On July 6, 2020, the Commission released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) seeking comment on reallocating 470-512 MHz (“T-Band”) spectrum as mandated by the Middle-Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (“Spectrum Act”) (PS Docket No. 13-42). This NPRM was released after Chairman Pai’s repeated calls for Congress to repeal the Spectrum Act. Commissioner Rosenworcel also released a statement today with the NPRM opposing the reallocation of the public safety spectrum.

 

The NPRM proposes rules allowing for fixed or mobile wireless use in the T-Band as well as broadcast operations. The Commission seeks comment on other potential uses for the T-Band and how expanded allocation might impact the interference environment in the band. The Commission proposes an auction of geographic area licenses of six MHz blocks on a block-by-block basis in the T-Band, available in eleven major urbanized areas in the United States.

 

Additionally, the Commission proposes to relocate “public safety eligibles” from the T-band and seeks comment on transition mechanisms and relocation costs, including whether to transition licensees only when the auction revenues exceed anticipated transition costs. The Commission states that offering overlay licenses will best protect incumbent licensees who might remain in the band and seeks comment on that conclusion.

 

Lastly, the Commission seeks comment on how to address the non-public safety operations in the T-Band to maximize opportunities for new entrants, including whether and how to transition non-public safety operations within the Commission’s statutory mandate.

 

  • Comments are due 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.
  • Reply comments are due 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.

 

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