FCC Should Remove Uncertainty in Unlicensed in TV Bands, New America Says

Photo: Flickr Creative Commons
Media Outlet: Communications Daily

The FCC should preserve at least three TV channels in every market consistent with the vacant channel NPRM, said Michael Calabrese, director of the Wireless Future Program at New America, in a meeting with Rachel Bender, aide to Chairman Ajit Pai. “An early Commission decision is needed to relieve the longstanding uncertainty about whether a minimum of at least three channels of unlicensed spectrum in the ongoing TV band will continue to be available for public use and private investment after the incentive auction,” Calabrese said, according to a Tuesday filing in docket 12-354.

“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.” Calabrese also made the case for rechannelizing the 5.9 GHz band to separate Wi-Fi from auto safety spectrum: Segmenting the band -- with exclusive public safety use at the top and shared commercial access on a co-equal basis below -- is the only win-win outcome."