Legislation (HR 5085) introduced by Rep. Elliot Engel (D., N.Y.) yesterday would repeal a provision included in the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 that would require the T-band to be reauctioned by the FCC for commercial use.
The bill’s cosponsors are Reps. Lee M. Zeldin (R., N.Y.) and Peter T. King (R., N.Y.).
Congress required the FCC to reallocate and auction public safety spectrum in the T-band by 2021 and relocate incumbents by 2023. Proceeds from the auction can be used to cover the relocation costs of public safety licensees. The T-band encompasses TV channels 14-20 (470-512 megahertz). Public safety agencies use the spectrum in 11 major markets.
In 2013, a report by the National Public Safety Telecommunications Council (NPSTC) that estimated the cost of relocating public safety T-band operations to other spectrum would be more than $5.9 billion and cited the lack of alternative spectrum (TR Daily, March 15, 2013).
NPSTC today welcomed introduction of the legislation, which would repeal section 6103 of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act.
“Public safety organizations use the T-Band spectrum to support both day-to-day operations and regional interoperability,” NPSTC said. “Because of the mission critical nature of the communications required, local public safety organizations have spent many years and millions of dollars in federal, state, and local taxpayer funds to plan and build out T-Band networks that are battle-tested and designed for the operational needs of each area.”- Paul Kirby, email@example.com