FCC Adopts Number Portability, HAC, and 3.5 GHz Band Proposals on October Open Meeting
This morning, the Commission adopted a number of Orders, NPRMs, and NOIs in the October Open Meeting this morning. Brief summaries of the Commission’s actions on Nationwide Number Portability, Hearing Aid Compatibility, and 3.5 GHz Band are below:
Nationwide Number Portability – The Commission adopted an NPRM and NOI seeking comment on how to provide complete nationwide number portability, specifically through regulatory and technological changes required to implement portability between all service providers. The Notice proposes taking an incremental approach, as the Commission recognizes complete nationwide portability will require extensive work and collaboration.
Hearing Aid Compatibility (“HAC”) – The Commission approved updates to the HAC rules in an Order adopting a revised volume control standard for wireline handsets, and implementing a provision of the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act to apply all of the FCC’s HAC requirements to wireline phones used with advanced communication services and VoIP services within two years. Additionally, the Order requires that within the next three years, all wireless handsets newly certified as HAC compatible must include volume control.
3.5 GHz - The Commission adopted an NPRM proposing revisions to the rules in the 3.5 GHz band, particularly seeking comment on changes to the rules governing the second service tier, known as Priority Access Licenses, of the band’s three-tier framework. These changes include longer license terms with the possibility of renewal; larger geographic license areas; and modifications to the rules governing license auctions, secondary market transactions, and certain technical criteria. The Commission also notes that the 3.5 GHz band rule changes will facilitate the implementation of 5G networks and accelerate deployment for wireless networks.
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