The opinions expressed in this editorial are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Decima Reports. Not all wireless companies have a voice in national policy issues, as the government is quickly finding out. The recent decision by the Federal Communications Commission to release more bandwidth in the licence-exempt 2.4 GHz band is certainly good news for proponents of HomeRF technology. But it’s not clear what the impact will be on Canadian players, because those most affected are not part of the so-called ‘wireless establishment’. Licence-exempt spectrum will play a major role in delivering new broadband-rich services to Canadians over the coming years. It also raises some serious policy issues. Some manufacturers worry that too many companies operating in this band will cause too much interference and congestion. Others caution that if Industry Canada follows standard procedure and aligns its policy with that of the FCC, the border will become borderless and unregulated for U.S. companies that want to compete in Canada’s most lucrative markets. Since the spectrum is unlicensed, Canada’s foreign ownership restrictions also wouldn’t apply. To properly manage the growth of this new industry, the Canadian government must develop a policy that reflects the needs and concerns of everyone involved, and that includes all fixed wireless players. The problem is, some of these companies are not able to join the two main organizations that raise their members concerns with senior government officials. As its currently stands, WSPs that use the un-licensed bands are in somewhat of a Catch 22 predicament. They cannot join the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association because – as unlicensed companies – they do not hold spectrum licences. Nor can they join the Radio Advisory Board of Canada. The RABC’s membership is only open to associations, and not individual companies. There’s something fundamentally flawed with the way spectrum policy is developed and debated if such artificial constraints are preventing some players from participating in an issue that affects their core business operations. Fortunately, the problem is far from insurmountable and Industry Canada, the CWTA and the RABC should intensify their efforts to ensure that all parties are represented at the negotiating table.