Trade groups urge Dept of Energy to fight FCC plan seen as threat to utilities' networks

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A coalition of major trade groups has turned attention to the Department of Energy in order to challenge a Federal Communications Commission proposal they say would threaten grid reliability and heighten outage risks. The groups claim that by opening up a wireless communications band heavily used by utilities to unlicensed use, the DoE needs to step in to help ensure that grid operations are protected. The FCC launched a proceeding in Oct to consider allowing unlicensed operations on the 6 GHz spectrum band. The American Public Power Association, American Water Works Association, Edison Electric Institute, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, Nuclear Energy Institute and Utilities Technology Council told the DoE in a July 16 letter that the proposed FCC rule "would likely cause significant reliability concerns" for the electric, natural gas and water sectors. UTC President and CEO Joy Ditto added, "The FCC has a choice to make -- it can choose to protect these critical infrastructure industries that rely on this band for essential functions, or it can choose to add an unnecessary and unacceptable risk to these communications."

Trade groups urge DOE to fight FCC plan seen as threat to utilities' networks