The Center for Freedom and Prosperity today submitted comments to the FCC urging the agency to move ahead with a reform agenda designed to unleash the power of market innovation to solve one of the nation’s most pressing digital problems–namely, the digital divide that has left much of rural America without access to reliable, affordable, high-speed internet.
CF&P calls on the FCC to, at long last, finalize proposed rules regarding the usage of TV white spaces that would allow for the private sector to meet the internet access needs of underserved rural areas. TV white space has proven capable of bringing internet access to poorer parts of the world, and can do the same in America if the government allows it to.
The letter explains:
…The unused radio frequencies between TV channels provide tremendous promise because they can carry large amounts of data for long distances. Making use of TV white space also doesn’t require costly new infrastructure investments.
Unfortunately, government licensing requirements stand in the way of expanding the use of white space to bring high-speed internet access to rural America. The FCC has already begun the process of reevaluating the rules and regulations governing use of TV white spaces by partial deregulation in 2010 and 2015, expanding unlicensed use.
When the commission meets in July, it should finish this process by preserving three 6MHz white space channels in every market for use by the private sector to supply broadband to undeserved regions, thus finally unleashing the power of commercial innovation to tackle America’s digital divide. To do this, the FCC should finalize its pending proposal to preserve one already vacant TV channel in the TV band in each market and finalize the other white space rulemakings…
The full letter is available here.