Mike Wendy

WISPA Sends Industry Letter with 233 Signatures to Congress Urging Support of C-band Sharing

Washington, DC, September 4, 2019 – All indications are that the FCC will finalize its C-band rules by year’s end (or earlier).  Though the process remains fluid, a leading proposal for the rules – one which we strongly favor – seeks to allocate 500 MHz of C-band spectrum via a mix of an FCC auction for mobile operators; and coordinated sharing between incumbent satellite earth stations and fixed wireless providers.

As can be imagined, a number of competing interests have different ideas.  These interests (led by the foreign-owned satellite industry) have turned to lawmakers on Capitol Hill to make their case for a private auction to mobile providers that would eliminate the WISP industry's ability to access the band.  Unfortunately, Congress appears to be moving in their direction – not one of the top proposals currently being considered requires sharing of the C-band with fixed wireless providers.

Over the August recess, WISPA organized the WISP ecosystem to tell Congress that the fixed wireless industry demands shared access to the C-band.   And today, WISPA sent a letter voicing that concern (text below and attached), signed by 233 WISP industry companies and individuals, delivering it to the Chairs and Ranking Members of the Senate Commerce Committee and the House Energy and Commerce Committee, all Members in each of those Committees, and all five FCC Commissioners.

Letter Text:

Dear Chairman Wicker, Chairman Thune, Chairman Pallone, Chairman Doyle, Ranking Member Cantwell, Ranking Member Schatz, Ranking Member Walden, and Ranking Member Latta:

As the wireless internet service providers (WISPs), vendors, and manufacturers that make up the rapidly growing fixed wireless industry, we write to urge you to make critical C-band spectrum available for shared use so our industry can deliver gigabit speed internet to unserved and underserved Americans.  Doing so would allow WISPs to play an immediate and powerful role in reducing the rural-urban digital divide, while also providing spectrum for the deployment of next generation mobile services, such as 5G.

The digital divide is a persistent challenge which marginalizes Americans by thwarting participation in our digital economy.  Recent FCC statistics show that, though the divide is closing (albeit stubbornly), nearly 20 million rural Americans do not have access to FCC-benchmarked broadband services.

WISPs use a mix of licensed, lightly-licensed and unlicensed spectrum to deliver high-speed, fixed wireless broadband services to six million, largely rural customers in areas left behind by the largest telecom corporations.  Spectrum enables WISPs to deliver access to far-flung, sparsely populated communities at about 1/7th the cost of doing that with fiber.  Moreover, this can often be done almost overnight.

One such swath of sought-after mid-band spectrum is the C-band.  It represents a 500 MHz, greenfield opportunity for the wireless ecosystem to gain access to spectrum which can carry tremendous amounts of data over varying terrain.  Current FCC rules, however, provide “full band, full arc” protection from interference for the satellite industry and its earth stations operating in the band, resulting in a gross underutilization of that resource.

A leading proposal that we favor calls on the FCC to clear 200 MHz of that spectrum for auction to mobile carriers, with the proceeds going to the U.S. Treasury.  The remaining 300 MHz would then require coordinated sharing between satellite earth stations and fixed wireless providers.

As you know, Congress has also engaged on this matter, with prominent proposals instructing the FCC to auction off hundreds-of-megahertz of spectrum ostensibly for 5G use.  Though we support the rapid development of next generation, 5G mobile broadband services, we harbor concerns about how that would be done.  Because there are no clear directives to employ specific sharing requirements, this could be interpreted as constricting the FCC to an “auction-only” approach of allocating the C-band for commercial use.  We believe such an approach would greatly limit meaningful access to that valuable spectrum for our companies, consequently exacerbating the digital divide.

An “auction-and-sharing” approach akin to what the FCC is considering would allow mobile wireless carriers to get the spectrum they need to build new 5G networks, while simultaneously enabling access to a portion of that spectrum for small, rural fixed wireless providers.  The result – Instead of waiting for broadband to reach the hinterlands via the four national carriers, virtually overnight communities that didn’t have broadband access would see gigabit service for their farms, businesses and public institutions from their local, small fixed wireless providers already in the marketplace.

Accordingly, we urge you to include sharing in any spectrum related policy because we believe that, when combined with auctioning of that spectrum, it can more quickly and effectively close the digital divide.

