The FCC said more than 400 Tribal Entities applied for 2.5 GHz spectrum in the FCC's first-ever priority window for rural Tribes, which closed Sept. 2.
“Tribes showed tremendous interest in the 2.5 GHz band over the past several months, and I am pleased by the large number of applications the Commission has received. We are now a step closer to enabling Tribal entities to obtain this spectrum for free and quickly put it to use to bring service to rural Tribal lands,” said FCC chairman Ajit Pai.
The FCC's staff will now review the applications, seek more info where necessary and put them out for public comment.
The FCC is auctioning the 2.5 GHz spectrum for 5G but gave Tribes a chance at free midband spectrum covering Tribal lands to help close the digital divide in Indian country.
The window opened Feb. 3. The FCC did provide a 30-day extension for filing--from Aug. 3 until Sept. 2. But some Tribes had requested a six-month extension, citing difficulties in filing particularly given the pandemic. The FCC denied that request. Pai at the time said a longer extension "would substantially delay our award of licenses to Tribal entities and thus delay their ability to use this spectrum to connect those consumers living on Tribal lands."
“Tribes showed tremendous interest in the 2.5 GHz band over the past several months, and I am pleased by the large number of applications the Commission has received," Pai said Thursday. "We are now a step closer to enabling Tribal entities to obtain this spectrum for free and quickly put it to use to bring service to rural Tribal lands."
Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.
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