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The Federal Communications Commission today approved a series of proposals that proponents said would free up high-band spectrum and expedite deployment of next-generation networks.

The commission voted to make an additional 1700 MHz of millimeter wave spectrum available for terrestrial use and declined to limit the amount of spectrum between 24 GHz and 47 GHz that could be acquired in an auction.

The approved resolution also, in part, stipulated that spectrum between 64 GHz and 71 GHz would remain unlicensed, and that bands between 57 and 71 GHz could be used on airborne aircraft.

Spectrum in the 48.2-50.2 GHz and 40-42 GHz bands would remain dedicated to satellite use, and the FCC tweaked rules in an effort to attract satellite earth stations to less populated areas.

The measure also proposed rules that would eliminate caps on auction acquisitions in the 28, 37, and 39 GHz bands and allow more fixed-satellite service use between 24.75 and 25.25 GHz.

Four of the five FCC commissioners supported the proposal, while Commissioner Mignon Clyburn partially dissented.

In addition, the FCC voted 4-1 to approve changes to utility pole access and copper replacement rules and unanimously voted to exempt replacement wireless infrastructure projects from historic review requirements.

Wireless industry group CTIA said in a statement that the votes "will help enable the wireless industry to invest hundreds of billions of dollars and create millions of new jobs to foster U.S. leadership in next-generation networks.”

"We urge the commission to move quickly to auction the spectrum bands in this order and to rapidly make available additional high-band spectrum for terrestrial mobile broadband," said CTIA Vice President for Regulatory Affairs Scott Bergmann.

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