6 GHz Spectrum is Critical for Utility Infrastructure

Electric, water, and natural gas utilities, along with railroads and other critical infrastructure industries, use fixed wireless communications networks housed in the 6 GHz spectrum band. These networks run mission-critical systems essential to the reliable delivery of utility services.

In spite of significant concerns raised by utilities and other lifeline industries, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC, the Commission) in April 2020 expanded access to the 6 GHz band to non-critical commercial entities. Doing so may threaten the reliability of the crucial communications networks already licensed to operate in the band, including those owned and operated by critical-infrastructure utilities.

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UPDATE: Electric, Water Utilities File Further Evidence in Opposition to FCC’s Latest 6 GHz Proposal, Reply Comments filed in response to FCC Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, July 27, 2020

UTC, Electric Utility Groups Seek Court Review of FCC’s 6 GHz Rules, Petition for Review filed in U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, July 27, 2020

UTC Leads Energy Coalition in Opposition to FCC’s Proposal to Allow Unlicensed Devices to Operate at Higher Power in 6 GHz Band, Comments filed in response to FCC Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, June 29, 2020

UTC Supports Electric Utility Group’s Request that FCC Delay Implementation of 6 GHz Rules, Comments filed to the FCC, June 26, 2020

Sen. Lisa Murkowski Presses FCC to Delay 6 GHz Rulemaking Amid Pandemic, Letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, April 15, 2020

In Meetings with FCC Officials, UTC, Broad Coalition Calls for Greater Protections of Existing 6 GHz Users, Ex parte notices for meetings during the week of April 13:

UTC Joins  Public Safety, Rail, Comms Sector in Urging the FCC to Do More to Protect Existing 6 GHz Users, Ex parte notice, April 15, 2020

Electric, Water, Nuclear, Gas Utilities Submit More Evidence Demonstrating Potential Interference from Unlicensed Use in 6 GHz Band, Ex parte notice, April 15

UTC, Edison Electric Institute, Fellow Trades Refute Criticisms to Critical Infrastructure Industry 6 GHz Study, March 2020

Southern Company Files Study Analyzing Interference Issues Stemming from FCC’s 6 GHz Proposal–Ex Parte notice, February 2020

UTC, Electric Industry Associations Review Critical-Infrastructure Analysis into Interference Concerns Related to 6 GHz Proposal–Ex Parte notice, Jan. 24, 2020

Critical Infrastructure Industries File ‘Impact of Proposed Wi-Fi Operations on Microwave Links at 6 GHz’ Study–Report filed with the Federal Communications Commission, Jan. 13, 2020

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ‘Strongly Urges’ FCC to Test Mitigation Measures in 6 GHz Proceeding–Letter from FERC Commissioners to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, Dec. 18, 2019

Public Safety, Energy, Utility Groups Urges House Panel to Press FCC on 6 GHz Proposal–Statement for the Record, House Energy and Commerce Committee Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, Dec. 5, 2019

Major Coalition of Public Safety, Government, Rail, and Energy Groups Push Against FCC’s 6 GHz Rulemaking–Letter to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai, Nov. 8, 2019

12 Senators Push FCC to Protect Critical-Infrastructure Incumbents in 6 GHz Band–Letter to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai, Nov. 5, 2019

Senate Appropriations Committee Approves Report Language Urging the FCC to Protect Utility Incumbents in 6 GHz Band (see page 65), Passed out of Committee on Sept. 19, 2019

UTC Hosts Tour of Exelon Substation with Federal Communications Commission Officials to Demonstrate 6 GHz System, Ex parte, filed Sept. 13, 2019

Energy Department Urges FCC to Test Mitigation Measures in Controversial Spectrum Plan — Letter from Department of Energy Office of Electricity Assistant Secretary Bruce Walker, Sept. 3, 2019; Letter from Energy Department to Acting National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) Administrator Diane Rinaldo; Letter from Energy Department to NTIA Deputy Associate Administrator of the Office of Spectrum Management Peter Tenhula

Electric Utility Groups Urge FERC to Intervene in Spectrum Proceeding — Joint Comments to Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Aug. 22, 2019; UTC Files Supplemental Comments

Major Coalition of Energy, Water Utilities Urges Secretary of Energy Perry to Hold Session on FCC Proposal — Letter to Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, July 16, 2019

Electric, Water Utilities Seek Holistic View of U.S. Spectrum Policies — Statement for the Record, House Energy and Commerce Committee Subcommittee on Communications and Technology hearing on “Our Wireless Future,” July 16 2019

UTC CEO Seeks FERC Engagement with Federal Communications Commission on the 6 GHz Proceeding — Testimony before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, June 27, 2019

Sen. Murkowski Questions Whether FCC Leader Has Reached Out to FERC, Electric Industry Entities in 6 GHz Band Proceeding — Letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, June 14, 2019

Five Major Electricity, Water Trade Associations Leaders Urge FCC to Protect CII Networks in 6 GHz Band — Letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, May 15, 2019

13 Members of California’s Congressional Delegation Seek Protection of Utilities, CII in 6 GHz Band — Letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, April 30, 2019

Sen. John Kennedy (La.) Urges FCC to Protect Incumbents in 6 GHz Proceeding–Letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, April 1, 2019

Major Critical-Infrastructure Coalition Reiterates Opposition to FCC Plan in 6 GHz Proceeding–Reply Comments Submitted March 18, 2019

Major Critical-Infrastructure Coalition Pushes Back Against FCC 6 GHz Spectrum Band Proposal–Initial Comments Submitted Feb. 15, 2019

UTC Industry Intelligence



UTC publishes a weekly newsletter focused on key happenings inside the D.C. regulatory arena. Below are some of UTC Industry Intelligence articles dedicated to 6 GHz issues:

UTC public policy and spectrum experts have created the content below which included Issue Brief, FCC Comments and Reply Comments:

6 GHz has been the subject of many news articles from industry publications. Here are some of the most recent focused on this utility issue:

UTC Industry Intelligence

Published weekly, UTC’s Industry Intelligence newsletter focuses on key happenings inside the D.C. regulatory arena. UTC public policy group published this to all members and now it is available online for all to read.

Click here to read the UTC Industry Intelligence newsletter.

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