Pai: FCC Studying T-Band Transition

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has told members of New York’s congressional delegation that the FCC is working on a framework for carrying out Congress’s dictate that public safety T-band spectrum be reallocated and auctioned by 2021 and incumbents be relocated by 2023.

“As you note, the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 requires the Commission to reallocate T-Band spectrum, relocate public safety incumbents in the band, and work with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration to use the proceeds of the T-Band auction to cover the relocation costs of public safety entities,” Mr. Pai said in a July 24 letter. “We are exploring how best to fulfill this statutory requirement while ensuring that first responders have the necessary resources to fulfill their important mission and maintain reliable communications throughout the transition. I can assure you that the Commission will do everything in its power to achieve this goal — and I look forward to working with you to make that happen.”

Mr. Pai was responding to a June 26 letter from Sen. Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) and 11 House members from the state that urged the FCC to include a provision in its rules on an auction of the T-band spectrum that requires “bidding to continue until the profits yield at least the $5.9 billion required to transfer public safety operations off of T-band, and there is a comparable network to which mission-critical systems can relocate. We also urge the Commission to consider a framework for how the funds will be distributed, especially for heavily populated states such as New York.”

The $5.9 billion relocation estimate came from a 2013 report released by the National Public Safety Telecommunications Council (NPSTC) (TR Daily, March 15, 2013). —Paul Kirby,

Courtesy TRDaily