocate that share.373 In the 2004 NPRM, the
Commission sought comment on how the reimbursement rights and obligations of each AWS licensee
could be most efficiently and equitably be allocated if the 2020-2025 MHz were licensed on a geographic
area basis other than as a nationwide license.374 To the extent that not all spectrum in the 1990-2025 MHz
band would have been licensed, the Commission sought comment on whether to require those entrants
who are licensed at that time to bear a pro rata share of the relocation costs based on the amount of
spectrum they have been assigned relative to the amount of 1990-2025 MHz spectrum that has been
licensed.375 In addition, the Commission also sought comment on whether to impose reimbursement
obligations on later arriving new entrants, on the appropriate length of such an obligation, and on the

369 See Improving Public Safety Communications in the 800 MHz Band, WT Docket No. 02-55, ET Docket No. 00-
258, ET Docket No. 95-18, Report and Order, Fifth Report and Order, Fourth Memorandum Opinion and Order,
and Order
, 19 FCC Rcd 15095, 15099 252, 261 (2004) ("800 MHz R&O"). Under these procedures, the first
new entrant into the band that incurs relocation expenses for the relocation of incumbents from portions of the band
that the new entrant will not occupy is, as a general matter, eligible to obtain reimbursement from subsequent
entrants in the band. 47 C.F.R. 27.1160-1174, 101.82.
370 Letter from Brett S. Haan, 800 MHz Transition Administrator, LLC, to David L. Furth, Deputy Chief, Public
Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, Federal Communications Commission (May 13, 2011), at 2, citing Letter
from Robert H. McNamara, Sprint Nextel Corporation, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, Federal Communications
Commission, WT Docket No. 02-55 (dated July 15, 2010). Sprint has stated that the pro rata share of the overall
BAS relocation costs attributable to each five megahertz of relocated BAS spectrum amounts to $94,875,516. Sprint
completed the BAS transition for the entire 35 megahertz due to the integrated nature of BAS operations, which
required relocations on a market-by-market basis, nationwide.
371 See Applications of New DBSD Satellite Services G.P., Debtor-in-Possession, and TerreStar Licensee Inc.,
Debtor-in-Possession, Withdrawal of Petition to Condition Approval of Sprint Nextel Corporation, IB Docket No.
11-149 (Nov. 3, 2011) (informing the Commission that Sprint had reached an agreement with DISH to settle its
outstanding disputes).
372 As the 2020-2025 MHz band represents one-seventh of the relocated BAS spectrum, the relocation costs
collectively attributable to 2020-2025 MHz licenses amount to $94,875,516. Another 5 megahertz in the 1990-2025
MHz band is currently part of the H Block (1995-2000). The Commission addressed the one-seventh owed to Sprint
for the relocation costs associated with the H Block in a separate proceeding, WT Docket No. 12-357.
373Amendment of Part 2 of the Commission's Rules to Allocate Spectrum Below 3 GHz for Mobile and Fixed
Services to Support the Introduction of New Advanced Wireless Services, Including Third Generation Wireless
Systems, ET Docket No. 00-258, Sixth Report and Order, Third Memorandum Opinion and Order, and Fifth
Memorandum Opinion and Order,
19 FCC Rcd at 20753 72-73 (2004) ("AWS Allocation Sixth R&O').
374 The Commission sought comment on whether to determine the pro rata amount owed by the licensee of each
individual license on the basis of the geographic area or population covered by each license, or the value of each
license as indicated by the winning auction bid, or by some other means. See 2004 NPRM, 19 FCC Rcd at 19287-
19288 60.
375 See 2004 NPRM, 19 FCC Rcd at 19288 61.

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mechanism for applying those obligations.376 In the 2010 BAS Order the Commission determined that an
AWS entrants' cost-sharing obligation for the 1990-2025 MHz band will be triggered upon the final grant
of the long form application for each of its licenses.377
165.
Discussion. Consistent with the Commission's intent that all entrants to the 1990-2025
MHz band bear a proportional share of the costs incurred in the BAS clearance on a pro rata basis
according to the amount of spectrum each entrant is assigned, we propose that 2020-2025 MHz band
licensees be responsible for reimbursing Sprint for one-seventh of the BAS relocation costs (i.e., the
proportional share of the costs associated with Sprint relocating 5 megahertz of BAS spectrum that will be
used by licensees of the 2020-2025 MHz band). We believe it is important to provide auction bidders
with reasonable certainty as to the range of the reimbursement obligation associated with each license
under various auction outcomes. We also believe it is important for Sprint to be fully reimbursed as soon
as possible given that Sprint cleared the spectrum so 2020-2025 MHz band licensees will receive
unencumbered spectrum. Accordingly, we propose to require 2020-2025 MHz band licensees to
reimburse Sprint based on the gross winning bids of the initial auction of the 2020-2025 MHz band.
Specifically, we propose that the reimbursement amount owed ("RN") be determined by dividing the
gross winning bid ("GWB")378 for a 2020-2025 MHz license (i.e., an individual EA) by the sum of the
gross winning bids for all 2020-2025 MHz band licenses won in the initial auction and then multiplying
by $94,875,516. In other words, the cost-sharing formula would read as follows:
EA GWB
RN = (
) x $94,875,516
Sum of GWBs

Because certain EAs, such as for the Gulf of Mexico, have a relative value that is not directly tied to
population, our proposal seeks to allow the market to determine the value of each EA license and the
associated amount of the reimbursement obligation. However, parties can comment on alternative cost-
sharing formulas, including one based on population as described below. We seek comment on our
proposals.
166.
This formula would ensure that Sprint receives full reimbursement after the first auction
by effectively apportioning the reimbursement costs associated with any unsold 2020-2025 MHz band
licenses among the winning bidders of 2020-2025 MHz band licenses in the first auction--with an
exception in the event a successful bidder's long-form application is not filed or granted,379 and a
contingency to cover an unlikely scenario. We further propose that winning bidders of 2020-2025 MHz
band licenses in the first auction of this spectrum would not have a right to seek reimbursement from

376 See id.
377 Improving Public Safety Communications in the 800 MHz Band, WT Docket No. 02-55, ET Docket No. 00-258,
ET Docket No. 95-18, Fifth Report and Order, Eleventh Report and Order, Sixth Report and Order, and
Declaratory Ruling
, 25 FCC Rcd 13874, 13896 50 (2010).
378 Basing the proposed cost-sharing formula on gross, rather than net, winning bids, avoids having to recalculate
obligations in the event that a bidding credit is adjusted or denied during the review of the long-form applications.
379 The Commission imposes payment obligations on bidders that withdraw provisionally winning bids during the
course of an auction, on those that default on payments due after an auction closes, and on those that are
disqualified. See 47 C.F.R. 1.2110(f)(2)(i). To the extent such were to occur and a winning bidder were not
awarded a license, we propose that the EA license at issue be deemed to have triggered a reimbursement obligation
that will be paid to Sprint by the licensee acquiring the license at a reauction. The amount owed to Sprint by the
licensee acquiring the EA license at reauction will be based on the gross winning bid for the EA license in the initial
auction. Accordingly, an applicant at reauction will know with the certainty the reimbursement obligation owed to
Sprint and take it into account in placing its bids for each EA license. Our proposal balances the interests of all
parties while adopting a cost-sharing formula that is easy to administer.

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other 2020-2025 MHz licensees including for licenses awarded in subsequent auctions. We believe this
approach would avoid recordkeeping burdens and potential disputes and that it is appropriate given that--
in the event that most licenses are awarded--the reimbursement obligation for an individual license will
represent but a fraction of overall reimbursement to Sprint. We seek comment on our proposals including
the following contingency: in the unlikely event that licenses covering less than 40 percent of the
population of the United States380 are awarded in the first auction, we propose that winning bidders--in
the first auction of this spectrum as well as in subsequent auctions--will be required to timely pay Sprint
their pro rata share calculated by dividing the population of the individual EA awarded at auction by the
total U.S. population and then multiplying by $94,875,516. This contingent proposal would ensure that
Sprint is reimbursed as soon as possible while also protecting winning bidders of 2020-2025 MHz band
licenses from bearing an undue burden of the reimbursement obligation due to Sprint. We seek comment
on our proposal.
167.
Alternatively, we specifically seek comment on the relative costs and benefits of adopting
a population based cost-sharing formula as the general rule for the 2020-2025 MHz band.381 We
acknowledge that using a population based approach in all events would offer bidders certainty as to the
obligation attached to each license but this approach could also defer Sprint's full reimbursement
indefinitely if less than all of the licenses are awarded during the initial auction.
168.
We further propose that winning bidders promptly pay Sprint the amount owed, as
calculated pursuant to the formula that we adopt, within 30 days of grant of their long form applications
for the licenses. For PCS and AWS-1, and AWS-4, cost sharing obligations are triggered when a licensee
proposes to operate a base station in an area cleared of incumbents by another licensee. In this case,
rather than Sprint itself benefiting from its band clearing efforts, other entrants in the band will reap the
benefits of Sprint's efforts. Accordingly, we find no significant reason to treat Sprint any differently than
UTAM, for its clearing of the 1910-1915 MHz band382 and as recently proposed for UTAM's clearing of
the 1915-1920 MHz band.383 Thus, we propose that Sprint be fully reimbursed by AWS licensees that
will benefit from Sprint's clearing of the 2020-2025 MHz band. Moreover, as noted above, given the
relative fraction of overall reimbursement to Sprint that will be owed by each winning bidder, we believe
that it will not disincentivize parties from filing applications or impose a burden on winning bidders to
reimburse Sprint within 30 days of the grant of their long-form applications. We seek comment on the
above proposals, including the costs and benefits.

380 The population percentage would be as measured using 2010 Census data or such other data or measurements
that the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau proposes and adopts under the notice and comment process for the
auction procedures.
381 For example, some EAs, such as for the Gulf of Mexico, may have a relative value that is not directly tied to
population. In these cases, a population based cost-sharing formula may not fairly apportion relocation costs among
the winning bidders of such licenses.
382 Amendment of Part 2 of the Commission's Rules to Allocate Spectrum Below 3 GHz for Mobile and Fixed
Services to Support the Introduction of New Advanced Wireless Services, Including Third Generation Wireless
Systems, ET Docket No. 00-258, Third Report and Order, Third Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Second
Memorandum Opinion and Order
, 18 FCC Rcd at 2251 58 (2003) ("AWS Allocation Third R&O and Third
NPRM").

383 See H Block NPRM, 27 FCC Rcd at 16278-16279 58-61. UTAM relocated virtually all of the incumbent
microwave links in the 1910-1930 MHz band. The Commission similarly proposed that Sprint be fully reimbursed
by AWS licensees that will benefit from Sprint's clearing of BAS incumbents from the H Block (1995-2000 MHz).
See id. at 64-68.

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169.
Consistent with precedent, we propose a specific date on which the reimbursement
obligation adopted above will terminate.384 In recent instances, the relocation and cost-sharing
obligations concurrently sunset ten years after the first ET license is issued in the respective band.385 In
2003 the Commission established a relocation sunset date for the 1990-2025 MHz band of December 9,
2013 on which the obligation of new entrants to relocate the incumbent BAS operations would end.386
However, in this instance, we do not believe that the public interest would be served by maintaining
December 9, 2013 as the sunset date for terminating the requirement that 2020-2025 MHz licensees
collectively reimburse Sprint for one-seventh of the BAS relocation costs.387 Rather, we propose a sunset
date for the cost-sharing obligations of 2020-2025 MHz band licensees to Sprint that is ten years after the
first 2020-2025 MHz band license is issued in the band. We find that a number of factors support our
proposal. As discussed above, Sprint relocated BAS incumbents from the 2020-2025 MHz band, even
though 2020-2025 MHz band licensees and not Sprint itself will reap the benefits of Sprint's relocation of
BAS. In addition, the integrated nature of BAS operations required relocations on a market-by-market
basis, and such a requirement would have imposed significant costs on individual 2020-2025 MHz band
entrants because isolated, link-by-link relocation was infeasible. It therefore served the public interest for
Sprint to undertake the relocation on an integrated, nationwide basis. Because 2020-2025 MHz band
licenses have yet to be auctioned and because interested applicants will be able to calculate their
reimbursement obligation to Sprint in bidding on licenses, we do not believe that our proposal imposes a
burden on the winning bidders of 2020-2025 MHz licenses. We seek comment on our proposed sunset
date, including the costs and benefits.

