LMCC Asks FCC to Change Rules Protecting TV Stations in T-Band
Wednesday, July 14, 2021 | Comments

The Land Mobile Communications Council (LMCC) filed a petition for rulemaking with the FCC that would modernize the rules governing protection of TV stations from LMR systems in the T-band spectrum.

The LMCC said the changes are necessary because the spectrum environment has changed greatly since 1970, when the FCC first authorized LMR sharing of TV channels 14-20 in a limited number of major markets around the country.

While the rules governing the protection of TV stations by LMR stations remain based on those stations transmitting in an analog National Television System Committee (NTSC) format, the stations have converted to digital transmission (DTV) using the Advanced Television Systems Committee DTV (ATSC-1) format, the LMCC said.

The group argued that the FCC’s rules should be modified to reflect appropriate protection criteria for full-service ATSC digital stations, as well as Class A stations that have been introduced since the adoption of the LMR sharing rules. Those updated rules will maximize the interference-free use of the band by both TV stations and LMR system, consistent with the more advanced technologies that have been implemented by the licensees, the LMCC said.

The LMCC said that while land mobile activity in the band has been suspended for almost a decade because of the 2012 legislative mandate to auction the band, that mandate has since been repealed. Since that repeal, the FCC has begun processing applications in the band again.

“To maximize the efficient use of this band by both private wireless and broadcast licensees, the sharing rules should reflect present day operational and technical realities,” stated LMCC President David Smith.

Find the full petition for rulemaking here.

Additionally, in a letter, the LMCC asked the FCC to make corrections to its protected TV stations list. The FCC uses that list in evaluating T-band applications.

The LMCC said that it conducted a review of the TV stations on the list, revealing that a significant number of stations that LMR applicants are required to protect are no longer operating on their own channels and are now transmitting on digital channels that will not be impacted by T-band LMR stations. Other stations on the list are no longer operating or have license information that differs from information on the updated list.

The LMCC encouraged the FCC to review the list and make any necessary corrections.

“Public-safety and industrial/business entities have been waiting to expand and update their land mobile systems for a decade,” said Smith. “It is frustrating to these applicants to be denied because they do protect television stations that do not exist or are not entitled to protections. The LMCC has provided the FCC with a road map that can hasten resolution of this concern.”

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