Pai calls on FCC to ensure band plan is technically sound

FCC commissioner Ajit Pai called on his colleagues at the agency to accept the “overwhelming support” for a “Down from 51” band plan in comments released July 2.

With the end of the comment cycle on the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau’s Public Notice on various 600MHz band plans closed, Pai said it is clear from feedback from wireless carriers, broadcasters, equipment manufacturers, cable operators, wireless Internet service providers and health care service providers that the Down from 51 strategy is the favored approach.

“Indeed, there was no support at all in the record for the ‘Down from 51 Reversed’ plan contained in the Public Notice,” said Pai.

“Now is the time for my colleagues and I to accept this consensus and turn to the details of a ‘Down from 51’ band plan,” he said. Pai added the commission must now figure out how much spectrum able Channel 37 should be paired as well as “confront the issue of market variability directly.”

Whatever the agency does regarding its band plan must work from a technical perspective, he said.

“We can't afford to repeat the mistakes of the past, such as the interference problems plaguing the Lower 700MHz A Block and the LightSquared debacle,” said Pai.

What that means for the agency is that it band plan “must prevent interference among wireless carriers, broadcasters and wireless medical telemetry service operators.”