While some were cheering the FCC’s decision to allow unlicensed devices — for things like streaming, video calling, IoT — to use all 1200 MHz of the 6 GHz band, there were some discouraging words as well. “NAB is disappointed the FCC is allowing uncoordinated unlicensed use across the entire 6 GHz band,” said EVP of Communications Dennis Wharton. “Unlike in other recent proceedings, the commission did not bring stakeholders together to seek compromise.”
The NAB is clearly unhappy with the prospect that the FCC will open up the entire 6 GHz band for sharing with unlicensed wireless. Patrick McFadden, the group’s associate general counsel, left nothing but scorched earth beneath the Open Technology Institute, Facebook, tech companies in general, conservative groups and others in a blog post over the hot-button issue of opening up that spectrum, a proposal the FCC is voting on this week.
Broadcasters are asking the FCC to make sure it protects incumbent newsgathering operations in the 6 GHz midband spectrum it is eyeing for unlicensed use.
Broadcasters are telling the FCC its proposal to open up the 6 GHz spectrum for unlicensed wireless is not ready for prime time, and may never be. Broadcasters use the band for auxiliary (BAS) operations and NAB says the FCC’s proposed interference protections — limiting it to lower-power, indoor operations — miss the mark, particularly since some camera transmitters used to relay footage back to stations also operate indoors and at low power, so they would be in the interference line of fire even with those limitations on unlicensed devices.