WISPA Responds to FCC’s Unlicensed TV Band Spectrum Ruling

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New rules fall short of enabling full benefits to rural Americans

Wireless Internet Service Providers Association

WISPA

WISPA’s mission is to assure a responsible policy in which manufacturers and users alike have clear rules and opportunities to fulfill the desire of our members to deliver reliable and efficient high-speed Internet to rural Americans.

The Wireless Internet Service Providers Association (WISPA), a membership organization that promotes the development, advancement, and unity of the fixed Wireless Internet Service Provider (WISP) industry, takes a mixed view of the Federal Communication Commission's (FCC) recent decision regarding unlicensed use of TV band spectrum. Although the FCC made modest improvements to its rules, the agency fell short of adopting rules that would maximize consumer benefits.

WISPA is disappointed that the new rules do not go further to enhance the ability of fixed wireless broadband providers to use unlicensed TV band spectrum to better serve consumers in rural areas. For instance, the FCC did not relax rules that would allow higher-power operations closer to TV stations and will not permit operations from higher elevations in less congested areas that are most in need of affordable fixed broadband services.

The Association, however, is satisfied that the new rules improve upon earlier FCC decisions that allow unlicensed use of vacant TV channels while ensuring that licensed services are protected. At WISPA's urging, the FCC will allow operations at up to 10 Watts EIRP in those areas where there are a sufficient number of unused TV channels, and will allow the white space database to accommodate operations at less than 4 Watts EIRP. The FCC will allow fixed operations on TV Channels 3 and 4, opening up another 12 megahertz of spectrum for unlicensed use. The FCC also adopted rules that will allow channel bonding and channel aggregation.

“WISPA’s mission is to assure a responsible policy in which manufacturers and users alike have clear rules and opportunities to fulfill the desire of our members to deliver reliable and efficient high-speed Internet to rural Americans,” said Alex Phillips, WISPA Vice President and FCC Committee Chair. “While we appreciate the FCC’s efforts to help us improve and extend service, we are disappointed that the FCC took an overly conservative approach, at the expense of rural Americans that are on the other side of the digital divide. WISPA will continue to engage with the FCC in refining the rules.”

About WISPA
WISPA is a membership-driven trade association that promotes the development, advancement and unity of the fixed 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.

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Alex Phillips
WISPA
540-908-3993
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Suzanne Urash
WISPA
813-649-8504
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