Federal Communications Commission announces first group of tribal applications for 2.5 GHz licenses accepted for filing
Federal Communications Commission
The Federal Communications Commission’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau today announced that 157 applications for 2.5 GHz band spectrum licenses have already passed initial review, bringing these tribal applicants one step closer to obtaining access to this prime mid-band spectrum to provide broadband and other next-generation wireless services to their rural communities. Earlier this year, the Federal Communications Commission opened a first-of-its-kind window for Tribes to apply for spectrum licenses in the 2.5 GHz band to serve rural tribal areas without having to bid in an auction.
“This Federal Communications Commission has taken aggressive action to address the digital divide on tribal lands, and the 2.5 GHz Tribal Priority Window has been perhaps the most significant yet,” said Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai. “Tribal entities showed a strong interest in obtaining this spectrum, with over 400 applications received. I thank Federal Communications Commission staff for reviewing and initially processing so many of these applications just one week after the close of the window. Their hard work will help enable the use of this prime, mid-band spectrum for broadband and other next-generation wireless services in rural tribal communities that need and deserve digital opportunity.”
During the priority window, the Commission received over 400 applications to obtain overlay licenses for unassigned 2.5 GHz band spectrum to help address Tribes’ connectivity needs. In today’s Public Notice, the Bureau announced 157 of these applications already have been found to be acceptable for filing. As required by law, the Federal Communications Commission is now putting these applications out for public comment before any final action is taken.
When an application has been accepted for filing, it means that the application is, upon initial review, complete and contains sufficient information to be accepted for processing and further review, including a required period on which public comment on the application is sought. It does not mean that all application requirements have been met, nor does it mean that any waiver requested as part of the application will be granted. Additional applications will be announced as accepted for filing in one or more future public notices.
Successful tribal applicants will receive licenses for exclusive use of up to 117.5 megahertz of 2.5 GHz spectrum; an auction of overlay licenses for any remaining unassigned 2.5 GHz spectrum is expected to begin in the first half of 2021.
Federal Communications Commission staff will continue to review and process all applications filed in the priority window; more information on application processing and status may be found at www.fcc.gov/ruraltribalwindowupdates.