October 10, 2017 (Herndon, VA) — More than seven years after initiating the proceeding, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has made uniform the rules governing license renewal and discontinuance of operation for all Wireless Radio Services (WRS). On October 2, the Enterprise Wireless Alliance (EWA) submitted two separate filings on the Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM) announcing the new rules. EWA voiced disagreement with “the FCC’s decision to exempt public safety licensees from the revised renewal procedures as doing so makes unclear exactly what a public safety licensee is representing to the FCC when filing a renewal application.” In addition, EWA recommends an exemption from any renewal construction obligations for licenses awarded in blocks of one megahertz or less as well as for those licenses used for private, internal communications.
In a Request for Clarification, EWA urges the FCC to clarify its intention in exempting public safety entities from the renewal requirements that apply to all other wireless licensees. “This issue is of particular concern to EWA and Industrial/Business (I/B) users of spectrum in light of the FCC’s acceptance of the notion that public safety applicants should be granted waivers to access I/B spectrum because there are no assignable public safety channels without independent verification,” noted EWA in its comments.
In comments filed in response to the FNPRM, EWA recommended that geographic licenses awarded in blocks of one (1) MHz or less, as well as those being used for private, internal communications, be exempt from any renewal construction obligation adopted by the FCC. EWA stressed that the proposed construction obligation would impose an undue burden on EWA members that hold geographic licenses in the affected spectrum bands. These members “serve local business dispatch requirements or meet private internal communications needs” and neither compete with commercial wireless carriers nor provide service to consumers. “It makes no policy sense to require licensees to invest in infrastructure that does not serve the fundamental purpose of the communication system, in order to adhere to construction verification mandates that have no relevance to systems that operate with such minimal spectrum assets,” EWA commented in its remarks.