T-Band Update

The International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) has reported that Rep. Walden’s staff (the same office that insisted on extracting Public Safety (PS) T-Band in exchange for FirstNet spectrum) has circulated a discussion draft of legislation entitled “Secure T-Band Allocation and No Diversion Act of 2019.” The legislation would grant a three-year reprieve before T-Band would need to be reallocated and auctioned but not for States or political subdivisions that are diverting 9-1-1 fees for other purposes. Apparently, at least one of the targets is New York, whose representatives have been vocal about opposing the T-Band reallocation, but which has been flagged as a state where 9-1-1 fees have been diverted. FCC Commissioner O’Rielly has been leading the FCC charge against fee diversion, so it would not be surprising if he was a supporter of this initiative. The legislation would also direct the FCC to conduct a study on the use of the 4.9 GHz band, presumably with the expectation that it will be found “underutilized” and available for potential sharing with yet more unlicensed devices. One never knows, but it would seem unlikely that this proposed legislation will secure any traction given that it combines unrelated objectives. Public safety organizations will probably oppose the legislation. In the meantime, EWA plans to request that the FCC begin renewing T-Band licenses, conditioned on the outcome of whatever rulemaking they undertake assuming the current law is not changed, rather than holding them indefinitely. (PS 13-42)

Category: EWA On Your Side