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2.5 GHz Spectrum

In July 2019, the Commission established a Rural Tribal Priority Window that provided federally recognized Tribal entities with an opportunity to apply for unassigned 2.5 GHz spectrum in what was formerly designated as the Educational Broadband Service (EBS).  The Rural Tribal Window was a one-time opportunity for eligible, federally recognized Tribal entities to obtain access to up to 117.5 MHz of spectrum in the 2.5 GHz band to serve their rural Tribal Lands.  Federally recognized Tribal entities were eligible for the Rural Tribal Window if: 1) any of this 117.5 MHz of spectrum is unassigned over their Tribal lands; 2) the Tribal entity demonstrated a local presence in the desired Tribal land license area; and 3) the Tribal land is rural, meaning that it does not contain an urbanized area or urban cluster with a population of greater than 50,000. Additional information is available on the Rural Tribal Window website.

Learn More About 2.5 GHz

3.5 GHz Spectrum

Another opportunity to access spectrum is available to all Tribal entities. The Commission is making 3.5 GHz spectrum available to help bring broadband to underserved areas, including rural areas.  Like 2.5 GHz spectrum, this mid-band spectrum is well suited to rural deployments.  The Commission has established a three-tiered approach to access in this band, protecting incumbent operations, establishing Priority Access Licenses (PALs), which will be offered at auction, in the lower portion of the band, and making the remaining 80 MHz available via General Authorized Access.  Not only can Tribal entities access, via GAA, this 80 MHz of spectrum to serve their Tribal Lands, they also may access up to the full 150 MHz where no PAL licensee is using the spectrum.

Access to 3.5 GHz spectrum via GAA does not require a license; rather, access is managed by FCC-certified Spectrum Access Systems, or SASs.  A list of FCC-certified SASs is available; you can compare among the available SASs, and you can contact any SAS to learn more about the availability of and accessing 3.5 GHz spectrum.

Learn More About 3.5 GHz