The Competitive Carriers Association this week continued its fight against proposals encouraging the FCC to ease its rules for satellite operations in local multi-point distribution service (LMDS) spectrum, arguing mobile carriers could be left “hamstrung” without those protections.
Back in June, Boeing asked the FCC to approve a plan to launch a low Earth orbit NGSO fixed satellite service (FSS) system that would use spectrum in the 37.5-42, 47.2-50.2, and 50.4-51.4 GHz range. The company said approval would enable “satellite broadband service by very high data-rate broadband satellite systems.” And last month, fellow satellite companies EchoStar, Hughes Network Systems, SES Americom, and others joined the fray, offering up a “fair and reasonable alternative framework for earth station siting in the 28 GHz and 37/39 GHz bands.”
But as it did with Boeing’s request, CCA pushed back against the latest proposal put forth by satellite players. Changing the LMDS framework adopted in last year’s Spectrum Frontiers Report and Order, the group said, could leave mobile operators “hamstrung by satellite operations” when they move to introduce mobile services on those frequencies.
“Satellite operators tout prospective benefits to rural America, but competitive carriers are already using this spectrum to bridge the digital divide throughout their rural and regional service footprints. Competitive carriers also are investing in engineering solutions to optimize LMDS spectrum use,” CCA wrote in its filing. “Satellite operators should not be permitted to claim at this stage greater latitude to interfere with mobile operations, especially not based on a tenuous theory that satellite mobile services will address service gaps in rural America.”
CCA CEO Steven Berry noted that while satellite services could be helpful in closing the digital divide, they are not the cure-all satellite players make them out to be. Rural and competitive carriers have been working on LDMS for years, he said, and changing the rules now would curtail their progress and harm rural Americans.
“Competitive carriers purchased LMDS spectrum long ago, well aware that years could pass before the spectrum matured into a viable mobile services conduit. The Commission would be remiss to undermine competitive carriers’ careful planning and investment just as true mobile LMDS use cases are developing, which competitive carriers can eventually apply to serve rural communities,” CCA concluded.
Filed Under: Industry regulations