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FCC National Broadband Plan: give wireless band next to Sirius 20 MHz

The Federal Communications Commission’s National Broadband Plan is up, and, as expected, it recommends that a wireless band close by the Sirius XM band get 20MHz of spectrum for use to deploy wireless broadband services, probably WiMAX style.

“Recommendation 5.8.1: The FCC should make 20 megahertz available for mobile broadband use in the 2.3 GHz Wireless Communications Service (WCS ) band, while protecting neighboring federal, non-federal Aeronautical Mobile Telemetry (AMT ) and satellite radio operations.”

The FCC established the  WCS band in 1997. Back then it set up rules to protect broadcasts in the nearby Satellite Digital Audio Radio  (SDARS) zone. But now:

“Certain WCS technical rules, particularly the out-of-band emission (OOBE) limits, largely preclude the provision of mobile broadband services in the spectrum. Based on an extensive record, the FCC should revise certain technical rules, including the WCS OOBE limits, to enable robust mobile broadband use of the 2.3 GHz WCS spectrum, while protecting federal, non-federal AMT and satellite radio operations in the neighboring SDARS band.”

The document doesn’t explain how the FCC will propose to do this. As we’ve reported, earlier this month, the agency suggested a non-interference plan to a meeting of Sirius and WCS engineers. Sirius CEO Mel Karmazin told the agency he was “extremely disturbed” about the proposal upon learning of its details. And since Sirius XM fans got wind of this news, they’ve been deluging the FCC’s database with protests.

But the Commission is clearly determined to get WCS the spectrum it needs, somehow. It’s part of the agency’s plan to get 500 megahertz of license space available for broadband within the next decade, “of which 300 megahertz between 225 MHz and 3.7 GHz should be made newly available for mobile use within five years.”

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One Response to FCC National Broadband Plan: give wireless band next to Sirius 20 MHz

  1. MyAIC March 16, 2010 at 2:22 pm #

    FCC Releases its National Broadband Plan: Why Does it Matter?

    Better access to high-speed Internet boosts economic output. In the U.S. we could increase GDP 4.55% by ensuring that every American has access to broadband services. Clearly, it’s not just about playing online games and downloading hi-def movies. Broadband Internet has become important in every corner of the U.S. economy, and could become more so – from telecommuting to telemedicine to remote education. Yet in this critical infrastructure area the U.S. ranks 15th in the world – behind France, Japan, Korea, Sweden (and 10 others). The FCC’s plan could change that. Heaven knows we need all the help we can get to stay competitive.

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