384 We recognize that our proposal assumes that most of the 2020-2025 MHz band licenses will be awarded the first
time they are offered at auction and that 2020-2025 MHz band licensees will satisfy their reimbursement obligation
to Sprint within thirty days of the grant of their long-form application. However, as proposed above, if the licenses
sold at the first auction cover less than forty (40) percent of the nation's population collectively, an AWS licensee
that obtains a license for a market not awarded in the first 2020-2025 MHz band auction will have a reimbursement
obligation to Sprint. Therefore, we find it necessary to adopt a sunset date for the termination of the reimbursement
obligation of 2020-2025 MHz band licensees to Sprint. We believe that the proposed sunset date balances the
interests of all parties by encouraging timely payment to Sprint while ensuring that, consistent with precedent, the
reimbursement obligation terminates on a specific date for any licenses that have not yet triggered an obligation to
pay Sprint.
385 See, e.g., 47 C.F.R. 101.79(a)(1)-(a)(2).
386 Amendment of Section 2.106 of the Commission's Rules to Allocate Spectrum at 2 GHz for use by the Mobile-
Satellite Service, ET Docket Nos. 95-18 and 00-258, IB Docket No. 01-185, Third Report and Order and Third
Memorandum Opinion and Order
, 18 FCC Rcd 23638, 23661-62, 23670 47, 64 (2003); 47 C.F.R. 74.690e(6),
78.40(f)(6). The date of December 9, 2013 was ten years after the mandatory negotiation period began for MSS
operators, which was commenced via the release of a Commission order and not by the traditional means of a new
entrant stating its intent in writing to negotiate with an incumbent.
387 We also do not believe it is in the public interest to tie Sprint's reimbursement rights for clearing the 1995-2000
MHz band to the 800 MHz band realignment. In the AWS Allocation Sixth R&O the Commission stated that Nextel
(now Sprint) could seek reimbursement for relocating the BAS incumbents from AWS licensees that enter the band
prior to the end of the 800 MHz reconfiguration period. AWS Sixth R&O, 19 FCC Rcd at 20753 72. In 2010, the
Commission addressed the issue of cost-sharing between Sprint and MSS licensees with respect to Sprint's
relocation of BAS incumbents from the 1990-2025 MHz band; explained that the Commission tied the
reimbursement obligations to the completion of the 800 MHz band realignment for administrative convenience and
efficiency and not to provide entrants with a means to avoid paying BAS relocation costs; and concluded that
fairness as well as our well-established cost sharing principles dictate that all of the new entrants should bear the
burden of the increased cost and complexity of the BAS transition and not just Sprint. 2010 BAS Ruling, 25 FCC
Rcd 13883-13885 24-27. As explained below, we believe it is fair to all parties to require AWS licenses to pay
their fair share of BAS relocation costs. We find no reason to connect the reimbursement obligation owed by 2020-
2025 MHz band licensees to Sprint to the 800 MHz band realignment.

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I.

Allocation Matters

1.
1695-1710 MHz
170.
To facilitate the Spectrum Act's requirement that the Commission reallocate the 1695-
1710 MHz segment of the 1675-1710 MHz band for wireless broadband, we propose to amend the Table
of Frequency Allocations388 by allocating the 1695-1710 MHz band to the fixed and mobile except
aeronautical mobile services on a primary basis for non-Federal use. We are excluding aeronautical
mobile service from our mobile allocation proposal to better protect earth station reception of frequencies
in the 1695-1710 MHz band. Additionally, we propose to adopt a new U.S. footnote (tentatively
numbered as US88) to provide for the protection of Federal earth stations in the 1695-1710 MHz band.
Because we anticipate that NTIA will endorse the revised list of 27 Protection Zones that WG1 reported
to CSMAC on June 18, 2013,389 we propose to adopt the following U.S. footnote, which would codify our
agreement with NTIA:
US88 In the band 1695-1710 MHz, Federal earth stations in the meteorological-satellite
service (space-to-Earth) shall be afforded protection from harmful interference at the 27 sites
listed below:

Earth Station Location


Latitude


Longitude


Maximum Protection

Distance (km)


Wallops Island, Virginia
375645 N
752745 W
30
Fairbanks, Alaska
645822 N 1473002 W
20
Suitland, Maryland
385107 N
765612 W
98
Miami, Florida
254405 N
800945 W
51
Hickam AFB, Hawaii
211918 N 1575730 W
28
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
434409 N
963733 W
42
Cincinnati, Ohio
390610 N
843035 W
32
Rock Island, Illinois
413104 N
903346 W
19
St. Louis, Missouri
383526 N
901225 W
34
Vicksburg, Mississippi
322047 N
905010 W
16
Omaha, Nebraska
412056 N
955734 W
30
Sacramento, California
383550 N 1213234 W
55
Elmendorf AFB, Alaska
611408 N 1495531 W
98
Andersen AFB, Guam
133452 N 1445528 E
42
Monterey, California
363534 N 1215120 W
76
Stennis Space Center, Mississippi 302123 N
893641 W
57
Twenty-Nine-Palms, California
341746 N 1160944 W
80
Yuma, Arizona
323924 N 1143622 W
95
Barrow, Alaska
711922 N 1563641 W
35
Boise, Idaho
433542 N 1161349 W
39
Boulder, Colorado
395926 N 1051551W
2
Columbus Lake, Mississippi
333204 N
883006 W
3
Fairmont, West Virginia
392602 N
801133 W
4
Guaynabo, Puerto Rico
182526 N
660650 W
48
Kansas City, Missouri
391640 N
943944 W
40

388 47 C.F.R. 2.106.
389 WG1 recommended the revised list of 27 Protection Zones to CSMAC on June 18, 2013. See supra note 163.

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Earth Station Location


Latitude


Longitude


Maximum Protection

Distance (km)


Knoxville, Tennessee
355758 N
835513 W
50
Norman, Oklahoma
351052 N
972621 W
3
NOTE: The year 2030 is the projected date when the last legacy space station is expected to
cease operations in the band 1695-1710 MHz. Stations at the 27 locations must be protected
until legacy operations in the band actually cease operations.
171.
We also propose to remove four unused allocations that apply to the 1695-1710 MHz
band from the U.S. Table. First, we propose to delete the primary non-Federal meteorological-satellite
service (space-to-Earth) allocation from the 1695-1710 MHz band, as we are not aware of any use in this
segment of the band. Second, we propose to delete the primary Federal fixed service allocation from the
1700-1710 MHz band and associated footnote G118. Third, we propose to delete the primary
meteorological aids (radiosonde) allocation from the 1695-1700 MHz band.390 Fourth, we propose to
restrict the use currently authorized pursuant to international footnote 5.289 by moving its text into a
U.S. footnote (tentatively numbered as US289) so that Earth exploration-satellite service applications,
other than the meteorological-satellite service, can continue to be used in the 460-470 MHz and
1690-1695 MHz bands (but not the 1695-1710 MHz band) for space-to-Earth transmissions subject to not
causing harmful interference. Revised US289 would read as follows:
US289 Earth exploration-satellite service applications, other than the meteorological-satellite
service, may also be used in the bands 460-470 MHz and 1690-1695 MHz for space-to-Earth
transmissions subject to not causing harmful interference to stations operating in accordance with
the Table of Frequency Allocations.

We seek comment on these proposals. Commenters may wish to discuss how any proposed allocation
changes reflect Congress' priority for relocation over sharing for enabling commercial access to new
spectrum, subject to technical and cost constraints.391

2.
2020-2025 MHz
172.
Although we do not propose to modify the existing allocations in the 2020-2025 MHz
band, we propose to remove footnote NG177 from the Allocation Table because Television Broadcast
Auxiliary Stations have completed their transition from the 1990-2110 MHz band (120 MHz) to the
2025-2110 MHz band (85 MHz).392
3.
2155-2180 MHz
173.
We propose several modifications that relate to the 2155-2180 MHz band. Specifically,
we propose to update and combine footnotes NG153 and NG178, and to tentatively number the resultant
footnote as NG41. Specifically, we propose to remove the first two sentences from footnote NG153393

390 See Fast Track Report at 2-2 ("radiosondes operate in the 1675-1683 MHz portion of the band").
391 See supra 11.
392 The Commission reallocated the 1990-2025 MHz band from BAS to emerging technologies such as PCS, AWS,
and MSS. "Sprint, which is the PCS licensee at 1900-1995 MHz, completed the BAS transition for the entire 35
megahertz in 2010." See H Block NPRM, 27 FCC Rcd 16258, 16279-16280 62.
393 Footnote NG153 currently reads as follows: The band 2160-2165 MHz is reserved for future emerging
technologies on a co-primary basis with the fixed and mobile services. Allocations to specific services will be made
in future proceedings. Authorizations in the band 2160-2162 MHz for stations in the Multipoint Distribution
Service applied for after January 16, 1992, shall be on a secondary basis to emerging technologies. 47 C.F.R.
2.106, n.NG153.

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(because we are not proposing to add any additional allocations to the 2160-2165 MHz band); to revise
the last sentence in footnote NG153 by updating "Multipoint Distribution Service" and "emerging
technologies" to read "Broadband Radio Service" and "Advanced Wireless Services," respectively; to
highlight that all initial authorizations in the 2160-2180 MHz band applied for after January 16, 1992
were issued on a secondary basis; and to highlight the sunset provisions that apply to Part 101 fixed
stations that were authorized on a primary basis.394 We propose to remove footnotes NG153, NG177, and
NG178, and the new footnote, tentatively numbered NG41, would read as follows:
NG41 In the 2160-2180 MHz band, the following provisions shall apply to grandfathered
stations in the fixed service:
(a) Stations operating pursuant to licenses applied for after January 16, 1992 in the Common
Carrier Fixed Point-to-Point Microwave Service and in the 2160-2162 MHz sub-band of the
Broadband Radio Service may operate on a secondary basis to the Advanced Wireless Service
(AWS).
(b) Fixed stations in the Common Carrier Fixed Point-to-Point Microwave Service that were
authorized on a primary basis will retain that status unless and until an AWS licensee requires use
of the spectrum. AWS licensees are required to pay relocation costs until ten years after the first
AWS license is issued in the band.

We also propose several non-substantive updates to the Table: (1) expand the cross reference to Part 27
of the Commission's rules, which is shown as "Wireless Communications (27)" in the 1710-1755 MHz
band, by displaying this cross reference in the 1695-1780 MHz band; and (2) revise the 1850-1980 MHz
and 1980-2025 MHz bands in the Federal Table (which are not allocated for any Federal use) to read
1850-2000 MHz and 2000-2025 MHz. We also seek comment on any other allocation changes that
would be necessary to effectuate any of the proposals contained in this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.

4.
1.7 GHz Band
174.
In the sections above, we seek comment on possible service rules for non-Federal, mobile
use of 1755-1780 MHz on a shared basis with Federal users.395 Furthermore, NTIA has suggested that
commercial use be considered in the full 1755-1850 MHz band. Our determination of whether such use
should be permitted would be based on whether it serves the public interest, convenience, and necessity.
We expect that the record in this proceeding will include recommendations from NTIA informed by the
CSMAC process. In the event that the record supports a conclusion that non-Federal terrestrial service
rules are appropriate for any of the 1.7 GHz band spectrum currently allocated for Federal use, what
changes to the Table of Frequency Allocations would be necessary to implement such a conclusion in the
1.7 GHz band? Would different changes be required for different band segments and/or geographical
locations? Could different portions of the band be allocated for shared or exclusive use?
5.

Other Bands, including 2025-2110 MHz and 5150-5250 MHz

175.
Throughout this notice, we seek comment on potential changes to Federal and non-
Federal uses in several different bands. For instance, in section III.C.2 above, we seek comment on
CTIA's proposal for commercial use of the 2095-2110 MHz band.396 NTIA notes that the Department of
Defense has identified the 2025-2110 MHz band as the preferred option to relocate most of its operations

394 Part 101 use of the 2160-2180 MHz band is restricted to Common Carrier Fixed Point-to-Point Microwave
Service per section 101.101. Applications for new facilities submitted after the adoption date of the Notice of
Proposed Rulemaking
in ET Docket No. 92-9 (Jan. 16, 1992) "will be granted on a secondary basis only." 47
C.F.R. 101.79(a)(1), 101.101.
395 We also note that 1755-1780 MHz could be identified to meet or exceed the Spectrum Act requirement for the
FCC to identify, auction and license 15 megahertz of contiguous spectrum by February 2015.
396 See supra note 118.

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and that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and DoD have identified the 5150-5250 MHz
band as a comparable destination band for their aeronautical mobile telemetry systems).397 NTIA adds
that, "[i]f it is determined that agencies will need to relocate any of these systems, the FCC and NTIA will
need to identify replacement spectrum and take necessary steps to enable comparable capabilities."398
More recently, NTIA transmitted a proposal from DoD that would require increased Federal access to the
2025-2110 MHz band, but not the 5150-5250 MHz band. We therefore seek comment on any changes to
the Table of Frequency Allocations that would be necessary to effectuate these and any other band
reconfiguration concepts identified in this notice or proposed alternatives. We note that in contrast to
non-Federal terrestrial allocations, where the issuance of service rules is typically required prior to the
issuance of licenses, the addition of a Federal allocation to a band typically allows the authorization of
new Federal assignments without an intermediate step. In other words, once the Federal allocation is in
place, NTIA could immediately begin issuing spectrum assignments. Therefore, if the record should
demonstrate the public interest in accommodating new Federal systems through allocation changes, we
seek comment on whether, and if so how, any new Federal allocations be made contingent on relocation
to accommodate new commercial licensees in the 1.7 GHz band.
6.

