EWA Files Reply Comments on 900 MHz Realignment

On July 2, 2019, EWA filed Reply Comments in response to industry commentary on the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC’s) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that proposes to realign the 900 MHz band. In its Reply Comments, EWA made the following points:

  • Industrial users other than utilities and other critical infrastructure industries (CII) have a need for private broadband networks. EWA urges the FCC to adopt the definition of CII used by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
  •  The FCC should limit future eligibility for narrowband channels to B/ILT entities with the right to convert to commercial after a holding period, perhaps a year;
  • Start with a 3/3 MHz broadband segment and allow 5/5 on a case-by-case basis;
  • Relocation should begin with voluntary negotiations, but any FCC rulemaking should address a way to clear holdouts whose systems are demonstrably able to be retuned; and
  • All incumbents, including those retuned on a mandatory basis, are entitled to comparable facilities and payment of all reasonable costs.

In addition, EWA clarified the record regarding its position on application license freezes, specifically noting that they are a necessary evil to deal with speculators but should always be incumbent-friendly.

In other comments, some incumbents, primarily large utilities that would be exempt from mandatory relocation, continue to oppose any band realignment while other parties, including utilities, agree that a 900 MHz private broadband option would address a growing wireless need. The record in this proceeding is now complete; however, when the FCC will take the next step is unknown. (WT 17-200; FCC 19-18)

Category: EWA On Your Side