EWA Asks FCC to Allow Conditional T-Band License Renewals
Wednesday, July 17, 2019 | Comments

In a letter to the FCC, the Enterprise Wireless Alliance (EWA) recommended that the FCC grant T-band license renewals conditioned on the outcome of the ongoing T-band proceeding.

The EWA acknowledged that licensing staffs of the Public Safety Homeland Security Bureau and the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau have been directed not to process applications for renewal of Part 90 license operating on spectrum in the 470 – 512 MHz band and instead, to hold the applications in a pending status. The EWA said that decision was likely made in anticipation of the FCC eventually taking action in response to Section 6103 of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, which directs the FCC to reallocate T-band spectrum being used by public-safety eligible entities and begin an auction of that spectrum in 2021.

EWA recommended that, as a benefit to current licenses, the FCC should grant T-band renewals conditioned on the outcome of the T-band proceeding or any successor rulemaking in which the directives of the act are implemented by the FCC.

The EWA reminded the FCC that it used an identical approach during the pendency of the FCC’s license renewal proceeding and that its application in this instance would avoid situations where a licensee needs to demonstrate that it has operating authority from the FCC but must explain that what appears on its face and in the Universal Licensing System (ULS) database to be an expired license actually remains valid because a timely renewal application was filed.

EWA also said it was unfortunate that the bureaus did not consult the industry before deciding to hold T-band renewal applications in abeyance or notify the industry that the decision not to process renewals had been made.

In May, U.S. Rep. Greg Walden proposed delaying the T-band process for three years to 2024 in return for states ending 9-1-1 fee diversion. That proposal was made during a FCC oversight hearing, and Walden has not released a formal plan.

Find the EWA’s full letter here.

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