FCC Extends 4.9 GHz Comments Deadline
Wednesday, December 23, 2020 | Comments

The FCC extended the deadline for filing comments on a further notice of proposed rulemaking (FNPRM) on the 4.9 GHz band to January 13. Reply comments are now due February 12.

In October, the FCC approved new rules that would allow states to lease excess spectrum in the 4.9 GHz band, which has been exclusively for public-safety use since the early 2000s, to commercial entities. At that time the FCC released a FNPRM proposing a state-based licensing regime for public-safety operations in the band.

Earlier this month, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) and the Land Mobile Communications Council (LMCC) asked the FCC to extend the comment deadline. AASHTO asked the FCC to extend the deadline until January 29, arguing that due to challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, state transportation departments needed more time to examine the proposal. Meanwhile, LMCC said that the previous deadline of December 30 did not give enough time for interested parties to develop thoughtful input on the FCC’s proposal.

The FCC said that it normally does not grant extensions of time. However based on the two submissions, it determined that a 14-day extension of the deadline would be warranted “to develop a comprehensive record in the proceeding.”

“We do not find, however, that an extension of time beyond 14 days is warranted,” the FCC said. “The commission released the 4.9 GHz Seventh FNPRM on October 2, 2020. Therefore, by the extended comment deadline, interested stakeholders will have had over three months to review, and prepare responses to, the issues presented in the 4.9 GHz Seventh FNPRM. AASHTO, NPSTC and LMCC do not allege any COVID-specific challenges that they have faced that warrant an additional extension of time.”

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