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NCTA, OTI Ask FCC to Dismiss 6 GHz Petitions

(Image credit: FCC)

WASHINGTON—The opening of the 6 GHz band for unlicensed use continues to be debated, with NCTA—The Internet & Television Association and New America’s Open Technology Institute filing separate comments to the FCC asking that petitions for reconsideration from CTIA, Verizon and Fixed Wireless Communications Coalition be dismissed or denied.

The FCC approved in April that the 6 GHz band, which is currently used by broadcasters and utility companies, would be opened to unlicensed device operation, including low-power indoor devices, in an effort to further develop 5G.

CTIA, Verizon and FWCC have all filed petitions that make the case the order does not properly protect incumbent users; CTIA specifically cites the approval of low-powered indoor and outdoor use without automated frequency coordination. Similarly, but not directly related to these petitions, the NAB and the Utilities Technology Council have each sued the FCC over the order.

NCTA and OTI make the argument that the Wi-Fi advantages that the 6 GHz band would provide are necessary.

“The need for unlicensed spectrum for Wi-Fi and other unlicensed services has reached an inflection point,” NCTA wrote. “Additional unlicensed spectrum is essential to support new and innovative services, like Wi-Fi 6, that can benefit rural communities and communities of color, and to meet the voracious demand for internet connectivity that is more important now than ever.”

NCTA believes that the process that the FCC undertook to determine the amount of interference that would take place for incumbent users took care of all concerns.

According to NCTA and OTI, none of the petitions bring forth new evidence or arguments that would justify reconsideration of the FCC’s order, and therefore the commission does not have to consider them. The two groups say that the FCC should dismiss or deny on merits these petitions.

Tech companies, including Facebook, Apple and Google are also urging the FCC not to reconsider its order, as reported on by TVT's sister publication Multichannel News.

The full NCTA and OTI comments are available through FCC’s ECFS.