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EEI Statement on the Federal Communications Commission’s Draft 6GHz Rule

WASHINGTON (April 3, 2020) – Edison Electric Institute (EEI) President Tom Kuhn today issued the following statement on the U.S. Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC’s) draft rule for the 6 GHz band of the wireless spectrum.

“EEI and our member companies appreciate the FCC’s efforts to work with all stakeholders to research the feasibility of using the wireless spectrum more effectively and more efficiently.

“A broad cross-section of critical infrastructure industries and public safety providers depends on the 6 GHz band for essential and mission-critical communications. Ensuring continued and unimpeded access for incumbent users is paramount, and we believe all unlicensed devices, including indoor devices, must be part of an Automated Frequency Control (AFC) regime that would help to prevent interference with existing critical communications.

“EEI welcomes the requirement for AFC for outdoor devices and we agree that there needs to be further study of very low power devices before they enter the band. However, the FCC’s draft rule does not include an AFC regime for indoor devices, and our technical analysis found that, without these guardrails, harmful interference from indoor unlicensed devices poses a very real risk to disrupting the operation and reliability of mission-critical communications, including those that help electric companies monitor and operate the energy grid.

“We intend to file comments with the FCC outlining elements of the rule that we support and provisions with which we have concerns, and we remain committed to working with Chairman Pai and the rest of the commission to ensure critical infrastructure industries are protected from harmful interference from unlicensed devices."

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EEI Media Relations
Brian Reil