Dale Curtis

WISPA filed comments with the FCC: PETITION BY MOBILE INDUSTRY GIANTS WOULD STIFLE INNOVATION AND DELAY ACCESS TO BROADBAND

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Washington, DC – Today, the Wireless Internet Service Providers Association (www.WISPA.org) filed comments at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) opposing the ill-conceived proposals filed by the mobile industry that would effectively convert the Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) into a “5G-only” band and frustrate the efforts of entrepreneurial wireless ISPs to bridge the digital divide.

WISPA argues that the proposals would disrupt a carefully crafted licensing regime adopted just two years ago in a way that would foreclose participation by small companies that want to use the 3550-3700 MHz band for rural broadband, neutral host networks, private venues, and other innovative uses.  By lengthening license terms and dramatically increasing license areas, small providers looking to serve targeted areas would not be able to compete for licenses with the mobile giants that seek another “command and control” band for their use at the exclusion of others. 

WISPA, which represents the interests of the fixed wireless broadband industry, strongly supported adoption of the CBRS rules, viewing the band as a critical spectrum resource to deploy fixed broadband services in rural areas, where wireline solutions are not cost-effective. As the FCC has encouraged, WISPA members have made substantial investments in equipment that can be used in the CBRS band. If adopted, the mobile industry’s proposal would undermine the existing investments of WISPs across the country and jeopardizing ongoing operations.

“It is clear that the proposals from CTIA and T-Mobile would put the CBRS band out of reach for anyone other than large carriers,” said Mark Radabaugh, chairman of WISPA’s FCC Committee. “Shifting to larger geographic areas for Priority Access Licenses will exacerbate and perpetuate today’s last-mile problem – large mobile carriers will acquire spectrum covering large geographic areas, but only deploy in the portions of those areas where demand and density satisfy their business models. What rural America needs is licensed spectrum that entrepreneurial companies can acquire and deploy in to connect the unconnected.

“WISPA is concerned that these proposals would eliminate the availability of spectrum that can be put to use – quickly and at low cost – for the benefit of under-served American communities and thousands of local small-businesses, without disrupting existing uses,” said Mr. Radabaugh.

WISPA believes the mobile industry proposal is self-serving at best, because it would virtually ensure that access to 150 megahertz of licensed spectrum is limited to the three large mobile carriers, causing massive interference to the existing 3650-3700 MHz users and their customers, while entirely eliminating the spectrum allocation for General Authorized Access, destroying any opportunity for the band to help close the rural broadband gap.

WISPA’s comments are posted here: http://www.wispa.org/Portals/37/FCC%20Filings/2017/CBRS_Comments.pdf

 

  

Media Inquiries:                                                            

Dale Curtis for WISPA, dale@dalecurtiscommunications.com, Tel: (202) 495-3701 (office) or 202-246-5659 (mobile)

Breyana Franklin, breyana@dalecurtiscommunications.com, 301-346-0056 (mobile) 

 

 

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 www.wispa.org.

All Other Inquiries:

Trina Coffey, tcoffey@wispa.org, 866-317-2851

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