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WISPA files USDA comments, says "Rural-First" approach to spectrum policy best way to promote broadband to the heartland

Washington, DC, April 1, 2019 – Today, the Wireless Internet Service Providers Association (“WISPA”) filed comments with the USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) on its Notice of Inquiry about spectrum requirements for non-Federal spectrum users and what the FSA can do to improve the availability of broadband in rural areas (PDF attached).

“WISPA commends the USDA for looking into this important matter,” said Claude Aiken, president and CEO of WISPA.  “A rural-first approach to spectrum policy represents the quickest, most cost-effective way to bring more high-speed broadband to America's farmers.  Rural America could be more connected and more prosperous if government boosts meaningful access to useable spectrum for small, rural broadband providers.”      

WISPA points out that future demand for Internet connectivity in rural areas will grow considerably and that absent the availability of unlicensed spectrum and right-sized license assignments in licensed bands, smaller rural providers may be denied access to spectrum, hampering the quick and efficient roll out of broadband services in less populated regions. Automated spectrum management and frequency coordination methods play an integral role in promoting more intensive and efficient use of spectrum, and are particularly important in rural areas where licensed spectrum assignments are often underutilized or go entirely unused.

Both low and mid-band spectrum is ideal for use in rural areas due to favorable propagation characteristics, but the greatest current need is for mid-band spectrum, such as that in the CBRS and C-bands, to facilitate provision of fixed wireless links that can provide high-quality broadband connectivity to rural locations in a cost-efficient manner.  


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.

Mike Wendy

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