On November 22, the Enterprise Wireless Alliance (EWA) filed comments with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) responding to an application and associated waiver request filed by Higher Ground LLC, that seeks a blanket earth station license to operate up to 50,000 mobile earth terminals at 6 GHz throughout the United States. As described in the request, grant of the waiver will permit consumer-based text messaging/light email and Internet of Things communications on C-Band satellite frequencies in the 3700-4200 MHz (downlink) and 5925-6425 MHz (uplink) bands. A waiver is required because the 6 GHz band is not available for mobile earth station operations and because Higher Ground seeks to be exempt from the rules governing the licensing of earth station facilities and the coordination procedures that apply to fixed microwave services.
While supporting more intensive use of finite spectrum resources through sharing, EWA stated in its comments that such efforts require “appropriate conditions and with clearly defined, effective rules that protect against interference. The Waiver Request does not present such a situation.” EWA noted that many of its members use microwave spectrum to link facilities in their networks, and the 6 GHz band on which Higher Ground proposes to operate without adherence to prior coordination procedures, is used intensively by many entities who had already been required to vacate lower bands to accommodate their microwave requirements. EWA urged the FCC to deny the Waiver Request and consider the Higher Ground proposal, if at all, in response to a Petition for Rulemaking where such far-reaching proposals are best considered.