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Experiments Notification System

The Commission can create Innovation Zones in response to a particular request as well as on our own motion. We are using OET’s Experiments System webpage to post the Innovation Zone designations and detail the guidelines we have established for each particular zone – including the specific geographic area(s) we have designated and applicable technical parameters, such as frequency bands and power limits. Those wishing to test in an Innovation Zone must meet the Program License eligibility requirements, hold an existing Program License and operate in accordance with the geographic areas and technical limits detailed for each Innovation Zone.

Innovation Zones were conceived as part of the Commission’s 2013 rulemaking that updated the experimental radio service (ERS) program by, inter alia, establishing new Program Licenses. See ET Docket No. 10-236, Report and Order, FCC 13-15, 28 FCC Rcd 758 (2013). Under a Program License, qualified institutions may conduct testing for multiple non-related experiments under a single authorization within a defined geographic area under control of the licensee and where the licensee has institutional processes to manage and oversee experiments. The Innovation Zone takes this concept a step further by effectively providing an extension of a Program License’s authorized area of operation. Such licensees are permitted to operate within an Innovation Zone, under the parameters set for that particular Zone, without having to modify their licenses to cover the new location.

Prior to operating in an Innovation Zone, details for each Program Licensee experiment must be posted to the FCC webpage for the particular zone. This posting will implement the Program License rules procedures that require notification of intended operations so that all nearby licensees and federal users have full knowledge of operations in an area. Program licensees must still meet the requirement to wait 10-days prior to beginning tests on spectrum allocated exclusively for non-federal use and 15-days when using spectrum allocated for federal use including shared non-federal/federal use.

FCC created Innovation Zones

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