WISPA Urges Members to Contact Congress to Support Opening Up 6 GHz

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In response to the utility industry’s concern about harmful interference, the Wireless Internet Service Providers Association (WISPA) is asking its members to contact Congress to support the FCC’s 6 GHz proposal. WISPs are fixed wireless internet service providers delivering high-speed broadband. They use unlicensed spectrum to cost-effectively bring broadband to rural areas.

“Unlicensed spectrum is becoming crowded and noisy and new avenues to obtain spectrum for small companies such as ours are extremely limited, or non-existent,” says WISPA in a sample letter for members. Over the past year the FCC has sought to alleviate some of this crunch by proposing to make the 6 GHz band available for new users. The proposal would open up about 90 percent of the band for unlicensed use by small fixed wireless providers. 

Incumbents, mainly utilities, have recently urged the agency to stall or upend the plan, saying it could cause harmful interference, disrupt their services and impact their investment in the band.

In response, WISPA urges members to tell Congress, “They are wrong. Utilities and others operating in the band can be protected from harmful interference through easily implemented, and proven, automated frequency coordination — technologies and techniques already in use by wireless providers, including in the more complex CBRS band.” 

WISPA says the utilities’ concerns are “overblown” and can easily be addressed. It suggests opening up the 6 GHz band is “good policy that will put an underutilized swath of finite spectrum to more efficient use.”  

November 15, 2019

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