RTG and RTG Member, Lemko Corporation (Lemko), met with FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn’s wireless legal advisor, to discuss ways to incent spectrum licensees to make their underutilized spectrum available to entities needing spectrum in rural areas to provide mobile broadband services. Lemko discussed the problems it has had in helping rural carriers — who would like to build out wireless systems using the Lemko solution — gain access to spectrum to build rural mobile broadband networks. RTG and Lemko suggested that the FCC consider both the demand and supply side when retooling the spectrum dashboard and also consider forming an “Office of Rural Advocacy” that would assist with issues surrounding access to spectrum in rural America among other issues impacting the provision of broadband services in rural America.
RTG raised the issue of its members obtaining access to PCS spectrum being warehoused in rural areas by carriers who have met their population-based build out requirements and who have no intention of using the spectrum in the more sparsely populated rural geographic areas. These PCS licensees are not incentivized to lease their spectrum because there is no penalty for not using it.
RTG discussed the concept of charging licensees a “user fee” for spectrum that is not in service as a method to get licensees to lease fallow spectrum in the secondary market.
RTG also reiterated its position on using certain portions of the TV White Spaces for licensed point to point microwave backhaul.
A copy of the ex parte may be found here.