FCC Suspends the Processing of Renewal Applications for the 470-512 MHz Spectrum Band (T-Band)

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The Wireless Telecommunications Bureau and the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau (Bureaus) have announced that they will accept, but not grant, applications to renew Part 22 and Part 90 licenses for operation in the 470-512 MHz band (T-Band). Licensees that have filed or who timely file complete applications for renewal may continue to operate their licensed facilities past the license expiration date while the suspension is in effect. The Bureaus explain that the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 requires that the FCC reallocate T-Band spectrum used by public safety licensees, conduct competitive bidding for the reallocated spectrum by February 22, 2021, and relocate public safety entities from the T-Band spectrum no later than two years after completion of competitive bidding (T-Band Mandate). Despite the recommendation of the Government Accountability Office that Congress should allow public safety’s continued use of the spectrum because the T-Band Mandate could deprive first responders of their ability to communicate, the Bureaus assert that the T-Band Mandate is the law of the land and the FCC is required to implement it.

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