AT&T Statement on FCC Order to Allow Unlicensed Devices in 6 GHz Band

AT&T Blog Team
April 23, 2020
AT&T Policy Statements, Broadband Access and Affordability, Innovation and Technology

AT&T Statement on FCC Order to Allow Unlicensed Devices in 6 GHz Band

The following may be attributed to Joan Marsh, AT&T Executive Vice President of Regulatory & State External Affairs:

“Today, the FCC voted to open up the 6 GHz spectrum band for unlicensed use for Wi-Fi devices. While we support use of this band for Wi-Fi expansion, any new use must protect incumbent services, which in this case includes tens of thousands of microwave links critical to maintaining network infrastructure.  This order does not do that.

“By failing to require that new Wi-Fi devices using this band include smart technology that avoids interference, the FCC’s order will allow the introduction of devices that can impair, or even knock out, links in the networks that monitor our electric grid, enable first responders to communicate and provide mobile broadband services to millions of Americans, particularly in rural areas.

“Even more troubling is the fact that the FCC has no plan to mitigate the interference when it inevitably occurs. Once millions of these new unlicensed devices are released and in use, it will be impracticable, if not impossible, for the FCC to identify and remove specific devices causing interference. Ultimately, it will be public safety, our nation’s critical infrastructure and consumers that will pay the price.”