800 MHz Transition Administrator Says Rebanding is Complete, Asks for Program Termination
Tuesday, March 16, 2021 | Comments

The 800 MHz Transition Administrator (TA) filed a report with the FCC notifying it that, aside from two exceptions, all activities related to 800 MHz rebanding is now complete.

“The TA requests that the commission issue an order terminating proceeding that includes a finding that, except as noted herein, all licensees have completed reconfiguration,” the report said.

Previously, the TA had certified that band reconfiguration is complete in 54 National Public Safety Planning Advisory Committee (NPSPAC) regions and three U.S. territories. The only region that the TA has not certified as complete is NPSPAC region 50: Texas — El Paso.

In that region, the two licensees who have not completed reconfiguration are the city of El Paso and License Acquisitions. El Paso completed its infrastructure reconfiguration on February 25 and the 90-day system acceptance period began that day.

The TA said it anticipates that the city will submit a completion certificate and close its frequency reconfiguration agreement (FRA) in early June. That is three months ahead of the schedule approved in an amendment to its FRA, the TA said. T-Mobile said that it expects to make all payments related to that process by around June 1.

License Acquisitions applied to the FCC’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (WTB) for a renewal of seven of its licensees and filed a request for wavier of the requirement to complete reconfiguration and to offer enhanced specialized mobile radio (ESMR) service by the end of the license term in 2011. License Acquisitions application for renewal is still pending before the WTB and its FRA is being held in escrow by the TA pending resolution of any outstanding issues regarding license validity, the TA’s report said.

The TA requested that the FCC direct it to release the FRA from escrow and transfer it to the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau (PSHSB) to address as necessary.

T-Mobile submitted a petition for waiver February 26 in which it asked the FCC to declare the reconfiguration program complete, end the reconfiguration program and the TA’s oversight of the program and end the license condition that T-Mobile maintain a letter of credit.

T-Mobile said that in regards to License Acquisitions and El Paso, it has entered into binding contractual agreements with both that fully address any reconfiguration costs. Because of this, eliminating the letter of credit will not harm those two licensees. “Regarding the city of El Paso, T-Mobile states that the licensee agreed in an FRA amendment to waive its right for T-Mobile to maintain the letter of credit for reconfiguration costs set forth in the FRA,” the TA’s report said. “Further, T-Mobile warranted to pay the licensee’s reconfiguration costs outside of the Letter of Credit. The FRA Amendment also provides that the city of El Paso can enforce its contract rights in state court. T-Mobile contends that these contractual remedies protect these licensees in the event of a breach by T-Mobile, rendering the letter of credit unnecessary.”

Outside of those two licenses, the TA said that 2,169 other FRA have been completed, and it has submitted certification of those completions to the FCC. The TA requested that the commission issue an order terminating proceeding that would include a finding that all licensees, except for El Paso and License Acquisitions have completed their physical reconfiguration activities, relocated to their post-reconfiguration frequencies and modified their license to delete their pre-configuration frequencies or canceled their licenses.

The order would also include the direction to the TA to release Licenses Acquisitions’ FRA to the PSHSB and direct the TA to take any actions necessary to terminate the reconfiguration program. Additionally, the TA requested the FCC provide it with authorization to terminate the program agreements, as well as the authorization to terminate T-Mobile’s letter of credit.

“As described above, T-Mobile has committed to paying the city of El Paso’s reconfiguration costs outside of the letter of credit, and there are no costs associated with License Acquisitions’ FRA,” the report said. “Accordingly, the letter of credit is no longer needed to secure T-Mobile’s obligation to pay the licensees’ reconfiguration costs.”

Once the agreements are terminated and other final activities complete, the TA will shut down its operations shortly thereafter, the report said.

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