Spectrum Shifts Create Fresh Opportunities

In an ex-parte submission, the Utilities Telecom Council (UTC) is urging the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to permit utilities to partner with public safety to share 700 MHz of publicsafety broadband spectrum. Restrictions on fixed operations would be removed as well. The UTC ex-parte proposal was filed in response to an ex-parte filing by T-Mobile, which made several arguments about public safety's need for additional spectrum, its resources to fund a network build-out, and the feasibility of sharing spectrum with commercial carriers. According to the UTC, utilities are eligible to share this spectrum with public safety because they provide "public-safety services" as defined in Section 337 of the Communications Act.

In other news, Carlson Wireless Technologies has developed a TV "whitespace" radio called the RuralConnect IP to support access to the recent FCC-approved "Super Wi-Fi" VHF/UHF television bands (see photo). The software-defined radio (SDR) covers VHF 174 to 216 MHz (Channels 7 to 13) as well as UHF 470 to 698 MHz (Channels 14 to 51) with data rates of 1, 2.5, and 4 Mb/s. Carlson unveiled the radio at a California Wireless Internet Service Providers Association (WISPA) meeting in Sunnyvale, CA.

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