About

Rule Part

47 C.F.R, Part 27


Radio Service Code(s)

  • WX - 700 MHz Service

 

The 700 MHz Guard Bands consist of a total of 4 megahertz of paired spectrum that was initially allocated to protect public safety operations in immediately adjacent bands from harmful interference while at the same time promoting the efficient use of this spectrum. The 700 MHz Guard Bands licensees must adhere to specific technical and operational measures designed to minimize interference to public safety licensees, to the extent that the Guard Bands remain adjacent to the public safety allocation in the 700 MHz Band. Guard Bands licensees can lease their spectrum to system operators or directly to end users through the Commission’s Secondary Markets spectrum leasing policies and rules. The current 700 MHz band plan includes recent changes to the sizes and spectral locations of the Guard Bands spectrum blocks, as compared to the initial allocation in 2000.

 

All 700 MHz Guard Bands licensees are required to file annual reports with information about the manner in which their spectrum is being utilized. The first report was due October 1, 2002. Going forward, the annual reports are due on March 1 of each year and must describe the licensee's state of operation as of January 1 of that year.

For more information on the 700 MHz Guard Bands, refer to the Rules set forth in 47 CFR Part 27.

Band Manager Reports

700 MHz Guard Bands licensees are required to file annual reports with information about the manner in which their spectrum is being utilized. The first report was due October 1, 2002. Going forward, the annual reports are due on March 1 of each year and should describe the licensee's state of operation as of January 1 of that year. These reports must be filed electronically and are available to the public after Commission review and verification.

Data

The FCC maintains a number of reports and databases that compile data on licensees. This information may be used to research ownership, coverage/construction requirements, and, in many instances, financial operating results of licensees.  

700 MHz Guard Band Manager Reports The FCC requires annual reports from the 700 MHz Guard Bands licensees, formerly called Guard Band Managers. These reports must be submitted online. The FCC posts the reports online after review and verification.  

Ownership Search Ownership Search provides access to Ownership Disclosure Information that has been filed within the Universal Licensing System (ULS). You can search by filer information, such as licensee name, or by filing dates.  

ULS License and Application Search Technical, geographical, and licensee/applicant data can be obtained using the Universal Licensing System (ULS) search capabilities. ULS allows you to perform searches based on numerous criteria, including licensee/applicant name, call sign, radio service code, market area, channel block, FCC Registration Number (FRN), license or application status, and auction identification.  

Electronic Document Management System (EDOCS) Search a database of Daily Digest entries for FCC documents posted to the FCC web site since March 1996.  

Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS) Research any document in the Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS) including non-electronic documents that have been scanned into the system from 1992 onward.

Band Plan

The 700 MHz Guard Bands are assigned in two channel blocks of paired spectrum, the A Block (757-758, 787-788 MHz) and the B Block (775-776, 805-806 MHz). All licenses were auctioned (Auctions 33 & 38) by Major Economic Areas (MEA) (pdf).   Upper 700 MHz & Upper 700 MHz Guard Bands (pdf)

Annual Guard Band Reports

700 MHz Guard Band Licensees are required to file annual reports with information about the manner in which their spectrum is being utilized. For 700 MHz Guard Band Licensees, the first report was due October 1, 2002. Going forward, the annual reports are due on March 1 of each year and should describe the licensee's state of operations as of January 1 of that year. These reports must be submitted online. The reports are posted online after review and verification. In the annual report, 700 MHz Guard Band Licensees are obligated to provide, at a minimum, the following basic information for each license held:

  • Total number of spectrum users
  • Amount of the licensee's spectrum being used pursuant to spectrum lease agreements
  • Nature of its customers' spectrum use
  • Length of term of each spectrum lease agreement, and whether the agreement is a spectrum manager lease agreement, or a de facto transfer lease agreement

Note: Access 220, LLC, the band manager in the 220 MHz band, is obligated to file similar reports pursuant to a 2002 Memorandum Opinion and Order of the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, 17 FCC Rcd 20464

