Today, the FCC has voted to move forward with their proposal to open up communications spectrum beyond 95GHz. In a statement, the FCC said that the spectrum above the 95GHz range have been thought to be at the edge of what’s usable, but now they want to provide different levels of authorization to use the spectrum.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said in a statement, “promote innovation and help put this spectrum to its best use.” Pai also took note of the fact that some may be skeptical of whether the spectrum above 95GHz is useable, thus, he added, “The point is that we must be open to new technologies that haven’t even been developed. And while we don’t know precisely how far the laws of physics will permit us to go, we do know there’s potential and interest. Engineers and entrepreneurs need to have the ability to push the envelope.”
— Mignon Clyburn (@MignonClyburn) February 22, 2018
In its proposal, the FCC says 102.2 GHz spectrum become available for license services, 15.GHz available for unlicensed devices and a new type of experimental license become available for spectrum between 95GHz and 3THz. Speaking of the latter, the FCC says ,”These licenses will give innovators more flexibility, compared to the existing experimental licensing rules, by including a longer license term and license transferability to encourage investment and allowing the sale of equipment during market trials.”
Lastly, the FCC voted to adopt a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would institute guidelines in accordance with Section 7 of the Communications Act, which requires the FCC to respond to new technology proposals in an appropriate amount of time. Even though Section 7 was passed in 1983, there were no clear rules set in regards to it. “So today, we’re proposing clear guidelines and procedures to implement Section 7,” Pai said in a statement. “Our goal is simple: to ensure that the FCC doesn’t stand as a gatekeeper between entrepreneurs who need our OK for new technologies and services and American consumers who can benefit from those innovations.”
Both Notices of Proposal Rulemaking will be up for public comment.