Feature Article

March 29, 2012

FCC Introduces Notice of Inquiry for Regulations of MSS

Earlier this month, the FCC announced it proposed a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Notice of Inquiry to make changes to Mobile Satellite Service for mobile broadband.

The notice would free up 40MHz on the currently used 2GHz band. Some companies argue that major companies like AT&T and Verizon “hog” the band, making it impossible for competitors to offer lower rates.

“The spectrum includes the 2000MHz to 2020MHz band and 2180MHz to 2200MHz bands, which the commission refers to AWS-4 (Advanced Wireless Service-4) in the notice,” according to a press release.  

The FCC plans to free up the spectrum with the removal of regulatory barriers. The idea was first proposed in 2009 when the National Broadband Plan suggested they be removed for flexible use.

“The specific barriers we propose to remove are rules that have limited this spectrum to satellite use,” said FCC chairman Julius Genachowski in a statement. This effort is part of the Commission’s broad commitment to allow flexible use of spectrum.”

The overall goal of the Notice of Inquiry is in response to the demand for mobile broadband. Genachowski said the biggest problem is that the current rules are outdated and cannot free up the barriers as needed. The changes will mostly affect broadcasters operating above 2025MHz.

“The AWS-4 uplink band is 5MHz from the 2025MHz to 2110MHz band, including broadcast auxiliary service (BAS) and cable television service (CARS) operations,” according to the notice. The notice does not, however, expect a change “beyond 43+10*log10(P) dB is needed to protect operations above 2025MHz.”

No changes will be made without input from industry professionals, businesses and customers. The FCC invites opinions on the plan and the current rules and regulations.

The FCC’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Notice of Inquiry was made March 21.

Edited by Braden Becker

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