On October 2, 2020, the Commission released the Sixth Report and Order and Seventh Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“R&O” and “FNPRM”) on expanding access to and investment in the 4.9 GHz band (WP Docket No. 07-100).  This item was adopted at the September Open Meeting.

 

The adopted R&O incorporates the following relevant change from the circulated draft version:

  • The Commission clarifies that it is extending the benefit of leasing 4.9 GHz spectrum only to states that use 911 fees collected from consumers for their intended purpose.  Specifically, the Commission will only permit states that are not identified in the Commission’s December 2019 911 Fee Report as diverting 911 fees for non-911 purposes to lease spectrum rights to non-public safety or public safety entities.  A state that either believes it was incorrectly identified in the 2019 Fee Report as diverting fees, or that has taken subsequent remedial action, may petition the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau to demonstrate that relief is justified (¶ 24).

The adopted FNPRM incorporates the following relevant changes from the circulated draft version:

  • Related to the change in the R&O discussed above, the Commission seeks comment on how to address 911-fee-diverting states and whether the proposal in the FNPRM to allow states to create a State Band Manager should only apply to states that do not divert 911 fees (¶ 68).
  • The Commission also seeks comment on how to address states that start or stop diverting 911 fees, including whether a state who stops diverting 911 fees should be able to petition the Commission to access the 4.9 GHz leasing framework, as discussed in the R&O (¶ 69).
  • The Commission also seeks comment on whether to create alternative means of accessing unused spectrum in the 4.9 GHz band for serial 911 diverters, and how to maximize use of the 4.9 GHz band without encouraging 911 fee division (¶ 70).

 

Comments on the FNPRM 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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