Sprint Nextel has requested a hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ) regarding the FCC’s recent ruling requiring the carrier to pay to replace radios in Tazewell County, Ill., but officials for the company this week indicated that it would comply with the terms of the decision.

Filing for the ALJ hearing was a procedural matter, a Sprint spokesperson indicated in e-mail correspondence with MRT regarding the matter.

“We are preserving our rights for further FCC review given the complex legal and policy issues involved in the bureau's decision,” said the e-mail statement. “But … Sprint Nextel will resolve this matter directly with Tazewell County consistent with the [FCC’s public safety and homeland security] bureau’s action.”

Alan Tilles, the attorney representing Tazewell County in the case, said he had received a similar explanation from Sprint Nextel.

“That’s what they’ve told me, and we are negotiating,” Tilles said. “Do we have a deal yet? No.”

In the decision released on May 11, the FCC decided that Sprint Nextel must pay an additional $500,000 in 800 MHz rebanding costs to replace 262 mobile radios for Tazewell County to ensure that the county maintains its ability to access all NPSPAC channels, including those for which it is not licensed to use.

Similar disputes have created a snag in negotiations with other NPSPAC licensees. Media reports indicate that Sprint Nextel has reached a $3 million rebanding agreement with at least one of those licensees, the city of Eden Prairie, Minn.