Recently, I was having a conversation with the TA at an IPS. I was lamenting that we've now added a CRW to the list of rebanding documents for NPSPAC licensees. In case you didn't know, the CRW is used instead of a PRW when an SED has been filed, or there are multiple CORs. These will usually precede the signing of an FRA.

So to those of you who wonder about the process, by now you should have filed a POC. Licensees will know what frequencies that they are moving to through receipt of the TA's FPR. Licensees also should consider whether they need to issue an RFP (or in some cases, an RFQ) to retain outside vendors.

Thereafter, the licensee and vendor(s) should prepare an RFPF. The RFPF will be based upon an SOW created by your vendor. After it is sent to Sprint Nextel, the carrier will create a PRW (or CRW in cases where there is an SED) in order to begin negotiations (negotiations will not be necessary if the RFPF is Fast Track). If negotiations are not initially a success, the licensee enters the ADR process. If ADR takes too long, the mediator may prepare and submit an RRRW to the FCC to permit additional time, and then perhaps an FRRRW.

If such negotiations are not successful after mediation, the licensee and Sprint Nextel prepare PRMs. The mediator uses the PRMs to create an RR, which is then sent to the FCC. Either party may file an SOP in response to the RR. After the PSHSB reviews the RR and SOPs, the PSHSB will issue an MO&O. Either party may file an AFR of the MO&O (but remember, it's not a recoverable expense), which will result in either a hearing or possibly an FMO&O.

Usually, however, negotiations are successful, and each party will sign a PFA. A kick-off meeting will ensue, and work begun to plan for the work to be done. During planning, reports will be due every two weeks to the TA. The TA will use these reports, and all other documents, to generate their metrics, against which all licensees are evaluated.

Once planning is completed, the negotiation and ADR process begins again, with all of the same obligations and documents (PRMs, RRRWs, FRRRWs, RRs, etc.). At the end of this part of the process, the parties hopefully will have completed and signed an FRA.

When the PFA or FRA is sent to the TA for the TA's review, the TA may issue one or more RFIs in order to ascertain whether the agreement should be approved.

The IPS is a follow-up to the initially established RPP and the subsequent RPPM. After the IPS, licensees will have an idea of their infrastructure time periods. For access to frequencies, licensees may wish to file a CCRF. However, if there are problems during the process, the licensee may need to file a COR for additional funds, additional tasks or additional time.

Upon completion of work, there will be closing documents, reconciliation forms, audit documents and a host of other tasks to complete. Hopefully, at this point, the licensee will be able to determine whether it has comparable facilities and will be able to sign the appropriate form.

At this point, if you understood most of the first 500 or so words of this column, you can claim that you are waist deep in rebanding. If you understood all of it, you are entitled to a lengthy vacation.


Alan Tilles is counsel to numerous entities in the private radio and Internet industries. He is a partner in the law firm of Shulman Rogers Gandal Pordy & Ecker and can be reached at atilles@srgpe.com.