FCC needs to open airwaves so rural, tribal Americans have broadband access


Author: Jamie Fink
Coverage Type: op-ed
Location:
Mimosa Networks, 469 El Camino Real , Santa Clara, CA, 95050, United States

[Commentary] A new Broadband Access Coalition of internet service providers has joined forces with consumer, schools and health care advocacy groups to petition the Federal Communications Commission to open up the airwaves for spectrum best suited to a new, superfast broadband service for the whole of America.

This new approach does not rely solely on fiber, which is costly and difficult to deploy, but instead harnesses wireless broadband. This technology can be deployed at up to one tenth the cost of laying new fiber cabling to homes, with far fewer disruptions and project delays. It can also bring new superfast Wi-Fi services to areas that have no or little choice over their broadband provider. 94 percent of our internet traffic traverses Wi-Fi and home or business broadband connections – not more expensive cellular airwaves. The coalition’s petition proposes to open up new wireless spectrum for improving broadband services cost-effectively. This spectrum can provide great coverage in underserved rural areas, and can stimulate new competitive Internet Service Providers to enter the market and connect dense suburban areas. Unfortunately, the mobile industry is lobbying to secure this new spectrum band for its own exclusive use. The new wireless approach means consumers no longer have to be tethered to any physical infrastructure. Unlike challenging other traditional utilities, action doesn’t require consumers to overhaul their homes – all they have to do is make their voices heard.

[Fink is the CPO and Co-Founder of Mimosa Networks]

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