TA proposes extending rebanding timeline for Wave 1
Most 800 MHz public-safety licensees in Wave 1 will have an extra three months to negotiate and execute rebanding agreements, if the FCC approves a schedule proposed recently by the Transition Administrator.
Under the proposal, the mandatory negotiating period for 800 MHz licensees operating in NPSPAC channels would end on Oct. 31 instead of the July 31 date in the current schedule, according to a letter the TA sent to the FCC late last week. In that letter, the TA noted that it received an average of 55 rebanding agreements per month during the mandatory negotiating period for Wave 1 licensees operating in Channels 1-120.
“Given a projected 424 licensee agreements to be completed in Wave 1, Stage 2 negotiations would require nearly eight months to complete, all things remaining equal,” according to the TA letter. “Further, it is expected that public-safety agreements will generally take longer to complete than agreements with commercial entities.”
The FCC has not responded to the Wave 1 recommendation, and the agency does not comment on a timetable for decisions on items under consideration, according to a source at the commission.
The TA also recommended changes in the start dates for the voluntary negotiation period for NPSPAC licensees in Wave 2 and Wave 3. The FCC approved both recommended changes in a public notice released this week. As a result, Wave 2 licensees will begin voluntary negotiations on Aug. 1—a three-month delay from the start date in the previous schedule—and Wave 3 voluntary negotiations will begin on Nov. 1, one month later than planned before.
Despite the adjustments, the TA proposal would still allow rebanding to be completed in the summer of 2008, as originally scheduled. Of course, meeting this timetable nationwide would require the U.S. to reach treaties with Canada and Mexico in time for rebanding in Wave 4, which cannot be reconfigured until after international agreements are struck.