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Today, the Federal Communications Commission voted to open up substantial amounts of spectrum for unlicensed use, including Wi-Fi and next-generation wireless technologies such as 5G. Public Knowledge commends the FCC for working to make sure that our future wireless networks reflect the values of universal access, competition, consumer protection and public safety.
The following can be attributed to John Gasparini, Policy Fellow at Public Knowledge:
“The Commission’s actions today are a substantial step forward in laying the groundwork for the next generation of wireless technologies. It is encouraging to see the Commission recognize that the same values which apply to our next-generation wireline networks -- universal access, competition, consumer protection, and public safety -- are equally relevant to the next generation of wireless platforms. We applaud the FCC for including a spectrum aggregation limit to promote competition, a requirement for a cybersecurity plan to protect the public, and performance obligations designed to bring the benefits of 5G to all Americans.
“Critically, the FCC has allocated substantial spectrum to facilitate the growth of the unlicensed ecosystem as it continues to develop into an essential means of providing connectivity. It is disappointing, however, that the Commission failed to act more boldly on issues like spectrum sharing, license area sizes, and spectrum aggregation limits, all of which are critical parts of 21st century spectrum policy.
“Fortunately, the FCC has made it clear that this is only the first major step in an ongoing process. We look forward to working with the FCC to continue to refine and enhance the rules governing next-generation networks, to ensure that they reflect our fundamental values, promote innovation and investment, and secure America’s continued global leadership in wireless.”