It was good news for Indian Country today as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced that a six month window will open, starting in February, 2020, to allow some eligible, rural Tribes the opportunity to obtain for free unused 2.5 GHz broadband spectrum on their reservations as long as they agree to build out a telecommunications' systems within five years.
Here is the FCC press release:
“Today, the Commission announced that the 2.5 GHz Rural Tribal Priority Window for spectrum licenses will open on Monday, February 3, 2020, and will close on Monday, August 3, 2020. This 182-day window, preceded by the Commission’s ongoing outreach and education efforts, will allow eligible Tribes the opportunity to assess their needs, determine if spectrum is available in their communities, and prepare to file their applications.
As part of its outreach efforts, the Commission also announced today that it will host a workshop at its headquarters in Washington, DC, on January 14, 2020. A copy of the Public Notice announcing the window dates and workshop is available at: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-19-1226A1.pdf.
Further information about the window, including the specifics about the application filing process and the upcoming workshop, will be announced and posted at FCC Rural Tribal Window on or before January 6, 2020. As a reminder, this dedicated webpage contains detailed background information which Tribes can use to evaluate their eligibility, and a mapping tool to help Tribes better understand and prepare for taking advantage of the window.
This window will be a unique opportunity for eligible Tribes in rural areas to directly access unassigned spectrum over their Tribal lands, subject to build out requirements. This spectrum has several potential uses, including point-to-point communications and mobile coverage. Depending on your needs, it can play an important role in the deployment of broadband and other advanced communications services on your Tribal lands.
Any questions about the 2.5 GHz Rural Tribal Priority Window, or requests for additional information, can be emailed to RuralTribalWindow@fcc.gov.
Chief, Office of Native Affairs and Policy
Federal Communications Commission
If you would like assistance with your broadband application or have any need for legal assistance, please contact Kimberly Craven at Whitcomb, Selinsky PC at (303) 534-1958 or complete an online contact form.