Act on Petition Before Releasing 800 MHz EB/GB Spectrum

Comments Off on Act on Petition Before Releasing 800 MHz EB/GB Spectrum

Incumbent public safety, business, industrial and SMR licensees should have initial priority

Herndon, VA – In an Ex Parte filing, the Land Mobile Communications Council (LMCC) has requested that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) not release 800 MHz Expansion Band (EB) and Guard Band (GB) spectrum in additional National Public Safety Planning Advisory Committee (NPSPAC) regions where rebanding has been completed pending the outcome of the Petition for Rulemaking that the LMCC filed in March of 2014.[1]  Recently, the 800 MHz Transition Administrator announced that rebanding had been completed in 14 regions, which include “major urban areas where 800 MHz capacity is unavailable to incumbent licensees who have a requirement to expand system capacity.”

LMCC President Gregory Kunkle said, “Allowing existing licensees to have a brief licensing window of opportunity enabling them to further invest in their constructed and operational Public Safety, Business/Industrial/Land Transportation, and Specialized Mobile Radio systems that are known to be serving critical communication purposes outweigh any benefits that might be achieved opening the spectrum up to new entrants. We must ensure that these incumbent systems have access to spectrum resources they need to accommodate pent up system capacity requirements.”

In the Petition, the LMCC requested that the FCC provide incumbent 800 MHz licensees a six-month opportunity to apply for EB/GB frequencies before making them available to new applicants.

The FCC embarked on the 800 MHz band reconfiguration to address a growing problem with harmful interference caused to public safety and other Part 90 communications systems by commercial wireless systems. The reconfiguration established an Expansion Band and a Guard Band to separate 800 MHz non-cellular systems from the spectrum used in Sprint’s commercial wireless operations. The Expansion Band and Guard Band offer opportunities for Public Safety, Business/Industrial/Land Transportation, and Specialized Mobile Radio licensees to add needed capacity to their systems.

[1] PCIA, an LMCC member, opposes withholding EB/GB spectrum pending the outcome of the LMCC Petition for Rulemaking.

Author: Mel Wingate-Bey