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Next Commission Meeting Has Unusual Spectrum Focus

Yesterday the FCC released the draft agenda for the November 30 Commission meeting. The Commission is required by law to meet as a group at least once a month. For most of its history it met much more often than that. I can recall weeks that had two meetings. But by the 90s it drifted into minimal compliance with the law and meetings that were prescripted sessions to focus on issues that the Chairman wanted to give visibility to.

I can not recall a previous meeting solely focusing on spectrum. Some cynics argue that the Chairman’s Internet agenda is going nowhere so he is now focusing on spectrum as an area to leave his mark.

Here are the items scheduled for the meeting:

TV Spectrum Innovation NPRM: A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking comment on rules to facilitate the most efficient use of the UHF and VHF TV bands. These proposals, an important step toward the agency’s spectrum goals as outlined in the National Broadband Plan, would remove a host of obstacles to mobile broadband use within spectrum currently reserved for use by TV broadcasters, including through innovations such as channel sharing and generating increased value within the VHF band.

Experimental Licensing NPRM: A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking comment on proposed rules to facilitate greater experimentation in the wireless space. The NPRM suggests making the Commission’s experimental licensing rules more flexible, including by easing testing restrictions on universities, research organizations, and other institutions that are developing new wireless services and devices. The goal is that the resulting testbeds would encourage innovation and help speed the time to market for new technologies.

Opportunistic Use NOI: A Notice of Inquiry seeking comment on ways to accelerate “opportunistic use” of underdeveloped spectrum in both licensed and unlicensed bands, including how technological innovations can effectively foster secondary markets.
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