Wednesday, April 15, 2015

FCC Proposes Broadband CB Service

The Citizens Broadband Radio Service is the name bestowed by the FCC on a proposed new broadband wireless service that would be open to all, with very few restrictions on the types of applications permitted in the band. According to, the FCC proposed the new service in a March 27 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) and planned to put it to a vote on April 17. The new service would initially operate between 3.550 and 3.650 GHz, with room for possible expansion to 3.700 GHz. Individual licensing would not be required and incumbent users would be protected from harmful interference.
According to eweek, the concept behind the new service is "to support activities including small cell deployments, fixed wireless broadband services and something the FCC calls general consumer use."  Apparently, the flexible structure of the plan is designed to promote experimentation by individuals as well as use by small and large wireless service providers.

The proposed new band begins just 50 MHz above the top end of the 9-centimeter ham band, so it's possible that a new market for consumer-grade equipment designed to operate at 3550 MHz could also help make more affordable equipment available for amateur use at 3300-3500 MHz. (Tnx K8RKD)