The FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau has extended the freeze on accepting applications to operate in the 800 megahertz band along the U.S.-Mexico border until Feb. 1, 2017. “As of this date, many Mexico border region licensees have yet to complete their system re-tunes. Accordingly, to preserve currently vacant channels for use by these licensees and avoid potential licensing conflicts, we extend the freeze on the acceptance of non-rebanding applications for 800 MHz licenses operating in the NPSPAC Regions listed in the attached Appendix. This freeze also applies to those stations located within seventy miles of the borders of these NPSPAC Regions,” the bureau said in a public notice released today in Wireless Telecommunications docket 02-55.
“The freeze applies only to applications for new facilities or modification applications that involve a change of frequency or expand a station’s existing coverage area. Applications that do not affect frequency or coverage (e.g., administrative updates, assignments/transfers, and renewal-only applications) are not subject to the freeze,” it added. A 2012 U.S.-Mexico agreement on a shared band plan was intended to improve the ability of U.S. public safety and commercial wireless broadband licensees to use the 800 MHz spectrum in border states.