FCC approves rebanding waivers
As expected, the FCC yesterday granted more than 500 waivers to NPSPAC licensees seeking relief from the commission’s original June 26 deadline for the completion of 800 MHz rebanding.
Two categories of waivers were granted in yesterday’s order, which addressed the waiver requests of most NPSPAC licensees not located near the Canadian or Mexican borders. Almost half of the extensions granted were “interim” extensions given to licensees that have signed a rebanding contract with Sprint Nextel, giving the licensee one month to provide an estimated timetable for rebanding. The standard waivers typically called for rebanding to be completed by July 1, 2009, or for the licensee to ask for another extensions at that time.
“We did not outright reject any waiver request,” an FCC spokesman said during an interview with MRT. “For those who asked for significant amounts of time—there were some who asked for extensions into late 2009, 2010 and even 2011—we’ve limited the relief they get. They’ve generally got until next July, and if they want to come back and seek more time, they’ll have to do so at that point.”
While the FCC order grants waivers for 504 NPSPAC licensees, there have been 605 NPSPAC waiver requests filed, according to the Transition Administrator. Licensees not mentioned in yesterday’s order typically have other issues pending before the FCC, and their extensions will be addressed in subsequent actions, the FCC spokesman said.
“None of them are in jeopardy out on their ear on June 26, we’re just dealing with them separately,” the FCC spokesman said.
Generally not addressed in this order are licensees in Wave 4, most of which are located in border areas. Licensees near the Canadian border will proceed according to the 30-month timetable recently approved by the FCC for those areas. Licensees near the Mexican border continue to await for U.S.-Mexico negotiations to generate an agreement that will allow rebanding to occur in those areas.