In advance of the Commission’s next Open Meeting on March 15, the FCC released a draft of its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking requesting comment on a proposal to reconfigure the 896-901/935-940 MHz band to create a 3/3 MHz broadband segment (originally proposed by Enterprise Wireless Alliance and pdvWireless) between 897.5-900.5/936.5-939.5 MHz (Vol. XV, Issue 38). The band is currently allocated for narrowband (12.5 kHz) Private Land Mobile and Specialized Mobile Radio (SMR) operations. The NPRM proposes that the 3 x 3 allocation be licensed on a geographic basis and seeks comment on the most suitable license size, indicating a county-wide allocation may be preferable. To transition incumbent users in the band, the NPRM proposes a series of voluntary negotiations: (1) a prospective broadband licensees must possess all 20 SMR area-wide licenses within a county, and (2) negotiate a frequency/system relocation plan with all incumbent licensees currently operating on frequencies within the 3 x 3 MHz band to the remaining 2 X 2 MHz that will continue to be available for narrowband (principally voice) operations. A series of alternative proposals are also set out. For additional information, please contact Doug Jarrett (firstname.lastname@example.org; 202.434.4180) or Tim Doughty (email@example.com; 202.434.4271).
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