From Public Safety Communications: The Fourth Report and Order establishes a new 800 MHz band plan for the U.S. Virgin Islands, effective as of March 3.

The ESMR Band in the USVI is identical to the U.S. non-border 817-824/862-869 MHz ESMR band segment. Because not all ESMR and ESMR-eligible licensees in USVI may be accommodated within that ESMR Band segment, the Bureau apportioned the USVI ESMR Band and directed the TA The Bureau adopted a single 90-day mandatory negotiation period for the remaining incumbent licensees that must be returned from the 816.5-821/861.5-866 MHz portion of the band. Thereafter, if Sprint and an incumbent licensee have not negotiated a Frequency Reconfiguration Agreement with Sprint, they must enter mandatory TA-sponsored mediation. The Bureau also established a 12-month transition period to complete rebanding in USVI. The transition period will start on March 21, 2011 and end on March 20, 2012.

The Bureau also extended the filing freeze on new applications in the USVI region until thirty working days after the date for completion of mandatory negotiations. However, the freeze does not apply to applications for modification of license that do not change an 800 MHz frequency or expand an 800 MHz station’s existing coverage area (e.g., administrative updates), assignments/transfers, or renewal-only applications. In addition, licensees in the USVI region may expand their facilities or add channels during the freeze, but only pursuant to Special Temporary Authorization (STA). Requests for STA must be accompanied by a demonstration that, without the new or expanded facilities, there would be a specific, material and serious adverse effect on the safety of life or property.