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WISPA Public Notice Comments on Satellite and Earth Station Operators' Rights

Washington, DC, July 3, 2019 – WISPA filed comments with the FCC today (attached below) regarding the agency’s C-band-related inquiry on the nature of satellite and earth station operators’ rights. In brief, our comments note that receive-only earth stations do not have license rights under Title III; their registration rights are not a sweeping grant of authority to use C-band spectrum to transmit, but are rather an exercise of the Commission’s ancillary authority under Title I of the Act for the limited purpose of interference protection. That stated, the FCC does have authority to require new flexible-use C-band licensees to compensate receive-only earth station operators for modifying or relocating their registered facilities in exchange for clearing a portion of the band.

The filing goes on to urge that however, the Commission resolves the issues surrounding flexible use in the lower 200 megahertz of the C-band, the FCC should implement WISPA’s Broadband Access Coalition proposal, which would allow P2MP Fixed Service to share the remaining 300 megahertz with satellite service on a co-primary basis. To this end, a WISPA-supported report by Virginia Tech Professor Jeff Reed (soon to be filed) shows that earth stations in the upper 300 megahertz of the C-band can be protected from harmful co-channel interference and create significant opportunities for more than 80 million Americans to access gigabit or near-gigabit P2MP services (a video summary of that report [vimeo.com/345824966]can be seen here).

WISPA’s approximately 800 members are composed of fixed Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISPs) and the industry that supports fixed wireless broadband, including equipment suppliers, support services, and other components needed to run a successful business. Our members, and WISPs, in general, provide broadband access to over 4 million residential and business customers, often in exclusively rural areas.

Mike Wendy

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