GWTCA Wants Action on 800 MHz Expansion, Guard Band Spectrum
Tuesday, June 05, 2018 | Comments

The Government Wireless Technology & Communications Association (GWTCA) submitted ex parte comments with the FCC asking the commission to move forward with a decision on 800 MHz guard band (GB) and expansion band (EB) spectrum.

The FCC issued a notice of proposed rulemaking in WP Docket No. 16-261 almost two years ago and four years ago requested comments on the Land Mobile Communications Council (LMCC) proposal to create a preference for incumbent licensees to be able to obtain additional 800 MHz GB and EB spectrum.

GWTCA called the LMCC proposal “ill conceived.” “In the interim, existing licensees and potential licensees have had to suffer through endless volleys between supporters and those that oppose the preference, while on a daily basis the amount of spectrum available to Part 90 eligible applicants shrinks,” the GWTCA filing said.

In December 2016, GWTCA filed comments questioning how the preference would work. “GWTCA’s legitimate concern over how an incumbent would be defined have yet to be addressed,” the latest comments said. “This is a threshold question, which must be addressed in order to determine how the proposed system would function. The commission’s adoption of an inadequate definition will do nothing more than to further delay release of this much needed spectrum through filing petitions of reconsideration.”

GWTCA said if a preference had been adopted four years ago, the timeframe for the preference would have long ago lapsed. “However, the time has passed for action to complete the release of spectrum promised to the LMR industry 14 years ago,” the association said. “Regardless of which decision the commission wishes to make on this issue, it is urgent that the commission take action. Further delay needlessly sacrifices the ability of eligible entities, regardless of how defined, to access spectrum.”

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