Public Safety T-Band Fact Sheet 2016

This fact sheet provides answers by the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau to common questions asked by public safety licensees about the “T-Band” provisions of The Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (Public Law 112-96) (the Act) and its impact on public safety licensees. The relevant section of the Act reads as follows:

“SEC. 6103. 470-512 MHZ PUBLIC SAFETY SPECTRUM.

(a) In General- Not later than 9 years after the date of enactment of this title, the Commission shall–
(1) reallocate the spectrum in the 470-512 MHz band (referred to in this section as the `T-Band spectrum’) currently used by public safety eligibles as identified in section 90.303 of title 47, Code of Federal Regulations; and

(2) begin a system of competitive bidding under section 309(j) of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 309(j)) to grant new initial licenses for the use of the spectrum described in paragraph (1).

(b) Auction Proceeds- Proceeds (including deposits and upfront payments from successful bidders) from the competitive bidding system described in subsection (a)(2) shall be available to the Assistant Secretary to make grants in such sums as necessary to cover relocation costs for the relocation of public safety entities from the T-Band spectrum.

(c) Relocation- Relocation shall be completed not later than 2 years after the date on which the system of competitive bidding described in subsection (a)(2) is completed.”

Follow this link (https://transition.fcc.gov/pshs/docs/T-Band_FactSheet_July2016.pdf) to download the complete PDF from the FCC website.

Feel free to contact us with any questions you have in assessing and planning your next steps with your T-Band based radio system.

FCC Buildout Requirements

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has established buildout requirements—which require a licensee to build the necessary infrastructure and put the assigned spectrum to use within a set amount of time—for most wireless services, including cellular and personal communication services. FCC tailors the buildout requirements it sets for a wireless service based on the physical characteristics of the relevant spectrum and comments of stakeholders, among other factors. Therefore, buildout requirements vary across wireless services. For example, a buildout requirement can set the percentage of a license’s population or geographic area that must be covered by service or can describe the required level of service in narrative terms rather than numeric benchmarks. Buildout requirements also vary by how much time a licensee has to meet a requirement and whether it has to meet one requirement or multiple requirements in stages.

FCC’s enforcement process for wireless-service licenses with buildout requirements primarily relies on information provided by licensees.  The FCC requires licensees to self-certify that they have met buildout requirements. If a licensee does not do so, FCC automatically terminates the license.  As part of enforcement, the FCC also grants or dismisses licensees’ requests to extend the deadline for meeting a requirement. FCC may grant an extension if the licensee shows that it cannot meet a deadline due to causes beyond its control, like a lack of available equipment.  FCC officials said that the Commission seeks to be aggressive but pragmatic when enforcing buildout requirements, including being flexible on deadlines when needed.

Have more questions about FCC buildout requirements?  Post them below or email us.