The FCC today issued a notice (DA-19-1225A1) suspending the renewal of licenses for T-Band frequencies in accordance with the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (Spectrum Act). That legislation required the FCC to reallocate T-Band spectrum used by public safety licensees and “begin a system of competitive bidding” for reallocated spectrum by 2021 (the T-Band mandate). The FCC notice issued today suspends the renewal of licenses but states that licensees that file timely applications for renewal can continue operations on those frequencies past the license expiration date while the suspension is in effect. A previous notice (DA-12-643 dated April 26 2012) had suspended processing of license applications for new frequencies or certain modifications to existing licenses involving T-Band frequencies. The notice issued today extends that freeze to renewals and renewal/modification applications. Note that although the FCC has suspended their processing of renewal applications, renewal applications must still be filed in a timely manner.
In concert with today’s FCC notice, Commission Chairman Ajit Pai issued a separate statement urging Congress to repeal the T-Band Mandate (FCC DOC-361103A1). The notice from the Chairman includes a link to the Government Accounting Office (GAO) report Required Auction of Public Safety Spectrum Could Harm First Responder Capabilities.