Utilities Warn FCC About Impact of 6 GHz Wi-Fi Effort

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The American Public Power Association, American Water Works Association, Edison Electric Institute, National Rural Electric Cooperatives Association, and the Utilities Technology Council -- which together represent almost all of the nation's utilities, water, and wastewater facilities -- wrote to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai, warning him about the FCC moving too quickly to open up 6 GHz midband spectrum currently used by those utilities. The utilities say they need the spectrum for their mission-critical communications and that the FCC's proposal to open it up for unlicensed Wi-Fi use is an untested and unproven approach that the FCC is pursuing. The utilities' communications networks are "used for critical situational awareness, underpin safety functions, and enable crews to safely repair and restore services after storms," as well as "the greater deployment of distributed energy resources such as solar or battery storage, smart meters, and other technologies to enable grid modernization." "While our collective members fully understand and appreciate the need to make more efficient use of spectrum," they wrote, "We strongly encourage the Commission to weigh the advantages of expanding access to the 6 GHz band with the potential negative impact this could have on critical infrastructure networks."

Utilities Warn FCC About Impact of 6 GHz Wi-Fi Effort Read the Letter