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Lower 37 GHz – Stakeholder Engagement Update

July 10, 2024

With co-primary allocations for both Federal and non-Federal systems, the Lower 37 GHz band (37.0-37.6 GHz) shows promise for expanding government and commercial deployments alike.  To secure these opportunities, the National Spectrum Strategy directs agencies to further study the band “to implement a co-equal, shared-use framework allowing Federal and non-Federal users to deploy operations.”  The National Spectrum Strategy Implementation Plan establishes an ambitious schedule for achieving that objective culminating in the completion of an in-depth band study by October 2024 and the preparation of a final report with findings and recommendations by November 2024.  The Department of Defense, NTIA, and the FCC share responsibility for the Lower 37 GHz effort.

Over the past few months, our three agencies have picked up on prior collaborative efforts regarding the future of this band that occurred during previous stages of an ongoing FCC rulemaking.  In light of that progress and the legal requirements that apply to the rulemaking process, we wanted to clarify the process for multi-stakeholder engagement in this band:

  • The FCC will prepare a Public Notice to solicit public input on a potential coordination and licensing framework in the Lower 37 GHz band.  The FCC will target releasing the Public Notice on or about August 6th, 2024.
  • The FCC, NTIA, and DoD will meet regularly to discuss the sharing framework (including coordination and licensing), as well as the report contemplated by the National Spectrum Strategy Implementation Plan and the input received.
  • As with typical FCC releases, the text of the document will be coordinated through the Interdepartment Radio Advisory Committee (IRAC) to ensure adequate review by federal agencies, including the Department of Defense.
  • Private-sector stakeholders and other interested parties wishing to present information to the working group should submit their contributions on the FCC record in response to the Public Notice.  The multistakeholder forum that NTIA will establish for the band studies will not cover the Lower 37 GHz band at this time.  
  • The Department of Defense will conduct informal outreach to the Defense Industrial Base as needed.  

Our shared goal in following this approach is to provide a full opportunity for public input without inefficient duplication, thereby easing burdens on agencies and stakeholders alike.

We look forward to your participation.