December 4, 2006 BY HAND DELIVERY Kevin J. Martin Chairman Federal Communications Commission 445 12th Street, SW Washington, D.C. 20554 Re: Reply Comments ET Docket No. 06-135 & RM-11271 Dear Chairman Martin: Professor Richard Weir supports the Alfred Mann Foundation?s (?AMF?) request that the Commission adopt service rules and allocate up to 20 MHz of spectrum to accommodate new wireless wideband microstimulator devices on a secondary basis. My laboratory in collaboration with the Alfred Mann Foundation is working to develop implantable sensors that can be used to control artificial arms and legs. These sensors are completely passive in the body and receive their power and send their data signals back over a wireless telemetry system. By allocating spectrum for wideband use the Commission would be facilitating the development of the next generation of artificial limb controllers - something that has particular relevance to the injured servicemen and women returning from Iraq with limb loss. The establishment of a service allocation is vital to the development of a new generation of wireless wideband medical devices designed to restore sensation and function to paralyzed limbs and organs. These devices offer a safer, less invasive, and more effective treatment option than is available with existing equipment. The Commission?s rules currently do not provide any spectrum to permit operation of new wireless wideband microstimulator devices. Although the Commission has allocated some spectrum for medical telemetry operations and for medical implant communications services, this spectrum is not suitable for wideband medical implant devices that require larger bandwidths to perform more complex functions. Without adequate spectrum and service rules to support the operation of these innovative devices, millions of Americans will be deprived of a safe and effective medical treatment for their debilitating health conditions.
The Commission?s notice of inquiry issued in the above-referenced proceeding is an important first step toward adopting the necessary rules to encourage deployment of the next generation of wireless wideband microstimulator devices. Professor Weir urges the Commission to continue its efforts in this area by expeditiously granting AMF?s request for commencement of a separate rulemaking. Yours sincerely, Richard Weir, PhD. Research Healthcare Scientist Jesse Brown VA Medical Center, Senior Research Scientist Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, Research Associate Professor Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine & Biomedical Engineering Department Northwestern University McCormick School of Engineering & Applied Science.