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Commission modifies rules for BRS, EBS spectrum

The FCC adopted an order April 12 intended to facilitate the deployment of educational and commercial wireless services using the 2496MHz 2690MHz Broadband Radio Service (BRS) and Educational Broadband Service (EBS) band.

The order modifies and enhances the commission’s July 2004 BRS/EBS Report and Order, which restructured the 2496MHz to 2690MHz band. Specifically, the FCC modified the process for transitioning to the new BRS/EBS band plan by changing the transition planning area from Major Economic Areas to Basic Trading Areas.

The FCC also allowed BRS and EBS licensees the option to self-transition to the new band plan in markets where a proponent has not come forward or a proponent withdraws an initiation plan.

Regarding leases entered into under the FCC’s secondary market rules, the commission held that EBS licensees are permitted to enter into excess capacity leases for a maximum of 30 years, but leases with terms of 15 years or longer must include a right to review the educational use requirements of the leases every five years starting at year 15.

In addition, the FCC established a mechanism for eliminating overlaps between grandfathered EBS E and F channel licensees and co-channel BRS licenses by geographically splitting the overlap area. The FCC also affirmed that BRS and MSS operators can share a segment of this band at 2496MHz to 2500MHz.

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