Almost 30% of the non-border NPSPAC licensees have completed reconfiguring their 800 MHz networks as part of the massive rebanding effort, Sprint Nextel stated this week in a report to the FCC.

In its monthly report on rebanding, Sprint Nextel cited “strong progress” in NPSPAC rebanding, with 265 about 900 non-border licensees currently operating on their new frequencies, including all licensees in the Alaska region. In addition, another 269 NPSPAC licensees have provided firm dates for completing the retuning of their systems, although some of those dates are in 2009 or later.

Of course, this second phase of rebanding only is possible in geographic regions where incumbents have been cleared from Channels 1-120. This first phase is almost complete, with 97% of the licensees operating on their new spectrum.

“We’re making significant progress,” Sprint Nextel spokesman Scott Sloat said. “Phase I is all but complete, and Phase II is moving along.”

In terms of negotiations, 669 of the 900 non-border NPSPAC licensee have completed rebanding contracts with Sprint Nextel, according to the report. Of the remaining licensees, almost half are still in the planning stage.

In rebanding news not referenced in the report, the FCC is scheduled to consider on Oct. 15 rules that would require Sprint Nextel to stop operating on interleaved channels in the 800 MHz by March 31, 2010, FCC spokesman Rob Kenny has said.

Sprint Nextel has proposed that it would be willing to vacate interleaved spectrum in stages, based on the amount of rebanding progress that has been made in a geographical region. Public-safety organizations expressed support for the model but also wanted a hard deadline that would allow planning for use of the frequencies. Kenny described the proposal as a “compromise” between the two positions, as Sprint Nextel would release frequencies as rebanding is completed in geographic regions.

Because the commission has not taken action on the item yet, Sloat said Sprint would not comment on details of the proposal but said “we’re gratified that [FCC commissioners] are taking a look at our proposal.”