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ARRL General Bulletin ARLB003 (2020)

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ARLB003 ARRL to Argue for Continued Access to 3-GHz Spectrum as FCC
Sets Comment Deadlines

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ARRL Bulletin 3  ARLB003
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  January 24, 2020
To all radio amateurs 

SB QST ARL ARLB003
ARLB003 ARRL to Argue for Continued Access to 3-GHz Spectrum as FCC
Sets Comment Deadlines

At its January meeting, the ARRL Board of Directors instructed the
League's FCC counsel to prepare a strong response to protect amateur
access to spectrum in the 3 GHz range. In its Notice of Proposed
Rulemaking (NPRM) in WT Docket 19-348, the FCC proposed to relocate
all non-federal operations, including amateur uses, to spectrum
outside the 3.3 - 3.55 GHz band. The Commission anticipates
auctioning this spectrum to expand commercial use of 5G cellular and
wireless broadband services, if agreement can be reached on
relocation of "or sharing with" the federal incumbents that operate
in the same band. Publication of the NPRM in the Federal Register on
January 22 established deadlines of February 21 for comments and
March 23 for reply comments.

The FCC has requested comment on the uses radio amateurs make of the
spectrum and appropriate relocation options. Complicating matters is
the fact that radio amateurs must consider the possibility that the
immediately adjacent 3.1 - 3.3 GHz band is included in the spectrum
that Congress has identified for similar study. FCC Commissioner
Michael O'Rielly, in a December statement, referenced the fact that
the lower band may also be considered for non-federal reallocation,
potentially limiting relocation possibilities.

Amateurs make substantial use of the 3.3 - 3.5 GHz band that would
be hard to replicate elsewhere, and they have filed more than 150
comments before the designated comment period even began. Among
users looking at options are those who use this spectrum for
Earth-Moon-Earth (moonbounce) communication, mesh networks,
experiments with communication over long distances, radiosport, and
amateur television. A portion of the band also is designated for use
by amateur satellites in ITU Regions 2 and 3 (the Americas and
Asia/Pacific).

A report is due by March 23 from the National Telecommunications and
Information Administration (NTIA) evaluating the feasibility of
having federal users share all or part of the 3.1 - 3.55 GHz band
with commercial wireless services. This report is required by the
Making Opportunities for Broadband Investment and Limiting Excessive
and Needless Obstacles to Wireless (MOBILE NOW) Act. The results of
the NTIA report will impact how much spectrum ultimately may be
re-allocated for auction to wireless providers.

ARRL urges amateurs who comment to inform the FCC about the uses
they make of the 3 GHz spectrum. Short comments and longer
statements may be filed electronically. Visit the FCC "How to
Comment on FCC Proceedings" page for more information. Commenters
should reference WT Docket 19-348.

The how-to comment page can be found at,
https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/how-comment .
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