6 GHz

The 6 GHz Report and Order (R&O) was published in the Federal Register on May 26 and the rules will become effective on July 27, 2020. APCO has filed a Petition for Stay (Stay) and a Petition for Reconsideration, arguing that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has failed in its obligation to protect public safety communications. The potential that the Stay request will be granted is a high hurdle as that would necessitate the Commission to conclude that APCO will prevail on the merits of its reconsideration request. This Commission does not often reverse course when it comes to making spectrum available for broadband purposes. Having devoted 97 pages to justifying its technical conclusion that unlicensed devices can share the band without creating more than minimal instances of interference, the FCC is not expected to change its mind particularly since all five Commissioners endorsed the decision. Whether these filings and others expected may prompt the FCC to create more robust criteria for tracking, reporting, and correcting interference to incumbent microwave systems is unknown.

Comments on the Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM) published with the R&O are due on June 25. The FNPRM seeks comment on a proposal to permit very low power devices to operate across the 6 GHz band to support high data-rate applications including high-performance, wearable, augmented-reality, and virtual-reality devices. (!) The notice also seeks comment on increasing the power at which low-power indoor access points may operate. The Land Mobile Communications Council (LMCC) membership is presently reviewing an advocacy request necessary to file comments that will include a recommendation for a  substantial multi-stakeholder process for addressing the responsibilities and rights of interferers and those receiving interference. EWA anticipates a lively comment period as Commissioner Pai encouraged Wi-Fi Alliance members to participate during a June 2 meeting of the Wi-Fi Alliance membership.

Category: EWA On Your Side