Monday, March 30, 2020

FCC Grants WISPs Access to 5.9 GHz to Give Rural Networks Crisis Support

The FCC granted dozens of rural, fixed wireless broadband providers access to the 5.9 GHz band Friday to support telework, remote learning and telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Special Temporary Authority (STA) will enable 33 companies to use the lower 45 megahertz of spectrum in the 5.9 GHz band for 60 days.

The wireless internet service providers (WISPs) serve 330 counties in 29 states. The states involved include: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, and West Virginia. 

The Wireless Internet Service Providers Association (WISPA), helped the companies apply for the STAs. WISPA told the FCC the companies rely primarily on unlicensed spectrum for last-mile connections to end users, including the 5 GHz UNII bands. “Many of the WISPs’ customers have no other alternative to terrestrial broadband services,” WISPA told the agency. Continue Reading

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