|WISPA is very active with its advocacy efforts with both the Federal Communications Commission as well as on Capitol Hill. Fixed Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISPs) use primarily unlicensed spectrum and are regulated by the FCC. Unlike many telephone companies, they receive no Federal government subsidies. Members rely on private financing and cost-efficient technology to deliver broadband services in areas where large corporate providers have failed to deliver the promised service.
The primary method of Internet deployment for fixed providers is the unlicensed spectrum. Industries such as baby monitors, smart grid systems, garage door openers and many more use an increasingly crowded group of channels. Free innovation on these frequencies has far outweighed the singular use by licensed companies which serve only their own customers.
Many in Congress and the FCC support more spectrum for unlicensed use while licensed companies try to obtain more for their exclusive use. The billions paid for spectrum by licensed corporations are quickly recouped through high monthly cellular bills. Unlicensed spectrum serves to drive the American engine of innovation and low cost rural deployment. It’s a very different business model than licensed spectrum and allows the American public access to a national asset – spectrum.
All regulations affecting the use of unlicensed spectrum impact wireless Internet service providers, which are generally locally-owned small business owners whose goals are to generate a modest return and to serve a community in which they have a personal interest.
The following are WISPA's advocacy goals:
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- Encourage Congress and the FCC to write laws that support the survival and success of community-based wireless Internet service providers (WISPs).
- Provide online technical forums that enable and encourage the sharing and exchange of information between members of the WISP community.
- Demystify government rules and regulations.
- Publicize, promote, demonstrate and maintain a Code of Ethical Business Practices.
- Promote and support industry-wide communication, coordination and cooperation between local WISP organizations, national WISP organizations, community wireless organizations and wireless industry vendors.
WISPA Policy Priorities
In 2017-2018, WISPA's federal legislative and regulatory efforts are focused on four primary objectives:
- Gaining access to additional spectrum, including unlicensed spectrum and spectrum shared with governmental and other commercial users.
- Reforming broadband subsidy programs to expedite broadband deployments in under-served locations in a technology-neutral and cost-effective manner, and ensure that subsidies cannot be used to overbuild existing, privately funded networks.
- Modernizing the Communications Act to reflect today's business realities and level the playing field with incumbent technologies and business models.
- Eliminating Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations that disproportionately burden small broadband providers with compliance costs and enforcement risks, which chill investment and innovation and raise costs to consumers.
READ MORE ABOUT WISPA POLICY PRIORITIES