Big Tech Takes Big Swing at 6 GHz Recon Petitions

Three of Big Tech’s biggest, Facebook, Apple and Google, have joined with Microsoft, Cisco and others to add their voices to the computer and cable chorus asking the FCC not to reconsider its decision to open the entire 6 GHz band to low-power unlicensed–broadband access–devices. 

NCTA Tells FCC to Reject Recon Petitions

That came in a filing at the FCC opposing the petitions for reconsideration filed by Verizon, CTIA, the Fixed Wireless Communications Coalition and The Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials-International, Inc. (APCO). (APCO withdrew that petition this week without explanation. An APCO attorney had not returned a request for comment at press time.). 

Cable broadband operators have also asked the FCC to reject the petitions and proceed with freeing up all that spectrum for unlicensed Wi-Fi, which is those operators’ primary mobile broadband and home networking play. 

The computer companies arge that the petitions fail to justify reconsideration of the 6 GHz order and should be dismissed for procedural defects, which in this case means repeating arguments the FCC has already considered and rejected rather than on the merits, though they argue the petitions fail on that score as well. 

“Even where petitioners’ arguments are not barred by these well-established Commission rules, all fail to undermine the compelling analysis in the Commission’s 6 GHz order,” they said.  

The FCC voted unanimously April 23 to allow the entire 1200 MHz of the 6 GHz band to be shared with unlicensed Wi-Fi, the FCC’s latest move in freeing up more spectrum for connecting 5G in-home devices–video streaming, video calls–and connecting IoT devices to the internet.

Broadcasters, who use the spectrum for electronic newsgathering, and utility companies, who use it for the electric grid, have gone straight to court to try and reverse the FCC decision to allow unlicensed Wi-Fi in the entire band.


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