Organizations in Second Round of Comments Agree with Plan to Clear Regulatory Barriers to Innovation & Maximize Spectrum Resources to Help Bridge the Digital Divide
Support continues to pour in for the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) to swiftly adopt updated rules to clear regulatory barriers to TV white space (TVWS) technology to help bridge the digital divide.
The reply comment period for the FCC’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking NPRM) on TVWS closed Tuesday. In filing letters, a broad array of groups reiterated support for the plan, underscored the urgency for updated rules this year and encouraged the FCC to fully maximize spectrum resources, including allowing higher power operations on the first adjacent channel to broadcasters. Groups, including Connect Americans Now, noted these measures will help unleash the full potential of the technology to increase the pace, scale and cost-effectiveness of broadband deployments.
The reply comments follow a first comment period that closed on May 4 during which Connect Americans Now was joined by 35 organizations on a letter of support for the NPRM.
Here’s what companies and organizations said in the second round of comments on the FCC’s plan to update TVWS rules to help close the broadband gap:
“We applaud Chairman Pai and the Commission for their continued dedication to eliminating the digital divide 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 … In particular, we wish to restate and emphasize our support for revised rules to permit higher power TVWS operations in the first adjacent channel to broadcasters, alongside mechanisms to prevent interference. It is our understanding that field testing has found appropriate safeguards to prevent TVWS operations from causing any harmful interference into broadcast operations. This component will be critical to fully unleash the potential of TVWS as a tool to help quickly expand connectivity in rural areas. We applaud Chairman Pai and the Commission for their continued dedication to eliminating the digital divide 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.”
“By enabling TVWS devices and deploying the needed broadband infrastructure, the United States will be able to support the present and future internet of things (IoT) services through an innovative and efficient approach to last-mile connectivity that is demonstrated to avoid harmful interference to shared and adjacent spectrum users.”
“The Commission’s proposal combined with our proposed improvements will increase access to broadband over fixed WSD in rural areas, support rural industries, and create a new category of WSDs that will support IoT.”
“The Public Interest Spectrum Coalition urges the Commission to make these important changes to the rules governing TV White Spaces so that WISPs, school districts and other entities can extend broadband internet access to more locations in rural, tribal, low-income, and other hard-to-serve areas at a reasonable cost.”
“The Commission’s proposal to expand broadband and the Internet of Things by revising its TV White Spaces (“TVWS”) rules has generated strong support. The record confirms the Commission’s finding that these changes will facilitate continued growth of the TVWS ecosystem, improve service for rural and underserved communities, and support innovation. Microsoft therefore encourages the Commission to quickly adopt new rules based on the robust record developed in this proceeding.”
“It is critical to provide Americans across the country with broadband access, and we particularly commend the Commission’s recent steps to enable the use of television white spaces (TVWS) to bring broadband connectivity for underserved Americans. Robust wireless broadband connectivity is necessary to reinforce countless new consumer and enterprise services that we develop, which in turn empower increased societal opportunity and participation in an increasingly digital world.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the importance of internet access for all Americans. It is a critical lifeline that enables remote access to employment; medical care and information; government services; shopping; and education for students learning from home. Widely available internet will be just as important as we recover from this historic event. For these reasons, it is critical for the proposed rules to be finalized as quickly as possible, and no later than the end of 2020 … We support adopting all of the FCC’s proposals including increasing power and antenna height, and enabling IoT and connected vehicles. We want to especially underscore our support for authorizing TVWS operations on first-adjacent channels to broadcast operations, with appropriate safeguards to prevent interference. As we understand, substantial testing has demonstrated that adjacent channel use, with safeguards in place, will not disrupt broadcasts.”
See what U.S. Senators have said about the FCC’s plan HERE.
See what a broad-array of organizations have said about the FCC’s plan HERE.