WASHINGTON D.C. —  Today, a group of 17 tech companies and trade associations called on the FCC to maintain a consistent approach in its rules regulating the use of the 3.5 GHz band of spectrum. In 2015, the Federal Communications Commission adopted rules that created the Citizens’ Broadband Radio Service (CBRS), a framework allowing for the commercial use of the 3.5 GHz band in order to expand and improve broadband access without interfering with government use of the spectrum.

The adopted rules kick-started investments from Ruckus Wireless and other companies who seek to share the spectrum in an efficient way. In addition to helping wireless carriers, the technology could allow businesses, hospitals, shopping malls, and other entities to deploy their own wireless networks for local use.

The letter states:

We write today to encourage the FCC to remain committed to the rules it adopted in 2015 and affirmed in 2016, and to avoid making changes that could undermine existing investments, market expectations, and the ability of operators and investors to rely on FCC rules. While we do not oppose modest adjustments to certain rules, major changes that would upset the three-tier structure or risk delays in commercial roll-out would run counter to the FCC’s broadband deployment goals.

This kind of common-sense, market-driven policy is critical for keeping pace with the growing demand for spectrum,” said TechFreedom Executive Director Austin Carson. “The CBRS system has been a low-risk approach to facilitate investment and innovation by the tech industry on spectrum held but unused by government without interfering with the incumbent users of those bands.”

Businesses need to make investment decisions on five to ten-year cycles — not from election to election,” continued Carson. “Making significant changes to these rules would jeopardize existing investments in 3.5 GHz technologies, and the resulting regulatory uncertainty could chill future investment. As the Internet of Things brings more and more devices online, the demand for spectrum to support these services will continue to increase. While no policy is ever perfect, we need to think carefully before tampering with measures that have proven effective in expanding the services available for consumers. We don’t oppose modest changes to license terms, but major changes that would upset the three-tier structure or delay rollout of new services would undermine the FCC’s broadband deployment goals.”


We can be reached for comment at media@techfreedom.org.

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