The Federal Communications Commission’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau has extended the deadline for certain licensees in the 3650-3700 MHz band to transition their existing Part 90 operations, which are used to provide high-speed broadband, utility communications, and other essential wireless services to the Citizens Broadband Radio Service. Part 90 licensees that would have been required to transition before April 17, 2020 will now have until October 17, 2020 to complete their transitions. This will not impact the timing of the June 25, 2020 auction of Priority Access Licensees in the 3.5 GHz Band.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai commented that granting this temporary extension will enable Part 90 licensees to focus on continuing to provide high-speed broadband and other critical services during this national state of emergency. This is a logical delay of the transition during the pandemic to ensure that current licensees, like WISPs and electric utilities, can keep their eyes on the ball when it comes to helping consumers. They can allow this flexibility while still maintaining a reasonable timeline for this transition.
The FCC’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau issued an order granting the extension on its motion, upon finding that given the evolving and unpredictable nature of the pandemic, October 17, 2020, is a reasonable deadline. As a result of this grant of relief, these Part 90 licensees will have more time to transition and can use this period to remain focused on keeping Americans connected.