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News :: Education : Media : Organizing : Politics : Social Welfare : Technology
IMC Super Rural Access Problem
13 Aug 2005
Need your help to enable wireless service for super isolated rural users.
The FCC is considering reopening docket #04-151 which would likely result in corporate take-over of the remaining public wireless frequencies needed to bring wireless services to isolated rural users. Comments are still being accepted.

Those of us super isolated in rural America are dependent upon access to the independent media centers through the facilities of extended wireless services as proposed via FCC docket 04-151. The FCC is to be commended for their work and support in bringing this proposal to it’s present state and should be encouraged to resist reopening docket 04-151 which would likely result in a takeover by big corporate providers.
This plan will provide access to those of us in rural America who have no access at present. If this new frequency spectrum, 3650-3700 Mhz is turned over to the corporate interests, they are bound to make their choices based on profits while we remain in need of access to independent media.
Retaining a portion of wireless service for public use is an important cause needing immediate support as the FCC is considering reopening docket 04-151. If it is reopened, there is a significant chance that this new frequency spectrum, proposed to be put under the control of the public, will now be auctioned to the highest bidder as has been the rest of this public resource.
Please e-mail the FCC today via the link below providing easy e-mail instructions to include your comments. Please be sure to file as “late comment” and include in your comment: “Do not reopen docket number 04-151 which would open the door to corporate takeover of previously FCC agreed to rural wireless plan for this available spectrum.”
http://gullfoss2.fcc.gov/prod/ecfs/upload_v2.cgi

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Re: IMC Super Rural Access Problem
13 Aug 2005
More info:
Date: Fri, 5 Aug 2005 09:42:45 -0400 (EDT)
From: Stephen Ronan <sronan (at) panix.com>


As you may know, back in March, the FCC made an an innovative and
helpful decision to open up a new band of spectrum for community
wireless folks and others to use: the 3650 to 3700 MHz band. The
plan was for there to be an unlimited number of licensees
throughout the country, with an easy online application process,
no eligibility restrictions to speak of, and with all licensees
having a mutual obligation to cooperate and avoid harmful
interference to each other. That band is currently used for Fixed
Satellite Stations and they would continue to use it in and near
their facilities which are mostly on the East and West Coasts,
and exclusion zones around those facilities would prevent much of
any usage nearby. For that reason, some coastal cities, such as
New York, Philadelphia and the Bay Area would not benefit much if
at all from the new rules, but the great majority of the
geographic area of the country including rural areas would
benefit and many major metropolitan areas such as Albuquerque,
Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Columbus, Detroit,
Houston, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Milwaukee, New Orleans, Oklahoma
CIty, Phoenix, San Antonio, and Tucson.

A map on page 66 of the FCC's Order clarifies the areas that are
outside of the FSS exclusion areas.

http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-05-56A1.pdf

The power limits and other aspects of that FCC decision would
make it much easier for free and low-cost networks to be deployed
that could reach greater distances, with radio signals carrying
broadband Internet access through walls and ceilings and other
obstacles more effectively than low-power WiFi devices. More
detail here:

http://makeashorterlink.com/?N13563D8B

Unfortunately, after the decision was issued, there was a time
period for those opposing the decision to file a Request for
Reconsideration and nine parties have done so including some,
such as Intel and Motorola, who are asking for there to be severe
restrictions on who can use the spectrum. Rather than opening it
up for anyone to use, Motorola is requesting that the 50 MHz of
spectrum be divided into two 25 MHz blocks with each auctioned
off to the highest bidder. Intel and a couple of others signed
another petition calling for all that spectrum also to be divided
among two exclusive licensees in most major metropolitan areas
such as the ones listed in the first paragraph above. And the
Wireless Communications Association called for half the 50 MHz of
spectrum to be made available to just one exclusive licensee in
each rural and urban area that isn't already excluded by the
presence of Fixed Satellite Stations.

The filing of the Petitions for Reconsideration and their
availability for review was published in the Federal Register
last week, setting off a fifteen day period for opposition to the
Petitions for Reconsideration to be filed. Those comments are due
by August 11 (there still may be an opportunity to file comments
"ex parte" after that but it's better for them to arrive before
the deadline if possible).

I hope those of you in the U.S. will consider filing at least a
brief comment thanking the FCC for their original decision to
open up the spectrum for nonprofit community groups and all
others to share while committing to not interfere with each
other's networks, and in your comment opposing the attempt to
instead have much or all of the spectrum auctioned off to the
highest bidder.

You can review previous comments that have been filed, including
the Petitions for Reconsideration at the FCC web site by entering
04-151 in the search bar in the top left corner at www.fcc.gov.

See how easy it is to file a comment...
just enter 04-151 in the proceeding number here:

<http://gullfoss2.fcc.gov/prod/ecfs/upload_v2.cgi>;

complete the brief form, selecting Reply to Petition for
Reconsideration in the drop down box at the bottom, and then
either upload your comment or type it into the text entry box...

Just a couple of paragraphs identifying your and/or your
organization's interest in equitable access to technology,
thanking the FCC for opening up the spectrum for uses that can
bridge the digital divide, and then opposing the idea that the
rights to the spectrum would instead be auctioned to the highest
bidder would be a huge help.

            - Steve Ronan