Wireless Groups Ask FCC for Additional Reply Time on White Space, Wireless Mic NPRMs

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By Lydia Beyoud

Dec. 3 — Telecommunications, consumer electronics and aerospace industry groups asked the FCC for an extra month to reply to technical questions posed in a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) on wireless microphones and the broadcast incentive auction, according to a Dec. 3 filing.

In a joint request, CTIA—The Wireless Association, 4G Americas, the Aerospace & Flight Test Radio Coordinating Council, Inc., the Consumer Electronics Association, and the Telecommunications Industry Association asked the Federal Communications Commission to extend comment deadlines set for Jan. 5 to Feb. 4 for an NPRM amending Part 15 of the commission's rules for unlicensed uses of the 600 MHz bands (GN Docket No. 14-165), and from Jan. 26 to Feb. 25 for an NPRM on spectrum access for wireless microphones (GN Docket No. 12-268). Both NPRMs were approved Sept. 30.

The groups said an extension would be in the public interest in order to allow interested parties “ to meaningfully respond to the numerous technical questions raised by the Commission in these proceedings.” Those questions include changes to Part 15 technical rules that allow for various unlicensed operations in the 600 MHz band, set to be auctioned off by the FCC in 2016.

In the wireless microphone NPRM, the FCC is soliciting public comment on ways to address the needs of users, both licensed and unlicensed, “in a comprehensive fashion.” In spectrum bands where wireless mics operate, the agency will specifically seek comment on potential rule revisions that could accommodate better performance and increased use of wireless microphones. Additional spectrum bands are also on the table.

“These proceedings will draw the interest of a diverse group of affected stakeholders, each of whom will need to closely analyze the proposed rules and their technical implications,” the organizations said.

Because the current filing deadlines fall closely after the holiday season, the requested extension will allow parties to more closely consider the commission's proposed rules and to develop a more robust record on these issues by submitting more detailed responses, the groups said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Lydia Beyoud in Washington at lbeyoud@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Heather Rothman at hrothman@bna.com

Text of the filing is at http://www.ctia.org/docs/default-source/fcc-filings/joint-request-for-extension-of-part-15-and-wireless-microphone-proceedin.pdf.