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FCC Adopts Rules for Unlicensed Services in TV and 600MHz Bands

The Federal Communications Commission reports it has "adopted a Report and Order that modernizes its Part 15 rules to accommodate growing demand for and encourage innovation in unlicensed use. The new rules adopted today will permit unlicensed fixed and personal/portable white space devices and unlicensed wireless microphones to use channels in the 600MHz and television broadcast bands while continuing to protect television and other licensed services from harmful interference."

"Unlicensed devices have grown from basic garage door openers and cordless phones to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technologies to the 'Internet of Things.' The Commission's Part 15 rules permit unlicensed devices to operate on unused TV channels, the so-called 'white space' spectrum. Following the upcoming incentive auction, there may be fewer white space frequencies in the television band for use by such devices."

"The Report and Order adopted today is designed to allow for more robust unlicensed use and to promote spectral efficiency in the 600MHz band. Specifically the rules:"

• "Permit more robust and efficient operation of fixed and personal/portable white space devices in television broadcast bands without increasing the risk of interference to broadcast services;"
• "Provide technical parameters for fixed and personal/portable white space devices to operate in the 600MHz band, including the duplex gap and guard bands, and channel 37 on a shared non-interference basis with medical telemetry and radio astronomy;"
• "Permit sharing of spectrum between white space devices and unlicensed microphones in the 600MHz band;"
• "Expand the location and frequency information in the white space databases and update database procedures; and"
• "Adopt transition periods for the certification, manufacturing, and marketing of white space devices and wireless microphones that comply with new rules."

"With today's action, the Commission fulfills its commitment in the Incentive Auction Report and Order to provide nationwide access to spectrum for unlicensed use in the 600MHz band."

"Action by the Commission August 6, 2015 by Report and Order (FCC 15-99). Chairman Wheeler, Commissioners Clyburn and Rosenworcel approving. Commissioners Pai and O'Rielly approving in part and concurring in part. Chairman Wheeler, Commissioners Clyburn, Rosenworcel, Pai and O'Rielly issuing statements."

ET Docket No. 14-165; GN Docket No. 12-268


(7 August 2015)

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