Statutory Requirements

176.
In discussing any changes to the Table of Frequency Allocations, we seek specific
comment on any special statutory conditions that may apply. Two particular statutory provisions are of
special relevance here.
177.
First, Congress recognized the potential benefits of flexible spectrum allocations and
amended the Communications Act in 1997 to add section 303(y), which grants the Commission the
authority to adopt flexible allocations if certain factors are met.399 We seek comment on how best to read
Section 303(y) in light of the subsequent mandate of Section 6401 to "allocate the spectrum described
[therein] for commercial use." We also seek comment on whether any allocation changes, together with
the proposed service rules, proposed or identified in this notice or by commenters would satisfy the four
elements of Section 303(y) of the Act.
178.
Second, Section 1062(b) of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2000
requires that, if "in order to make available for other use a band of frequencies of which it is a primary
user, the Department of Defense is required to surrender use of such band of frequencies, the Department
shall not surrender use of such band of frequencies until...the [NTIA], in consultation with the [FCC],
identifies and makes available to the Department for its primary use, if necessary, an alternative band or
bands of frequencies as a replacement for the band to be so surrendered."400 Furthermore, current law
requires that "the Secretary of Commerce, the Secretary of Defense, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs
of Staff jointly certify...that such alternative band or bands provides comparable technical characteristics
to restore essential military capability that will be lost as a result of the band of frequencies to be so

397 See NTIA Recommendations Letter at 3.
398 See, e.g., id. See also Letter from Lawrence E. Strickling, Assistant Secretary for Communications and
Information, U.S. Department of Commerce, to Julius Genachowski, Chairman, FCC (Feb. 19, 2013) (stating, at 1,
that it may be necessary to relocate Federal aeronautical mobile telemetry systems from the 1755-1850 MHz band to
the 5150-5250 MHz band and citing, at n.10, NTIA 1755-1850 MHz Assessment Report at 45.
399 Section 303(y) provides the Commission with authority to allocate spectrum for flexible use if: "(1) such use is
consistent with international agreements to which the United States is a party; and (2) the Commission finds, after
notice and an opportunity for public comment, that (A) such an allocation would be in the public interest; (B) such
use would not deter investment in communications services and systems, or technology development; and (C) such
use would not result in harmful interference among users." Balanced Budget Act of 1997, 47 U.S.C. 303(y), Pub.
L. No. 105-33, 111 Stat. 251, 268-69.
400 Section 1062(b) of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2000 (Public Law 10665; 113 Stat.
768); see also provisions (Surrender of Department of Defense Spectrum) set out as a note under 47 U.S.C. 921.

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surrendered."401 We seek comment on the extent to which any proposed allocation changes would meet
these requirements.

IV.

ORDER ON RECONSIDERATION (WT DOCKET NOS. 07-16 AND 07-30)

179.
In this Order on Reconsideration, we deny three petitions for reconsideration filed by
McElroy Electronics Corporation (MEC), NetfreeUS, LLC (NetfreeUS), and Open Range
Communications, Inc. (Open Range).402 All three petitions ask us to reverse the Commission's August
2007 decision403 that dismissed petitioners' March 2007 applications without prejudice.404 Those
applications, which were filed before Congress passed the Spectrum Act, all sought authority to operate in
the 2155-2175 MHz Band, which, as discussed above, is a portion of the 2155-2180 MHz Band that the
Spectrum Act directed the Commission to allocate for commercial use and license through a system of
competitive bidding subject to flexible-use service rules. We deny the petitions for the reasons set forth
below.
180.
Background. On May 5, 2006, M2Z filed an application to construct and operate a
nationwide broadband wireless network in the 2155-2175 MHz band.405 In addition, M2Z filed a petition
for forbearance on September 1, 2006, in which it requested that the Commission forbear from applying
any rules, statutes, or policies that would block M2Z's application from being granted, including the
competitive bidding provisions of Section 309(j) of the Communications Act.406 On January 31, 2007,
the Commission released a public notice stating that M2Z's application was accepted for filing pursuant
to the Commission's general statutory authority under Section 309 of the Communications Act -- "rather
than pursuant to an established framework of processing rules."407 However, the Commission stated that
its "action does not imply any judgment or view about the merits of the [M2Z] Application, nor does it
preclude a subsequent dismissal of the Application as defective under existing rules or under future rules
that the Commission may promulgate by notice and comment rulemaking."408 The Commission also

401 Id.
402 Petition for Reconsideration filed by McElroy Electronics Corporation (filed Oct. 1, 2007); Petition for Partial
Reconsideration of NetFreeUS, LLC (filed Oct. 1, 2007); Petition for Reconsideration filed by Open Range
Communications, Inc. (filed Oct. 1, 2007).
403 See Applications for License and Authority to Operate in the 2155-2175 MHz Band, WT Docket No. 07-16,
Petitions for Forbearance Under 47 U.S.C. 160, WT Docket No. 07-30, Order, 22 FCC Rcd 16563 (2007)
(Applications and Forbearance Petitions Order).
404 Application of McElroy Electronics Corporation for a Nationwide 2155-2175 MHz Band Authorization (filed
Mar. 2, 2007); Application of NetfreeUS, LLC for License and Authority to Provide Wireless Public Broadband
Service in the 2155-2175 MHz Band (filed Mar. 2, 2007); Application of Open Range Communications, Inc. for
License to Construct and Operate Facilities for the Provision of Rural Broadband Radio Services in the 2155-2175
MHz Band (filed Mar. 2, 2007).
405 See Application of M2Z Networks, Inc. for License and Authority to Provide a National Broadband Radio
Service in the 2155-2175 MHz Band (filed May 5,2006) (M2Z Application).
406 See Petition of M2Z Networks, Inc. for Forbearance under 47 U.S.C. 160(c) Concerning Application of
Sections 1.945(b) and (c) of the Commission's Rules and Other Regulatory and Statutory Provisions, filed Sept. 1,
2006 (M2Z Petition).
407 Wireless Telecommunications Bureau Announces that M2Z Networks, Inc.'s Application for License and
Authority to Provide a National Broadband Radio Service in the 2155-2175 MHz Band is Accepted for Filing, WT
Docket No. 07-16, Public Notice, 22 FCC Rcd 1955 (2007) (M2Z Public Notice).
408 M2Z Public Notice, 22 FCC Rcd at 1955.

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noted that "additional applications for spectrum in this band may be filed while the M2Z application is
pending."409
181.
On March 2, 2007, the Commission received several additional applications seeking
authorization to use the 2155-2175 MHz Band, including the three petitioners' applications.410 Some
applicants, including MEC, stated that the Commission should assign licenses for this band by
competitive bidding.411 NetfreeUS asked the Commission to assign this spectrum without first
conducting a rulemaking proceeding to consider service and licensing rules412 In addition to its
application, NetfreeUS filed a forbearance petition similar to the one submitted by M2Z.413
182.
On August 31, 2007, the Commission released the Applications and Forbearance
Petitions Order, which is the decision that all three petitioners now ask us to reconsider. In that decision,
the Commission, among other things, dismissed without prejudice the applications filed by M2Z and the
three petitioners here, and denied the M2Z and NetfreeUS petitions for forbearance.414 The Commission
found that "the public interest is best served by first seeking public comment on how the band should be
used and licensed,"415 rather than attempting to act on the applications in an ad hoc adjudicatory
proceeding, outside the context of an auction and prior to the issuance of applicable rules. One applicant
(M2Z)416 appealed the Commission's decision to the D.C. Circuit, while the three petitioners sought
reconsideration before the agency. The D.C. Circuit denied the appeal,417 and we note that two of the
petitioners here (Open Range and NetfreeUS) participated in the appeal as intervenors.418
183.
Discussion. We now deny the three Petitions for Reconsideration. The Spectrum Act,
which was enacted in February 2012, now expressly states that the Commission shall, among other
things, allocate the frequencies between 2155 MHz and 2180 MHz and, through a system of competitive
bidding, grant new initial licenses for the use of such spectrum pursuant to flexible-use service rules that
the Commission has not yet adopted.419 To the extent that petitioners sought licenses that would not be
subject to these requirements, we deny the petitions as inconsistent with the clear requirements of the
Spectrum Act. As noted in our prior order, our dismissal of petitioners' applications was without
prejudice, and they are free to file applications in accordance with the rules and procedures that we adopt
to govern such required auctions.

409 M2Z Public Notice, 22 FCC Rcd at 1956.
410 Application of McElroy Electronics Corporation for a Nationwide 2155-2175 MHz Band Authorization (filed
Mar. 2, 2007); Application of NetfreeUS, LLC for License and Authority to Provide Wireless Public Broadband
Service in the 2155-2175 MHz Band (filed Mar. 2, 2007); Application of Open Range Communications, Inc. for
License to Construct and Operate Facilities for the Provision of Rural Broadband Radio Services in the 2155-2175
MHz Band (filed Mar. 2, 2007).
411 Applications and Forbearance Petitions Order, 22 FCC Rcd at 16576 21.
412 Petition for Partial Reconsideration of NetFreeUS, LLC (filed Oct. 1, 2007) at 17-19.
413 Petition for Forbearance of NetFreeUS, LLC (filed Mar. 2, 2007).
414 See Applications and Forbearance Petitions Order, 22 FCC Rcd at 16562-63, 16583-84.
415 Applications and Forbearance Petitions Order, 22 FCC Rcd at 16564 1.
416 See Application of M2Z Networks, Inc. for License and Authority to Provide a National Broadband Radio
Service in the 2155-2175 MHz Band (filed May 5, 2006).
417 M2Z Networks, Inc. v FCC, 558 F.3d 554 (D.C. Cir. 2009).
418 See M2Z, 558 F.3d at 554.
419 Spectrum Act, 6401(b).

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184.
Quite apart from the mandate of the Spectrum Act, for this portion of the AWS-3 band,
the D.C. Circuit's M2Z opinion upheld the Commission's decision not to forbear from the relevant
rules;420 it also recognized that licenses are typically processed after the Commission adopts service rules
through a rulemaking proceeding.421 The D.C. Circuit also found that the Commission properly declined
the request to license this band outside of the auction context.422
185.
Petitioners (two of whom, as we noted, were intervenors in that case) have provided no
basis why the rationale for that decision with respect to M2Z's application should not apply with equal
force to their follow-on applications. To the extent the petitioners are asking us to forbear, as M2Z did,
we find that their petitions should be denied for the reasons set forth in the Applications and Forbearance
Petitions Order
, which was upheld by the M2Z court. To the extent petitioners maintain that the
Commission erred by dismissing their applications on the grounds that such applications preceded our
adoption of applicable rules,423 we reaffirm the Commission's 2007 decision that assignment of this
spectrum without first conducting a rulemaking proceeding to consider service and licensing rules would
not serve the public interest.424 That determination has been upheld by the M2Z court. The court held
that, whether the Commission's "consider[ation of] the public interest in deciding whether to forgo an
auction . . . is characterized as an analysis under section 309 or a section 160 forbearance analysis matters
little."425 The court concluded that "the Commission reasonably performed every statutory duty at
issue."426 That analysis applies with equal force to the three applications filed in response to the M2Z
application, "under the same standards,"427 and with respect to their similar claims of public interest
justification for dispensing with our established auction procedures.
186.
We also find misplaced MEC's reliance on the M2Z Public Notice as one that "bound
[the Commission] to process the application" in accordance therewith.428 That notice expressly stated
that our acceptance of M2Z's application, for a service for which we had not yet established service rules,
was not "pursuant to an established framework of processing rules."429 Thus, MEC's assertions about the
operation of cutoff rules that it asserts would otherwise be applicable here are beside the point. So,
therefore, are the prior McElroy decisions.430 Moreover, those decisions would at most entitle MEC to be
treated "under the same standards" as M2Z as a competing applicant, the dismissal of whose application
has been upheld by the D.C. Circuit. They do not undermine "the Commission's authority to change

420 M2Z, 558 F.3d at 558-564.
421 M2Z, 558 F.3d at 557.
422 M2Z, 558 F.3d at 562-64.
423 Petition for Reconsideration filed by Open Range Communications, Inc. (filed Oct. 1, 2007) at 5; Petition for
Reconsideration filed by McElroy Electronics Corporation (filed Oct. 1, 2007) at 5-6.
424 Applications and Forbearance Petitions Order, 22 FCC Rcd at 16583 30 & n.117, citing Bachow
Communications v. FCC,
257 F.3d 683 (D.C. Cir. 2001).
425 M2Z Networks, Inc. v. FCC, 558 F.3d at 563.
426 Id. at 564.
427 MEC Petition at 6.
428 Id. at 7.
429 M2Z Public Notice, 22 FCC Rcd at 1955.
430 McElroy Electronics Corp. v. FCC, 990 F.2d 1351 (D.C. Cir. 1993) ("McElroy I"); McElroy Electronics Corp. v.
FCC,
86 F.3d 248 (D.C. Cir. 1996) ("McElroy II"). As the D.C. Circuit later confirmed, those decisions "stan[d] for
the proposition that the Commission must follow its own rules," and do not "create some generalized right to
exclude competitors." Bachow Communications, Inc. v. FCC, 237 F.3d 683, 687 (D.C. Cir. 2001). Here, the M2Z
Notice
made clear that the kind of processing rules relied upon by McElroy in its petition would not apply.

