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FCC Proposes Rechannelization of 18 GHz Band

The FCC is proposing changes to the channelization of the 17.7 to 19.7 GHz band for terrestrial fixed services (FS). The previous channelization plan has been affected by reallocation of the 18.3 to 19.3 GHz portion of the band to satellite services, resulting is FS losing many of the narrower bandwidth channels. While the proposed changes would apply only to the Part 101 rules, the FCC's Notice of Proposed Rulemaking FCC 04-77 (NPRM) encouraged licensees in Parts 21, 74 (broadcast auxiliary services), and 78 to comment on the proposals as they share use of the spectrum with Part 101 licensees.

The FCC proposes to adopt a band plan for FS paired and unpaired spectrum from 17.7-18.3 GHz and 19.3-19.7 GHz based on a filing by the Fixed Wireless Communications Coalition (FWCC) that would consist of channel bandwidths of 1.25, 2.5, 5, 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 80 and 220 MHz and a block of unpaired spectrum from 17.7-17.74 GHz. It would also designate a contiguous 500 MHz block of one-way spectrum from 17.8-18.3 GHz for use by multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs). MVPDs would be given the flexibility to determine appropriate bandwidths for their operations. The sub-band MVPDs could use for the final RF link to distribution programming would be expanded to 780 MHz (17.8-18.58 GHz). The FCC asked for comment on whether it should allow emission and channelization flexibility in the 18.3-18.58 GHz portion of the band and whether the changes would affect the relocation status of licensees in that sub-band.

The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking FCC 04-77 has tables showing the new channelization plan and details on the changes.