WISPA Welcomes Today’s FCC Action to Open Up the EBS Spectrum to Commercial Use
Washington, DC, July 10, 2019 – WISPA welcomes today’s FCC action to open up the EBS spectrum to commercial use, an action that will boost broadband deployment and choice for all Americans, especially those in unserved and underserved rural areas of the country.
In today’s spectrum-constrained world, the 2.5 GHz band is so-called “goldilocks spectrum,” yet it has gone largely unused because of restrictions that have been surpassed by marketplace changes. Among other things, the EBS Report and Order allows EBS licensees to fully transfer their licenses to commercial providers, and helps small providers meaningfully bid for 2.5 GHz licenses in counties. Ultimately, these and other changes to the current rules will foster better use of these mostly fallow airwaves.
“WISPA is excited that the FCC has taken steps to unleash the value of 2.5 GHz spectrum,” said Claude Aiken, president and CEO of WISPA. “In addition to eliminating antiquated educational use and other restrictions for existing licensees, WISPA applauds the FCC for making a significant amount of spectrum in rural areas available for small providers via ‘right-sized’ licenses, ‘right-sized’ spectrum blocks and bidding credits. We appreciate Chairman Pai’s public recognition of the benefits the auction rules will create for small providers, and we look forward to working with FCC staff to help implement the auction of 2.5 GHz spectrum as soon as possible so hundreds of small providers can make good on this tremendous new resource for their businesses and broadband-hungry customers.”
The agency also adopted an NPRM which will work to promote broadband deployment and competition in multiple tenant environments (MTEs). Said Aiken, “The NPRM asks a number of questions related to mandatory access, use of rooftops for wireless antennas and exclusive contracts. We appreciate the opportunity to participate in the process going forward.”
Noted Aiken, “The FCC should be commended for its work today. The actions the Commission took here will result in more broadband getting out to more Americans, giving them the essential tools to keep pace with the rest of the U.S.”
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.