Washington, D.C. – The Rural Wireless Association, Inc. (RWA) applauds a recent letter sent to Federal Communications Commissioners regarding the 3.5 GHz Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) proceeding.
The letter, sent by Senators Daines, Barrasso, and Sullivan, urged Commissioners to license 3.5 GHz Priority Access Licenses (PALs) using a combination of county-equivalent areas in rural areas and Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) in urban areas. The Senators urged the Commission to “reject the expansion of geographic licensing areas such as large scale Partial Economic Areas (PEAs),” stating instead that “a hybrid model of MSAs and county-equivalents could allow for the best penetration and expansion into our rural areas.”
In its December 2017 Comments, RWA stated that “in no case should the Commission adopt partial economic areas” in the 3.5 GHz band and instead recommended the adoption of a “hybrid approach” in which 3.5 GHz PALs in urban areas are auctioned on a MSA basis and in rural areas on a census tract or county basis using the boundaries of Rural Service Areas (“RSAs”).
Rural Wireless Association President and Montana-based Sagebrush Cellular CEO Mike Kilgore thanked Senators Daines, Barrasso, and Sullivan for their work on these issues. “The use of PEAs or other large license sizes in the CBRS context would stifle broadband deployment in rural states like Montana. RWA appreciates the work done by Senators Daines, Barrasso, and Sullivan to ensure that the CBRS license size scheme affords small and rural providers the ability to participate in 3.5 GHz PAL auctions and bring cutting edge broadband technologies to rural areas without delay.”