Thank you, all of you, who worked with WISPA to get those comments on the 04-186 issue. We all owe a special thanks to our new friend Frannie Wellings at Free Press also. She has been absolutely key in helping make this issue appear on the legislative radar. The dream may actually come true here guys. Please read this in its entirety. I will likely be calling on you again soon as this issue gains steam.
Kindest regards,
John Scrivner

-------- Original Message --------
Subject:        Great news! We now have two unlicensed bills in the senate.
Date:   Tue, 21 Feb 2006 15:48:36 -0500
From:   Frannie Wellings <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
To:     John Scrivner <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>



Hi John,

We've had some positive developments in the Senate and I thought you and all of the wonderful folks from the WISP community who called and e-mailed their senators would want to know. On Friday, February 17th, two bills were introduced in the Senate that would help to open the white spaces. Both bills direct the Federal Communications Commission to move quickly to free-up the empty broadcast channels for unlicensed use so that they can be used for wireless broadband.

Senators George Allen (R-VA), John Kerry (D-MA), John Sununu (R-NH) and Barbara Boxer (D-CA) introduced a bi-partisan bill entitled the Wireless Innovation Act of 2006 (WINN Act). Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Ted Stevens (R-AK) introduced the American Broadband for Communities Act (ABC Act).

The two bills are very similar and ideally the Senators will join together behind one bill. We're so lucky to have five senators taking action here and expect more to sign on. This is really an important step and the input from the WISP community has been remarkably valuable. Please thank everyone who took the time to get involved. They should be encouraged that their calls matter and they really should know that their comments in the 04-186 docket are really key. I'm so glad that so many WISPs submitted comments.

I might be coming back to you soon asking for the WISPs to call their senators in support of unlicensed spectrum as we see what happens with the two bills. Hopefully they will join into one bill then we have to get that bill passed in the Commerce Committee and then the full Senate.

Thanks again for all of your help.

Best,

Frannie


P.S. - Here are some statements from the Senators...

Senator Kerry has been an important leader on this issue, working hard to introduce legislation to open the white spaces. He said of the legislation, "Instead of just talking about it, we need to make affordable broadband a reality everywhere.... Making this technology available in all corners of our country is good for our families, demonstrates the spirit of American innovation and promotes our success in the global economy."

Senator Allen said of the WINN Act, "This legislation will enable entrepreneurs to provide affordable, competitive high-speed wireless broadband services in areas that otherwise have no connectivity to broadband Internet."

Senator Stevens, the chairman of the key committee, stated: "Allowing unlicensed operations in the broadcast band could play a significant role in bringing wireless broadband and home networking to more of our citizens by lowering costs, particularly in Alaska where connectivity is so important due to our remoteness."






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