WISP Industry Seeks to Protect Rural Broadband Rules

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Petitions Seek to Preserve Connectivity to Rural Americans

Wireless Internet Service Providers Association


There are an estimated 3,000 WISPs in the United States that provide rural broadband to many areas where broadband is not available.

The Wireless Internet Service Providers Association (WISPA), a membership organization that promotes the development, advancement and unity of the wireless Internet service provider industry, along with prominent equipment manufacturers, Cambium Networks Ltd. and Mimosa Networks, Inc., as well as the largest fixed Wireless Internet Service Provider (“WISP”), JAB Wireless, Inc., today filed petitions for reconsideration of FCC rules that would severely constrain usage of the 5725-5850 MHz band and would greatly limit the ability of rural Americans to continue to receive broadband and critical infrastructure services.

In amending rules for the unlicensed 5725-5850 MHz band, the FCC imposed technical limitations on manufacturers and WISPs that will significantly reduce network performance and increase the cost of the equipment, without any countervailing benefit. As a result, it is predicted that many WISPs will be unable to provide economically viable services and cease to operate; effectively eliminating access to the Internet by rural residences and enterprises. There are an estimated 3,000 WISPs in the United States that provide rural broadband to many areas where broadband is not available. The new FCC restrictions could potentially cut-off over a million citizens from the Internet.

“The petitions demonstrate broad-based industry concern that the FCC’s new rule will hamper the ability of manufacturers to continue producing affordable equipment, make it more difficult for WISPs to deploy service to distant communities and, in many cases, prevent rural Americans from receiving affordable fixed broadband service,” said Rick Harnish, Executive Director of WISPA. “This is an immense problem for the customers we serve in all sectors of our industry. WISPA is pleased that members of our industry, including equipment manufacturers and WISPs, have asked the FCC to reconsider the negative impact that the decision will have on the availability of broadband service for Americans."

Jeff Kohler, Chief Development Officer of JAB Wireless commented, “Getting these rules right is of critical importance to JAB and our rural customers. We think the FCC just didn’t appreciate the consequences of its actions.”

“While we are very pleased with the recent changes made by the FCC regarding the expanded usage of the 5 GHz band, we believe that the new tighter emissions regulations can be easily amended not only to support the FCC’s efforts to reduce harmful interference, but to maximize broadband availability in underserved communities," said Brian Hinman, CEO of Mimosa.

“We are filing this petition to illuminate the consequences this ruling would have on the millions of Americans who rely on the connectivity supplied through leveraging this spectrum, as well as on the networks that serve them. We trust that an amended ruling that upholds the FCC’s mission of promoting rural broadband deployment can be achieved,” said Scott Imhoff, vice president, product management, Cambium Networks.

WISPA is a membership-driven trade association that promotes the development, advancement and unity of the wireless Internet service provider industry. WISPA has over 800 members that support WISPA’s advocacy, education and other collaborative industry initiatives. For more information, visit http://www.wispa.org.

About Cambium Networks
Cambium Networks is a leading global provider of wireless broadband solutions that connect the unconnected. Through its extensive portfolio of reliable, scalable and secure wireless broadband point-to-point (PTP) and point-to-multipoint (PMP) platforms, Cambium Networks makes it possible for all service providers; enterprises; governmental and military agencies; oil, gas and utility companies; Internet service providers; and public safety networks to build powerful, easily sustainable communications networks. The company currently has over four million of its access and backhaul radios deployed in thousands of demanding networks in more than 150 countries. Headquartered outside Chicago and with R&D centers in the U.S., Ashburton, U.K. and Bangalore, India, Cambium Networks sells through a range of trusted global distributors. For more information, visit: http://www.cambiumnetworks.com and http://www.connectingtheunconnected.org.

About Mimosa Networks, Inc.
Mimosa, a pioneer in last mile gigabit wireless technology, leverages the most advanced Wi-Fi technology to design and manufacture outdoor gigabit wireless platforms for service providers demanding fiber speed networks. Mimosa technology provides the highest level of scale, capacity and reliability for multiple verticals and applications. Founded in Silicon Valley in 2012, the company has so far raised a total of over $38 million in venture capital funding. Mimosa is led by Brian Hinman, notable CEO and founder of 2Wire, Polycom and PictureTel and includes experienced executives and key talent from leading telecommunications and consumer product companies. For additional information on Mimosa, please visit http://www.mimosa.co.

About JAB Wireless
With approximately 175,000 subscribers, JAB Broadband is the nation’s largest fixed wireless broadband service provider. Through its subsidiaries, JAB Broadband provides fixed broadband and digital voice connectivity to residential and business customers in Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Idaho, Nevada, Texas, Oklahoma, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Minnesota, South Dakota, Illinois and Wisconsin.

For additional information on JAB Wireless, please visit http://www.jabbroadband.com.

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