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By Brandon Ross
Oct. 1 — The FCC at its Oct. 22 open meeting will consider proposals for new rules regarding foreign ownership policies and the next wave of mobile wireless spectrum, while also voting on whether to cap the rates on notoriously high inmate calling services.
The Federal Communications Commission announced the agenda items in an Oct. 1 press release.
The FCC will vote whether to adopt a so-called notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) on regulations meant to make its policies more flexible and accommodating for advanced mobile wireless technologies looking to operate in above the 24 gigahertz (GHz) spectrum band, which could facilitate the next wave of mobile wireless speeds known as 5G.
An NPRM is usually only the beginning of a notice and comment period process spanning several months, at least, but which can last significantly longer if proposals prove highly complex or controversial. Eventually the FCC will then vote on whether to adopt new rules, which are based on the comments received in the rulemaking process,
“We are leveraging regulatory advances and propose to use market-based mechanisms that will allow licensees to provide any service—fixed, mobile, private, commercial, and satellite—depending on the band, and allow unlicensed uses to continue to expand,” FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said in an Oct. 1 blog post on the proposal.
“To maintain our leadership position, we need to continue looking to the future and act now to facilitate the next generation—the fifth generation—of mobile technology,” said Wheeler's blog. “The fifth generation of mobile networks could leverage both low-band and high-band spectrum to provide significantly greater wireless broadband speeds for consumers.”
Wheeler said the new rules could play a big part in U.S. talks for spectrum band rules at the upcoming World Radiocommunication Conference in November.
“The bands we propose in this NPRM are consistent with the U.S. position, and we are committed to working with both domestic and international partners on developing rules for these bands and on conducting technical sharing and compatibility studies.”
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