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license allocation procedures mid-stream," even in cases where such action may "disrupt[ ] expectations
and alter[ ] the competitive balance among applicants,"431 and they clearly do not prevent the Commission
from deferring action on applications accepted for filing until it has first established a "framework of
processing rules" and "future rules" to govern the service.432 Such applications would then be subject to
this regulatory framework for the new service.

V.

PROCEDURAL MATTERS

A.

Disposition of Prior Proceedings

187.
Before the National Broadband Plan was developed or the Spectrum Act was enacted, the
Commission had begun rulemakings on how to license spectrum in the 1915-1920 MHz, 1995-2000
MHz, 2020-2025 MHz, 2155-2175 MHz, and 2175-2180 MHz bands. In 2004, the Commission sought
comment on licensing and service rules for the 2020-2025 MHz and 2175-2180 MHz bands.433 In 2007,
the Commission proposed service rules for 20 megahertz of unpaired spectrum at 2155-2175 MHz.434
After reviewing the comments and reply comments to the 2007 NPRM, however, the Commission issued
a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in 2008 to seek additional comment on a range of issues
including combining the upper "J" band at 2175-2180 MHz with the 2155-2175 MHz band to create a 25
MHz block of unpaired spectrum.435 As mentioned above, however, since the Commission released the
2008 FNPRM, the National Broadband Plan was developed, the Spectrum Act was enacted, and wireless
broadband technologies and the wireless industry have evolved to such an extent that, in our assessment,
the development of a fresh record is warranted. As a result, we will adopt rules for AWS-3 based on the
record developed in response to this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (GN Docket No. 13-185).
Accordingly, we are terminating the proceedings begun in 2004 and 2007 (WT Docket Nos. 04-356 and
07-195). We note that, in December 2012, the Commission similarly commenced a new proceeding to
consider service rules for 1915-1920 MHz and 1995-2000 MHz.436

B.

Ex Parte Presentations

188.
The proceedings shall be treated as a "permit-but-disclose" proceeding in accordance
with the Commission's ex parte rules.437 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

431 Bachow Communications, Inc. v. FCC, 237 F.3d at 687-78.
432 M2Z Public Notice, 22 FCC Rcd at 1955.
433 2004 NPRM. The Commission is addressing service rules for 1915-1920 MHz and 1995-2000 MHz separately.
See infra text accompanying note 436.
434 2007 NPRM, 22 FCC Rcd 17035.
435 2008 FNPRM, 23 FCC Rcd at 9860 3.
436 Service Rules for the Advanced Wireless Services H Block Implementing Section 6401 of the Middle Class
Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 Related to the 1915-1920 MHz and 1995-2000 MHz Bands, WT Docket
No. 12-357. In June 2013 the Commission adopted service rules for these bands. See supra note 41 and
accompanying text.
437 47 C.F.R. 1.1200 et seq.

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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 rule 1.1206(b). In
proceedings governed by rule 1.49(f) 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.

C.

Comment Period and Filing Procedures

189.
Pursuant to sections 1.415 and 1.419 of the Commission's rules, 47 CFR 1.415, 1.419,
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 the Commission's Electronic Comment Filing
System (ECFS). See Electronic Filing of Documents in Rulemaking Proceedings, 63 FR 24121 (1998).
Electronic Filers: Comments may be filed electronically using the Internet by accessing the
ECFS: http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs//.
Paper Filers: Parties who choose to file by paper must file an original and one copy of each filing.
If more than one active docket or rulemaking number appears in the caption of this proceeding,
filers must submit two additional copies for each additional docket or rulemaking number.
190.
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.
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. The filing hours are 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. All hand deliveries
must be held together with rubber bands or fasteners. Any envelopes and boxes must be
disposed of before entering the building.
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.
U.S. Postal Service first-class, Express, and Priority mail must be addressed to 445 12th
Street, SW, Washington DC 20554.
191.
People with Disabilities: To request materials in accessible formats for people with
disabilities (braille, large print, electronic files, audio format), send an e-mail to fcc504@fcc.gov or call
the Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau at 202-418-0530 (voice), 202-418-0432 (tty).
192.
Availability of Documents. 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., Room CY-A257, Washington, D.C.. These
documents will also be available via ECFS. Documents will be available electronically in ASCII,
Microsoft Word, and/or Adobe Acrobat.

D.

Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

193.
As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act,438 the Commission has prepared an Initial
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis ("IRFA") of the possible significant economic impact on small entities of
the policies and rules addressed in this NPRM. The IRFA is set forth in Appendix B. Written public
comments are requested on the IRFA. These comments must be filed in accordance with the same filing

438 5 U.S.C. 603.

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deadlines for comments on the NPRM, and should have a separate and distinct heading designating them
as responses to the IRFA.

E.

Paperwork Reduction Act Analysis

194.
This document contains proposed new or 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
requirements contained in this document, 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, see 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(4), we seek specific comment on how we might further reduce the
information collection burden for small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees.

F.

Further Information

195.
For additional information on this proceeding, contact John Spencer of the Broadband
Division, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, at (202) 418-BITS, or Michael Ha, Office of
Engineering and Technology, (202) 418-2099.

VI.

ORDERING CLAUSES

196.
Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED, pursuant to sections 1, 2, 4(i), 10, 201, 301, 302, 303,
307, 308, 309, 310, 316, 319, 324, 332, and 333 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, and
Title VI of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, Pub. L. No. 112-96, 126 Stat. 156,
47 U.S.C. 151, 152, 154(i), 160, 201, 301, 302a, 303, 307, 308, 309, 310, 316, 319, 324, 332, 333,
1403, 1404, and 1451, that this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking is hereby ADOPTED.
197.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN of the proposed
regulatory changes described in this Notice and that comment is sought on these proposals.
198.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis IS
ADOPTED.
199.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that WT Docket Nos. 04-356, 07-16, 07-30, and 07-195
ARE TERMINATED.
200.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Petitions for Reconsideration filed by McElroy
Electronics Corp., NetfreeUS, LLC, and Open Range Communications Inc., on October 1, 2007, ARE
DENIED.
201.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Commission's Consumer and Governmental
Affairs Bureau, Reference Information Center, SHALL SEND a copy of this Notice, including the Initial
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business
Administration.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION




Marlene H. Dortch
Secretary




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APPENDIX A


Proposed Rules


For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Federal Communications Commission proposes to
amend 47 CFR part 27 as follows:

PART 27 MISCELLANEOUS WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS SERVICES


1. The authority citation for Part 27 continues to read as follows:
Authority: 47 U.S.C. 154, 301, 302a, 303, 307, 309, 332, 336, and 337, unless otherwise noted.

2. Section 27.1 is amended by adding paragraphs (b)(11) through (14) to read as follows:
27.1 Basis and purpose.
* * * * *
(b) * * *
(11) 1695-1710 MHz.
(12) 1755-1780 MHz.
(13) 2020-2025 MHz.
(14) 2155-2180 MHz.
3. Section 27.5(h) is amended to read as follows:
27.5 Frequencies.
* * * * *
(h) 1710-1755 MHz, 2110-2155 MHz, 1695-1710 MHz, 1755-1780 MHz, 2020-2025 MHz, and
2155-2180 MHz bands. The following frequencies are available for licensing pursuant to this part in the
1710-1755 MHz, 2110-2155 MHz, 1695-1710 MHz, 1755-1780 MHz, 2020-2025 MHz, and 2155-2180
MHz bands:
* * * * *
(3) Channel blocks of 5 megahertz each are available for assignment as follows:
Block G: reserved
Block J1: 1695-1700 MHz
Block J2: 1700-1705 MHz

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Block J3: 1705-1710 MHz
Block K1: 1755-1760 MHz
Block K2: 1760-1765 MHz
Block K3: 1765-1770 MHz
Block K4: 1770-1775 MHz
Block K5: 1775-1780 MHz
Block L: 2020-2025 MHz
Block M1: 2155-2160 MHz
Block M2: 2160-2165 MHz
Block M3: 2165-2170 MHz
Block M4: 2170-2175 MHz
Block M5: 2175-2180 MHz
4. Section 27.6 is amended by adding paragraph (j) to read as follows:
27.6 Service areas.
*****
(j) 1695-1710 MHz, 1755-1780 MHz, 2020-2025 MHz and 2155-2180 MHz bands. AWS
service areas for the 1695-1710 MHz, 1755-1780 MHz, 2020-2025 MHz and 2155-2180 MHz bands are
based on Economic Areas (EAs) as defined in paragraph (a) of this section.
5. Section 27.13 is amended by adding paragraph (j) to read as follows:
27.13 License period.
*****
(j) 1695-1710 MHz, 1755-1780 MHz, 2020-2025 MHz, and 2155-2180 MHz bands.
Authorizations for the 1695-1710 MHz, 1755-1780 MHz, 2020-2025 MHz, and 2155-2180 MHz bands
will have a term not to exceed ten years from the date of issuance or renewal.
6. Section 27.14 is amended by revising the first sentence of paragraphs (a), (f), and (k), and
adding paragraph (r) to read as follows:
27.14 Construction requirements; Criteria for renewal.

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(a) AWS and WCS licensees, with the exception of WCS licensees holding authorizations for
Block A in the 698704 MHz and 728734 MHz bands, Block B in the 704710 MHz and 734740 MHz
bands, Block E in the 722728 MHz band, Block C, C1, or C2 in the 746757 MHz and 776787 MHz
bands, Block D in the 758763 MHz and 788793 MHz bands, Block A in the 23052310 MHz and
23502355 MHz bands, Block B in the 23102315 MHz and 23552360 MHz bands, Block C in the
23152320 MHz band, and Block D in the 23452350 MHz band, and with the exception of licensees
holding AWS authorizations in the 1695-1710 MHz, 1755-1780 MHz, 2000-2020 MHz, 2020-2025 MHz,
2155-2180 MHz, and 2180-2200 MHz bands, must, as a performance requirement, make a showing of
"substantial service" in their license area within the prescribed license term set forth in 27.13. ***
*****
(f) Comparative renewal proceedings do not apply to WCS licensees holding authorizations for
the 698746 MHz, 747762 MHz, and 777792 MHz bands and licensees holding AWS authorizations
for the 1695-1710 MHz, 1755-1780 MHz, 2000-2020 MHz, 2020-2025 MHz, 2155-2180 MHz, and
2180-2200 MHz bands. ***
*****
(k) Licensees holding WCS or AWS authorizations in the spectrum blocks enumerated in
paragraphs (g), (h), (i), (q), or (r) of this section, including any licensee that obtained its license pursuant
to the procedures set forth in paragraph (j) of this section, shall demonstrate compliance with performance
requirements by filing a construction notification with the Commission, within 15 days of the expiration
of the applicable benchmark, in accordance with the provisions set forth in 1.946(d) of this chapter. ***
* * * * *
(r) The following provisions apply to any licensee holding an AWS authorization in the 1695-
1710 MHz, 1755-1780 MHz, 2020-2025 MHz, and 2155-2180 MHz bands:
(1) An AWS licensee in the bands covered by this paragraph (r) shall provide signal coverage and
offer service within four (4) years from the date of the initial license to at least forty (40) percent of the
total population in each service area that it has licensed in the 1695-1710 MHz, 1755-1780 MHz, 2020-
2025 MHz, and 2155-2180 MHz bands ("AWS Interim Buildout Requirement").

