News - May 7, 2021

INCOMPAS, CCIA Urge FCC Act Quickly, Expanding Terrestrial Use of 12 GHz Spectrum Band to Boost Competition, Consumer Choice & 5G Leadership

WASHINGTON, D.C., MAY 7, 2021 – INCOMPAS and the Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA) today filed joint public comments urging the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to act quickly in modernizing its decades-old regulations, allowing for greater spectrum sharing in the 12 GHz band and thereby enhancing competition, consumer choice, and American 5G leadership. In their comments, the two industry leaders underscore that the spectrum-sharing landscape and available interference-mitigating technology has evolved dramatically since the rules were first enacted, making it possible and prudent to expand flexible use of the band while protecting existing satellite services.

“The Commission has before it a great opportunity to maximize our spectrum capacity and meet the full potential of the 12 GHz spectrum band. It can do so immediately, by bringing its regulations in line with today’s realities,” Chip Pickering, CEO of INCOMPAS said. “American consumers and businesses deserve the win-win benefits that we can achieve by harnessing the power of this band to elevate our global leadership in the race to 5G against China, to bring innovative solutions online, and to enhance consumer choice and connectivity.”

In order to reach these objectives, INCOMPAS and CCIA call for the FCC to establish a spectrum-sharing regime, which is not only possible but can be done while producing little interference. As written, the rules for Multi-Channel Video and Data Distribution Service (MVDDS) are overly restrictive and do not enable terrestrial use of the 12 GHz band for two-way communications and mobile services. 

“Modernizing these rules will unlock valuable mid-band spectrum to help bring 5G services and networks to American consumers more quickly. Over the past year, we have seen how connectivity is necessary for Americans to work and learn in the 21st century, and these updates will help provide consumers with the increased connectivity they need," said CCIA President Matt Schruers.

The next-generation of connectivity and telecommunications technology is largely reliant upon U.S. leadership in 5G – which can be brought to bear immediately by unlocking the 500 MHz of available spectrum capacity in the 12 GHz band. By taking swift action to update its rules, the FCC can fulfill its mission to thoughtfully examine each spectrum band, updating its rules as needed to empower spectrum for its greatest use for the American people.

“The 12 GHz band represents a prime opportunity for the Commission to open new spectrum for the next generation of telecommunications services and networks,” said Josh Broder, CEO of Tilson, a member of INCOMPAS and the 5G for 12 GHz Coalition.  “Making the modest reforms called for by those that want to harness the 12 GHz band for 5G will lead to more competition, robust deployment of broadband networks, and better choices for American consumers."

INCOMPAS and CCIA filed the joint comments publicly in the open FCC dockets: WT Docket No. 20-443, Expanding Flexible Use of the 12.2-12.7 GHz Band, and GN Docket No. 17-183, Expanding Flexible Use in Mid-Band Spectrum Between 3.7-4.2 GHz.