EWA Seeks Congressional Intervention on UHF T-Band Freeze (10/25/12)
Thursday, October 25, 2012 | Comments

Enterprise Wireless Alliance (EWA) plans a concerted effort to secure congressional intervention — after the November federal election and with the assistance of affected business enterprise T-band licensees — to ensure that business enterprise licensees secure relief from the current FCC UHF T-band strategy, said President Mark Crosby. The FCC placed a freeze on applications in the 470 – 512 MHz band in April.

Crosby said the freeze “is devastating to business enterprise licensees’ businesses and to the public they serve, businesses for which the legislation is absolutely silent.” Attendees at an Oct. 11 T-band user group meeting agreed with EWA actions to date, and members volunteered to lend critical assistance during the congressional campaign.

The Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 dictates that within nine years the FCC shall reallocate the spectrum in the 470 – 512 MHz band and auction the spectrum. The law dictates that relocation of public-safety entities from the T-band spectrum shall be completed within two years after completion of the competitive bidding. The law doesn’t mention business/industrial licensees, although they are also licensed in the spectrum.

The EWA meeting drew 40 business enterprise and wireless sales and service provider licensee representatives from the 11 major cities impacted by the T-Band freeze. Crosby and EWA Regulatory Counsel Liz Sachs summarized EWA’s activities to date in defense of the business enterprise T-band licensees, including EWA’s initial filing questioning the FCC’s policy decision to freeze business and industrial licensing given that the Spectrum Reform Act makes no mention of removing spectrum from such entities.

EWA has several FCC filings in support of public safety and business enterprises that have requested waivers of the FCC T-Band licensing freeze, and public-safety industry efforts to determine actual costs associated with the planned displacement of public-safety T-band systems. In addition, EWA filed comments Oct. 23 with the FCC supporting the NSTAR Electric Co. waiver request to expand their system with T-Band frequencies at six base stations in the Boston area.

“We have supported and will continue to support every licensee request that seeks a waiver of the licensing freeze, including public-safety licensees,” Crosby said. “We are going to maintain this advocacy effort and continue to request that the FCC pay attention to the ongoing requirements of private land mobile radio licensees that today require T-Band spectrum to meet critical communications needs, rather than unknown entities a decade from now in an effort to preserve the spectrum landscape.”

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