WISPA Commends Bicameral 3.45-3.55 GHz Spectrum Bill

Today, House Energy and Commerce Committee Republican Leader Greg Walden (R-OR), House Communications and Technology Subcommittee Republican Leader Bob Latta (R-OH), House Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Republican Leader Brett Guthrie (R-KY), Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee Chair Roger Wicker (R-MS), and Senate Communications, Technology, Innovation, and Internet Subcommittee Chair John Thune (R-SD) unveiled the “Beat CHINA for 5G Act of 2020” – bicameral legislation designed to repurpose for flexible use underutilized spectrum in the 3.45 – 3.55 GHz band.
The following statement may be attributed to Christina Mason, VP of Government Affairs for WISPA:
Washington, DC, October 7, 2020 – We commend Congressmen Walden, Latta and Guthrie, and Senators Wicker and Thune, for introduction of the “Beat CHINA for 5G Act of 2020” (BC5GA).  Goldilocks mid-band spectrum is in high-demand, and the BC5GA’s call to unleash the 3.45 – 3.55 GHz band for flexible use is greatly encouraging for broadband consumers and the wireless industry.
The bill instructs the FCC to auction that underutilized spectrum.  To fully unleash the potential of this band, we would urge that the FCC allow meaningful access by small innovators to any such auction system.  The just completed CBRS auction provides a tremendous model for that endeavor which is, in pertinent part, based on smaller county-sized licenses.  Widely considered a success, the CBRS auction brought in $4.5 billion to the U.S. Treasury by attracting numerous new small bidders to the table, especially those outside of the major metro areas where, ostensibly, interest is highest for bidders.  We also encourage the FCC to permit opportunistic use and allow some spectrum for a “licensed by rule” approach as it did in the CBRS band.
WISPA’s 1000 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.
Mike Wendy