FCC Offers Guidance on 700 MHz Narrowband Reserve Spectrum (1/9/15)
Friday, January 09, 2015 | Comments

In a public notice, the FCC provided guidance on licensing the former 700 MHz narrowband reserve spectrum. The channels are under the administration of the regional planning committees (RPCs) for the benefit of state and local public-safety users.

In its October ruling that also eliminated the 700 MHz narrowbanding deadline, the commission released reserve spectrum to provide additional capacity, particularly for licensees relocating to the 700 MHz band from the UHF T-band.

According to the rules, T-band public-safety licensees have priority for licensing the former reserve channels, reallocated to general use channels, in T-band areas. There are 24 reserve 700 MHz channel pairs.

In the notice, the commission announced the five-year priority access window for T-band incumbents to license the former reserve spectrum is Jan. 9, 2020. The date for filing RPC plan amendments to incorporate the former reserve spectrum is June 2, 2015.

The notice also announced dates by which certain licensees must reprogram their deployable trunked systems to operate on the former reserve channels. The city of Mesa, Arizona; the state of Colorado; and the state of Idaho must reprogram their deployable trunked systems to the former reserve channels by June 2. The states of Florida and New Jersey may not transition their deployable trunked systems to the former reserve channels until Jan. 9, 2020, because they encompass all or part of the Miami and New York T-band markets, respectively.

Questions can be directed to John A. Evanoff, attorney-adviser in the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau (PSHSB), at 202-418-0848 or john.evanoff@fcc.gov. The full notice is here.

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