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(2) An AWS licensee in the bands covered by this paragraph (r) shall provide signal coverage and
offer service within ten (10) years from the date of the initial license to at least seventy-five (75) percent
of the population in each of its licensed areas in the 1695-1710 MHz, 1755-1780 MHz, 2020-2025 MHz,
and 2155-2180 MHz bands ("AWS Final Buildout Requirement").
(3) If an AWS licensee in the bands covered by this paragraph fails to establish that it meets the
AWS Interim Buildout Requirement for a particular licensed area, then the AWS Final Buildout
Requirement (in this paragraph (r)) and the AWS license term (as set forth in 27.13(j)) for each license
area in which it fails to meet the AWS Interim Buildout Requirement shall be accelerated by two years
(from ten to eight years).
(4) If an AWS licensee fails to establish that it meets the AWS Final Buildout Requirement for
particular licensed areas in the 1695-1710 MHz, 1755-1780 MHz, 2020-2025 MHz, and 2155-2180 MHz
bands, its authorization for each license area in which it fails to meet the AWS Final Buildout
Requirement shall terminate automatically without Commission action. The AWS licensee that has its
license automatically terminate under this paragraph (r) will be ineligible to regain it if the Commission
makes the license available at a later date.
(5) To demonstrate compliance with these performance requirements, licensees shall use the most
recently available U.S. Census Data at the time of measurement and shall base their measurements of
population served on areas no larger than the Census Tract level. The population within a specific Census
Tract (or other acceptable identifier) will be deemed served by the licensee only if it provides signal
coverage to and offers service within the specific Census Tract (or other acceptable identifier). To the
extent the Census Tract (or other acceptable identifier) extends beyond the boundaries of a license area, a
licensee with authorizations for such areas may include only the population within the Census Tract (or
other acceptable identifier) towards meeting the performance requirement of a single, individual license.
(6) An applicant for renewal of a geographic-area authorization in the 1695-1710 MHz, 1755-
1780 MHz, 2020-2025 MHz, and 2155-2180 MHz service bands must make a renewal showing,
independent of its performance requirements, as a condition of renewal. The showing must include a
detailed description of the applicant's provision of service during the entire license period and address:

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(i) The level and quality of service provided by the applicant (e.g., the population served, the area
served, the number of subscribers, the services offered);
(ii) The date service commenced, whether service was ever interrupted, and the duration of any
interruption or outage;
(iii) The extent to which service is provided to rural areas;
(iv) The extent to which service is provided to qualifying tribal land as defined in
1.2110(f)(3)(i); and
(e) Any other factors associated with the level of service to the public.
7. Section 27.15 is amended by revising the first sentence in paragraph (d)(1)(i); adding
paragraph (d)(1)(iv); revising the first sentence in paragraph (d)(2)(i), and adding paragraph (d)(2)(iv) to
read as follows:
27.15 Geographic partitioning and spectrum disaggregation.
*****
(d) ***
(1) ***
(i) Except for WCS licensees holding authorizations for Block A in the 698704 MHz and 728
734 MHz bands, Block B in the 704710 MHz and 734740 MHz bands, Block E in the 722728 MHz
band, Blocks C, C1, or C2 in the 746757 MHz and 776787 MHz bands, or Block D in the 758763
MHz and 788793 MHz bands; and for licensees holding AWS authorizations in the 1695-1710 MHz,
1755-1780 MHz, 2000-2020 MHz, 2020-2025 MHz, 2155-2180 MHz, and 2180-2200 MHz bands the
following rules apply to WCS and AWS licensees holding authorizations for purposes of implementing
the construction requirements set forth in 27.14. ***
*****
(iv) For licensees holding AWS authorizations in the 1695-1710 MHz, 1755-1780 MHz, 2020-
2025 MHz, and 2155-2180 MHz bands, the following rules apply for purposes of implementing the
construction requirements set forth in 27.14. Each party to a geographic partitioning must individually
meet any service-specific performance requirements (i.e., construction and operation requirements). If a

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partitioner or partitionee fails to meet any service-specific performance requirements on or before the
required date, then the consequences for this failure shall be those enumerated in 27.14(r).
(2) ***
(i) Except for WCS licensees holding authorizations for Block A in the 698704 MHz and 728
734 MHz bands, Block B in the 704710 MHz and 734740 MHz bands, Block E in the 722728 MHz
band, Blocks C, C1, or C2 in the 746757 MHz and 776787 MHz bands, or Block D in the 758763
MHz and 788793 MHz bands; and for licensees holding AWS authorizations in the 1695-1710 MHz,
1755-1780 MHz, 2000-2020 MHz, 2020-2025 MHz, 2155-2180 MHz, and 2180-2200 MHz bands; the
following rules apply to WCS and AWS licensees holding authorizations for purposes of implementing
the construction requirements set forth in 27.14. ***
*****
(iv) For licensees holding AWS authorizations in the 1695-1710 MHz, 1755-1780 MHz, 2020-
2025 MHz, and 2155-2180 MHz bands, the following rules apply for purposes of implementing the
construction requirements set forth in 27.14. Each party to a spectrum disaggregation must individually
meet any service-specific performance requirements (i.e., construction and operation requirements). If a
disaggregator or a disagregatee fails to meet any service-specific performance requirements on or before
the required date, then the consequences for this failure shall be those enumerated in 27.14(r).
8. Section 27.18 is added to read as follows:
27.18 Discontinuance of service in the 1695-1710 MHz, 1755-1780 MHz, 2020-2025 MHz, and
2155-2180 MHz bands.
(a) Termination of Authorization. A licensee's AWS authorization in the 1695-1710 MHz, 1755-
1780 MHz, 2020-2025 MHz, and 2155-2180 MHz bands will automatically terminate, without specific
Commission action, if it permanently discontinues service after meeting the AWS Interim Buildout
Requirement specified in 27.14 of the Commission's rules.
(b) For licensees with common carrier or non-common carrier regulatory status that hold AWS
authorizations in the 1695-1710 MHz, 1755-1780 MHz, 2020-2025 MHz, and 2155-2180 MHz bands,
permanent discontinuance of service is defined as 180 consecutive days during which a licensee does not

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provide service to at least one subscriber that is not affiliated with, controlled by, or related to the
licensee. For licensees with private, internal regulatory status that hold AWS authorizations in the 1695-
1710 MHz, 1755-1780 MHz, 2020-2025 MHz, and 2155-2180 MHz bands, permanent discontinuance of
service is defined as 180 consecutive days during which a licensee does not operate.
(c) Filing Requirements. A licensee of the 1695-1710 MHz, 1755-1780 MHz, 2020-2025 MHz,
and 2155-2180 MHz bands that permanently discontinues service as defined in this section must notify
the Commission of the discontinuance within 10 days by filing FCC Form 601 or 605 requesting license
cancellation. An authorization will automatically terminate, without specific Commission action, if
service is permanently discontinued as defined in this section, even if a licensee fails to file the required
form requesting license cancellation.
9. Section 27.50(d) is amended to read as follows:
27.50 Power limits and duty cycle.
* * * * *
(d) The following power and antenna height requirements apply to stations transmitting in the
1695-1710 MHz, 1710-1755 MHz, 1755-1780 MHz, 2000-2020 MHz, 2020-2025 MHz, 2110-2155
MHz, 2155-2180 MHz and 2180-2200 MHz bands:
(1) The power of each fixed or base station transmitting in the 2110-2155 MHz, 2155-2180 MHz,
or 2180-2200 MHz bands and located in any county with population density of 100 or fewer persons per
square mile, based upon the most recently available population statistics from the Bureau of the Census, is
limited to:
(A) an equivalent isotropically radiated power (EIRP) of 3280 watts when transmitting with an
emission bandwidth of 1 MHz or less;
(B) an EIRP of 3280 watts/MHz when transmitting with an emission bandwidth greater than 1
MHz.
(2) The power of each fixed or base station transmitting in the 2110-2155 MHz, 2155-2180 MHz,
or 2180-2200 MHz bands and situated in any geographic location other than that described in paragraph
(d)(1) of this section is limited to:

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(A) an equivalent isotropically radiated power (EIRP) of 1640 watts when transmitting with an
emission bandwidth of 1 MHz or less;
(B) an EIRP of 1640 watts/MHz when transmitting with an emission bandwidth greater than 1
MHz.
* * * * *
(4) Mobile and portable (hand-held) stations operating in the 1695-1710 MHz, 1710-1755 MHz,
and 1755-1780 bands are limited to 100 milliwatts (20 dBm) EIRP. Mobile and portable stations
operating in this band must employ a means for limiting power to the minimum necessary for successful
communications. Mobile and portable (hand-held) stations in the 1695-1710 MHz and 1755-1780 MHz
bands are permitted to transmit only when controlled by an associated base station.
* * * * *
(7) Fixed, mobile, and portable (hand-held) stations operating in the 2000-2020 MHz and 2020-
2025 MHz bands are limited to 2 watts EIRP, except that the total power of any portion of an emission
that falls within the 2000-2005 MHz band may not exceed 5 milliwatts. A licensee of AWS-4 authority
may enter into private operator-to-operator agreements with all 1995-2000 MHz licensees to operate in
2000-2005 MHz at power levels above 5 milliwatts EIRP; except the total power of the AWS-4 mobile
emissions may not exceed 2 watts EIRP.
* * * * *
10. Section 27.53(h) is amended to read as follows:
27.53 Emission limits.
* * * * *
(h) AWS emission limits --(1) General protection levels. Except as otherwise specified below, for
operations in the 1695-1710 MHz, 1710-1755 MHz, 1755-1780 MHz, 2000-2020 MHz,, 2020-2025MHz,
2110-2155 MHz, 2155-2180 MHz, and 2180-2200 bands, the power of any emission outside a licensee's
frequency block shall be attenuated below the transmitter power (P) in watts by at least 43 + 10 log10 (P)
dB.
* * * * *

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11. Section 27.55(a) is amended to read as follows:
27.55 Power strength limits.
(a) Field strength limits. For the following bands, the predicted or measured median field strength
at any location on the geographical border of a licensee's service area shall not exceed the value specified
unless the adjacent affected service area licensee(s) agree(s) to a different field strength. This value
applies to both the initially offered service areas and to partitioned service areas.
(1) 2110-2155, 2155-2180, 2180-2200, 2305-2320, and 2345-2360 MHz bands: 47 dBV/m.
* * * * *
12. Section 27.57(c) is amended to read as follows:
27.57 International coordination.
* * * * *
(c) Operation in the 1695-1710 MHz, 1710-1755 MHz, 1755-1780 MHz, 2000-2020 MHz, 2020-
2025 MHz, 2110-2155 MHz, and 2180-2200 MHz bands is subject to international agreements with
Mexico and Canada.
13. The heading of Subpart L is amended to read as follows:

Subpart L--1695-1710 MHz, 1710-1755 MHz, 1755-1780 MHz, 2020-2025 MHz, 2110-2155 MHz,

2155-2180 MHz, 2180-2200 MHz Bands
14. Section 27.1105 is added to read as follows:
27.1105 1695-1710 MHz, 1755-1780 MHz, 2020-2025 MHz, and 2155-2180 MHz bands subject to
competitive bidding.
Mutually exclusive initial applications for 1695-1710 MHz, 1755-1780 MHz, 2020-2025 MHz,
and 2155-2180 MHz band licenses are subject to competitive bidding. The general competitive bidding
procedures set forth in 47 CFR part 1, subpart Q will apply unless otherwise provided in this subpart.
15. Section 27.1106 is added to read as follows:
27.1106 Designated Entities in the 1695-1710 MHz, 1755-1780 MHz, 2020-2025 MHz and 2155-
2180 MHz bands.
Eligibility for small business provisions:

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(a) Small business. (1) A small business is an entity that, together with its affiliates, its
controlling interests, the affiliates of its controlling interests, and the entities with which it has an
attributable material relationship, has average gross revenues not exceeding $40 million for the preceding
three years.
(2) A very small business is an entity that, together with its affiliates, its controlling interests, the
affiliates of its controlling interests, and the entities with which it has an attributable material relationship,
has average gross revenues not exceeding $15 million for the preceding three years.
(b) Bidding credits. A winning bidder that qualifies as a small business as defined in this section
or a consortium of small businesses may use the bidding credit specified in 1.2110(f)(2)(iii) of this
chapter. A winning bidder that qualifies as a very small business as defined in this section or a consortium
of very small businesses may use the bidding credit specified in 1.2110(f)(2)(ii) of this chapter.
16. Section 27.1131 is amended to read as follows:
27.1132 Protection of part 101 operations.
All AWS licensees, prior to initiating operations from any base or fixed station, must coordinate
their frequency usage with co-channel and adjacent-channel incumbent, Part 101 fixed-point-to-point
microwave licensees operating in the 2110-2180 MHz band. Coordination shall be conducted in
accordance with the provisions of 24.237 of this chapter.
17. Section 27.1134 is amended by revising paragraph (c) and adding paragraph (f) to read as
follows:
27.1134 Protection of Federal Government operations.
* * * * *
(c) Protection of Federal operations in the 1675-1710 MHz band.
(1) Protection Zones. Prior to operating a base station within the radius of operation of a facility
protected pursuant to Table [X] ("Protection Zones") of this section that permits mobile or portable
stations to transit in the 1695-1710 MHz band, licensees must successfully coordinate said base station
operation with Federal Government entities operating meteorological satellite Earth-station receivers in

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the 1695-1710 MHz band listed in Table [X]. Coordination must be implemented in accordance with
methodologies recommended by NTIA (CSMAC WG1 Final Report).
(i) Interference: If Federal users at a protected facility receive harmful interference, AWS
licensees must, upon notification, modify the stations' location and/or technical parameters as necessary to
eliminate the interference.
(ii) Point of contact: Licensees in the 1695-1710 MHz band must provide and maintain a point of
contact at all times so that immediate contact can be made should interference against protected Federal
sites occur.
(iii) Procedures for coordination of operations within the Protection Zones:
[TBD. For an example, see The Federal Communications Commission and the National
Telecommunications and Information Administration Coordination Procedures in the 1755-1780 MHz
Band, WTB Docket No. 02-353, Public Notice, 71 Fed Reg. 28696 (May 17, 2006).]
(iv) Operation outside of Protection Zones. Non-Federal operations outside of the protection
zones are permitted without coordination. Such operations may not cause harmful interference to the
Federal sites listed in Table X.
(2) Requirements for licensees operating in the 1710-1755 MHz band. AWS licensees operating
fixed stations in the 1710-1755 MHz band, if notified that such stations are causing interference to
radiosonde receivers operating in the Meteorological Aids Service in the 1675-1700 MHz band or a
meteorological-satellite earth receiver operating in the Meteorological-Satellite Service in the 1675-1710
MHz band, shall be required to modify the stations' location and/or technical parameters as necessary to
eliminate the interference.
* * * * *
(f) Protection of Federal operations in the 1755-1780 MHz band. The Federal Government
operates communications systems in the 1755-1780 MHz band. See 47 C.F.R. 2.106, US note 89.
Licensees in the 1755-1780 MHz band must accept any interference received from these Federal
operations and are excluded from certain areas (Exclusion Zones), subject to successful coordination in
other areas (Protection Zones), and permitted without Federal coordination elsewhere subject to

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paragraph (b) of this section. The Exclusion Zones are set forth in Table [Y] and the Protection Zones are
set forth in Table [Z].
(1) Exclusion Zones. 1755-1780 MHz band licensees may not operate in any of the Exclusion
Zones defined by the radii of operation specified in Table [Y] of this section.
(2) Protection Zones. Prior to operating a base station within the radius of operation of a facility
protected pursuant to Table [Z] ("Protection Zones") of this section that permits mobile or portable
stations to transmit in the 1755-1780 MHz band, licensees must successfully coordinate said base station
operation with Federal Government entities operating facilities identified in Table [Z]. Coordination must
be implemented in accordance with methodologies recommended by NTIA (CSMAC [TBD] Final
Report).
(i) Interference: If Federal operations identified in 47 C.F.R. 2.106, US note 89 receive harmful
interference, 1755-1780 MHz licensees must, upon notification, modify the stations' location and/or
technical parameters as necessary to eliminate the interference.
(ii) Point of contact. Licensees in the 1755-1780 MHz band must provide and maintain a point of
contact at all times so that immediate contact can be made should interference against protected Federal
sites occur.
(iii) Procedures for coordination of operations within the Protection Zones:
[TBD. For an example, see The Federal Communications Commission and the National
Telecommunications and Information Administration Coordination Procedures in the 1755-1780 MHz
Band, WTB Docket No. 02-353, Public Notice, 71 Fed Reg. 28696 (May 17, 2006).]
(3) Operation outside of Protection Zones. Non-Federal operations outside of the protection
zones are permitted without coordination. Such operations may not cause harmful interference to the
Federal operations in 47 C.F.R. 2.106, US note 89.


