Starlink and Wireless Internet Service Providers Battle for 12GHz Spectrum

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A big piece of what the Federal Communications Commission does is to weigh competing claims to use spectrum. One of the latest fights, which is the continuation of a fight going on since 2018, is for the use of the 12 GHz spectrum. The big wrestling match is between Starlink’s desire to use the spectrum to communicate with its low-orbit satellites and cellular carriers and wireless internet service providers (WISPs) who want to use the spectrum for rural broadband. Starlink uses this spectrum to connect its ground-based terminals to satellites. Wireless carriers argue that the spectrum should also be shared to enhance rural broadband networks. In the current fight, Starlink wants exclusive use of the spectrum, while wireless carriers say that both sides can share the spectrum without much interference. These are always the hardest fights for the FCC to figure out because most of the facts presented by both sides are largely theoretical. The only true way to find out about interference is in real-world situations – something that is hard to simulate any other way.  It seems every spectrum fight has two totally different stories defending why each side should be the one to win use of the spectrum.

The 12 GHz Battle