As promised, the FCC has frozen new applications and applications for major changes in facilities in the UHF T-Band aka 470-512 MHz. Because the band will have to be vacated in about 10 years in order to auction that portion of the spectrum, the FCC has decided to halt licensing or modifications of faciilties that will eventually have to be relocated. The full text of the Public Notice is found by following this link HERE. As a companion to that action they lifted the mandatory narrowband requirement in the T-band and details of that action are found HERE. Read them carefully and keep in mind these actions relate ONLY to the T-Band and not to licenses below 470 MHZ,
On Wednesday April 18, 2012, David Furth acting Bureau Chief of the public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, announced before the LMCC Membership meeting in Washingtron DC that the FCC will freeze new licensing on the T-Band (470-512 MHz). He did not provide many specific detals other than to indicate the complete Public Notice will be out within the next week. Already there is speculation about what and when…spokespersons of various user groups and service shop experts stating with certaintity their conflicting personal knowledge. At FIT we are going to wait until the full text of the Public Notice comes out, which will be soon. We will publish it then
The FCC released a CONSUMER ALERT Public Notice detailing how it is illegal to import or use a cell phone jamming device…it is highly illegal and they proclaim they have a zero tolerance policy. It could cost a $1000,000 fine! You can see how serious they are by following this link HERE.
Licensees have a year to construct their facilities and must notify the Commission when the system has been built. Rules exist to allow for slow growth or extensions of the deadlines, but proper procedures must be followed. The city of Springfield, MO. learned this the hard way when they failed to follow the proper steps…the FCC says their license is cancelled. HERE is a link to the FCC’s decision on this matter.
Sanjiv Ahuja, Chairman and CEO of light Squared issued his responce to the FCC Public Notice denying his company permission to develop their Broadband wireless service adjacent to the GPS band. “To leave this problem unresolved is the height of bureaucratic irresponsibility and undermines the very principles that once made America the best place in the world to do business. We remain committed to finding a solution and believe that if all the parties have that same level of commitment, a solution can be found. The American people send their representatives to Washington to solve tough problems and make our country better – not to undermine and pull the rug from under private enterprise.” His release can be found by following this link HERE.
FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell testified before the Energy and Commerce’s Oversight subcommitteeFebruary 15th and called for a “thorough review of every FCC rule”. McDowell was one of seven officials from federal regulatory agencies called to testify about easing government regulations. Coverage of the Commissioner McDowell’s testimony can be found in an article from “The HILL” and the link is HERE.
The battle is clearly not over, but for the time being the FCC has denied Light Squared authority to operate on channels near the GPS band. Apparently convinced by NTIA, GPS users and other agencies that the Light Squared broadband system would create interference to private, government and military GPS receivers, the FCC told Light Squared they would not be granted a license to opperate. The story is covered in depth by RCR magazine and can be accessed HERE. Additional coverage is available from our attorney friend Mitchell Lazarus at Fletcher, Heald and Hildreth by clicking HERE.
With pressure from the Republicans to “reform” the Federal Communications Commision, Oregon Representative (Republlican ) Greg Walden spearheads the efforts from his position as Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman of the Energy & Commerce Committee. Broadcast Engineering has some observations about this situation HERE. Additionally, according to Radio World, the National Asociation of Broadcasters is in support of the FCC Regorm Act and can be read HERE.
A nearly 2000 percent increase in poor call quality/dropped call complaints from rural cellular users to their representatives has drawn a reaction of 24 US Senators who are asking the FCC to look into the matter. Radio Communications Report has a story on this issue HERE.
Nedw standards for portable radio sets used in hazardous environments have been in the works for some time. The issue appears t be getting close to finalization. The link HERE will take you to an article in Urgent Communications magazine.