Earlier this month, NRTC joined the CBRS Alliance, an industry group dedicated to assisting wireless providers and equipment manufacturers develop technology for the Citizens Broadband Radio Service in the 3.5 GHz band. NRTC seeks to support its members who are planning to enter the FCC’s CBRS spectrum auction beginning in June 2020.
Joining the CBRS Alliance is one of several steps NRTC is taking to prepare for broadband auctions, funding programs and general network deployment planning. Be sure to watch this blog, NRTConnects, NRTC social media and other NRTC communications for further announcements. We have many broadband-related activities planned for throughout the year.
We hosted a December webcast to describe the coming CBRS opportunities. NRTC is especially examining ways to further prepare members for the spectrum auction and other elements necessary deploy fixed wireless broadband at 3.5 GHz.
CBRS offers a large amount of mid-band spectrum that will be available at manageable county-line geographic areas for the Priority Access Licenses (PALs), which will be available at auction. But some NRTC members will prefer to use General Authorized Access (GAA) spectrum in the CBRS band, which does not require purchasing a license. Either band will work well when networked with a fiber optic backbone.
Beyond network planning and spectrum auctions, there are other tasks involving regulatory agencies. Recently NRTC Broadband Solutions introduced many of its members to Global Strategic Accountants (GSA), a company that specializes in keeping track of federal and state filing deadlines, tax policies for telecom companies and overall regulatory compliance. NRTC Mobile Solutions has worked with GSA for several years and recommends them for keeping track of the details.
“A lot of our clients appreciate this because they’re growing their businesses and worrying about day-to-day operations. They don’t want to worry about the mundane back office details,” said Doug Hoff, GSA’s regulatory director for global strategic accountants during a recent NRTC webcast. “They rely on us to present in an easy-to-read format and advise on ways to appropriately move forward.”
NRTC also has begun hosting a series of “Broadband 201” sessions around the country to help members entering the broadband business with fiber placement and distribution, fixed wireless, managed services and other topics. Pictured, Alana Pilkington, NRTC’s VP, Broadband Technologies, led a discussion about regulatory issues during a Jan. 9 meeting in Huntsville, AL. NRTC plans to hold additional sessions throughout the year.
“We had requests from many of our members to do a deeper dive into the technologies and techniques to consider as they plan to build a broadband network,” said Bob Hagarman, senior solution architect, for NRTC Broadband Solutions. “They were looking for information from an agnostic expert.”
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