National Spectrum Management Association Calls on FCC to Protect Critical Wireless Networks

We need real-world testing before a billion unlicensed outdoor systems flood the market

WASHINGTON, August 31, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Today, in a filing with the Federal Communications Commission, the National Spectrum Management Association (NSMA) has expressed serious concerns about an impending regulatory change that could wreak havoc on police and fire departments, ambulance services, pipelines, electric and water utilities and roads of iron – with potentially disastrous consequences for public safety.

The FCC opened the 6 gigahertz (GHz) band to unlicensed use by one billion unlicensed portable devices – including smartphones, laptops and Wi-Fi routers – without performing transparent, real-world testing and peer-reviewed to determine the impact on public safety.

“This swarm of devices could disrupt communications for first responders, utility workers, pipeline safety engineers, and more,” said Joseph Sandri, Chairman of the NSMA. “We need to test the system with transparent, peer-reviewed, real-world trials.”

The full NSMA file is available here.

Currently, the 6 GHz band includes over 100,000 microwave radio links that form the critical communications infrastructure for first responders and other mission critical systems. To operate securely, these links require very high quality signal availability – with less than 158 seconds of interruption per year. The dramatic increase in traffic in this band increases the likelihood of service outages that could have disastrous consequences for the economy and public safety.

Already, during a dispute over the use of the band earlier this year, airlines have nearly grounded their fleets due to concerns about 5G network traffic interfering with altitude monitoring devices that planes use to land safely. The NSMA fears that the unlicensed use of 6 GHz networks could have an even more serious and widespread impact.

“We urge the FCC to proceed with extreme caution,” Sandri said. “Without further testing, the deployment of these devices can put dangerous pressure on critical networks across the country.”

National Spectrum Management Association (NSMA)

The NSMA is an association of individuals in the spectrum management profession, including service providers, manufacturers, frequency coordinators, engineers and regulators. Established in 1984 at the request of the FCC, the NSMA provides a forum to develop industry guidelines, shape practices and resolve disputes.

For more information, visit www.NSMA.orgor contact Joseph Sandri at [email protected].

Daniel Falkovic
[email protected]

SOURCE National Spectrum Management Association

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