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August 08, 2012

FCC Reforms Rules Governing Microwave Backhaul

Last Friday, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC (News - Alert)) took steps to modify rules governing the use of microwave frequencies in wireless backhaul applications, according to a report by Broadcast Engineering. The FCC’s goal is to advance the deployment of mobile broadband service.

According to Broadcast Engineering, FCC’s actions intend to speed up the deployment of 4G broadband networks, as well as boost the nation’s economy. By expanding wireless broadband and delivering new broadband service to rural America, FCC plans to create more jobs in the country.

As per the report, the FCC adopted a second report and order to permit fixed microwave operators to use smaller antennas in the 6 GHz, 18 GHz and 23 GHz bands. It will result in cost savings for operators, without materially increasing interference.

The Broadcast Engineering report indicates that the Rural Microwave Flexibility Policy adopted by the agency will provide increased opportunities for broadband deployment in rural areas, increasing coverage and reducing cost.  Plus, the commission has also updated the existing microwave efficiency standards to reflect modern digital technologies.

In addition, the FCC also issued a Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Second Notice of Inquiry, aimed at furthering reforming and modernizing its wireless backhaul rules. The report indicates that the agency is looking for comments on a variety of topics, including new types of advanced antennas and a proposal to allow smaller antennas to be used in other microwave bands.

The report indicates that FCC is inviting comments on the use of smaller antennas in the 13 GHz band, as well as on revising antenna rules for 11 GHz band. Lastly, the agency is also inviting comments on a proposal to allow intermediate antenna upgrades.

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Edited by Rachel Ramsey

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