SOURCE: Wireless Internet Service Providers Association

Wireless Internet Service Providers Association

December 13, 2011 16:11 ET

WISPA Letter Cites Benefits of Unlicensed Spectrum and Regulatory Flexibility

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - Dec 13, 2011) - In a letter to the Senate leadership yesterday, the Wireless Internet Service Providers Association (WISPA) emphasized the need for Congress to preserve unlicensed spectrum for fixed wireless broadband use. WISPA also explained that the Federal Communications Commission should have sufficient flexibility to implement the re-packing of the TV bands and to make other spectrum available without competitive bidding.

"Our concern all along is that some in Congress do not appreciate the benefits that unlicensed spectrum has brought to many rural areas of country where consumers lack choice. In order for wireless ISPs (WISPs) to continue to provide fixed broadband service to unserved areas or offer faster speeds and advanced services, WISPs need to have access to more spectrum," said Richard Harnish, Executive Director of WISPA. "Certain provisions of the pending legislation would, if enacted, greatly inhibit the ability of WISPs to deploy broadband services."

WISPA asked the Senate leadership to include language that preserves unlicensed spectrum in the TV bands on a nationwide basis and in every market. WISPA also urged that competitive bidding not be mandated for the 3550-3650 MHz band.

Forbes Mercy, WISPA VP/Legislative Chair, explained, "Spectrum is the lifeblood of the WISP. Good spectrum policy requires a balance between licensed and unlicensed spectrum, and the bipartisan spectrum bill that the Senate Commerce Committee passed in June better recognizes the unique challenges and benefits of unlicensed spectrum, without compromising the amount of receipts the Treasury will obtain by auctioning licensed spectrum."

A copy of WISPA's letter is attached. For more information about WISPA, please visit www.wispa.org.

About WISPA: Founded in 2004, WISPA is a trade association of more than 600 WISPs, vendors and others dedicated to promoting, improving and expanding fixed wireless broadband service nationwide. WISPs serve more than three million residential and business customers and operate in every state using primarily unlicensed spectrum.

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