The 2012 legislation that created the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) also mandated that by 2021 the FCC must auction the UHF T-band spectrum. Public-safety agencies and business/industry (B/I) licensees use this spectrum in 11 markets in the United States. The law dictates that relocation of public-safety entities from the T-band spectrum shall be completed within two years after the auction, so by 2023. The legislation does not address B/I relocation efforts.FirstNet 700 MHz Relocation Process on Track for August Deadline
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The task force will review the statute (P.L.112-96) and determine the status of the 11 metropolitan areas affected by the requirement. There are about seven members of the task force representing industrial and business interests and public safety.
“We are working with public safety and discussing the issue with other organizations affected by the auction,” said Jim Goldstein, government relations with the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and chair of the task force. “We met with the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Feb. 7 so they better understand our issue and to be upfront on the issues. They understood and appreciated the briefing.”
The National Public Safety Telecommunications Council (NPSTC) plans to discuss the topic at its executive committee meeting later this month. NPSTC and the Enterprise Wireless Alliance (EWA) have taken the lead on providing hard data about how much a relocation would cost and the lack of spectrum options for the incumbents that need to move. NPSTC released an updated report last year.
“The work that NPSTC has done on the impact to public safety and that EWA has done on the impact for business/industrial are beneficial for our LMCC task force work,” Goldstein said.
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