On March 19, 2020, the FCC issued an Order temporarily waiving the requirements in sections 90.1307, 90.1311, 90.1338, and 96.21 and extending the deadline to transition existing Part 90 operations to Part 96 operations in the 3650 - 3700 MHz band. Licensees required to transition between April and October of 2020 now have until October 17, 2020 to transition. According to Chairman Ajit Pai, this extension is necessary during the current pandemic, as many licensees may experience delays in the transition process. In addition, many 3650 - 3700 MHz band licensees provide essential services, such as broadband and utility services, to the public, especially those in underserved areas. Ensuring these licensees continue to operate during the pandemic is essential in stemming the spread of the virus; therefore, they will be permitted to continue operating under their current license statuses. The FCC also noted in this Order that it has dismissed requests for waiver listed in Appendix A. If licensees seek extensions beyond October 17, 2020, they may file new requests for waiver according to the guidelines delineated within the Notice. The deadline extension will not impact the timing of the upcoming 5G auction.
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