FCC Grants NYPD Request to Waive T-Band Restrictions
Friday, November 16, 2018 | Comments

The FCC granted a request from the New York Police Department (NYPD) to waive the Wireless Telecommunications and Public Safety and Homeland Security bureaus’ suspension of the acceptance and processing of certain T-band applications.

The request was part of NYPD’s application to modify public-safety radio station call sign WIM668 by modifying a repeater and adding another repeater station operating in the 470 – 512 MHz band.

The FCC approved the waiver and directed that the application be processed subject to several conditions.

First, the authorization of application is subject to the implementation of Section 6103 of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, which requires that no later than nine years after the date of enactment, the FCC will reallocate T-band spectrum currently used by public-safety entities.

Second, because the approval of a new repeater location came after the passage of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act, the NYPD will not receive funds to cover the cost of relocating that new location when the T-band spectrum is reallocated.

The FCC suspended the processing of T-band applications that would expand a station’s geographic footprint in order to stabilize the spectral environment while considering issues around the future of the T-band.

To obtain a waiver of those restrictions, a petitioner must demonstrate that either the underlying purpose of the rules would not be served or would be frustrated by application to the present case and that a grant of the waiver would be in the public interest, or in view of unique or unusual factual circumstances of the case, application of the rules would be inequitable, unduly burdensome or contrary to the public interest or the applicant has no reasonable alternative.

NYPD argued that there would be no expansion of base station facilities so the licensed footprint would remain the same. However, FCC staff found that the requested modification of the repeater at one location would result in extension of the licensed footprint.

Because of an error, station WIM688 was licensed with inaccurate coordinates and the modification will update the license to reflect the actual coordinates, and there will be no change to the physical facilities.

The FCC found that the modification would not materially alter the spectrum landscape, and determined that applying the application suspension to NYPD’s request would be inequitable to NYPD in terms of the modification. In terms of adding another repeater, the FCC determined it would not extend the licensed footprint and is therefore permitted.

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