EWA: Spectrum reform will cost nearly a half billion dollars

(McLean, Va.)--As part of their response to the FCC’s inquiry regarding how best to reallocate the 470-512 MHz band (T-Band) in response to last year’s spectrum reform legislation, the Enterprise Wireless Alliance (EWA) provided the results of custom research that EWA commissioned from Televate, LLC on the costs affiliated with moving 764 I/B T-Band systems into a single portion of contiguous T-Band spectrum.  The results of that research revealed a minimum cost of $449,200,000. 

EWA stated in their comments that the FCC need not and should not go beyond the legislative directive to relocate public safety T-Band licensees and auction their spectrum.  However, should the FCC conclude that the I/B licensees must be moved as well, it is EWA’s opinion that there is no comparable spectrum to which they can be relocated.  EWA recommends that the FCC pursue the option in the original Public Notice to consolidate all such licensees in a contiguous portion of T-Band spectrum and, pursuant to that, provided the estimated costs with their comments.  EWA informed the FCC that it is their expectation that the cost would be borne by auction winner(s), as it has been in other FCC auctions of encumbered spectrum and presumably would be factored into the amount they would bid for the spectrum itself.

Further, EWA noted that, irrespective of the Commission’s decision regarding the ultimate disposition of this spectrum, the FCC should rescind the T-Band Freeze, at least until such time as the imminence of an auction requires a defined spectrum landscape, or modify it consistent with the freeze applicable to 900 MHz I/B spectrum.

EWA is an FCC-certified frequency advisory committee that provides license preparation, spectrum management and associated services to business enterprises, public safety entities and wireless sales and service organizations.  Membership within EWA is open to users of wireless communications systems, vendors, system operators and service organizations.  EWA publishes its e-newsletter Insider™, provides regulatory updates, offers the Enterprise Wireless Solutions Center®, hosts the WirelessCareerConnection.com and convenes an annual conference with a technology showcase for new wireless products and business operations sessions.  Additional information about membership and services is available at www.enterprisewireless.org.

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