U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today urged the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to allow emergency responders and utilities to continue to have priority usage of the 6 Gigahertz (GHz) spectrum band.
Murkowski’s comments came in a letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. On April 1, the FCC published a draft rule to allow unlicensed devices to utilize the 6 GHz band, which is currently occupied by electric and natural gas utilities, along with other licensed users.
“Allowing unlicensed devices to occupy the same band as mission-critical utility and emergency response communications could cause harmful interference that is detrimental to network reliability,” Murkowski wrote. “Secure communication is a mission-critical function for the energy industry and must be protected to ensure a reliable, resilient electric grid.”
Murkowski requested the FCC delay consideration of the draft rule until the nation has recovered from the coronavirus pandemic. Read her letter here. Murkowski previously wrote to Pai on this subject last summer, asking a number of questions about the FCC proposal that remain substantively unanswered.Murkowski is Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.