Public-safety licensees operating or deploying systems on 700 MHz spectrum can submit a waiver to the FCC to secure extensions to the tight deadlines established by the commission for relocating operations in the band, a spokesman for the agency said this week.

Several public-safety representatives expressed concern about the relocation timelines included in the FCC’s massive 700 MHz order, which calls for the commercial partner building the nationwide broadband network to pay a maximum of $10 million to reband the relatively few systems existing as of Aug. 30, 2007. In particular, some feared that 700 MHz systems that are in the midst of being deployed or are contracted for deployment soon would not be eligible for reimbursement.

Public-safety representatives recently met with FCC officials, and the commission will consider waiver requests from licensees that have systems that were not fully operational as of the Aug. 30 deadline, an FCC spokesman told MRT. While no deadline has been established for the waivers, it would be “beneficial” for licensees to submit their waivers to the FCC as soon as possible, the agency spokesman said.

By law, public-safety agencies operating in the band must relocate to their proper frequencies under the FCC’s new band plan by Feb. 17, 2009.