May 11, 2017–Industry and academic representatives concerned about the impact of a Ligado Networks LLC proposal on the hydrometeorological, transportation, and emergency management communities say the FCC should not move forward with a notice of proposed rulemaking until research has been completed. An ex part filing in IB dockets 12-340 and 11-109 reporting on a meeting with representatives of the Office of Engineering and Technology and Wireless Telecommunications Bureau echoed concerns that have been raised in the proceeding regarding a petition for rulemaking filed by Ligado asking the FCC to allocate and auction the 1675-1680 megahertz band for shared commercial use with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
“Sharing the 1675-1680 MHz radio spectrum poses significant risks to the nation’s forecast, communication, and warning capabilities for extreme events. The potential degradation in this capability would create risks to public health and safety, private sector initiatives, and scientific advancement,” the filing said. “The participants in the briefing stated clearly that 1675-1680 MHz should not be shared in the short term and such sharing should not be considered further until additional research is completed, including the user research to be conducted by NOAA, requested under the Spectrum Pipeline Act of 2015, over the next two years. This means that any consideration of moving forward with a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) should be halted until this research is complete and briefed to all relevant stakeholders.”
The filing added that “the briefing participants noted dismay with the ongoing activities and communication of Ligado throughout this process. While the community has welcomed them and sought their feedback and dialogue, Ligado has yet to reflect the community’s technical evidence and forecasting concerns in their communications. Instead, Ligado has dismissed the needs for real-time information of industry and academic partners in the community, marketing a CDN [content delivery network] that has been repeatedly noted to be insufficient to continue to advance environmental forecasting for the nation. If Ligado is unable to communicate in a transparent and cooperative way now, the community is very concerned that moving forward with an NPRM will further degrade the quality of Ligado’s engagement.”
In response to the ex parte filing, a Ligado spokesperson said today, “The questions raised by these groups are the very questions that should be discussed and resolved during a public Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) process regarding the potential auction of the 1675-1680 spectrum band, which a broad group of industry stakeholders have asked the FCC to pursue. An NPRM would seek further public comment and allow everyone ample opportunity to express remaining concerns and present solutions.”- Paul Kirby, firstname.lastname@example.org