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APPENDIX B


Initial Regulatory Flexibility Act Analysis


1.
As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, as amended (RFA),1 the
Commission has prepared this present Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) of the possible
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities by the policies and rules proposed
in this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM). Written public comments are requested on this IRFA.
Comments must be identified as responses to the IRFA and must be filed by the deadlines specified in the
NPRM for comments. The Commission will send a copy of the NPRM, including this IRFA, to the Chief
Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration (SBA).2 In addition, the NPRM and IRFA
(or summaries thereof) will be published in the Federal Register.3 This NPRM contains new information
collection requirements subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), Public Law 104-13. It
will be submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review under Section 3507(d) of
the PRA. OMB, the general public, and other Federal agencies are invited to comment on the new or
modified information collection requirements contained in this proceeding. In addition, we note that
pursuant to the Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002, Public Law 107-198, see 44 U.S.C.
3506(c)(4), we seek specific comment on how the Commission might further reduce the information
collection burden for small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees.

A.

Need for, and Objectives of, the Proposed Rules

2.
Wireless broadband is a key component of economic growth, job creation and global
competitiveness because consumers are increasingly using wireless broadband services to assist them in
their everyday lives.4 The explosive growth of wireless broadband services has created increased demand
for wireless spectrum, which is expected to continue increasing, despite technological developments, such
as LTE, that allow for more efficient spectrum use. Adoption of smartphones increased at a 50 percent
annual growth rate in 2011, from 27 percent of U.S. mobile subscribers in December 2010 to nearly 42
percent in December 2011.5 Further, consumers have rapidly adopted the use of tablets, which were first
introduced in January of 2010.6 By the end of 2012, it was estimated that one in five Americans--almost
70 million people--would use a tablet.7 Between 2011 and 2017, mobile data traffic generated by tablets
is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 100 percent.8 New mobile applications and

1 See 5 U.S.C. 603. The RFA, see 5 U.S.C. 601-612, 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).
2 See 5 U.S.C. 603(a).
3 See id.
4 See NPRM at 4.
5 comScore 2012 Mobile Future in Focus (2012) at 16
http://www.comscore.com/Press_Events/Presentations_Whitepapers/2012/2012_Mobile_Future_in_Focus">http://www.comscore.com/Press_Events/Presentations_Whitepapers/2012/2012_Mobile_Future_in_Focus (last
visited Apr. 25, 2013).
6 Implementation of Section 6002(b) of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993, Annual Report and
Analysis of Competitive Market Conditions With Respect to Mobile Wireless, Including Commercial Mobile
Services, WT Docket No. 10-133, Fifteenth Report, 26 FCC Rcd 9664, 9754 145 (Fifteenth Mobile Wireless
Competition Report
).
7 Press Release, eMarketer, Tablet Shopping Growing, but Retailers Must Keep Up (June 15, 2012), available at
http://www.emarketer.com/Article.aspx?R=1009120&ecid=a6506033675d47f881651943c21c5ed4">http://www.emarketer.com/Article.aspx?R=1009120&ecid=a6506033675d47f881651943c21c5ed4 (last visited Apr.
25, 2013).
8 Ericsson, Traffic and Market Report: On the Pulse of the Networked Society (June 2012), available at
http://www.ericsson.com/res/docs/2012/traffic_and_market_report_june_2012.pdf">http://www.ericsson.com/res/docs/2012/traffic_and_market_report_june_2012.pdf (last visited Apr. 25, 2013).

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services, such as high resolution video communications, are also using more bandwidth. For example, a
single smartphone can generate as much traffic as thirty-five basic-feature mobile phones,9 while tablets
connected to 3G and 4G networks use three times more data than smartphones over the cellular network.10
All of these trends, in combination, are creating an urgent need for more network capacity and, in turn, for
suitable spectrum.
3.
Today we propose rules for spectrum in the 1695-1710 MHz, 1755-1780 MHz, 2020-
2025 MHz, and 2155-2180 MHz bands that would make available significantly more spectrum for
Advanced Wireless Services ("AWS"). We will refer to these four bands collectively as "AWS-3."11 The
additional spectrum for mobile use will help ensure that the speed, capacity, and ubiquity of the nation's
wireless networks keeps pace with the skyrocketing demand for mobile service. This Notice of Proposed
Rulemaking
explores novel approaches to spectrum sharing between commercial and Federal operators.
Where possible, we continue to make efforts to identify exclusive-use spectrum bands. In some
circumstances, however, spectrum sharing may be the best path forward to expanding flexible spectrum
access for innovative commercial uses. Today's action is another step in implementing the Congressional
directive in Title VI of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 ("Spectrum Act") to
allocate for commercial use and grant new initial licenses for flexible use in certain bands by February
2015.12
4.
We propose to license the 2155-2180 MHz band for downlink/base station operations and
to license the 2020-2025 MHz band for uplink/mobile operations. Both of these bands are currently
allocated for non-Federal, commercial use and are in the Commission's inventory of bands available for
licensing. We propose to allocate and license the 1755-1780 MHz band for uplink/mobile operations on a
shared basis with Federal incumbents. We note that the record of the instant proceeding will be informed
by recommendations of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration ("NTIA"),
which has tasked the Commerce Spectrum Management Advisory Committee ("CSMAC") with studying
the potential for Federal/non-Federal spectrum sharing. NTIA anticipates receiving final reports from
CSMAC working groups shortly. If NTIA endorses these reports, we will add them to the record and
anticipate that commenters will discuss NTIA's forthcoming recommendations in comments, reply
comments, or written ex partes, as appropriate, depending on the timing. If NTIA does not propose a
workable framework for sharing the1755-1780 MHz band, this proposal may not be feasible in the near
term, in which case it may not be possible to adopt rules that allow commercial access to the band. We
also propose to allocate and license the 1695-1710 MHz band for uplink/mobile operations on a shared
basis with Federal incumbents within specified Protection Zones recommended by NTIA. Commercial
operation outside of these Protection Zones would not require coordination with Federal incumbents.
5.
For all of the AWS-3 spectrum within the scope of this NPRM, i.e., spectrum for which
we seek comment regarding service rules for non-Federal use, we propose to assign licenses by

9 Cisco Visual Networking Index: Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast Update, 2011-2016 (February 2012),
available athttp://www.cisco.com/en/US/solutions/collateral/ns341/ns525/ns537/ns705/ns827/white_paper_c11-520862.html"> http://www.cisco.com/en/US/solutions/collateral/ns341/ns525/ns537/ns705/ns827/white_paper_c11-
520862.html (last visited Apr. 25, 2013).
10 Kevin Fitchard, 3G/4G tablets suck up 3x more data than smartphones, GIGAOM, May 15, 2012, available at
http://gigaom.com/mobile/study-3g4g-tablets-suck-up-3x-more-data-than-smartphones/">http://gigaom.com/mobile/study-3g4g-tablets-suck-up-3x-more-data-than-smartphones/ (last visited Dec. 6, 2012).
11 The Commission has previously referred to the 2155-2175 MHz band as the "AWS-3 band." See, e.g., Service
Rules for Advanced Wireless Services in the 2155-2175 MHz Band, WT Docket No. 07-195, Notice of Proposed
Rulemaking
, 22 FCC Rcd 17035 (2007) ("2007 NPRM"). We are revising this informal nomenclature: herein,
"AWS-3" refers to the spectrum, separately and collectively, on which we seek comment in the instant NPRM
regarding service rules for non-Federal use of spectrum, including the following bands: 1695-1710 MHz, 1755-
1780 MHz, 2020-2025 MHz, and 2155-2180 MHz.
12 See Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, Pub. L. No. 112-96, 126 Stat. 156 (2012) ("Spectrum
Act").

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competitive bidding, offering five megahertz blocks that can be aggregated using Economic Areas
("EAs") as the area for geographic licensing. We also seek comment on whether, and if so how, to pair
any of the AWS-3 spectrum.
6.
These service rules would make available additional spectrum for flexible use in
accordance with the Spectrum Act. In proposing service rules for the band, which include technical rules
to protect against harmful interference, licensing rules to establish geographic license areas and spectrum
block sizes, and performance requirements to promote robust buildout, we advance toward enabling rapid
and efficient deployment.13 We do so by proposing service, technical, assignment, and licensing rules for
this spectrum under the Commission's Part 27 rules, which generally govern flexible use terrestrial
wireless service, except where special provisions are necessary to facilitate shared use with co-primary
Federal operations.
7.
Overall, these proposals are designed to provide for flexible use of this spectrum by
allowing licensees to choose their type of service offerings, to encourage innovation and investment in
mobile broadband use in this spectrum, and to provide a stable regulatory environment in which
broadband deployment would be able to develop through the application of standard terrestrial wireless
rules. The market-oriented licensing framework for these bands would ensure that this spectrum is
efficiently utilized and will foster the development of new and innovative technologies and services, as
well as encourage the growth and development of broadband services, ultimately leading to greater
benefits to consumers.

B.

Legal Basis

8.
The proposed action is authorized pursuant to sections 1, 2, 4(i), 201, 301, 302, 303, 307,
308, 309, 310, 316, 319, 324, 332, and 333 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, and Title VI
of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, Pub. L. No. 1122-96, 126 Stat. 156, 47
U.S.C. 151, 152, 154(i), 201, 301, 302a, 303, 307, 308, 309, 310, 316, 319, 324, 332, 333, 1403, 1404,
and 1451.

C.

Description and Estimate of the Number of Small Entities To Which the Proposed
Rules Will Apply

9.
The RFA directs agencies to provide a description of, and, where feasible, an estimate of
the number of small entities to which the proposed rules and policies will apply, if adopted.14 The RFA
generally defines the term "small entity" as having the same meaning as the terms "small business,"
"small organization," and "small governmental jurisdiction."15 In addition, the term "small business" has
the same meaning as the term "small business concern" under the Small Business Act.16 A "small
business concern" is one which: (1) is independently owned and operated; (2) is not dominant in its field
of operation; and (3) satisfies any additional criteria established by the SBA.17
10.
Small Businesses, Small Organizations, and Small Governmental Jurisdictions. Our
action may, over time, affect small entities that are not easily categorized at present. We therefore
describe here, at the outset, three comprehensive, statutory small entity size standards that encompass

13 See NPRM sections III.G (Technical Rules) and III.H (Licensing and Operating Rules; Regulatory Issues).
14 5 U.S.C. 603(b)(3).
15 5 U.S.C. 601(6).
16 5 U.S.C. 601(3) (incorporating by reference the definition of "small-business concern" in the Small Business
Act, 15 U.S.C. 632). Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 601(3), the statutory definition of a small business applies "unless an
agency, after consultation with the Office of Advocacy of the Small Business Administration and after opportunity
for public comment, establishes one or more definitions of such term which are appropriate to the activities of the
agency and publishes such definition(s) in the Federal Register." Id.
17 15 U.S.C. 632.

