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This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action. See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).
FCC INITIATES RE-EVALUATION OF THE CMRS SPECTRUM CAP
The Commission today adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to re-evaluate the need for
its current spectrum aggregation limits for Commercial Mobile Radio Services (CMRS) as part of its
biennial review of the Commission's regulations. The Commission also seeks comment on a petition
filed by the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA) requesting that the
Commission forbear from enforcing the CMRS spectrum cap.|
The CMRS spectrum cap, set out in section 20.6 of the Commission's rules, restricts the amount of CMRS spectrum that an entity can have in a geographic area. Specifically, under the rule, no entity shall have an attributable interest in more than 45 MHz of licensed Personal Communications Service (PCS), cellular, or Specialized Mobile Radio (SMR) spectrum with significant overlap in any geographic area. The CMRS spectrum cap was adopted in 1994 contemporaneously with Commission actions finalizing the service rules for broadband PCS. Since then the Commission has completed the licensing of most broadband PCS licenses and many of those licensees have begun to provide service. As part of its comprehensive review of existing Commission regulations pursuant to section 11 of the Communications Act, the Commission seeks comment on whether the CMRS spectrum cap in its current form continues to make economic and regulatory sense given the changes occurring in wireless telecommunications markets.
The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking identifies several options for addressing CMRS spectrum aggregation issues and seeks comments on them, as well as other options that commenters may suggest. Specific options raised for comment include:
Action by the Commission November 19, 1998 by Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FCC 98-308). Chairman Kennard, Commissioners Ness, Furchtgott-Roth, Powell and Tristani, with Commissioners Furchtgott-Roth, Powell and Tristani issuing separate statements.
News Media contact: Meribeth McCarrick at 202- 418-0654