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) is considering expanding access to the 6 GHz band to non-critical commercial entities. Doing so could 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: 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 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:
(15 February 2019) Spectrum and Utility Communications Networks: How Interference Threatens Reliability, a whitepaper authored by Red Rose Tele.Com, prepared for the Utilities Technology Council
(Oct. 24, 2018) Utility Dive: Utilities Worry FCC Plan to Open Wireless Spectrum Could Compromise Communications
(May 10, 2018) Fierce Wireless: Utilities to FCC: Don’t Mess with Our Spectrum
(April 18, 2018) Platts: Trade group eyes FERC, FCC collaboration to better address utility communications needs
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.