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entities that could be directly affected by the proposals under consideration.18 Nationwide, there are a total
of approximately 27.9 million small businesses, according to the SBA.19 Additionally, a "small
organization" is generally "any not-for-profit enterprise which is independently owned and operated and
is not dominant in its field."20 Nationwide, as of 2007, there were approximately 1,621,315 small
organizations.21 Finally, the term "small governmental jurisdiction" is defined generally as "governments
of cities, counties, towns, townships, villages, school districts, or special districts, with a population of
less than fifty thousand."22 Census Bureau data for 2007 indicate that there were 89,527 governmental
jurisdictions in the United States.23 We estimate that, of this total, as many as 88,761 entities may qualify
as "small governmental jurisdictions."24 Thus, we estimate that most governmental jurisdictions are
small.
11.
Wireless Telecommunications Carriers (except satellite). The NPRM proposes to apply
various Commission policies and rules to service in the AWS-3 bands. We cannot predict who may in the
future become a licensee or lease spectrum for use in these bands. In general, any wireless
telecommunications provider would be eligible to become an Advanced Wireless Service licensee or
lease spectrum from an AWS-3 licensee. This industry comprises establishments engaged in operating
and maintaining switching and transmission facilities to provide communications via the airwaves.25
Establishments in this industry have spectrum licenses and provide services using that spectrum, such as
cellular phone services, paging services, wireless Internet access, and wireless video services.26 The
appropriate size standard under SBA rules is for the category Wireless Telecommunications Carriers.
The size standard for that category is that a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees.27 Under
the present and prior categories, the SBA has deemed a wireless business to be small if it has 1,500 or

18 See 5 U.S.C. 601(3)(6).
19 See SBA, Office of Advocacy, "Frequently Asked Questions,"
http://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/FAQ_Sept_2012.pdf">http://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/FAQ_Sept_2012.pdf.
20 5 U.S.C. 601(4).
21 INDEPENDENT SECTOR, THE NEW NONPROFIT ALMANAC & DESK REFERENCE (2010).
22 5 U.S.C. 601(5).
23 U.S. CENSUS BUREAU, STATISTICAL ABSTRACT OF THE UNITED STATES: 2011, Table 427 (2007).
24 The 2007 U.S Census data for small governmental organizations are not presented based on the size of the
population in each such organization. There were 89,476 local governmental organizations in 2007. If we assume
that county, municipal, township, and school district organizations are more likely than larger governmental
organizations to have populations of 50,000 or less, the total of these organizations is 52,095. If we make the same
population assumption about special districts, specifically that they are likely to have a population of 50,000 or less,
and also assume that special districts are different from county, municipal, township, and school districts, in 2007
there were 37,381 such special districts. Therefore, there are a total of 89,476 local government organizations. As a
basis of estimating how many of these 89,476 local government organizations were small, in 2011, we note that
there were a total of 715 cities and towns (incorporated places and minor civil divisions) with populations over
50,000. CITY AND TOWNS TOTALS: VINTAGE 2011 U.S. Census Bureau, available at
http://www.census.gov/popest/data/cities/totals/2011/index.html. If we subtract the 715 cities and towns that meet
or exceed the 50,000 population threshold, we conclude that approximately 88,761 are small. U.S. CENSUS
BUREAU, STATISTICAL ABSTRACT OF THE UNITED STATES 2011, Tables 427, 426 (Data cited therein are
from 2007).
25 2007 NAICS Definition, 517210 Wireless Telecommunications Carriers (except Satellite),
http://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/sssd/naics/naicsrch?code=517210&search=2007%20NAICS%20Search">http://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/sssd/naics/naicsrch?code=517210&search=2007%20NAICS%20Search.
26 Id.
27 13 C.F.R. 121.201, NAICS code 517210.

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fewer employees.28 For this category, census data for 2007 show that there were 11,163 firms that
operated for the entire year.29 Of this total, 10,791 firms had employment of 999 or fewer employees and
372 had employment of 1000 employees or more.30 Thus under this category and the associated small
business size standard, the Commission estimates that the majority of wireless telecommunications
carriers(except satellite) are small entities that may be affected by our proposed action.

D.

Description of Projected Reporting, Recordkeeping, and other Compliance
Requirements

12.
This NPRM proposes or seeks comment on a number of possible rule changes that could
affect reporting, recordkeeping and other compliance requirements that would apply to all entities in the
same manner. These include requirements related to Federal/non-Federal sharing and coordination,31
technical rules,32 license term, performance requirements, renewal criteria, permanent discontinuance of
operations,33 other operating requirements34 and non-Federal relocation and cost sharing.35 The
Commission believes that applying the same rules equally to all entities in this context promotes fairness.
The Commission does not believe that the costs and/or administrative burdens associated with the rules
will unduly burden small entities. The revisions the Commission adopts should benefit small entities by
giving them more information, more flexibility, and more options for gaining access to valuable wireless
spectrum.
13.
The Commission proposes to require any applicants for licenses of AWS-3 Block
spectrum to file license applications using the Commission's automated Universal Licensing System
(ULS).36 ULS is an online electronic filing system that also serves as a powerful information tool that
enables potential licensees to research applications, licenses, and antennae structures. It also keeps the
public informed with weekly public notices, FCC rulemakings, processing utilities, and a
telecommunications glossary.

E.

Steps Taken to Minimize Significant Economic Impact on Small Entities, and
Significant Alternatives Considered

14.
The RFA requires an agency to describe any significant, specifically small business,
alternatives that it has considered in reaching its proposed approach, which may include the following
four alternatives (among others): "(1) the establishment of differing compliance or reporting requirements
or timetables that take into account the resources available to small entities; (2) the clarification,
consolidation, or simplification of compliance and reporting requirements under the rule for such small

28 13 C.F.R. 121.201, NAICS code 517210. The now-superseded, pre-2007 C.F.R. citations were 13 C.F.R.
121.201, NAICS codes 517211 and 517212 (referring to the 2002 NAICS).
29 U.S. Census Bureau, Subject Series: Information, Table 5, "Establishment and Firm Size: Employment Size of
Firms for the United States: 2007 NAICS Code 517210" (issued Nov. 2010).
30 Id. Available census data do not provide a more precise estimate of the number of firms that have employment of
1,500 or fewer employees; the largest category provided is for firms with "100 employees or more." See
http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ECN_2007_US_51SSSZ2&prodType=table">http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ECN_2007_US_51SSSZ2&prod
Type=table.
31 See NPRM section III.E
32 See id. section III.G
33 See id. section III.H.6
34 See id. section III.H.8
35 See id. section III.H.11
36 Seehttp://wireless.fcc.gov/uls/index.htm?job=home"> http://wireless.fcc.gov/uls/index.htm?job=home

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entities; (3) the use of performance rather than design standards; and (4) an exemption from coverage of
the rule, or any part thereof, for such small entities."37
15.
The proposal in the NPRM to license the AWS-3 spectrum under Economic Areas (EA)
geographic size licenses will provide regulatory parity with other AWS bands that are licensed on an EA
basis, such as AWS-1 B and C block licenses.38 Additionally, assigning AWS-3 in EA geographic areas
would allow AWS-3 licensees to make adjustments to suit their individual needs. EA license areas are
small enough to provide spectrum access opportunities for smaller carriers.39 EA license areas also nest
within and may be aggregated up to larger license areas.40 Therefore, the benefits and burdens resulting
from assigning AWS-3 spectrum in EA license areas are equivalent for small and large businesses.
Depending on the licensing mechanism we adopt, licensees may adjust their geographic coverage through
auction or, as we discuss in section III.H.7 (Secondary Markets) of the NPRM, through secondary
markets.41 This proposal should enable AWS-3 providers, or any entities, whether large or small,
providing service in other AWS bands to more easily adjust their spectrum to build their networks
pursuant to individual business plans. As a result, we believe the ability of licensees to adjust spectrum
holdings will provide an economic benefit by making it easier for small entities to acquire spectrum or
access AWS spectrum
16.
The technical rules proposed in section III.G (Technical Rules) of the NPRM will protect
entities operating in nearby spectrum bands from harmful interference, which may include small entities.
In the proposed band plan, AWS-3 spectrum would be licensed in five-megahertz blocks using EA
licenses.42 Interference must therefore be considered between adjacent AWS-3 blocks, e.g., between
2155-2160 MHz and 2160-2165 MHz, as well as between AWS-3 operations in the 2155-2180 MHz band
and services in the adjacent AWS-1 and AWS-4 bands. Similarly, AWS-3 mobiles could interfere with
proximate Federal or non-Federal operations in the same or nearby bands.43
17.
The NPRM proposal in section III.H.10 (Competitive Bidding Procedures) pertaining to
how the AWS-3 licenses will be assigned includes proposals to assist small entities in competitive
bidding. We propose that the Commission would conduct any auction for licenses for spectrum in the
1695-1710 MHz, 1755-1780 MHz, 2020-2025 MHz, and 2155-2180 MHz bands in conformity with the
general competitive bidding rules set forth in Part 1, Subpart Q, of the Commission's rules, and
substantially consistent with the competitive bidding procedures that have been employed in previous
auctions.44 Specifically, we propose to employ the Part 1 rules governing competitive bidding design,
designated entity preferences, unjust enrichment, application and payment procedures, reporting
requirements, and the prohibition on certain communications between auction applicants.45 Specifically,

37 5 U.S.C. 603(c)(1) (c)(4).
38 See NPRM section III.D.4 (Service Areas).
39 Id.
40 Id.
41See id. section III.H.7 (Secondary Markets).
42 See id. section III.D (Band-Use Configurations).
43 In addition to technical rules, we are proposing license conditions and prior-coordination requirements to protect
Federal operations. See id. section III.EIII.E (Federal/non-Federal Sharing and Coordination).
44 See 47 C.F.R. 1.2101-1.2114.
45 See, e.g., Amendment of Part 1 of the Commission's Rules--Competitive Bidding Procedures, WT Docket No.
97-82, Order, Memorandum Opinion and Order and Notice of Proposed Rule Making, 12 FCC Rcd 5686 (1997);
Third Report and Order and Second Further Notice of Proposed Rule Making, 13 FCC Rcd 374 (1997) (Part 1
Third Report and Order
); Order on Reconsideration of the Third Report and Order, Fifth Report and Order, and
Fourth Further Notice of Proposed Rule Making
, 15 FCC Rcd 15293 (2000), aff'd in part and modified in part,
(continued....)

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small entities will benefit from the proposal to provide small businesses with a bidding credit of 15
percent and very small businesses with a bidding credit of 25 percent.46 Providing small businesses and
very small businesses with bidding credits will provide an economic benefit to small entities by making it
easier for small entities to acquire spectrum or access to spectrum in these bands. The Commission also
seeks comment on whether the small business provisions we propose today are sufficient to promote
participation by businesses owned by minorities and women, as well as rural telephone companies.
18.
In section III.H.2 (Flexible Use) of the NPRM, the Commission, consistent with the
Spectrum Act's mandate to license under flexible use service rules,47 proposes service rules that permit a
licensee to employ the spectrum for any non-Federal use permitted by the United States Table of
Frequency Allocations,48 subject to the Commission's Part 27 flexible use and other applicable rules
(including service rules to avoid harmful interference).49 Thus, we propose that the spectrum may be used
for any fixed or mobile service that is consistent with the allocations for the band. The technical rules we
propose or seek comment on will allow licensees of AWS-3 spectrum to operate while also protecting
licensees of nearby spectrum, some of whom are small entities, from harmful interference.50
19.
Consistent with the proposed flexible use of the AWS-3 band, we also propose licensing
the spectrum under the flexible regulatory framework of Part 27 of our rules.51 For each frequency band
under its umbrella, Part 27 defines permissible uses and any limitations thereon, and specifies basic
licensing requirements. We believe that our Part 27 rules are consistent with the Spectrum Act's
requirement for "flexible-use service rules."
20.
We propose to permit partitioning and disaggregation by licensees in the AWS-3 band.52
These secondary market rules apply equally to all entities, whether small or large.53 We believe the
opportunity to enter into secondary market agreements for AWS-3 spectrum will provide an economic
benefit to all entities, whether large or small Therefore, the benefits and burdens resulting from
(Continued from previous page)
Second Order on Reconsideration of the Third Report and Order, and Order on Reconsideration of the Fifth Report
and Order
, 18 FCC Rcd 10180 (2003); Seventh Report and Order, 16 FCC Rcd 17546 (2001); Eighth Report and
Order
, 17 FCC Rcd 2962 (2002); Second Order on Reconsideration of the Part 1 Fifth Report and Order, 20 FCC
Rcd 1942 (2005); Implementation of the Commercial Spectrum Enhancement Act and Modernization of the
Commission's Competitive Bidding Rules and Procedures, WT Docket 05-211, Report and Order, 21 FCC Rcd 891
(2006) (CSEA/Part 1 Report and Order), recons. pending; Second Report and Order and Second Further Notice of
Proposed Rule Making
, 21 FCC Rcd 4753 (2006) (CSEA/Part 1 Designated Entity Second Report and Order and
Second FNPRM
), recons. pending; Order on Reconsideration of the Second Report and Order, 21 FCC Rcd 6703
(2006) (modified by Erratum and Notice of Office of Management and Budget Approval of Information Collections,
21 FCC Rcd 6622 (WTB 2006)), petition for review dismissed sub nom. Council Tree Communications, Inc. v.
FCC
, 503 F.3d 284 (3d Cir. 2007); Second Order on Reconsideration of the Second Report and Order, 23 FCC Rcd
5425 (2008), vacated in part, Council Tree Communications, Inc. v. FCC, 619 F.3d 235 (3d Cir. 2010); Order, FCC
12-12 (Feb. 1, 2012).
46 See NPRM section III.H.10 (Competitive Bidding Procedures).
47 Spectrum Act, 6401(b)(1)(b).
48 47 C.F.R. 2.106. In section III.H.2 (Flexible Use), we propose amendments to the Table of Frequency
Allocations and tentatively conclude that these allocation proposals, together with our propose service rules, satisfy
47 U.S.C. 303(y).
49 Part 27 licensees must also comply with other Commission rules of general applicability. See 47 C.F.R. 27.3.
In addition, flexible use in international border areas is subject to any existing or future international agreements.
See NPRM section III.G.6 (Canadian and Mexican Coordination).
50 See NPRM section III.G
51 Part 27 licensees must also comply with other Commission rules of general applicability. See 47 C.F.R. 27.3.
52 See NPRM section III.H.7 (Secondary Markets).
53 See id. section III.H.7 (Secondary Markets).

