WASHINGTON — Cable last week was trying to light a fire under the government’s effort to let MSOs and others use more of the 5-Gigahertz band to expand unlicensed uses, such as the Wi-Fi hot spots that are the centerpiece of the industry’s mobile broadband play.
Currently fighting that effort is mobile satellite-services company Globalstar, which contends that sharing is not feasible. The two sides have waged a battle of study vs. technical paper, with the National Cable & Telecommunications Association firing the latest salvo last week in the form of a study from CableLabs and the University of Colorado. A followup to an earlier study, it contends that Wi-Fi hot spots and Globalstar can peacefully coexist.
In a letter to a Federal Communications Commission official last week, NCTA senior vice president of law and regulatory policy Rick Chessen urged action, citing a critical need and “dangerously congested” unlicensed resources.
Cable operators also want more unlicensed spectrum from the broadcast incentive auction and elsewhere in the 5-GHz band. Cable has recieved pushback from car manufacturers, who use the band for communications and, potentially, collision-avoidance systems.
How important is Wi-Fi bandwidth? At a Capitol Hill hearing last fall, a Comcast witness said the company’s more than 350,000 Wi-Fi access points represented tens of billions of dollars in economic value.
The smarter way to stay on top of the multichannel video marketplace. Sign up below.
Thank you for signing up to Multichannel News. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.