The FCC's Wireless Bureau has handed out 22 more grants in its tribal priority window for 2.5 GHz spectrum licenses.
That makes 179 such grants the FCC has made since opening the priority window Feb. 3-Sept. 2.
A politically divided FCC voted last July to convert the 2.5 GHz band from one reserved for educational (EBS) licenses to flexible licenses that can be used for 5G, and to auction current unassigned spectrum (white spaces) in the band. But before that auction, the FCC gave tribes a first-of-its-kind priority window to get spectrum for free to help close the rural digital divide on Native American land.
The FCC received over 400 applications for up to 117.5 MHz of spectrum, with the rest to be auctioned.
The Democrats on the FCC saw the sunsetting of the EBS-controlled band as an abdication of an important educational mission, and strongly dissented on that part of the item. The Republicans said they were putting dramatically underused spectrum to its highest, best use--5G--and reforming "arcane" rules.
One thing the Democrats did support was giving the tribal communities a priority window to obtain unassigned spectrum to serve tribal lands--the only part they approved.
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