Respectfully,

Irby Utilities

AK

SPITwSPOTS, Inc.

AK

3PLAi

AL

BLOUNTBROADBAND, LLC

AL

Conexus Communications, Inc.

AL

Twin State Wireless, LLC

AL

Aristotle Unified Communications

AR

Perfect Vision

AR

Windstream Services, LLC

AR

Wireless Etc.

AR

AIRFIBER WISP, LLC

AZ

Beka Business Media

AZ

Bolt Internet, Inc.

AZ

Desert inet, LLC

AZ

Simply Bits

AZ

TREPIC Networks, LLC

AZ

Webhiway Communications, LLC

AZ

Advanced Wireless

CA

Cal.net, Inc.

CA

Calpine Communications, LLC dba CalpineWireless

CA

Complete Computers

CA

Conifer Communications, Inc.

CA

Cruzio Internet

CA

Exwire, Inc.

CA

Fire2Wire

CA

FractalVision Technology Services, Inc.

CA

OACYS Technology

CA

OceanWiFi

CA

Ranch Wifi, LLC

CA

Razzo Link, Inc.

CA

Red Shift Internet Services

CA

Sail Internet

CA

SmarterBroadband, Inc.

CA

Tekify Fiber & Wireless

CA

unWired Broadband, Inc.

CA

Volt Broadband

CA

WiLogic, Inc.

CA

Wilson Creek Communications

CA

Zeta Broadband, Inc.

CA

Aerux Broadband

CO

Grand County Internet Services, Inc.

CO

Rise Broadband

CO

Slopeside Internet, LLC

CO

Verso Networks

CO

Zirkel Wireless

CO

DC Access, LLC

DC

Fire4 Systems, Inc.

FL

Hana Wireless

FL

Rapid Systems

FL

SJP Network Solutions, LLC

FL

SKYNET360, LLC

FL

Snappy Internet & Telecom

FL

Brightlan, LLC

GA

Highspeed Country Internet, LLC

GA

Hub Electronics, Inc. d/b/a Kloud Konnect

GA

Olancho Net S de R L

Honduras

BigGig Iowa, LLC

IA

BTWI Wireless Internet, LLC

IA

Howard's HighSpeed, Inc.

IA

Scott Technologies & Telecom, Inc.

IA

The Community Agency

IA

Intermax Networks

ID

Safelink Internet, LLC

ID

Blast Communications, Inc.

IL

Bspeedy Wireless, Inc.

IL

Internet of Things America, LLC

IL

New Wave Net

IL

Rising Wireless, Inc.

IL

Sonic Spectrum, Inc.

IL

theWISP.net

IL

Wisper ISP, Inc.

IL

Fourway.Net

IN

Fullnet, Inc.

IN

Joink, LLC

IN

New Lisbon Broadband & Communication

IN

On-Ramp Indiana, Inc.

IN

Portative Technologies

IN

Precision Data Solutions, LLC

IN

Skyewaves, LLC

IN

Surf Air Wireless, LLC

IN

Coffeyville Connection

KS

Skylink Wireless Internet, LLC

KS

XACT COMMUNICATIONS

KY

3P

LA

Computer Sales & Services

LA

FulAir, LLC.

LA

REACH4 Communications

LA

XStream Communications

LA

Fairspectrum, LLC

MA

NETBLAZR, Inc.

MA

RTO Wireless, LLC

MA

TCC Networks Inc.

MA

Freedom Broadband

MD

Rapid Broadband, Inc.

MD

Telegia Communications, Inc.

MD

Aroostook Technologies, Inc.

ME

TK Networks, LLC

ME

186networks

MI

A+ Communications

MI

Aspen Wireless Technologies, Inc.

MI

CMS Internet, LLC

MI

DMCI Broadband, LLC

MI

GogebicRange.net, LLC

MI

Michwave Technologies, Inc.

MI

Racc Enterprises, LLC

MI

Stratos Networks

MI

Summit Digital

MI

Advantenon, Inc.

MN

Broadband Corp

MN

Minnesota WiFi

MN

Alsat Wireless

MO

Click Computers, Inc.

MO

Isotech Inc / KCCoyote, Inc.

