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FCC frees up to 650MHz of backhaul spectrum to accelerate rural 4G deployment

Brad Molen

Busting down a critical obstacle in the deployment of mobile broadband in rural areas, the FCC announced plans to make up to 650MHz of spectrum available for microwave wireless backhaul. This particular block, which will be shared with cable TV relay (CARS) and broadcast auxiliary services (BAS), spans across half of the land mass of the US and blankets roughly 10 percent of the total population. The large expense of laying fiber optics at rural cell sites has been a barrier most companies haven't been able to break through; by implementing the use of microwave wireless backhaul, however, the government is hopeful this will drive the cost of deployment down, create new jobs and accelerate the rollout of 4G networks in remote areas. The FCC also allowed for the use of wider channels and smaller antennas, and lifted several federal restrictions in an attempt to make the process of securing spectrum easier. The department's clearly putting more focus on wireless broadband deployment in remote regions, and is currently asking for more comments on ways to ease the burden. Hit up the source link for more details on the plan.

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