PSST Receives Broadband Spectrum Lease Payments from 17 Jurisdictions (11/8/10)
Monday, November 08, 2010 | Comments

The Public Safety Spectrum Trust (PSST) received first-year lease payments for public-safety broadband spectrum from 16 jurisdictions by the Nov. 1 deadline. Boston's payment was two days late, said Harlin McEwen, PSST chairman.

The PSST holds the nationwide license for the 700 MHz public-safety broadband spectrum. Twenty-one jurisdictions received waivers to roll out networks using the spectrum earlier this year.

In addition to the 17 waiver recipients that paid, on Monday, the FCC granted waivers to the city of Chesapeake, Va., and the San Francisco Bay Area Urban Area (Bay Area), each seeking 30-day extensions to pay the administrative fees due to the PSST under the previously approved budget for spectrum leases in the 700 MHz public-safety broadband spectrum.

On Oct. 29, Chesapeake filed a request seeking a waiver of the 60-day deadline for submission of the administrative fee to the PSST. Chesapeake officials said they are in the process of “completing an administrative fund reallocation to support the PSST lease payment,” necessary when Chesapeake failed to obtain funding through the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP). In support of its waiver request, Chesapeake argues that the minor delay in remitting the administrative fee is outweighed by the benefits of Chesapeake’s proposed network.

On Nov. 2, the Bay Area also filed a request seeking a waiver of the 60-day deadline. The Bay Area seeks the additional time “due to the need to resolve outstanding administrative issues with the auditor/controller and have the funds appropriately allocated for payment.”

The FCC said that based on the information it has, it concluded grants of Chesapeake’s and the Bay Area’s requests are warranted.

The FCC granted a similar waiver to the District of Columbia last month. The state of Alabama received a waiver, but didn't enter into a long-term de facto transfer spectrum lease with the PSST, nor did it submit a lease to the FCC within the waiver order’s specified timeframe, the FCC said.

Each entity that was granted a waiver seeking early deployment of statewide or local public-safety broadband networks in the 700 MHz public-safety broadband spectrum is required to pay the PSST $15,000 for its first-year administrative fee. The payment was due Nov. 1.

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