In Reply Comments filed yesterday, the Enterprise Wireless Alliance (EWA) noted there is no evidence supporting the possibility of a successful auction under the established terms, and an auction is not expected to generate revenues sufficient to fund public safety relocation costs, nor is there assurance that successful bidders will be able to assume the costs of clearing the spectrum for productive use by buying or relocating Industrial/Business (I/B) licensees. The record also indicates that there is inadequate spectrum to which public safety (PS) systems could be moved, and the only realistic possibility for I/B systems is to consolidate them into a contiguous portion of a T-Band channel(s) in each market.
EWA also requested that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) terminate the application freeze on business enterprises and private carriers (I/B Incumbents). All affected parties and the FCC agree that there should not be a proceeding and that the T-Band Mandate that has triggered this exercise should be repealed. EWA specifically stated that “while all parties affected by this ill-conceived Congressional stratagem to extract spectrum from PS in exchange for the 700 MHz FirstNet award have been disadvantaged, PS at least secured 20 MHz of broadband spectrum. The I/B incumbents, whose business operations already have been frozen for more than eight years in anticipation of an auction that may never take place and that is expected to fail if it does, received no benefit from being caught up in a quid pro quo to which they were not a party. They will never be compensated for the economic losses experienced during almost a decade of enforced non-growth. Without Congressional action, the FCC’s hands may be tied with regard to the requirements of the T-Band Mandate, but not the freeze. That decision was the FCC’s alone and could be reversed immediately. In EWA’s opinion it should be. It is more than time to allow I/B incumbents to resume normal business operations in this band, irrespective of the impact on what increasingly appears to be a purely hypothetical T-Band auction.”
“At the end of the day, after eight years and counting, the application freeze has economically damaged American businesses caught within the T-Band Mandate. The FCC has the power, but perhaps not the inclination to end the application freeze. They should,” stated EWA President Mark Crosby.