May 4, 2020
Contact: Jon Conradi
Groups Including American Telemedicine Association, National Grange, Student Veterans of America Back Plan to Clear Regulatory Barriers to TV White Space
Washington, D.C. – Connect Americans Now (CAN) filed comments Monday with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), co-signed by 35 organizations, in support of updated TV white space (TVWS) rules to unleash the full potential of the technology to help bridge the digital divide. The FCC unanimously adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on TV white space on February 28 to address five issues that will expand the pace, scale and cost-effectiveness of hybrid-network broadband deployments in rural areas.
“We write to commend the Commission for its ongoing commitment to expanding broadband connectivity in unserved and underserved rural communities and to thank the Commission for continuing to deliver on this commitment by adopting the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on TV white spaces (TVWS) put forward by Chairman Pai,” the groups wrote. “An all-of-the-above approach that clears regulatory barriers to innovation and maximizes spectrum resources will help more farmers realize the promise of precision agriculture tools, help more seniors and patients take advantage of telemedicine solutions, reduce the impact of the homework gap that leaves too many rural students behind and increase economic opportunity in thousands of communities.”
“Updated TVWS rules will enhance the pace, scale and cost-effectiveness of hybrid network broadband deployments in rural areas in several important ways,” the letter continues. “Specifically, new rules will permit higher transmit power and higher antennas for fixed white space devices in rural areas, permit higher power mobile operations within geofenced areas and allow for the development of new Internet of Things-based services. Revised rules will also permit higher power operations in the first adjacent channel to broadcasters and stipulate mechanisms to prevent interference with existing broadcasters while maximizing the use of TVWS technology for broadband deployments.”
“This rulemaking will unleash the full potential of TV white space technology as a critical tool to help bridge the digital divide,” the letter says. “We applaud Chairman Pai for his leadership on this rulemaking and respectfully encourage the Commission to move promptly to implement new rules in 2020 in order to swiftly clear regulatory barriers to TVWS and maximize available spectrum resources to eliminate the rural broadband gap.”
Read the full comment letter HERE.
Full list of co-signers on the CAN comment letter:
American Telemedicine Association
Bridge Grange #730
Chehalem Valley Chamber of Commerce
City of Athena, Oregon
Consortium for School Networking (CoSN)
Colorado Nursery and Greenhouse Association
Eastern Oregon Telecom
Economic Development Association of North Dakota
Greater Eastern Oregon Development Corporation
National Veteran Small Business Coalition
Nevada Farm Bureau Federation
North Wasco County People’s Utility District
Northwoods Association of Realtors
Oregon Association of Nurseries
Oregon Cattlemen’s Association
Oregon Dairy Farmers Association
Oregon Economic Development Association
Oregon Hop Growers Association
Oregon State Grange
Oregon Water Resources Congress
Perdue University Center for Regional Development
South Dakota Farm Bureau Federation
Student Veterans of America
Technology Association of Oregon
Telehealth Alliance of Oregon
Washington Farm Bureau Federation
Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC)
Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association
Wisconsin Rural Schools Alliance
Wisconsin Technology Council
Connect Americans Now is a coalition of more than 270 members, including leading innovators, broadband and spectrum advocates, champions for rural communities, voices in agriculture, telehealth organizations, education and veterans’ groups and more, committed to completely eliminating the digital divide in rural America.
The coalition has been a leading advocate for an NPRM to clear outstanding regulatory hurdles to TV white space technology.
Read CAN’s statement commending the FCC for unanimously adopting the TVWS NPRM on February 28 HERE.
Read CAN’s statement applauding Chairman Pai for introducing the NPRM on TVWS on February 5 HERE.
Read more on the broad-based support for the NPRM after it was introduced HERE.
Read CAN’s comment filing on a petition for the NPRM filed with the FCC in June 2019 HERE.
Read CAN’s letter encouraging FCC action on a TVWS NPRM in December 2019 HERE.