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FCC Lends Spectrum to Pueblos in New Mexico

The FCC has freed up some spectrum in its inventory and granted yet another special temporary authority (STA) to help handle the broadband traffic spike due to COVID-19.

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The FCC said Monday (March 30) that it had freed up some unassigned 2.5 GHz spectrum to provide wireless broadband to a learning center on the reservation of the Pueblo of Zuni in New Mexico.

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In addition to the emergency access to the 2.5 GHz spectrum, the FCC continues to give priority to applications from tribes for licensed access to the 2.5 GHz spectrum. That priority window is scheduled to close Aug. 3 and the temporary use of the spectrum does not affect its availability in that tribal application window.

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“Providing temporary access to this spectrum in the 2.5 GHz band is important because it will help ensure connectivity to Tribal consumers during this time of increased demand,” said FCC chair Ajit Pai in a statement. “Additional spectrum capacity is needed to address the temporary surge in broadband usage during the COVID-19 pandemic. I’ve seen the digital divide on Tribal lands, including Pueblos in New Mexico. That’s why I’m committed to finding creative solutions, like today’s grant of emergency relief, to keep Tribal lands connected.”