WISPs press to use white spaces
Wireless Internet companies continue to advocate for using “white space” spectrum.
The Wireless Internet Service Providers Association (WISPA) said it met with representatives of the Federal Communications Commission’s Office of Engineering and Technology (OET) last week to discuss operating rules that would allow wireless ISPs (WISPs) to provide wireless broadband.
In the 700 MHz band, recently vacated by terrestrial broadcasters, there were buffer zones set between channels, which were called white spaces. The FCC has been planning to allow unlicensed use of white space spectrum to wireless broadband providers. The cable industry is not opposed, per se, but wants assurances that anyone operating in white space spectrum will not interfere with cable signals.
In addition to negotiating for access, WISPA said it is also asking for more power and flexible antenna placement rules to reach all rural areas where access to broadband has in the past been blocked by trees.
Iron Goat Networks is a small WISP that operates in an area of Washington State just northeast of Seattle. Ryan Spott of Iron Goat Networks was at the meeting with the FCC and said: “This has been a long six-year effort to gain access to these channels to bring broadband to those who have never had it before. With these rule changes, we will finally be able to say yes to them when they ask for our service.”