MO

MCM Systems

MO

WON Communications

MO

Newbreak Communications

MS

Gallatin Wireless Internet dba WISPWest.net

MT

MontanaSky Networks, Inc.

MT

Open Broadband, LLC

NC

RidgeComms

NC

Affordable Internet Solutions

NE

Big Red Communications

NE

Future Wireless Technologies of Nebraska

NE

Sandhills Wireless, LLC

NE

Scott Bornemeier, LLC

NE

Skywave Wireless, Inc.

NE

Superior iNET

NE

Vistabeam

NE

SIngle Digits

NH

Alliance Communications Cables, Inc.

NJ

Fast Wave Networks

NJ

Lobo Internet Services, Ltd.

NM

Mimbres Communications

NM

NMSURF

NM

Atheral, LLC

NV

LTD Broadband, LLC

NV

Roller Network, LLC

NV

Stimulus Technologies

NV

Hudson Valley Wireless

NY

Nysys Wireless, LLC

NY

Rooftop Data, LLC

NY

Avolve

OH

Byhalia.net, LLC

OH

Clifton Communications, LLC

OH

Elevated Networks, LLC

OH

Jenco Wireless, LLC

OH

MetaLINK Technologies, Inc.

OH

Northwest Ohio Broadband, LLC

OH

Precision Tecknology

OH

southern ohio communication services, Inc.

OH

Watch Communications

OH

@Link Services, LLC

OK

AirLink Internet Services

OK

Arbuckle Communications

OK

Leonard Conn

OK

Midwest Technology, Inc.

OK

Pinged Networks, Inc.

OK

BLiNQ Networks

ON

Eastern Oregon Net, Inc.

OR

FireServe, LLC

OR

McMinnville Access Company

OR

MiWave

OR

Mosier WiNet, LLC

OR

The Greater Eastern Oregon Network, LLC

OR

BackWoods Wireless

PA

Double Dog Communications

PA

FAYETTE HOLDINGS LIMITED

PA

ICON Technologies, Inc.

PA

In the Stix Broadband

PA

PennWisp, LLC

PA

Xtreme Enterprises, LLC

PA

Aeronet Wireless Broadband, LLC

PR

COSOTNET Wireless Broadband

PR

VPNet, Inc.

PR

BizVox Communications

SC

Celerity Broadband, LLC

SD

Celerity Networks, LLC

SD

Crossroads Wifi

TN

4ip Technology and Media, LLC dba Nexstream

TX

Adair Winter

TX

Amarillo Wireless / AW Broadband

TX

Baicells Technologies

TX

Brazos WiFi

TX

CAJTEX Communications, LLC

TX

CellTex Networks, LLC

TX

Cirra Networks

TX

EBTX Wireless, LLC

TX

Farm to Market Broadband, LP

TX

Hill Country Broadband, Inc.

TX

Holy Wireless

TX

Hyper Fusion, LLC

TX

Internet Management Services, Inc.

TX

Metroplex Communications, Inc.

TX

Nexgenwisp, LLC

TX

Nextlink Internet, LLC

TX

Plains Internet

TX

Rural Texas Broadband, Inc.

TX

SignalNet Broadband

TX

simplefiber communications

TX

Skynet Country, LLC

TX

SmartBurst, LLC

TX

SOS Communications

TX

Stephen M. Lash

TX

Texoma Communications, LLC

TX

TISD.net

TX

VRFuturenet

TX

Wireless internet corporation

TX

AWI Networks

UT

Blue Spring Broadband

UT

InfoWest, Inc.

UT

River Canyon Wireless

UT

SourceOne Internet

UT

AcelaNet, LLC

VA

All Points Broadband

VA

Eastern Shore Communications

VA

Wolfe Ventures, Inc.

VA

Broadband VI

USVI

360 Communications, LLC

WA

Advanced Internet

WA

CresComm WiFi, LLC.

WA

Desert Winds Wireless

WA

Methownet.com

WA

NCI Datacom

WA

Ptera, Inc.

WA

Rodeo Networks

WA

Wired or Wireless, Inc.

WA

Bayfield Wireless

WI

Country Wireless

WI

e-vergent.com, LLC

WI

Ethoplex, LLC

WI

Excel.Net, Inc.

WI

NGL Connection

WY

 

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