Western Governors applaud FCC for revisions of TV White Spaces rules that support broadband connectivity in rural areas

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has revised its rules related to TV White Spaces devices, an update strongly supported by Western Governors, to enable expanded wireless broadband connectivity in rural and underserved areas.

TVWS refers to unused portions of wireless spectrum between television channels. This spectrum can be used to deploy wireless internet over vast distances and challenging terrain, making it a connectivity solution for western rural communities where laying physical infrastructure is cost-prohibitive. Expanding broadband availability in rural areas can support innovations in crucial economic sectors, such as precision agriculture.

Western Governors have been strong supporters of the technology, sharing initial outreach with the FCC in 2018 by highlighting the benefits of TVWS and requesting that the Commission reserve adequate spectrum to support the growth of the sector.

WGA also submitted comments to the FCC in 2020 in support of increasing the allowable transmitted power and permitted antennae height for fixed TVWS devices in rural areas to enable more robust connectivity offerings. The Report and Order approved on Oct. 27, 2020, by the Commission adopted the WGA-supported changes related to permissible power and antenna height.

Learn more about broadband connectivity challenges and opportunities in the West by reading WGA Policy Resolution 2020-08, Broadband Connectivity.

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