Last month we reported on (a) some fine-tuning the Commission had performed on its wireless backhaul rules and policies, and (b) some additional changes the Commission is considering in that area. The FCC’s decision has now been published in the Federal Register – in two separate parts, one reflecting the Report and Order portion of the decision, the other reflecting its Proposed Rulemaking and Notice of Inquiry components.

Federal Register publication sets the comment deadlines for the proposed rulemaking/inquiry aspects. If you want to give the FCC the benefit of your thinking on the Commission’s proposals, you have until October 5, 2012 to get your comments in. Reply comments are due by October 22, 2012.

FedReg publication of the report and order establishes the effective date of the rule changes adopted in that report and order . . . for the most part. All of the newly-adopted rules will take effect on October 5, 2012. All, that is, except for the “Rural Microwave Flexibility Policy,” which provides for waiver of the spectrum efficiency requirements for links in rural areas. Because that policy includes “information collections” that have to be run past the Office of Management and Budget first for its approval (thanks to the Paperwork Reduction Act), the policy won’t become effective along with the rest of the rules. Rather, the FCC and OMB will afford the public further opportunities to comment on the flexibility policy. If OMB gives it the thumbs up, the FCC will publish a notice to that effect, specifying a separate effective date for the policy. We’ll let you know when that happens.