At its open meeting last Friday, the Federal Communications Commission adopted a Second Report and Order it says will promote further deployment of mobile broadband service and continue its reform of rules governing the use of microwave frequencies for wireless backhaul as part of the FCC’s Broadband Acceleration Initiative ?and its regulatory reform agenda by eliminating unneeded regulations and helping to ensure that necessary rules reflect current technology. The Second R&O permits fixed microwave operators to use smaller antennas in certain microwave bands, which can result in “significant” cost savings. A Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Second Notice of Inquiry will continue the agency’s efforts to reform and modernize its wireless backhaul rules. The commish also voted on a NPRM to modernize and reform its cable-TV technical rules as the industry moves from analog to digital. The NPRM proposes to update signal quality rules, to streamline compliance for operators of digital cable systems and to modernize the cable signal leakage rules that go back to the old analog days. Finally, the panel issued a Fifth Further NPRM addressing the 4940 MHz-4990 MHz (4.9 GHz) public-safety band, asking for comment on a number of issues to improve spectrum efficiency and to encourage greater use of that band for public-safety broadband communications. Comments are due on or before Oct. 1; reply comments are due on or before Oct. 30.

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