EWA Criticizes FCC Licensing Rules for Exempting Public Safety, I/B Construction Obligation
Tuesday, October 10, 2017 | Comments

The Enterprise Wireless Alliance (EWA) submitted two separate FCC filings voicing disagreement with the FCC’s decision to exempt public-safety licensees from its rules governing license renewal and discontinuance of operation for all Wireless Radio Services (WRS) released in August.

EWA said exempting public safety from the rules makes unclear exactly what a public-safety licensee is representing to the FCC when filing a renewal application. In addition, EWA recommended an exemption from any renewal construction obligations for licenses awarded in blocks of 1 megahertz or less, as well as for those licenses used for private, internal communications. In a request for clarification, EWA urged the FCC to clarify its intention in exempting public-safety entities from the renewal requirements that apply to all other wireless licensees. “This issue is of particular concern to EWA and industrial/business (I/B) users of spectrum in light of the FCC’s acceptance of the notion that public-safety applicants should be granted waivers to access I/B spectrum because there are no assignable public-safety channels without independent verification,” said EWA in its comments.

In comments filed in response to the further notice of proposed rulemaking (FNPRM), EWA recommended that geographic licenses awarded in blocks of 1 megahertz or less, as well as those being used for private, internal communications, be exempt from any renewal construction obligation adopted by the FCC. EWA stressed that the proposed construction obligation would impose an undue burden on EWA members that hold geographic licenses in the affected spectrum bands.

These members “serve local business dispatch requirements or meet private internal communications needs” and neither compete with commercial wireless carriers nor provide service to consumers. “It makes no policy sense to require licensees to invest in infrastructure that does not serve the fundamental purpose of the communication system in order to adhere to construction verification mandates that have no relevance to systems that operate with such minimal spectrum assets,” EWA said in its remarks.

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