Technology Codes for Terrestrial Fixed Wireless

There are three different technology codes that filers can use when submitting data on the availability of, and subscriptions to, terrestrial fixed wireless services in the BDC system.  The codes are intended to characterize the last-mile fixed wireless technology used to deliver internet access services to end users at fixed locations.  Each code is described below. 

70 – Unlicensed Terrestrial Fixed Wireless 

  • Service provided to a location using entirely unlicensed spectrum to make the last-mile connection to the fixed location. 
  • Providers that use licensed spectrum for backhaul but otherwise use unlicensed spectrum to provide last-mile connections to end users should file their data as Unlicensed Terrestrial Fixed Wireless (Tech Code 70). 
  • If a provider knows it could only install equipment that uses unlicensed frequencies at a location to connect it, then Tech Code 70 should be used. 

71 – Licensed Terrestrial Fixed Wireless 

  • Service provided to a location using either (a) entirely licensed spectrum or (b) a hybrid of licensed spectrum with unlicensed and/or Licensed-by-Rule spectrum to make the last-mile connection to the fixed location.  
    • In the case of (b), the ability of a provider to mark a single polygon under Tech Code 71 as hybrid requires that within the polygon the provider uses both licensed and unlicensed spectrum. 
    • If a provider is not using any licensed spectrum to provide last mile service within a polygon, the polygon should not be reported as Tech Code 71. [Rather, Tech Code 70 (i.e., unlicensed) or 72 (i.e., Licensed-by-Rule) should be used.] 
  • Includes service provided over a 4G LTE or 5G NR mobile network on licensed bands but sold as a fixed solution.     
  • Licensed spectrum includes Priority Access Licenses (PALs), but not General Authorized Access (GAA), in the 3.5 GHz Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) band. 
  • Providers that use licensed microwave spectrum for backhaul but otherwise use unlicensed or Licensed-by-Rule spectrum for last-mile connections to end users should file their data as Unlicensed Terrestrial Fixed Wireless (Tech Code 70) or Licensed-by-Rule Terrestrial Fixed Wireless (Tech Code 72), as appropriate. 

72 – Licensed-by-Rule Terrestrial Fixed Wireless 

  • Service provided to a location using either (a) entirely Licensed-by-Rule spectrum or (b) a hybrid of Licensed-by-Rule and unlicensed spectrum to make the last-mile connection to the fixed location.   
  • Licensed-by-Rule spectrum users include operators providing last-mile connections through GAA in the 3.5 GHz CBRS band.

Special Temporary Authorizations

If you hold a valid Special Temporary Authority (STA) that you are using to provide last-mile terrestrial fixed wireless services to broadband serviceable locations, you should file the locations where you currently provide service or can make service available within ten business days pursuant to the STA using tech code 71 (Licensed).  Locations where you provide service that fall outside of the area covered by the STA and you do not otherwise serve using an active license should be reported using  tech code 70 (unlicensed) or tech code 72 (licensed-by-rule) as appropriate.

Broadband service made available pursuant to an experimental authorization (to the extent permissible under the Commission’s rules) should not be reported in the Broadband Data Collection.

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