Dale Curtis
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WISPs See 3.5 GHz in Small License Sizes as Critical to Broadband in Rural America

Redistributed by permission of Warren Communications News at www.warren-news.com

 

10/18/2017

Wireless ISPs, backed up by Google and other advocates of unlicensed spectrum, are mounting an all-out challenge to get the FCC to make changes to its 3.5 GHz NPRM to be voted at the Oct. 24 commissioners’ meeting. Wireless ISP Association officials met Tuesday with Commissioner Mike O’Rielly, who helped develop the NPRM, on their concerns over the size of priority access licenses (PALs) that would be part of the rules. WISPA officials told us Wednesday they view the band as critical to their future, since many WISPs need more mid-band spectrum to continue to compete.

Among those seeking changes to the NPRM, focus has been on O’Rielly because of the big role he played in developing the draft and Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, who's seeking changes to the item. Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel signaled she's ready to dissent (see 1710120009).

Jimmy Carr, CEO of All Points Broadband in Ashburn, Virginia, and Mark Radabaugh, president of Amplex Internet in Luckey, Ohio, said in an interview that rural customers are using a lot of broadband for video and demand improved connection rates, and they need more spectrum. Both are WISPA board members.

“This is really a make or break moment for our industry and for rural America,” Carr said. “We are the small businesses who are investing private capital to solve what people agree is the most pressing public policy challenge in rural America, which is connecting the unconnected. We need mid-band spectrum to do that.” WISPs “are using every megahertz that’s available to us and we need additional spectrum capacity,” he said. WISPs are preparing their networks in reliance on the rules approved two years ago, he said. “This is really a once-in-a-generation opportunity.”

If the FCC sells PALs as partial economic areas, Radabaugh said his company would have to buy a license about three times bigger than his service area. “It’s not that those areas aren’t covered; they’re covered by other WISPs,” he said. “We can certainly survive in what we have. But we can’t keep adding capacity and speed.” Both said their average customer uses more than 140 GBs of data monthly.

Carr said WISPA’s focus is mostly on rural areas where members will be “the highest and best users of the spectrum,” and they will bid for the PALs in an eventual auction. The draft rules would consider allowing smaller license sizes in rural areas than in urban where carriers are more likely to pursue licenses (see 1710030059).

Paul Margie, lawyer for Google, reported on a meeting he and WISPA officials had with Louis Peraertz, an aide to Clyburn. “The draft NPRM would undo rules the Commission unanimously adopted just two years ago, and we explained [WISPs] and many others had invested and deployed commercial services and experimental trials in reliance on those rules,” said a filing in docket 17-258. Google said innovative equipment companies “including Cambium, Telrad, and Baicells, are competing vigorously in the market and that providers that have deployed their equipment in reliance on the FCC’s adopted rules are prepared to expand broadband rapidly into the … band through software upgrades, without the need for additional hardware.”

Public Knowledge said in meetings at the FCC with Commissioner Brendan Carr and others the PAL framework should be left as is. “The Commission should not delay putting the band to productive use -- by both licensed and unlicensed users -- in order to change long-settled issues that would merely benefit a single business model at the expense of competitors, innovative uses of the spectrum, and the public interest,” PK said.

Frontier Communications said in meeting with aides to O’Rielly and Chairman Ajit Pai that the draft NPRM is right to ask about smaller license sizes in rural areas. “Making available spectrum for rural fixed wireless deployments as swiftly as practicable would provide another key tool in the toolbox to reach the hardest to serve rural Americans,” Frontier said.

 

Copyright 2017 by Warren Communications News, Inc

Redistributed by permission of Warren Communications News at www.warren-news.com.

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WISPA News

Below is a list of WISPA press releases and news articles about the Association and Industry.


2016
Date
Title 
December 16, 2016
Wireless Internet Service Providers Extremely Disappointed by FCC’s Inaction on Small Business Exemption
December 13, 2016
WISPAclips: News from Around the Internet - 12/13/16
December 5, 2016
Wireless Internet Service Providers Raise Concerns About Impacts of AT&T-Time Warner Merger; Call On Federal Authorities to Reject It
November 7, 2016
WISPAclips: News from Around the Internet - 11/07/16
October 27, 2016
Fixed Wireless Broadband Providers Appreciate FCC’S Sensitivity to Small Broadband Providers in New Consumer Privacy Rules
October 13, 2016
Fixed Wireless Industry Poised for Robust Growth and Greater Policy Activism (WISPAPALOOZA Wrapup)
September 20, 2016
WISPA Teams with METAvivor for Pink Day at WISPAPALOOZA
August 12, 2016
WISPA Elects New Officers and Board Members for 2016-2017 Term
August 10, 2016
Wireless Internet Service Providers Applaud Federal Court Decision on Municipal Broadband
July 25, 2016
A Growing Consensus That the FCC Must Change Course on Privacy
June 15, 2016
Wireless Internet Service Providers Welcome Senate Committee Vote to Protect Small Businesses and Rural Americans
June 14, 2016
Wireless Internet Service Providers Disappointed by Court's Decision Upholding FCC Regulations
June 8, 2016
Experts to FCC: Change Course on Broadband Privacy Rules
May 25, 2016
Small Internet Service Providers Applaud FCC Action to Promote Broadband Build-Out in Under-Served Areas
May 19, 2016
New Overtime Rules Affect Small Businesses
March 16, 2016
Wireless Internet Service Providers Praise the U.S. House for Protecting Small Businesses and Rural Americans
February 25, 2016
House Committee Action Paves Way to Progress in Full House and Senate
January 12, 2016
WISPA Asks Congress For ISP Small Business Regulatory Certainty
 
2015
Date
Title
December 16, 2015

WISPA Hails FCC Decision Extending Small Business Relief
November 20, 2015

WISPA Applauds House of Representatives for Support of Small Business Exemption from New Open Internet Disclosure
October 6, 2015

WISPA Appoints New Committee Chairpersons, Officers and Welcomes Elected Board of Directors
August 13, 2015

WISPA Responds to FCC’s Unlicensed TV Band Spectrum Ruling
June 29, 2015

(Wireless Week) - WISPA: Wi-Fi, LTE-U Coexistence Requires More than Just “Benign Intentions”
June 2, 2015

The FCC’s Extension of U-NII Compliance Deadline Benefits WISPA and The Fixed Wireless Industry
May 19, 2015

WISPA Meets With Policymakers on Capitol Hill
May 12, 2015

WISPA Holds Policy Summit in Washington D.C.
May 5, 2015

WISPA Board Member Appointed to FCC Consumer Advisory Committee
May 1, 2015

WISPA Asks FCC to Stay Title II and Internet Conduct Rules
April 28, 2015

WISPA Files For Court Review of FCC’s Open Internet Order
April 17, 2015

WISPA Applauds the FCC’s New Spectrum Sharing Ruling
March 2, 2015

WISPAmerica 2015 Surpasses Attendance Record
February 26, 2015 

Municipal Broadband Ruling by FCC Jeopardizes Private Sector Investments
February 26, 2015  

Open Internet Ruling Receives Mixed Reaction from the Wireless Internet Service Providers Association
February 25, 2015

WISPA Comments on the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology Hearing
February 10, 2015

FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly to Keynote at WISPAmerica 2015
February 4, 2015

WISPA Urges Regulators to Defer Vote on Net Neutrality Rules
January 21, 2015

WISPA Responds to State of the Union
January 5, 2015

New WISPA Website and Member Portal Coming Soon!