WISPA APPLAUDS INTRODUCTION OF THE AIRWAVES ACT.
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Washington, DC – The Wireless Internet Services Providers Association (WISPA) today offered its praise of U.S. Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) for their leadership in introducing the “Advancing Innovation and Reinvigorating Widespread Access to Viable Electromagnetic Spectrum Act” (the AIRWAVES Act), which seeks to facilitate a national pipeline of spectrum availability.
WISPA members are primarily small, locally-owned businesses that are bridging the urban-rural digital divide by providing high-quality, fixed wireless broadband service to rural Americans.
“WISPA thanks Senators Gardner and Hassan for consulting with WISPA and incorporating our experience as the AIRWAVES Act was drafted,” said Jimmy Carr, CEO of All Points Broadband, and Chairman of WISPA’s Legislative Committee. “Although there are aspects of the bill that are inconsistent with WISPA’s preferred approach, overall we believe the bill can have a positive impact on rural Americans.”
WISPA believes the key to closing the digital divide is allowing targeted investments by fixed wireless operators in licensed spectrum in small geographic areas. The association has been an active participant in the Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) proceeding at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and some of its members are already deploying equipment in reliance on the framework the FCC established two years ago.
WISPA is a founding member of the Broadband Access Coalition, which has petitioned the FCC to make another 500 megahertz of spectrum available for shared use in the 3700-4200 MHz band. That petition would allocate licenses on a frequency-coordinated basis rather than by auction, thereby reducing barriers to broadband deployment in rural areas.
“While WISPA believes our coalition’s proposal for the 3700-4200 MHz band will more rapidly connect rural Americans with affordable fixed broadband, we know that Senators Gardner and Hassan are deeply committed to taking substantive action that will help address the challenge of delivering broadband to underserved rural Americans,” Carr continued. “We look forward to working with the senators as the legislation is refined, so that it can have an even greater positive effect for those rural Americans who desperately need access to affordable broadband services in their homes and businesses.”
“We particularly appreciate Senator Gardner’s work to improve this legislation for the benefit of rural Colorado,” said Jeff Kohler, co-founder of Colorado-based Rise Broadband, America’s largest fixed-wireless ISP. “With its rugged terrain, Colorado is a microcosm of why we need smart spectrum rules that encourage, rather than discourage, fixed wireless broadband providers.”
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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.
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