3. Secondary Markets
139. Partitioning and Disaggregation: The Commission's part 27 rules generally allow for geographic partitioning and spectrum disaggregation. Geographic partitioning refers to the assignment of geographic portions of a license to another licensee along geopolitical or other boundaries. Spectrum disaggregation refers to the assignment of discrete amounts of spectrum under the license to another entity. Disaggregation allows for multiple transmitters in the same geographic area operated by different companies on adjacent frequencies in the same band. As the Commission noted when first establishing partitioning and disaggregation rules, allowing such flexibility could facilitate the efficient use of spectrum by enabling licensees to make offerings directly responsive to market demands for particular types of services, increasing competition by allowing market entry by new entrants, and expediting provision of services that might not otherwise be provided in the near term.
140. We propose to permit partitioning and disaggregation by licensees in the AWS-3 band. To ensure that the public interest would be served if partitioning or disaggregation is allowed, we propose requiring each AWS-3 licensee that is a party to a partitioning, disaggregation, or combination of both to independently meet the applicable performance and renewal requirements. We believe this approach would facilitate efficient spectrum use, while enabling service providers to configure geographic area licenses and spectrum blocks to meet their operational needs. We seek comment on these proposals. Commenters should discuss and quantify the costs and benefits of these proposals with respect to competition, innovation, and investment.
141. We also seek comment on whether the Commission should adopt additional or different mechanisms to encourage partitioning and/or disaggregation of AWS-3 spectrum and the extent to which such policies ultimately may promote more service, especially in rural areas. Commenters should discuss and quantify the costs and benefits of promoting more service using mechanisms to encourage partitioning and disaggregation of AWS-3 spectrum, including the effects of the proposal.
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