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secondary market agreements for AWS-3 spectrum are equivalent for small and large businesses.
Further, in the NPRM, we propose to provide small businesses with a bidding credit of 15 percent and
very small businesses with a bidding credit of 25 percent, as set forth in the standardized schedule in Part
1 of our Rules.54

F.

Federal Rules that May Duplicate, Overlap, or Conflict with the Proposed Rules

21.
None.


54 See NPRM 153. In the Part 1 Third Report and Order, the Commission adopted a standard schedule of bidding
credits, the levels of which were developed based on our auction experience. Part 1 Third Report and Order, 13
FCC Rcd at 403-04 47; see also 47 C.F.R. 1.2110(f)(2).

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STATEMENT OF

ACTING CHAIRWOMAN MIGNON L. CLYBURN


Re:

Amendment of the Commission's Rules with Regard to Commercial Operations in the 1695-
1710, 1755-1780 MHz, and 2155-2180 MHz Bands, GN Docket No. 13-185


Today, we take another critical step toward providing additional spectrum for wireless broadband
services. The proliferation of wireless devices, such as smartphones and tablets, has triggered a
significant surge in demand for mobile broadband and providers need additional spectrum in order to
keep pace with rapidly changing market dynamics. This proceeding has the potential to repurpose a
significant amount of spectrum for flexible commercial use, benefiting consumers and businesses across
the nation.

This item helps the Commission to meet Congress's directive to auction and license certain
frequency bands by February 2015. It is also consistent with the President's encouragement to expand the
availability of spectrum for innovative and flexible commercial uses by expediting the repurposing of
spectrum, and where technically and economically feasible, utilizing spectrum sharing to enhance
efficiency among all users.

Included in today's item are proposals for identifying spectrum that is free, clear, and available
for exclusive use, as well as proposals for spectrum that could be shared with Federal users if clearing and
reallocating is not possible in the near-term. It provides flexibility to accommodate any number of
effective paths toward making additional spectrum available for wireless broadband. We are committed
to finding new and innovative strategies to expedite commercial access to additional spectrum.

The proposals in this Notice represent dedicated work by Commission staff, other Federal
agencies including the National Telecommunications & Information Administration (NTIA) and the
Department of Defense, and the wireless industry. I look forward to continuing a productive dialogue on
making federal spectrum available for commercial use, including the on-going discussions in the Policy
and Plans Steering Group (PPSG), Commerce Spectrum Management Advisory Committee (CSMAC),
and other forums.

We must continue to move toward adopting allocation, service, technical, and licensing rules for
this spectrum in a timely manner, consistent with the public interest and our statutory obligations. I
encourage all stakeholders to roll up their sleeves and help us to push this proceeding forward. We must
also take steps to bring spectrum already available to the marketplace in the near term. I thank the
talented staff in the Wireless Bureau and Office of Engineering and Technology for presenting us with a
thorough Notice.

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STATEMENT OF

COMMISSIONER JESSICA ROSENWORCEL


Re:

Amendment of the Commission's Rules with Regard to Commercial Operations in the 1695-
1710, 1755-1780 MHz, and 2155-2180 MHz Bands, GN Docket No. 13-185


This proceeding is important. We are teeing up for auction spectrum bands that have the
potential to change our wireless landscape for years to come.


If we do this right, we can auction 55 megahertz for new mobile broadband uses. This may seem
like a little regulatory feat. But it has the power to contribute big things to the economy. The services
that are dependent on wireless airwaves are multiplying fast. Consider that mobile data traffic is
projected to increase by 13 times in the next five years. Moreover, making more spectrum available can
help grow the broader economy. After all, our wireless economy already generates nearly $200 billion
annually and supports directly or indirectly 3.8 million jobs.


But the promise of this proceeding goes further. Because if we get this right, we also will
substantially fund a nationwide, interoperable, wireless broadband network for public safety--the First
Responders Network Authority--even before we begin our upcoming spectrum incentive auctions. This
is important, because it means we can finally deliver on the promise of the 9/11 Commission
recommendations. Plus, funding this network through these auctions now will enhance the Commission's
flexibility to design more robust incentive auctions later.


Now for details. In this rulemaking, the Commission asks about spectrum that Congress
specifically directed the agency to auction in the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act. But this
rulemaking goes above and beyond. It also seeks comment on spectrum not specifically identified by
Congress, notably the 1755-1780 MHz band. There has been a full court press to auction these airwaves
paired with the 2155-2180 MHz band identified in the law. There is good reason for this--these bands
are internationally harmonized for mobile broadband use. They are a more valuable resource auctioned
together. At the same time, it is important for this agency to find a way to respect the existing federal
uses in the band, including the national defense.


I am hopeful that we will soon have a path to clear 1755-1780 MHz for commercial mobile
broadband use. Nonetheless, I think we need a plan in the event that this spectrum is not fully cleared and
ready for pairing with 2155-2180 MHz.


To this end, I am thankful that the Commission is asking about my proposal to auction the 2155-
2180 MHz band along with the right to work with the federal incumbents in the 1755-1780 MHz band.
This could be an elegant way forward. It could raise the value of the 2155-2180 MHz spectrum--by the
amount the winning bidder allocates to purchasing the exclusive right to negotiate with federal
incumbents. Moreover, by providing a source of agency, it could create opportunity for direct negotiation
with federal users and foster creative ideas for near-term testing, sharing, and long-term clearing and
relocation.


Finally, timing matters. The Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act requires the
Commission to license 55 megahertz of spectrum as discussed in this rulemaking and 10 megahertz of
spectrum in the 1915-1920 MHz and 1995-2000 MHz bands, known as the H-block, by February 22,
2015. To license it by this date requires that we auction it in 2014. In light of the 18-month long process
for repurposing federal spectrum in the Commercial Spectrum Enhancement Act, that means the spectrum
currently allocated for federal use must be auctioned in the third quarter of 2014.



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I would prefer that we auction all of these spectrum bands in a single auction. That means one
simple auction of the 65 megahertz described in the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act--
combining the 55 megahertz described here with the 10 megahertz from the H-block. A single auction
could mean more interest from more bidders. A single auction could mean more ability to consider how
these bands can be substitutes or complements for one another. A single auction could be our best shot
for funding the First Responder Network Authority now, and providing the agency with more flexibility
in the incentive auction down the road. At the same time, I recognize that auctioning the H-block earlier
in a separate auction may have benefits for the agency. But we should be careful that administrative
convenience does not get in the way of good spectrum policy and the objectives under the law.

In the end, there is a lot to be optimistic about in this proceeding. The auction of spectrum
described in this rulemaking, with the incentive auctions to follow, is exciting. It is the kind of activity
that is good for the economy, good for consumers, and can help keep the United States at the vanguard of
spectrum policy.

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STATEMENT OF

COMMISSIONER AJIT PAI

APPROVING IN PART AND CONCURRING IN PART

Re:


Amendment of the Commission's Rules with Regard to Commercial Operations in the 1695-
1710, 1755-1780 MHz, and 2155-2180 MHz Bands, GN Docket No. 13-185


When it comes to spectrum, supply is short, and demand is long. One reason is that the federal
government is the sole occupant of 588.5 MHz of spectrum ideally suited for mobile broadband and
controls another 885.5 MHz of spectrum that's shared by federal users and the private sector.1 In other
words, 61.4 percent of the spectrum between 600 MHz and 3 GHz is insulated from market forces and
can't be used to meet consumers' ever-increasing demand for data.

Fortunately, Congress foresaw this situation and gave the Commission two powerful tools to
solve the problem. The first is the Commercial Spectrum Enhancement Act of 2004,2 which allows the
proceeds of a spectrum auction to pay for the relocation of incumbent federal users. That authority was
used to great success seven years ago, when we cleared federal users out of the 17101755 MHz band and
created the AWS-1 band, which has been used by carriers to deploy 4G LTE services throughout the
United States. And that auction was a boon to the Treasury to boot; the National Broadband Plan
estimated that net revenues from clearing and auctioning the band were "nearly $6 billion."3

The second is the Spectrum Act of 2012, which directed the FCC to allocate and license 65 MHz
of spectrum for commercial use by February 2015.4 The Spectrum Act built on the Commercial
Spectrum Enhancement Act, and while it allowed more flexibility for sharing spectrum between federal
and commercial users, it codified Congress's strong preference for clearing and reallocating spectrum.
Indeed, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration must "give priority" to
clearing and reallocation and may pursue a sharing strategy only if, in consultation with the Office of
Management and Budget, it determines that "relocation of a Federal entity from the band is not feasible
because of technical or cost constraints."5

Today we follow through on our responsibilities under these statutes by proposing service rules
for several bands, including the critically important 17551780 MHz band. I say critically important
because this band, when paired with the 21552180 MHz band that the Spectrum Act requires us to
auction by February 2015, will be crucial to making 4G LTE services available to millions of Americans
and making the promise of the National Broadband Plan a reality. It's already internationally harmonized
for commercial use, so deployment will be quicker than any other band, and its adjacency to the existing
AWS-1 band allows for more efficient spectrum usage.



1 National Telecommunications and Information Administration, United States Frequency Allocations: The Radio
Spectrum (Aug. 2011) (denoting spectrum allocated for "government exclusive" use, "non-government exclusive"
use, and "government/non-government shared" use).
2 Commercial Spectrum Enhancement Act, Pub. L. No. 108-494, 118 Stat. 3986, Title II (2004).
3 FCC, Connecting America: The National Broadband Plan at 82 (2010), available at
http://download.broadband.gov/plan/national-broadband-plan.pdf">http://download.broadband.gov/plan/national-broadband-plan.pdf.
4 Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, Pub. L. No. 112-96, 126 Stat. 156, Title VI (2012).
5 Spectrum Act 6701(a)(1)(B) (amending section 113(j) of the National Telecommunications and Information
Administration Organization Act (47 U.S.C. 923)); see also id. (entitling such subsection "Relocation Prioritized
Over Sharing"); Spectrum Act 6401(a) (entitled "Clearing Certain Federal Spectrum").

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Although I cannot support every proposal in today's Notice, I am especially pleased that my
colleagues were willing to incorporate my proposals to ensure that if clearing the 17551780 MHz band is
feasible, we can move forward with relocation and exclusive commercial use there. Not only is clearing
the bipartisan legislative preference, it just makes sense. The fewer impairments, exclusion zones, and
complicated sharing arrangements there are, the more valuable the spectrum will be, especially for
regional carriers that are unlikely to have the wherewithal to coordinate their use with potentially
hundreds of federal users.

A coda to today's Notice. When the Commission commenced the notice-and-auction process of
the Commercial Spectrum Enhancement Act back in March,6 I reiterated my belief that "we should aim to
clear and reallocate the 17551780 MHz band rather than forcing federal users and commercial operators
to undertake the complicated, untested task of spectrum sharing."7 Although some at the time suggested
large-scale clearing was impossible, I was pleased to see recent correspondence from the Chief
Information Officer of the Department of Defense putting reallocation and auction of the 17551780
MHz band "in the near-term" on the table.8 This recognition--that relocating some operations and
compressing most others into existing federal spectrum is feasible at a total cost of only $3.5 billion--is a
tremendous step in the right direction.9 I commend the Department of Defense for working towards a
solution that will serve federal and consumer interests alike.


6 Letter from Julius Genachowksi, Chairman, FCC, to Lawrence E. Strickling, Assistant Secretary for
Communications and Information, U.S. Department of Commerce, at 1 (Mar. 20, 2013), available at
http://go.usa.gov/2VR5">http://go.usa.gov/2VR5.
7 Statement of Commissioner Ajit Pai on Commencement of the Process to Auction 17551780 MHz Band (Mar.
21, 2013), available athttp://go.usa.gov/jkT9"> http://go.usa.gov/jkT9.
8 Letter from Teresa M. Takai, Chief Information Officer, Department of Defense, to the Honorable Lawrence E.
Strickling, Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information, National Telecommunications and Information
Administration, at 1 (July 17, 2013), available athttp://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7520932630"> http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7520932630.
9 Id.

102


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