Coalition Emphasizes Homeland Security Importance of 3.5 GHz Band

Members of the Industrial Internet of Things Coalition have asked the FCC to consider the impact on “national and homeland security” of the rules it adopts for priority access licenses (PALs) in the 3.5 gigahertz band Citizens Broadband Radio Service.

In an ex parte filing yesterday in GN docket 17-258, the entities emphasized the importance of the FCC’s licensing the spectrum in small enough geographic areas for them to be useful to industrial and critical-infrastructure entities.

“Thus, as the Commission considers different CBRS licensing approaches in this proceeding, the IIoT Coalition urges it to weigh the effects of its policy choices on U.S. national and homeland security,” the filing said. “If industrial and critical-infrastructure companies are able to compete in auctions for census-tract licenses and gain meaningful access to licensed CBRS spectrum, these companies can realize the full benefits of the IIoT revolution, including improved safety, security, and system resilience at America’s critical-infrastructure facilities. With a full understanding of the complexity of their own operations, industrial and critical-infrastructure entities will be able to employ essential IIoT security, device, and network control features to further safeguard their core-mission operations from foreign and domestic hacking efforts and cyber intrusions, to the great benefit of the American public.”

The coalition members said the FCC should reject calls to license PALs by partial economic areas (PEAs).

“If the Commission in fact moves to a CBRS licensing scheme featuring little to no census-tract PAL licensing at 3.5 GHz, it will be more costly and difficult (and in some cases impossible) for industrial and critical-infrastructure operators to self-provision effective and fully functional IIoT networks in the 3.5 GHz band,” they said.

The coalition members signing the filing were the Edison Electric Institute, the Enterprise Wireless Alliance, General Electric Company, the Port of Los Angeles, Union Pacific Railroad, pdvWireless, Inc., Southern Linc, and the Utilities Technology Council.- Paul Kirby, paul.kirby@wolterskluwer.com

Courtesy TRDaily