Changes to the Rules for Fixed White Space Devices

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) of the United States modifies white space device rules to allow for improved broadband coverage and minimization of interference to protected services.

47 CFR Parts 15 and 95

Unlicensed White Space Devices

It is required for all fixed white space devices to incorporate a geolocation capability such as GPS. The option that permitted the geographic coordinates of a fixed device to be determined by a professional installer is now eliminated.

It is allowed for the use of external geo-location sources by a fixed white space device when the device is used at a location where its internal geo-location capability does not function, such as deep inside a building.

Fixed white space devices must also periodically re-check their geographic coordinates at least once a day and report the coordinates to the white space database.

All white space devices are permitted to operate on available channels in the frequency bands 470–698 MHz. White space devices may operate in the 657–663 MHz segment of the 600 MHz duplex gap.

White space devices may operate on frequencies in the bands 617–652 MHz and 663–698 MHz in areas where 600 MHz band licensees have not commenced operations.

White space devices are not permitted to operate in the band 614–617 MHz.

To receive interference protection, parties operating WMTS networks in the 608–614 MHz frequency band shall notify one of the white space database administrators of their operating location.

This is a final ruling, effective August 19, 2019, except for Sec. 95.2309, which is delayed. The FCC will publish a document in the Federal Register announcing the effective date.

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