EX PARTE OR LATE FILED
Federal Communications Commission
Washington, DC 20554
No. oi Copies rec'd.......O."L- _
UstA Be 0 E
Re: FCC 00-455, ET Docket No. 00-258, RM-9920 and 9911
I am concerned about the future ofthe Instructional Television Fixed Service (ITFS)
spectrum, which is under assault in the Commission's Notice ofProposed Rule Making on 3G
spectrum allocations that was released Januaryi$,01~iSSiPPiEDNET Institute
and its ITFS spectrum play an important part 0 ort to serve the citizens of
Mississippi. Moreover, preservation ofthe full ITFS band is absolutely critical ifwireless
broadband is to become a reality not only in urban areas but also in many rural areas
throughout the state ofMississippi.
As you are aware, recent rule changes have opened the ITFS spectrum to the implementation
ofwireless two-way video and broadband data services, including high speed Internet access.
The educational power ofITFS has been expanded under the digital two-way rules to provide
advanced learning services, interactive video, and wireless broadband Internet. As distance
learning becomes more robust and interactive, ITFS offers educational institutions throughout
the country an affordable high-speed on-ramp to the broadband Internet for students and adult
learners in the classroom, at home and at work. This goal was recently cited as the first
priority for policymakers by the bipartisan Congressional Web-Based Education Commission.
In addition, fixed wireless broadband promises to bring a competitor to DSL and cable
modem technologies to our community, making broadband access not only more widely
avaiiable but aiso more affordable.
ITFS does not only benefit schools, students and adult learners, however. In addition to the
broad range ofcommunity programming currently carried on ITFS spectrum, the recent two
way order has filled a void where legislation and regulation have failed to produce affordable,
ubiquitous broadband Internet access for Americans. Working in conjunction with wireless
communications companies, ITFS spectrum is being used to bring broadband to underserved
populations in rural, urban and otherwise isolated communities nationwide. Mississippi's
ITFS licenses have more complete coverage than any state in the country, while Mississippi
has the greatest distance to travel to bridge the digital divide. As stated by Mississippi
Governor Ronnie Musgrove in a recent report "Creating Economic Prosperity for a New
Century", our state intends to fully utilize these ITFS licenses to provide available, affordable
internet access in rural areas to both small businesses and to homes. ITFS licensees are
therefore serving the educational community as they help the nation and the Commission to
bridge the Digital Divide.
Ifthe Commission reallocates any part ofthe ITFS spectrum for 3G mobile device services,
the capacity, usefulness, and value ofITFS would be significantly diminished. Even ifonly
part ofthe spectrum is taken away, many educational institutions would lose their ITFS
service altogether, while others would face new equipment costs, service disruption and
cutbacks, lower quality ofservice and signal interference. In either scenario, the ITFS
community would be incapable ofsupporting advanced wireless services and promoting the
development ofbroadband services to the educational community and to underserved
Ifthe ITFS spectrum is compromised in any way, these public benefits will be lost. We hope
that you will support us in maintaining the integrity ofthe spectrum and in keeping this
tremendous educational resource alive and strong.