Claude Aiken
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On CBRS, WISPA Continues to Keep Up the Pressure

By WISPA President Claude Aiken

Here’s an update on where we stand in our campaign to stop the FCC from taking away the pro-rural, pro-small parts of the Citizens Broadband Radio Service band rules (CBRS, 3550-3700 MHz).

Over the last several months, WISPA reps have been engaged in conversations with a variety of stakeholders in an effort to help forge an acceptable compromise. Those discussions have not been as productive as we had initially hoped.

On April 20, CTIA-The Wireless Association and the Competitive Carriers Association (CCA) unveiled a joint proposal to auction Priority Access Licenses (PAL) in the CBRS band based on Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) in the top 306 Cellular Market Areas (CMAs) and county-based areas in the remaining 428 CMAs. WISPA strongly objected to this proposal, issuing a statement that was widely reported in the media. We also debunked AT&T's and T-Mobile's “erroneous and misleading” technical analyses submitted in the CBRS proceeding.

WISPA supports keeping the current census-tract-sized PALs, which make the most sense for the intended purpose of spurring investments in rural areas and innovative local services. We believe the current rules are fair to all parties – from the biggest wireless carrier down to the smallest rural WISP. The changes being sought would help only the large mobile wireless carriers.

In the latest development, last week I attended a meeting at the FCC with Commissioner O’Rielly and key players in the debate. While I’m not at liberty to disclose the details, I can tell you the mobile wireless industry continues to oppose census-tract PALs, even in rural areas.

We need your help to win this battle! Grassroots action does work. If you want to get involved and help make our voice heard, visit this blog post for specific ideas, or get in contact with us.

For more information, visit WISPA’s CBRS Advocacy Page. While you’re there, sign up for our biweekly newsletter, The WISPA Report, which will keep you up-to-date going forward.

Just know that due to WISPA’s advocacy efforts, we are at the table, working for a result that will maintain WISPA members’ access to the CBRS band on fair, attractive terms.

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