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April 23, 2020
Dennis Wharton
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NAB Statement on FCC Order on Unlicensed Use of 6GHz Band

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In response to the FCC's approval of an order that would reallocate spectrum in the 6 GHz band – which local radio and TV broadcasters use for electronic newsgathering – for unlicensed wireless usage, the following statement can be attributed to NAB Executive Vice President of Communications Dennis Wharton:

“NAB is disappointed the FCC is allowing uncoordinated unlicensed use across the entire 6 GHz band. Unlike in other recent proceedings, the Commission did not bring stakeholders together to seek compromise. Moreover, the order represents an inexplicable departure from existing precedent. Rather than require unlicensed proponents to prove they will not cause harmful interference, the Commission shockingly forgoes any independent analysis that interference won’t be too bad or happen too often. This ‘fingers crossed’ approach is bad policy and not what is required under law.

"The record does not remotely justify why the full 1200 MHz in the band is needed for unlicensed use in the near or long term. The COVID-19 crisis has prompted Americans to flock to credible, lifeline local television and broadcast network news in record numbers. If today’s FCC decision is wrong, it will irreparably undermine broadcast newsgathering just as it is needed most."

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