FCC: PSST submits only 700 MHz licensee application
As expected, the Public Safety Spectrum Trust (PSST) was the only entity to submit an application to serve as the national licensee for public safety’s 10 MHz of spectrum in the 700 MHz band, according to the FCC.
Although the PSST is the only applicant, it has not been named as the public-safety licensee, according to an FCC spokesman. The PSST application currently is “under review” by the agency to ensure that the non-profit organization—established in June to become the national licensee—meets the commission’s criteria to act as the nationwide licensee.
Applications to be the national public-safety licensee were due to the FCC on Oct. 10, but the agency waited until late yesterday afternoon to publicly acknowledge the number of applications, to ensure that no applications had been subject to delivery or processing delays. Based on the strict criteria for the national licensee included in the FCC’s 700 MHz order approved on July 31, many industry observers believed it would be difficult for any organization other than the PSST to submit a qualifying application.
Indeed, even the PSST initially had some trouble meeting the FCC’s guidelines, forcing the non-profit organization to reconstitute its board to align with the representation mandated by the commission’s order.
If named as the national licensee, the PSST will be charged with negotiating a network sharing agreement with the winner of the 10 MHz D Block auction that will begin on Jan. 24. The D Block spectrum and the public-safety spectrum will be combined to serve as the foundation of a nationwide wireless broadband network operated in a public-private partnership.
Prior to the auction, the national licensee’s primary task will be to create a statement of public-safety requirements, so D Block auction participants can understand their public-safety obligations—something that is expected to increase network costs substantially, compared to a commercial-only network—when preparing their bids. The FCC has stated that the minimum bid for the D Block spectrum will be $1.3 billion.