May 3, 20156 — The FCC this week reaffirmed its decision to create the Citizens Broadband Radio Service in the 3.5 GHz band, which makes 150 megahertz of contiguous spectrum available for mobile and fixed wireless broadband services.
To avoid displacing incumbent systems and foster new and hopefully innovative technologies, the commission established a three-tiered authorization framework – incumbent access, priority access license (PAL), and general authorized access (GAA) tiers, which are coordinated through a dynamic Spectrum Access System.
Under this framework, existing operations – including federal users and some Fixed Satellite Service (FSS) earth stations – receive protection from interference from Citizens Broadband Radio Service users. Each PAL user will be authorized to use a 10 megahertz channel for one-year. The GAA tier will be assigned for use by the general public on an opportunistic, non-interfering basis within designated geographic areas where they will not interfere with incumbent operations.
An engineering-based approach for determining when a priority access license area is in use, which will facilitate certainty for priority access licensees and opportunistic access to unused spectrum for general authorized access users.