Yesterday, the FCC began a process for authorizing automated frequency coordination (AFC) in the 6 GHz band. The agency’s first step involve issuing a public notice.
“Last year, after an exhaustive legal and technical analysis, the Commission unanimously took the unprecedented step of making 1200 megahertz in the 6 GHz band available for unlicensed use,” said FCC Commissioner Geoffrey Starks. “Our decision has already sparked a wave of low-power products utilizing the band indoors, offering increased Wi-Fi speeds that benefit consumers and businesses that rely on unlicensed spectrum for their homes and operations. These developments are particularly important for our economic growth and to address the digital divide that continues for so many Americans.”
Referring to the 6 GHz AFC process, Starks said it would be another step toward unleashing the potential of the 6 GHz band, beginning the process of authorizing automated frequency control system operators to offer services to parties seeking to operate in certain portions of the 6 GHz band outdoors at standard power levels.
“Through such AFC systems, standard power unlicensed devices will be able to coexist in the 6 GHz band with incumbent fixed microwave links and radio astronomy observatories,” Starks said. “I look forward to reviewing the applications and continuing our progress in making unlicensed spectrum available on a non-interference basis.”
Louis Peraertz, vice president of policy for the Wireless Internet Service Providers Association (WISPA), said that the public notice represents the next step in the process of authorizing AFC system operators for standard power communications in the band.
“As FCC Commissioner Geoffrey Starks’ statement points out, the Commission’s April 2020 6 GHz Order made important decisions that will spur our nation’s economic growth and bridge digital divides.,” he said. “Eight hundred and fifty megahertz of unlicensed spectrum is an unprecedented amount for standard power outdoor communications. It will be put to tremendous use, in particular helping WISPA members provide more capacity for their customers, as well as enabling them to connect more Americans in rural and exurban areas to broadband services.”