| FCC Angers WISPs With AT&T-Friendly 3.5 GHz Vote|
' Specifically, large mobile carriers wanted the FCC to expand the geographic size of licenses from census tracts to much larger areas, extend 3.5 GHz license terms from three years to 10, and add an undefined “renewal expectancy" to the rules. The carriers had argued the spectrum is essential to their plans for fifth generation (5G) mobile broadband deployment. However WISPA, a coalition representing the nation's smallest ISPs, was decidedly flummoxed by the FCC's decision to change the rules solely for the benefit of a few industry giants.
"While we applaud the efforts of Commissioner Clyburn to achieve a more balanced NRPM, we are very disappointed that, once again, the FCC has prioritized the ‘wants’ of the mobile industry over the ‘needs’ of rural Americans,” said Chuck Hogg, Chairman of WISPA’s Board of Directors. “Using census tracts for Priority Access License sizes allows all interested bidders to compete and lets the market determine the highest and best use of this unique public resource. Shifting to larger geographic areas such as Partial Economic Areas would create an artificial restriction that inherently benefits mobile carriers to the detriment of all other use cases.”
“This is America’s only spectrum band with rules designed to close the rural broadband gap, and our members have been making significant investments to do just that, in reliance on the current rules,” Hogg added.
Consumer groups like Public Knowledge were similarly unimpressed.'