FCC to allow spectrum sharing in the name of homeland security
WASHINGTON—The Federal Communications Commission today said it will allow public safety entities to share spectrum in the 4.9 GHz band with commercial entities but all shared operations must be in the promotion of homeland security.
While the FCC applauded the spectrum flexibility promoted in the sharing rules, FCC Commissioner Michael Copps expressed some concern that the agency did not specifically spell out the sharing rules to protect against commercial use or abuse of the spectrum.
The FCC also clarified its rules for the e-rate program to ensure that wireless technologies are given as much access to the e-rate as wireline solutions. The e-rate program was included in the telecommunications act of 1996 and allows for discounted equipment to connect schools and libraries to the Internet.
The commission also said it is formally examining the technical requirements for offering broadband services over power lines on an unlicensed spectrum basis.
Entities that are currently testing powerline broadband may still offer their services as long as they comply with the FCC’s existing unlicensed rules, the FCC said.