LMCC Asks FCC to Relax T-Band Application Freeze for Existing Licensees
Wednesday, May 02, 2018 | Comments

The Land Mobile Communications Council (LMCC) proposed that the FCC relax the application freeze on license modifications in the T-band (470 – 512 MHz) for existing licensees.

The FCC imposed the application freeze in 2012 on the basis that it would stabilize the band prior to the auction of this spectrum that was mandated by Congress through the Middle-Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012. The result has been that for six years, incumbents in the band have been prohibited from initiating crucial system modifications except through the waiver process.

LMCC does not view the FCC’s congressional directive obligation to be in conflict with allowing T-band licensees to conduct their operations, including the normal license modifications, until a reasonable time prior to the auction, at which time the spectrum landscape appropriately must be frozen.

Specifically, the LMCC proposed that existing licensees within the defined T-band market be able to:
• Relocate or add sites on already licensed frequencies, provided that current and proposed sites are within the 80-kilometer/50-mile radius of the defined T-band market, even if the new or additional locations expand the existing contour of the frequency in question.
• Exchange frequencies on a one-to-one ratio without being limited to existing contours.
• Add frequencies through assignment or the coordination process without being limited to existing contours.

“Incumbent licensees within the T-band market area have been prohibited from making even the most modest adjustments to their licenses for six years, unless through a costly and uncertain waiver process,” said LMCC President David Smith. “The LMCC calls upon the commission to modify the freeze on license modification to allow these licensees an opportunity to effectuate business growth by having the ability to increase or better their coverage and capacity requirements.”

The Government Wireless Technology and Communications Association (GWTCA) filed comments in support of lifting the freeze.

“Six years of limbo has hamstrung T-band licensees who have been unable to upgrade their systems to current technology nor adapt to changed areas of service necessitated by population changes,” GWTCA said in its filing. “The impact on T-band licensees (particularly in Southern California, which continues to suffer from the interminable 800 MHz rebanding freeze) is immeasurable. However, it is perfectly within the commission’s power to take this limited step, which will serve to alleviate at least a portion of the suffering imposed by ill-conceived legislation.”

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