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Statements: Chairman Kennard

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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).

Report No. ET 98-12 GENERAL ACTION December 17,1998

(ET DOCKET NO. 98-237)

Today the Commission proposed to allocate the 3650-3700 MHz frequency band for the fixed service on a primary basis. This spectrum is being transferred from the NTIA to the FCC on a mixed-use basis, effective January, 1999. The Commission envisions that this spectrum could be used to provide a broad range of fixed point-to-point and point-to-multipoint services, directly linking residences, businesses, and other fixed locations to an array of networks. Through these links, traditional voice telephony and a wide variety of new broadband, high-speed, data and video services, such as Internet access and video conferencing, could be delivered to the home and to small businesses.

This fixed service may thus facilitate competition to wireline local exchange carrier services by providing for an economical means to offer competitive "local loop" or "last-mile" facilities. One such service that could operate in this band is Fixed Wireless Access ("FWA"). However, the Commission does not intend to constrain use of the band only to that purpose. In addition, the Commission believes this proposal will be helpful in achieving the overarching goal of Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, to "encourage the deployment on a reasonable and timely basis of advanced telecommunications capability to all Americans . . . by utilizing . . . measures that promote competition in the local telecommunications market."

To ensure that adequate opportunities exist for the provision of the fixed services in the 3650-3700 MHz band, the Commission will no longer accept applications for use of this band by new or major modified earth station facilities in the fixed-satellite service, as of the release date of the Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM). The NPRM proposes to delete the existing radiolocation and aeronautical radionavigation service allocations from the 3650-3700 MHz band. The NPRM also requests comment on whether, to realize the full potential benefits of this spectrum, the band should be offered for license as a single 50 megahertz block or two or more blocks of spectrum, and whether they should be offered on either a nationwide or large regional service area basis.

Action by the Commission December 17, 1998, by Notice of Proposed Rule Making and Order (FCC 98-337). Chairman Kennard, Commissioners Ness, Furchtgott-Roth, Powell and Tristani.


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