EWA Opposes Utility’s Request for CII 900 MHz Broadband Priority Access
Monday, December 16, 2019 | Comments

The Enterprise Wireless Alliance (EWA) opposed a recent request filed by Southern California Edison (SCE) that would provide critical infrastructure industry (CII) priority access for one year to 900 MHz broadband licenses.

EWA opposed the proposal on policy as well as procedural grounds, said an ex parte letter filed with the FCC last week. The alliance said SCE offered no justification for limiting eligibility to this spectrum, even if only for a one-year period.

While EWA agreed that many utilities and other entities designated as CII have expressed interest in deploying private broadband networks, non-CII entities have expressed similar interest.

Until the FCC modifies the current overly restrictive definition of CII, EWA cannot support FCC rules that offer priority access to spectrum only to entities that qualify as CII. The 900 MHz band was made available in 1985 for all business, industrial and transportation (B/ILT) entities, and the anticipated broadband opportunity should not be made available to any subset of B/ILT eligible licensees, EWA said.

In comments filed in response to the FCC’s 900 MHz realignment proceeding, which proposes a 3-by-3-megahertz broadband segment to allow for Long Term Evolution (LTE) services in the band, SCE said eligibility for a 900 MHz broadband license should be expanded to include all 900 MHz incumbents, not just Anterix, the company that proposed the change. The Utilities Technology Council (UTC) agreed that incumbent CII licensees should be eligible for 900 MHz broadband licenses.

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