On November 18, 2020, the FCC adopted a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to expand spectrum availability and streamline the earth station licensing process for GSO FSS operators. The NPRM proposes to –
- Add a GSO FSS space-to-Earth allocation in the frequency bands 17.3-17.7 GHz (primary) and 17.7-17.8 GHz (non-protected basis with respect to the fixed service) and revise the technical rules for these bands to limit harmful interference from GSO FSS to co-frequency broadcasting-satellite and direct broadcast satellite services.
- Redefine the Extended Ka-Band as the 17.3-18.3 GHz (space-to-Earth), 18.8-19.4 GHz (space-to-Earth), 19.6-19.7 GHz (space-to-Earth), 27.5-28.35 GHz (Earth-to-space), and 28.6-29.1 GHz (Earth-to-space) bands.
- Implement routine licensing for earth station operators employing Extended Ka-Band frequencies. To facilitate this process, the FCC will also consider applying the uplink power limits for the conventional Ka-band frequencies, 47 C.F.R. § 25.218(i), to the Extended Ka-band frequencies.
On February 1, 2021, the FCC announced that initial comments on the rules will be due on March 3, 2021 and reply comments on March 18, 2021. The comment period offers an opportunity to shape the record the FCC will consider as it finalizes the rule. If you have questions or would like more information about the proceeding, please contact our team.
Authored by Tony Lin, George John, and Ambia Harper.