FCC Grants More Rural Tribal Priority Window Licenses

The Federal Communications Commission announced last week that an additional 40 spectrum licenses in the 2.5 GHz band were granted through the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau’s Rural Tribal Priority Window program. These licenses allow tribal entities across the country to access advanced wireless services, such as 5G.

“Wireless spectrum in the hands of the unserved and underserved is a powerful tool,” said FCC Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel. “This is especially true for Tribes, which should have the opportunity to offer their communities the broadband access that is so critical for participation in the digital age.”

The Rural Tribal Priority Window was open from February to September of 2020, and provided an opportunity for federally recognized tribes and Alaska Natives to access unassigned spectrum over their tribal lands. Depending on availability, tribes could apply for up to 117.5 MHz of the 2.5 GHz band spectrum.

The Bureau has granted 259 licenses to date, which allow tribal communities to connect their homes, schools, hospitals and businesses to broadband. The first 154 licenses were granted in October of 2020, an additional 22 were granted in December, and more were granted in the early months of 2021. Applications continue to be reviewed and processed.