FCC's 6 GHz Order Will Bring Immense Benefits to AmericansThe following statement may be attributed to Claude Aiken, President and CEO of WISPA:
Washington, DC, April 23, 2020 – The unlicensed wireless economy drives hundreds-of-billions of dollars of economic growth and consumer welfare each year. Three-quarters or more of all Internet traffic moves over unlicensed devices and networks, keeping us connected, informed and, especially for the day’s recent events, safe. To say that it is important is a gross understatement.
But unlicensed spectrum is stressed to the max. No major allocation of that spectrum has occurred for two decades. This at a time when IoT, AI, smart home and other unlicensed-dependent technologies flood the marketplace; the deployment of 5G rapidly takes shape; and the Black Swan of the world’s new pandemic-induced, stay-at-home connectivity paradigm has put crushing demands on our networks and unlicensed ecosystem.
Today’s action by the FCC to unleash 1,200 MHz of unlicensed 6 GHz spectrum – including up to 850 MHz of automated frequency coordinated spectrum for standard power outdoor use – should help break the spectrum logjam that threatens our livelihoods. It should provide more fuel and space for innovators to meet growing demand and foster the next generation of innovative connectivity and services for wireless consumers.
WISPA looks forward to learning more about the details in the Order. We hope that for small rural innovators such as WISPs, the power levels in the Order mean they’ll have more bandwidth to grow their businesses, develop new transmission techniques such as fixed 5G, and, perhaps most importantly, bridge the rural digital divide, providing millions of rural Americans new options and tools to obtain the same prosperity and safety their urban counterparts expect and enjoy.
The FCC did the right thing. It carefully weighed the evidence and properly determined that the underutilized band can be safely shared. It realized that the 6 GHz band demanded better use, and that the benefits of this new “real estate,” which sits right next to the unlicensed workhorse 5 GHz band, will be immense for the American people.
We congratulate the Commission on its fine work here, and look forward to understanding its details which will usher in a new age of broadband connectivity for all Americans.
WISPA’s approximately 850 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 6 million residential and business customers, often in exclusively rural areas.