The FCC’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau Friday extended the Rural Tribal Priority Window for 2.5 GHz spectrum applications by 30 days in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. This window opened on February 3, 2020, and to date, over 200 tribal entities have submitted applications. As a result of today’s action, other eligible tribal entities can continue to apply for licenses for currently unassigned 2.5 GHz spectrum over their rural tribal lands until 6:00 pm EDT on September 2, 2020.
This 30-day extension strikes an appropriate balance between providing more time for additional tribal entities to apply and not unduly delaying the grant of licenses to those that have already applied so that they can quickly put this spectrum to use for rural Americans on tribal lands who are too often on the wrong side of the digital divide.
“Under my leadership, the Commission for the first time ever is giving tribes priority access to spectrum. I’m pleased to see that we’ve already received a large number of applications during the Rural Tribal Priority Window. And due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I believe that it is appropriate to extend the application deadline by 30 days,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. “By contrast, a much longer extension would substantially delay our award of licenses to Tribal entities and thus delay their ability to use this spectrum to connect those consumers living on Tribal lands. Moreover, in light of the simplified application process as well as the extensive outreach done by Commission staff, a lengthy extension of the deadline is unnecessary, as evidenced by the large number of applications we’ve already received.”
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