In an ex parte letter filed with the FCC last week, the Enterprise Wireless Alliance (EWA) opposed a recent request filed by Southern California Edison (SCE) that would provide critical infrastructure industry (CII) priority with access for one year to 900 MHz broadband licenses. The Alliance objected to the proposal on policy as well as procedural grounds. The EWA said in the filing that the SCE offered no justification for limiting eligibility to this spectrum, even if only for a one-year period.
“While EWA agrees that many utilities and other entities designated as CII have expressed interest in deploying private broadband networks,” said EWA President Mark Crosby, “non-CII entities have expressed similar interest. As stated in the letter, in EWA’s opinion, it is an accident of legislative drafting, and the engrafting of that statutory definition onto to the FCC’s rules, that tow truck operators are classified as CII while airlines, international delivery services, major manufacturing facilities, mass transit systems and other organizations that also provide critical services to the American public are not.”
Until the FCC modifies the current overly restrictive definition of CII, EWA cannot support FCC rules that offer priority access to valuable spectrum only to entities that qualify as CII. The 900 MHz band was made available in 1985 for all Business, Industrial and Transportation (B/ILT) entities, and the anticipated broadband opportunity should not be made available to any subset of B/ILT eligible licensees.
December 17, 2019