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FCC Renews Puerto Rico’s 700 MHz State License

FCC Renews Puerto Rico’s 700 MHz State License

Mission Critical Communication 09-22-17

The FCC granted a commonwealth of Puerto Rico request to accept its late-filed renewal application for its 700 MHz state license authorized under call sign WPTZ852.

Puerto Rico holds a license permitting it to operate on state channels in the 700 MHz band under call sign WPTZ852. The state channels consist of 96 12.5-kilohertz channel pairs from the public-safety narrowband segment of the 700 MHz band that are reserved for use by each state, territory, district or possession on a geographic-area basis.

The FCC established a five-year interim and a 10-year final benchmark for state licensees to provide specified levels of “substantial service” within their statewide license areas. States can renew 700 MHz state licenses for additional 10-year periods, but state licensees have renewal expectancy subject to certain licensing and operational conditions, including satisfying the substantial service requirements.

In 2016, the FCC granted Puerto Rico’s initial substantial service showing, after confirming that Puerto Rico, prior to June 13, 2014, deployed a 700 MHz state license LMR system that supports interoperability communications among its public-safety agencies and serves more than one-third of its population and geographic territory.

In February, the FCC issued Puerto Rico a renewal reminder notice for station WPTZ852. Puerto Rico failed to renew its license before May 14. The authorization for call sign WPTZ852 was cancelled July 1,. On Aug. 31, Puerto Rico submitted its application and request for waiver of Section 1.949 of the commission’s rules seeking renewal of its license.

Puerto Rico said that the Puerto Rico Emergency Management Agency (PREMA) has a “new administration working with the reorganization of all the departments and agencies.” The license supports the state interoperability system for state and local responders, and the operation of the system serves more than 3 million citizens.

“Taking into account all of the facts and circumstances, including Puerto Rico satisfying the commission’s initial substantial service requirement, we conclude that Puerto Rico’s request should be granted,” the order said.

The full order is here.

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