FIXED WIRELESS ISPs SAY FCC HAS “FAILED TO MEET EXPECTATIONS” ON CBRS RULES AND MUST ACT QUICKLY TO RESTORE HOPE TO RURAL COMMUNITIES
Washington, DC – In an upcoming report to Congress, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) “must acknowledge the harmful effects” of some of its current proceedings on small broadband providers and rural communities, the Wireless Internet Service Providers Association (WISPA) said in a new filing this week at the commission.
In 2015 and again 2018, Congress called on the FCC to make more federal wireless spectrum available to commercial providers.
But with respect to one of its best opportunities to do so, in the Citizens Broadband Radio Service spectrum band (CBRS, 3550-3700 MHz), WISPA says the FCC’s actions “have failed to meet the expectations of WISPA’s members and rural Americans that continue to lack access to fixed broadband service.”
Specifically, WISPA is “displeased” that the CBRS rules adopted in 2015 could be “severely undermined” by changes under consideration today that could strand investments made in reliance on those rules; foreclose small companies and innovators from being able to participate in a band that was designated for their use; and derail planned deployments of broadband service to millions of Americans who lack service and choices.
The FCC would produce better results for all Americans by preserving a mix of “right-sized” licenses in the CBRS band and making them available on terms that work for smaller and more rural broadband providers, WISPA says.
“It’s time for everyone in Congress who cares about internet access in rural and under-served areas to wake up and let the FCC know we are closely watching the CBRS decisions that are coming to a head in the next month or two,” said WISPA President Claude Aiken.
“And it’s time for the commission to eliminate the business risks and uncertainties they have created by this proceeding and acknowledge the overwhelming consensus of every group representing rural America that we have to preserve a mix of license sizes in the CBRS band. Any further moves by the FCC to block the participation of smaller and more rural entities in the CBRS band will be a lasting blow to millions of Americans who lack internet choices today.”
For more information on this issue, please visit http://www.wispa.org/Advocacy/CBRS_SPECTRUM.
WISPA is a membership-driven trade association that promotes the development, advancement and unity of the fixed wireless Internet service provider industry. WISPA has over 800 members that support WISPA’s advocacy, education and other collaborative industry initiatives. For more information, visit www.wispa.org.
Dale Curtis and Breyana Franklin for WISPA
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