Facilitating Shared Used of 3100-3550 MHz Band

The Wireless Telecommunications Bureau and the Office of Engineering and Technology’s Order in WT Docket No. 19-328, DA 24-233, adoptees and released March 11, 2024. Historically the 3.45 GHz band (3450-3550 MHz) was predominately a Federal band, with limited non-Federal use, and DoD in particular operated a number of defense radar systems in the band. In 2020, the Commission adopted the 2.45 GHz R&0 and FNPRM, in which it removed secondary, non-Federal allocations from the band and taught comment on restructuring the band to permit coordinated Federal and Non-Federal u se. In 2021, the Commission adopted the 3.45 Second R&0, which created a new 3.45 GHz Service, including a cooperative sharing regime. Under this sharing regime, non Federal systems were unencumbered, full-power use of the entire band across the United States except for limited locations and circumstances, in effect, within CPAs and PUAs, where current incumbent Federal systems remain in the band and non-Federal systems are not entitled protections from Federal Operations.

In the 3.45 GHz Band Second R&0, the Commission expressly delegated authority to WTB and OET to reduce the size of CPAs and PUAs. Later the Commission broadly delegate additional authority to WTB and OET to create additional CPAs and PUAs as deemed necessary to facilitate commercial network expansion into areas outside the United States when NTIA provides notice that non-Federal operations can occur, to consider applications and assign licenses for particular economic areas associated with such CPAs/PUAs, and to conduct a rule making if it became necessary to authorize non-Federal operations to these new license areas on the basis of rules that differ from the rules adopted in the 3.45 GHz Band Second R&0.

Pursuant to the delegation of authority by the Commission in the 3.45 GHz band Second R&0, as well as OET’s authority to make no-substantive revisions to the Part 2 rules, WTBOET revise the Part 2 rules to delete the redundant Norfolk CPA as requested by DoD and rename the Newport News CPA/PUA as the “Newport News-Norfolk CPA/PUA.” The Commission has found this modification falls within the “good cause” exception to the notice and comment requirements of the Administratie Procedure Act. The DoD points out that the Norfolk CPA is entirely subsumed in the larger Newport News CPA/PUA, and any non-Federal operations in the former CPA would be required to follow the same coordination procedures after such a change as those required pursuant to the current rule. The only change resulting form this rule modification is that Federal and non-Federal operators will no longer have to conduct a duplicative coordination procedure for the entire, encompassing area. So while the size of the Newport News CPA/PUA will not change, it eliminates the Norfolk CPA duplicated coordination burden for both Federal and non-Federal operations, and will fall within the authority delegated to WTB/OET. This merely deletes a redundant component of the rule without altering the compliance obligations of any party, and seeking notice and comment on this technical correction would be a waste of Commission resources.

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