ORDER AND SIXTH FURTHER NOTICE OF PROPOSED RULEMAKING
In this Order and Sixth Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, we take steps to streamline our rules and procedures to accelerate the successful conclusion of the Commission’s 800 MHz band reconfiguration program, or rebanding. The 800 MHz rebanding initiative is a 14-year, $3.6 billion program, involving Sprint Corporation (Sprint) and 800 MHz licensees. At the conclusion of this initiative, public safety, critical infrastructure and other 800 MHz licensees will operate in a reconfigured 800 MHz band free of the interference that plagued first responders’ mission-critical communications before the Commission instituted rebanding in the 800 MHz Report and Order.
As 800 MHz rebanding nears completion, we take this opportunity to immediately streamline the process by which rebanding licensees certify that the rebanding of licensees’ systems is complete. We also propose to (a) delete Section 90.676(b)(4) of the Commission’s rules which sets forth an annual audit of the rebanding program as well as, (b) relieve the 800 MHz Transition Administrator of the responsibility to review and approve amendments to licensee Frequency Reconfiguration Agreements—the contracts between Sprint and licensees for rebanding of licensees’ systems, with respect to cost creditability. We believe that taking these steps in the final stage of the rebanding program will lower program costs and administrative burdens and expedite completion of the rebanding process without adversely affecting full achievement of the program’s goals.