Unanimity Once Again Eludes Frequency Advisory Committees

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For the benefit of those entities who seek to license 800 MHz Expansion/Guard band (EB/GB) spectrum, it is going to take a while longer as the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) certified Frequency Advisory Committees (FAC), both Business Industrial and Public Safety, continue to struggle to achieve unanimity on 800 MHz application processing protocols after one year of effort.

The FCC reminded the FACs this past week that they must adopt processes that eliminate entirely the prospect of multiple FACs submitting applications to the FCC that are mutually exclusive. This obligation has been the focus of the FACs’ year-long effort to identify a viable approach that would not simply shift the mutual exclusivity problem to the coordination stage and cause extensive delays in making this spectrum available to users. An earlier FAC proposal to retain the services of a third party that would date/time stamp applications failed because of cost concerns from some FACs. The more recent proposal to use a round-robin application approach was rejected by FCC leadership based on what it viewed as equitability considerations. Failure to reach agreement on an alternative approach may result in the FCC adopting processes that the FACs will be obligated to implement.

Author: Andrea Cumpston