On December 27, 2020 the President signed the Don’t Break Up the T-Band Act (T-Band Act) into law as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021. The T-Band Act repeals section 6103 of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, which had mandated that the Commission reallocate and auction frequencies used by public safety eligibles in the 470-512 MHz spectrum band (TBand Mandate).
Shortly after the T-Band Mandate was enacted, on April 26, 2012, the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau and the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau (Bureaus) jointly imposed a suspension on the acceptance and processing of certain applications for Part 22 (Public Mobile Services) and Part 90 (Private Land Mobile Radio) services operating in the T-Band to maintain a stable spectral environment pending implementation of the T-Band Mandate. Additionally, on December 2, 2019, the Bureaus suspended the processing of applications to renew Part 22 and Part 90 licenses for operation in the T-Band.
Now that the Commission is no longer required to implement the T-Band Mandate, the rationale for the suspensions no longer exists. To ensure the orderly resumption of application and licensing processes, we therefore modify the suspensions as follows:
Within 30 days of release of this Public Notice, the Bureaus will:
Resume processing T-Band applications for renewal of license.
Process all other pending T-Band applications, but dismiss without prejudice any pending applications that include a request for waiver of the Suspension Notice. We dismiss requests for waiver of the application suspension in order to provide equal opportunity to all applicants and establish a stable spectral environment for modifying the suspension as detailed below.
Following that 30 day processing period, applicants and frequency coordinators will have a 30 day period to prepare and begin pre-coordination of certain new applications. Immediately thereafter, for a ninety-day period, i.e., from March 22, 2021 until June 21, 2021, the Bureaus will accept the categories of applications listed below but only from incumbent licensees:
Applications for modification of license characterized as minor under sections 1.929 and 1.947(b) of the Commission’s rules.
Applications characterized as major under Part 22 of the Commission’s rules;
Applications governed by Part 90 of the Commission’s rules, but only if such applications;
o propose operation with 12.5 kHz bandwidth (11.25 kHz occupied bandwidth) or narrower channels, or
o employ a technology that achieves the narrowband equivalent of at least one channel per 12.5 kHz of channel bandwidth for voice, and transmission rates of at least 4800 bits per second per 6.25 kHz for data systems operating with bandwidths greater than 12.5 kHz (narrowband-equivalent technology).
Frequency coordinators must follow pre-coordination procedures to eliminate conflicts between Part 90 applications prior to their being filed with the Commission, and they must attach the appropriate certifications to each application. Frequency coordinators may accept applications for T-Band channels submitted to them on or before the release date of this notice. To eliminate the possibility that the Commission could receive mutually exclusive Part 90 applications, each frequency coordinator must provide notification of each application submitted to it for coordination to all other participating coordinators prior to filing the application with the Commission. The purpose of this notification process is to enable frequency coordinators to address and resolve conflicting applications prior to filing with the Commission.
Pre-coordination may commence no sooner than February 18, 2021 at 8:00 AM Eastern Time. On this date, and after that time, each frequency coordinator may submit electronic notification to the other participating coordinators of Part 90 applications it has prepared for coordination. Each notification for T-Band channels must be sent individually; batch filing is prohibited.
READ MORE HERE: WIRELESS TELECOMMUNICATIONS BUREAU AND PUBLIC SAFETY AND HOMELAND SECURITY BUREAU MODIFY SUSPENSIONS OF ACCEPTANCE AND PROCESSING OF CERTAIN PART 22 AND PART 90 APPLICATIONS FOR 470-512 MHZ (T-BAND) SPECTRUM