Echoing Microsoft, House Coalition Asks FCC for Three TV White Space Channels to Target Rural Broadband


Coverage Type: reporting
Location:
Capitol Building, E Capitol St NE & 1st St NE, Washington, DC, 20001, United States

A bi-partisan coalition of 43 Congressional Reps is asking the Federal Communications Commission to reserve at least three TV white space channels in the 600 MHz band to support rural broadband deployments. “We believe that the television white spaces (TVWS) have strong potential to revolutionize broadband internet accessibility in rural areas,” wrote the coalition in a letter to the FCC. The coalition was led by Rep Kevin Cramer (R-ND) but also included some Democratic representatives, including Rep Anna Eshoo (D-CA).

The three channels referenced would include the duplex gap between 652-663 MHz, Channel 37 (608-614 MHz) and an additional vacant channel in the post-auction broadcast TV band (54-608 MHz), the letter stated. The channels would be reserved for unlicensed use. If the idea of reserving three channels below 700 MHz for rural broadband sounds familiar, it may be because that’s what Microsoft has asked for to support the company’s plan to spur the deployment of TV white spaces technology to unserved rural areas. The 600 MHz band initially was licensed to television broadcasters but a portion of that band will now be repurposed for wireless use. A recent auction gave broadcasters the option of voluntarily relinquishing spectrum and sharing the auction proceeds with the government.

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