Market Areas

Guard band licenses were auctioned using 52 Major Economic Areas. In total, 104 guard band licenses were won; 96 in Auction No. 33 and 8 in Auction No. 38 Maps & Cross References MEA Map (pdf) Major Economic Areas

Licensing

A total of 4 megahertz of spectrum, designated as Guard Bands, are allocated in the upper 700 MHz Band to protect public safety operations from harmful interference while promoting the efficient use of this spectrum. The Guard Bands licenses were auctioned geographically in 52 Major Economic Areas (MEAs). Two licenses were issued for each MEA; the paired A Block consists of 2 megahertz total and the paired B Block also consists of 2 megahertz total.    

Licensing Process

  1. Spectrum Auction
    The FCC conducts a spectrum auction of one or more licenses.
     
  2. Filing Applications
    Once an auction is completed, the FCC issues a public notice announcing the winning high bidders and provides instructions regarding down payments on the licenses won as well as instructions for submitting a completed long-form Form 601 application(s) covering each license. Such applications must be filed electronically through the Universal Licensing System.
     
  3. Final Payments
    Final payments for the licenses are due 10 days after the FCC issues a public notice announcing it is prepared to grant the licenses.
     
  4. Grant Announcements
    The FCC will then issue a public notice announcing grant of license.
     
  5. Performance Requirements
    Once licensed, FCC Rules require that Guard Band Managers meet specific performance requirements.

Performance Requirements

Performance requirements are governed by 47 CFR 27.607 which refers to 47 CFR 27.14 (a). The Second Report and Order (FCC 00-90 (pdf)) defines substantial service requirements. 700 MHz Guard Bands licensees must file a Required Notification application, within their initial license term, demonstrating they are providing substantial service within their license area. A Guard Bands licensee may satisfy the substantial service requirement by leasing the predominant amount of its licensed spectrum in at least 50 percent of the geographic area covered by its license or by providing coverage to 50 percent of the population of its service area at the license-renewal mark.  

Obtaining Spectrum

There are three ways to gain access to this spectrum.

  1. You may lease spectrum by entering into a contract with a 700 MHz Guard Bands licensee.
  2. A Guard Bands licensee may sell all or part of its license to you, subject to FCC approval.
  3. You may acquire a Guard Bands licensee’s company, including its FCC license, subject to FCC approval.

Methods 2 and 3 above require an application via the ULS and subsequent approval of the FCC.

Method for Obtaining Spectrum CFR Rule Part
700 MHz Guard Band Manager Leasing contract. 27.601 27.602 27.603
Assignment of Authorization Sale of an entire license. 1.948
Partition Sale of part of a license based on a geographic area. 27.605
Disaggregation Sale of part of a license's spectrum. 27.605
Partition & Disaggregation A combination of the sale of a part of a license based on geographic area containing only a part of a license's spectrum. 27.605
Transfer of Control Acquisition of a company and its assets, including its licenses. 1.948

Releases

1/30/2014 PUBLIC NOTICE (DA 14-96)
Guard Band Licensee and Band Manager Annual Reports Are Due March 3, 2014
pdf - Word  

2/3/2010 PUBLIC NOTICE (DA 10-224)
Guard Band Licensee and Band Manager Annual Reports are Due March 1, 2010
pdf - Word  

2/11/2009 PUBLIC NOTICE (DA 09-223)
Guard Band Licensee and Band Manager Annual Reports are Due March 2, 2009
pdf - Word  

2/4/2008 PUBLIC NOTICE (DA 08-291)
Guard Band Licensee and Band Manager Annual Reports are Due March 3, 2008
pdf - Word  

1/6/2006 PUBLIC NOTICE (DA 06-8)
Band Managers Annual Reports are Due March 1, 2006
pdf - Word  

1/5/2005 PUBLIC NOTICE (DA 05-3)
Band Managers Annual Reports are Due March 1, 2005
pdf - Word  

