On May 15, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai released a statement announcing that he has put a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on circulation in light of the statutory directive to auction Public Safety (PS) spectrum in this band. Consistent with his earlier plea to Congress, the Chairman stated:
“An FCC auction of the T-band is a bad idea. But as of today, the law mandates that we do it. It is unfortunate that Commission resources must be dedicated to laying the groundwork for an auction that will likely fail. This is especially true at a time when we are making every effort to keep Americans safe and connected, including allowing expanded temporary use of this very spectrum to help first responders save lives … Fortunately, there is bipartisan legislation in Congress to repeal this mandate ...”
The text of the NPRM will not be available until it has been voted on by all five Commissioners. The Enterprise Wireless Alliance (EWA) has confirmed that, as expected and contrary to the legislation that ignored Business/Industrial Land Transportation (B/ILT) use of the band, the NPRM recognizes that any auction of this spectrum must involve both PS and B/ILT channels.
Mark Crosby, EWA President, stated in response to this news, “I agree with Chairman Pai that the ‘auction of the T-band is a bad idea’. It was a bad idea from the get-go. And now we are faced with the ever decreasing chance that Congress will repeal the mandate (see related article below). I could be wrong, but if the FCC proceeds to competitive bidding as it must, incumbents will probably end up staying where they are as there will be insufficient funds generated to pay for relocation costs, and there is no suitable comparable spectrum to move business enterprises, private carriers and public safety. And wait until anybody who may be interested in this space gets wind of the heavy interference from repacked TV stations.”Category: EWA On Your Side