Wi-Fi Advocate Says FCC Shouldn't Rewrite Rules for 3.5 GHz Band

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Media Outlet: Communications Daily

The FCC would slow launch of the 3.5 GHz Citizens Broadband Radio Service if it rewrites the rules for the band now, said Michael Calabrese, director of the Wireless Future Program at New America, in a meeting with Erin McGrath, aide to commissioner Mike O’Rielly. O’Rielly said last week he was asked by Chairman Ajit Pai to take charge of a review and restructuring of the rules (see 1703160029). Since the days after the November election, FCC Republicans have been expected to push forward changes to the rules (see 1611180037). O’Rielly has said the rules for the priority access licensees (PAL), the licensed component of the service, didn’t offer wireless companies enough certainty to ensure a successful PAL auction.

Calabrese said in a filing Tuesday in docket 12-354 he counseled against reopening the rules on the geographic size, renewability or duration of the PALs: “Revisiting such basic aspects of the Order, which was adopted on a 5-0 vote nearly three years ago (with Recons on this same issue resolved nearly a year ago), would create uncertainty and tremendous delay on a historic policy innovation to promote spectrum sharing and access for a wide array of users and uses.”

Calabrese backed FCC action on the vacant channel NPRM: “I reiterated the strong support of the Public Interest Spectrum Coalition (PISC) for the Commission’s still-pending proposal to preserve at least one vacant television channel in every market nationwide for unlicensed use. Leading chipmakers and other tech industry stakeholders have steadfastly maintained that the post- auction band plan and repacking policies must ensure at least three channels of 6 megahertz of unlicensed access in every market nationwide, especially in the most populated metro markets, to enable many emerging unlicensed use cases."