FCC Continues to Develop 12 GHz Band

The FCC has recently released a Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“12.2 GHz Band Order”) and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Order (“12.7 GHz NPRM”) regarding expanding use of the 12.2 and 12.7 GHz band.1

In the 12.2 GHz Band Order, the FCC rejected Dish Network’s proposal to use the 12.2 GHz band to operate a high power, two-way mobile service across the United States. The Commission stated that it is not in the public interest to add such a service, because doing so would impose a significant risk of harmful interference to existing and emergent services in the band, including satellite services. However, the FCC is seeking comment on ways to maximize the use of this 500 megahertz of spectrum, and expand terrestrial fixed use or unlicensed use.

In the 12.7 GHz NPRM, the FCC proposes to repurpose 550 megahertz of mid-band spectrum, and seeks comment on various proposed means for transitioning some or all of the 12.7 GHz band to mobile broadband and other expanded uses. The FCC also seeks comment on changes to the Commission’s rules that could promote the use of the band on a shared basis, such as making incumbent point-to-point operations in the band secondary to new mobile broadband/expanded use operations, or utilizing an automated frequency coordination system. Pursuant to its proposal, the Commission has directed fixed and mobile Broadcast Auxiliary Services and Cable Television Relay Services licensees that use the 12.7 GHz band to certify the accuracy of the information reflected in their licenses in order to maintain them. The Wireless Telecommunications Bureau will issue a Public Notice that provides detailed instructions regarding filing the certifications.

Comments and Reply Comments are due 30 days and 60 days, respectively, after date of publication in the Federal Register. If you are interested in filing Comments or would like to discuss this issue further, please contact Dee Herman at [email protected] or Shannon Forchheimer at [email protected].

[1] See In re Expanding Flexible Use of the 12.2-12.7 GHz Band; Expanding Use of the 12.7-13.25 GHz Band for Mobile Broadband or Other Expanded Use, Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Order, WT Docket No. 20-443, GN Docket No. 22-352 (rel. May 19, 2023).