1/23/2004 PUBLIC NOTICE (DA 04-148)
Band Managers' Annual Reports are Due March 1st, 2004
pdf - Word  

1/28/2003 PUBLIC NOTICE (DA 03-210)
Band Managers' Annual Reports are Due March 3, 2003
pdf - text - Word  

8/9/2002 PUBLIC NOTICE (DA 02-1995)
Electronic Filing for the 700 MHz Guard Band Managers' Reports will be Available Through the Internet Beginning September 4, 2002
pdf - text - Word

5/13/2002 PUBLIC NOTICE (DA 02-1088)
700 MHz Guard Band Managers' First Annual Report is Due October 1, 2002
This notice announces that the first annual report from the 700 MHz Guard Band Managers is due October 1, 2002. pdf - text - Word

8/20/2001 LETTER (DA 01-1941)
This letter denies the relief sought by APCO in its Request for Clarification. pdf - text - Word  

Reports

1/7/2000 FIRST REPORT AND ORDER (FCC 00-5) First Report and Order In this Report and Order we adopt service rules for licensing the commercial use of the 746-764 MHz and 776-794 MHz bands -- bands that have been reallocated, by Congressional direction, from their previous use solely for the broadcasting service. pdf - text - Word See Errata DA 00-450 3/1/2000 See Errata DA 00-565 3/16/2000 See Errata DA 00-1680 7/28/2000 See Errata DA 00-2094 9/14/2000

3/9/2000 SECOND REPORT AND ORDER (FCC 00-90) Service Rules for the 746-764 and 776-794 MHz Bands, and Revisions to Part 27 of the Commission's Rules The Second Report and Order adopts licensing, technical, and operational rules for 6 megahertz of Guard Band spectrum in the 700 MHz bands, and establishes the Guard Band Manager as a new class of commercial licensee that will broker the Guard Band spectrum to make it available to system operators or directly to end users for fixed or mobile communications, consistent with technical restrictions and frequency coordination rules specified for these bands. pdf - text - Word See Errata DA 00-1680 issued July 28, 2000 See Errata DA 00-2094 issued September 14, 2000

9/8/2006 NOTICE OF PROPOSED RULE MAKING (FCC 06-133) The Commission Seeks Comment on Possible Modifications to Rules Governing the 700 MHz Guard Band Licensees pdf - Word News Release: pdf - Word
Statement of Chairman Martin: pdf - Word
Statment of Commissioner Copps: pdf - Word
Statement of Commissioner Adelstein: pdf - Word

4/27/2007 REPORT AND ORDER (FCC 07-72) Service Rules for the 698-746, 747-762, and 777-792 MHz Bands, et al. The Commission adopted rules governing wireless licenses in the 698-806 MHz spectrum band, commonly referred to as the "700 MHz Band". pdf - Word Statement of Chairman Kevin J. Martin: pdf - Word
Statement of Commissioner Michael J. Copps: pdf - Word
Statement of Commissioner Jonathan S. Adelstein: pdf - Word
Statement of Commissioner Deborah Taylor Tate: pdf - Word
Statement of Commissioner Robert M. McDowell: pdf - Word

8/10/2007 SECOND REPORT AND ORDER (FCC 07-132) Service Rules for the 698-746, 747-762 and 777-792 MHz Bands The FCC revised the 700 MHz band plan and service rules to promote the creation of a nationwide, interoperable broadband network for public safety and to facilitate the availability of new and innovative wireless broadband services for consumers. pdf - Word Statement of Chairman Kevin J. Martin: pdf - Word
Statement of Commissioner Michael J. Copps: pdf - Word
Statement of Commissioner Jonathan S. Adelstein: pdf - Word
Statement of Commissioner Deborah Taylor Tate: pdf - Word
Statement of Commissioner Robert M. McDowell: pdf - Word

 

Bureau/Office: 

Updated: 
Friday, April 21, 2017