In December 2012, the FCC proposed new rules governing how wireless broadband providers can share the airwaves with government users, adopting an innovative model first proposed earlier this year by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) in its landmark report, Realizing the Full Potential of Government-Held Spectrum to Spur Economic Growth.

Reps Soto, Flores Introduce LAUNCHES Act to Streamline Space Launch Communications

Reps Darren Soto (D-FL) and Bill Flores (R-TX) introduced the Leveraging American Understanding of Next-generation Challenges Exploring Space (LAUNCHES) Act, a bill that will eliminate unnecessary barriers that hamper the ability of private companies to obtain spectrum licenses required to launch rockets from US soil into space. The legislation:

Technical Feasibility of Sharing Federal Spectrum with Future Commercial Operations in the 3450-3550 MHz Band

As part of an assessment conducted with the Department of Defense, NTIA significant progress in finding potential spectrum sharing options for the 3450-3550 MHz band. Federal operations in the 3450-3550 MHz band include shipborne, airborne, and land-based systems — primarily radars. Our report points to a clear possibility for real time spectrum sharing that would protect these critical missions, while providing attractive opportunities for commercial business.

5G’s rollout is confusing, uneven, and rife with problems

2020 looks like it will be your year to get 5G—but only in the sense of having that signal on your phone, not in the sense of knowing quite what it’s supposed to be or using it to its full potential. A new report from the network analysis firm Opensignal advises that while this revamp of mobile broadband is poised to reach far more of the US, it will do so in ways that may leave both carriers and their customers feeling some wireless whiplash.

Chairman Pai's Response to Reps Dingell, Upton Regarding 5.9 GHz

On Aug 2, 2019, Reps Debbie Dingell (D-MI) and Fred Upton (R-MI) sent a letter to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai about a recent Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the 5.9 GHz band, urging the FCC to take a technology neutral approach to allow for testing of the Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything (C-V2X) communications platform. 

Utilities, Responders Renew Critique of FCC’s Wi-Fi Sharing Plan

Power companies, first responders and railroads are intensifying criticism of the Federal Communications Commission’s plan to allow Wi-Fi traffic on the 6 GHz band of airwaves they currently use.

TechNet Wades Into 5G Fight Over Defense Bill

Trade group TechNet, which counts AT&T and Verizon among members, is sounding the alarm over language in the Senate defense bill, S. 1790, ordering the Defense Department to create a test-bed program for “innovative technologies and techniques to facilitate” spectrum sharing between 5G service providers and incumbent airwaves occupants. Wireless heavyweights view this language as a Pentagon power grab over 5G and are lobbying to strip it from the bill before the House and Senate settle on a consensus version.

WISPA, Microsoft, Google Push for C-band Co-channel Sharing, Saying It Could Support Gigabit Fixed Wireless

Microsoft, Google and the Wireless Internet Service Providers Association (WISPA) are urging the Federal Communications Commission to allow co-channel spectrum sharing in the C-band. The proposal would allow fixed wireless operators to use the same spectrum band as incumbent users, who are comprised largely of satellite operators that use the spectrum for their earth stations. The FCC is currently pondering how it might best make a portion of the C-band, comprised of spectrum between 3700 and 4200 MHz, available for wireless services.

The NDAA Airwaves Play

As the Senate geared up to pass its defense policy bill, the office of Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) unsuccessfully pushed to add language that would require that a provision mandating Pentagon-led test beds to examine sharing 5G airwaves come with a requirement that the government “solicit and consider the input of commercial wireless service providers, equipment manufacturers, and firms developing and operating spectrum sharing technologies” as part of planning. 

FCC Commissioner O'Rielly Remarks Before Wi-Fi Alliance Annual Member Meeting

Given its past success and future potential, what challenges do Wi-Fi and its advocates face?

FCC Proposes Opening Airwaves for Mobile Services in 1675-80 MHz Band

The Federal Communications Commission proposed to reallocate spectrum in the 1675-1680 MHz band for shared use between incumbent federal users and new, non-federal flexible-use wireless operations. The 1675-1680 MHz band currently is used for weather forecasting services. But for several years spanning two Administrations, the President’s budget proposals have called for this band to be auctioned for flexible use, subject to sharing arrangements with federal weather satellites. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking adopted takes the FCC’s first step toward accomplishing that task.