FCC Gets Praise for 3.5 GHz Vote

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is getting plenty of positive feedback on its decision Friday (5-0, with some minority concurrences) to open up 150 MHz of spectrum for Wi-Fi broadband in the 3.5 GHz. That will come by way of a new flexible spectrum-sharing regime with incumbent federal users of the band, notably DOD radar. During the meeting at which the item was adopted, FCC chairman Tom Wheeler gave the DOD props for being flexible and innovative in its thinking about the spectrum.

"In an important step toward meeting President Obama's goal of making 500 megahertz of spectrum available for mobile broadband by 2020, the FCC today approved an innovative regulatory framework that will enable access to 100 megahertz of spectrum in the 3550-3650 MHz (3.5 GHz) band," blogged National Telecommunications & Information Administration chief Larry Strickling. "Today's action grew out of NTIA's October 2010 'fast track evaluation report that identified the 3.5 GHz band as an important band to explore to help meet the 500 megahertz commitment and address surging demand for commercial wireless broadband."

NTIA is the FCC's counterpart in the federal sector. At the meeting, Wheeler also praised NTIA and Strickling for their roles.

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John Eggerton

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.