Education Broadcast Spectrum - Regulatory History

FCC Rulemaking Initiatives in the 2.5 Gigahertz Band

Beginning in 1995, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has amended its rules to facilitate commercial development of 2.5 Gigahertz technology. Over a thirteen year period, the FCC has issued a series of changes in federal regulations regarding the licensing, leasing, and use of broadcast spectrum that is reserved for educational uses. The service has evolved from a simple one-way analog video transmission band to a "technology neutral" band that can be used for analog or digital, one-way or two-way, high power or low power, high site or celluar, and fixed and/or mobile applications.

This page contains excerpts from FCC Orders and Press Releases.

Adoption of a Geographic Licensing Framework (1995)

Amendment of Parts 21 and 74 of the Commission's Rules With Regard to Filing Procedures in the Multipoint Distribution Service and in the Instructional Television Fixed Service and Implementation of Section 309(j) of the Communications Act – Competitive Bidding, Report and Order, 10 FCC Rcd 9589, ¶ 2 (1995) (1995 MDS Competitive Bidding R&O), FCC-95-230; 60 FR 36524.

Authorization to Use Digital Signals (1996)

Request for Declaratory Ruling on the Use of Digital Modulation by Multipoint Distribution Service and Instructional Television Fixed Service Stations, Declaratory Ruling and Order, DA 95-1854, 11 FCC Rcd 18839 (1996).

Authorization for Two-Way Operation (1996 - 1999)

MMB Implements Policy for Provision of Internet Service on MDS and Leased ITFS/MDS Frequencies, Public Notice, DA 96-1720 (10/17/1996). text

Notice of Propose Rulemaking: MDS and ITFS Licensees To Engage in Fixed Two-Way Transmissions (10/7/1997).

Amendment of Parts 21 and 74 to Enable Multipoint Distribution Service and Instructional Television Fixed Service Licensees to Engage in Fixed Two-Way Transmissions, Report and Order, MM Docket 97-217, RM-9060, 13 FCC Rcd 19112, ¶ 1 (1998), 63 FR 65087.

Declaratory Ruling on the Use of Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing Modulation by MDS and ITFS Stations, Public Notice, DA 98-2129 (March 19, 1999).

Petitions for reconsideration and/or clarification of the 1998 MDS ITFS Two Way Transmissions Order granted in part, denied in part. Memorandum Opinion & Order, MM Docket 97-217, File No. RM-9060, 14 FCC Rcd 12764, 64 FR 63727, FCC 99-178 (Adopted July 13, 1999 by Report and Order).

MDS and ITFS Two Way Transmissions (Amendments to FCC Regulations), 47 CFR Parts 21, 74 and 101, MM Docket 97-217, FCC 99-178, 64 FR 63727 (November 22, 1999).

Addition of a Mobile Allocation to the Band (2001)

Amendment of Part 2 of the Commission's Rules to Allocate Spectrum Below 3 GHz for Mobile and Fixed Services to Support the Introduction of New Advanced Wireless Services, Including Third Generation Wireless Systems, First Report and Order and Memorandum Opinion and Order, ET Docket 00-258, 16 FCC Rcd 17222, ¶ 2 (2001), 66 FR 53960.

3G Final Report: Spectrum Study of the 2500-2690 MHz Band Addressing the Potential for Accommodating Third Generation Mobile Systems, March 20, 2001.

Reconfiguration of the Band for Low Power Cellular Networks (2003 - 2004)

Initiated Comprehensive Examination of the Rules and Policies Governing the Licensing of the ITFS, MDS, and MMDS; Seek to Promote Competition, Innovation and Investment in Wireless Broadband Services, and to Promote Educational Services, Notice Proposed Rulemaking and Memorandum Opinion and Order, FCC 03-56 (4/2/2003).

Amendment of Parts 1, 21, 73, 74 and 101 of the Commission's Rules to Facilitate the Provision of Fixed and Mobile Broadband Access, Educational and Other Advanced Services in the 2150-2162 and 2500-2690 MHz Bands, Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, WT Docket 03-66, RM-10586, 19 FCC Rcd 14165 (2004 BRS/EBS Order), 69 FR 72048, July 29, 2004.

WTB Announces Changes to ULS to Accommodate the Broadband Radio Service and Education Broadband Service and Reminds Licensees That Use of ULS Forms and Electronic Filing for These Services Becomes Mandatory on July 11, 2005, Public Notice, DA-05-1818, June 28, 2005.

Implement a Plan to Transition ITFS and MDS Channels to the New BRS/EBS Band Plan (2006)

Amendment of Parts 1, 21, 73, 74 and 101 of the Commission's Rules to Facilitate the Provision of Fixed and Mobile Broadband Access, Educational and Other Advanced Services in the 2150-2162 and 2500-2690 MHz Bands, WT Docket 03-66, RM-10586, MM Docket 97-217, FCC 06-46 (2006 BRS/EBS Order) April 27, 2006.

Further Clarification of the Initial 2004 BRS/EBS Order (2008)

Continued efforts to transform the rules and policies governing the licensing of the Educational Broadband Service (EBS) and the Broadband Radio Service (BRS) in the 2495-2690 MHz (2.5 GHz band), Order and Memorandum Opinion, and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, WT Docket 03-66, 02-68, 23 FCC Rcd 5992, 73 FR 54324.