In its August open meeting today the FCC addressed several items concerning the wireless industry’s drive toward 5G, from auctioning spectrum to streamlining the pole attachment process.
Preparing for the Spectrum Frontiers Auction, the Commission established application and bidding procedures for auctioning upper microwave flexible-use licenses in the 28 GHz (Auction 101) and 24 GHz (Auction 102) bands. The item gives prospective bidders the knowledge they need to decide on whether to participate in the auction. Commissioner Carr said it was the first auction to address the spectrum needs for 5G.
The Commission voted to reconfigure spectrum into a new flexible-use band plan in 39 GHz band (38.6-40 GHz) so that new licenses would have contiguous spectrum for 5G wireless and IoT. It would use both forward and reverse auction, the greatest amount of clean spectrum. While approving the item, O’Rielly noted the complexity of the issues. It is fragmented by a number of uses and users. It is messy and needs a new framework. Premium on auctioning 5G spectrum together, Rosenworcel. 3.4 GHz of spectrum. Eliminate encumbrances.
Recognizing the importance of utility poles as homes for future small cells, the FCC unanimously approved (with a partial dissent by Commissioner Rosenworcel) an item streamlining the pole-attachment process, known as one-touch make-ready. The rule will speed the process and reducing the costs of deploying wireless equipment on utility poles by allowing the new attacher to do all the work including moving equipment already deployed on the pole by other attachers. The item also banned the use of State and local moratoria.
NATE today commended the FCC for approving a one-touch make-ready (OTMR) policy for pole attachments. The FCC’s action will significantly enhance efforts to facilitate broadband deployment by reducing costs and expediting the process associated with attaching new network facilities to utility poles, according to NATE Chairman Jim Tracy.
“I would like to thank the FCC for keeping their foot on the gas for 5G deployment. The industry will continue to flourish under lighter regulation,” he said. “NATE member companies are on the front lines densifying networks and installing equipment on utility pole structures on a daily basis and will experience first-hand how today’s action will serve to streamline installation activities moving forward,” added Tracy.