FCC Should Make Entire 6 GHz Band Available, Say Conservative Groups

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WASHINGTON—It’s time that the FCC open up the floodgates of the 6 GHz band for unlicensed use, says a group of conservative leaders in a letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. With the “underutilized” 6 GHz band available, the groups believe it would lead to technological innovation and wider, more efficient use.

The 6 GHz band is primarily used by broadcast ENG users and utility companies, who have raised potential interference issues that could occur to license users if such action were taken. However, the group’s letter says, “there are too many benefits to opening up this valuable spectrum to take these extreme warnings at face value.”

“Unlicensed spectrum brings immense benefits to Americans primarily through disparate swaths of radio spectrum in the 900 MHz, 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands, among others,” the letter reads. “It is a powerhouse for the U.S. economy, providing an estimated economic value of at least $500 billion a year and growing.

“We believe similar benefits will follow by permitting unlicensed use to share 1200 MHz in the 6 GHz band with incumbents.”

Chairman Pai has proposed allowing sharing of the band between incumbent and unlicensed users. Broadcasters, according to reports, have even conceded that some spectrum can be opened, but that unlicensed users should not be given to the ENG band.

“Although some incumbent users of the 6 GHz spectrum paint a bleak and fearsome picture of sharing this spectrum, technology already successfully in use can enable coexistence in the band,” the groups argue.

Organizations that signed on to the letter include the Center for Individual Freedom; Consumer Action for a Strong Economy; Discovery Institute; Innovation Defense Foundation; Innovation Economy Institute; Institute for Liberty; Institute for Policy Innovation; Less Government; Market Institute; and Taxpayers Protection Alliance.