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CBRS Crucial Amid Coronavirus Pandemic, Says ConnectX

Elijah Labby

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Screenshot of Tim Downes, executive producer of ConnectX, from the webinar

July 2, 2020 — The Citizens Broadband Radio Service is a crucial broadband offering with diverse applications, all the more important during the transition to telework, telelearning and telehealth, said participants in ConnectX webinars.

CBRS is a band that sits from 3.5GHz to 3.7GHz and gives an important opportunity to wireless service providers to expand their services and bring faster coverage to more consumers.

“[This is] an interesting time with the way work and education have evolved really quickly, and CBRS seems to be a really terrific networking solution for these times,” said Tim Downes, executive producer of ConnectX.

John Gilbert, chief operating officer of the Rudin Management Company, oversaw the development of the world’s first smart building in New York City. He said that CBRS is crucial in the development and management of his company’s buildings.

“This is indisputable — the more data that we can collect, the more granular data that we can collect, the more efficiently we can run our buildings,” Gilbert said. “And CBRS, in my humble opinion, will allow us to grab that very granular data on a floor-by-floor basis as we deploy these radios throughout our built environments, without interfering with any existing networks.”

Elizabeth Holmes, CEO of Aristotle, an Arkansas-based internet service provider, said that CBRS’s ability to provide numerous different services makes it ideal for her company.

“The fact that it can be used both on a general accessibility and also through a [Priority Access License] is going to be extremely helpful because it means that the spectrum is usable regardless of where it might be,” she said.

Regardless of the iteration the CBRS is in, its fundamental mission will remain relevant, Gilbert said.

“But, to me, the customer doesn’t care,” she said. “All they want is a big pipe. It’s gotta be mobile, and they want to have easy access to it. So that’s what we’re trying to get to.”

However, while more flexible models of broadband access like CBRS have caught on in the United States, other methods of increased access like shared networks are overexaggerated, said Brett Lindsay, CEO of fiber provider Everstream.

“I think network sharing in the States, at least for a while, is overstated,” he said.

Lindsay also said that government subsidies for such projects often come with stifling regulatory restrictions.

“I can’t think of an instance where government gave some money out and didn’t put some regulatory burdens on top of it,” he said.

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