Anterix Asks FCC to Modify 900 MHz Freeze
Tuesday, July 16, 2019 | Comments

Anterix, formerly pdvWireless, proposed a modification to the FCC’s temporary 900 MHz freeze that it says will provide greater flexibility.

In September, the FCC announced a temporary freeze on certain applications for spectrum in the 896-901/935-940 MHz band while it explored potential rules changes to the band. The freeze only applies to applications for new or expanded use of 900 MHz band frequencies.

In March, the commission adopted a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) in which it proposed a realignment to create 900 MHz broadband and narrowband segments. The proposed realignment would include moving incumbent narrowband licensees to other spectrum within the band.

Anterix has been a proponent of realigning the 900 MHz band for broadband use for several years. In its filing, the company said that the temporary freeze should be modified to allow band incumbents to voluntarily exchange frequencies in the broadband segment for frequencies in the narrowband segments on a one-to-one basis.

If the replacement narrowband frequencies were acquired through the coordination process, the authorization for the broadband segment frequencies would be canceled, and if the incumbent secure narrowband frequencies through a mutual assignment with another incumbent, the non-relocating assignee’s license should be conditioned on cancellation of the broadband segment frequencies, without a claim for comparable facilities or payment of costs if the FCC adopts final rules that provide for clearing the broadband segment, Anterix said in its filing.

“Allowing incumbents to begin the relocation process voluntarily even before final rules are adopted will accelerate that process without prejudging or compromising the outcome of the proceeding,” Anterix said.

The proposal emphasized that all exchange agreements at this point would be voluntary and no incumbent would be required to enter into one.

“Should the FCC decide not to proceed with creation of a 900 MHz band broadband option, the same number of narrowband frequencies will be assigned to incumbents, just different frequencies, that in all cases would be consistent with current FCC rules, including those regarding 900 MHz co-channel protection criteria,” said Anterix.

The company said that it is aware of other requests for a broader relaxation of the free, as well as individual waiver relief. The proposed freeze modification would eliminate the need for individual waiver relief in some cases and would not preclude the broader requested relief, Anterix said.

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