Thursday, October 25, 2018

Utilities to FCC: Keep Unlicensed Mitts Off 6 GHz

The Utilities Technology Council is not happy at all with Tuesday’s FCC vote for a rulemaking to open up the 6 GHz band, saying unlicensed use could interfere with critical utility operations.
Unlicensed devices use the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands for products like baby monitors and cordless phones, and Commissioners say those bands are congested and they want to open up the 5.925-7.125 GHz band. Portions of the 6 GHz band are heavily used by licensed incumbents such as utilities, point-to-point microwave links, the Broadcast Auxiliary Service and Cable Television Relay Service. The FCC proposes to allow unlicensed devices to operate using an automated frequency coordination system to avoid causing harmful RF interference from unlicensed devices to licensed users, Inside Towers reported.   

Electric, gas and water utilities rely on the 6 GHz band for their communications that support day-to-day, routine reliability, emergency response and storm restoration, and smart meters, according to UTC. The band provides utilities “and other critical infrastructure industries with the high-speed, long distance wireless communications” required for these essential services, says UTC President/CEO Joy Ditto.   Continue Reading

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