The Federal Communications Commission has announced that the 800 MHz band reconfiguration has been completed in certain National Public Safety Planning Advisory Committee (NPSPAC) regions.
In NPSPAC regions where rebanding has been completed, the FCC will (1) make available for licensing channels in the 800 MHz Expansion Band and Guard Band on January 17, 2013; (2) begin accepting applications from public safety entities for the licensing of channels in the Interleaved (809.5-815/854.5-860) portion of the 800 MHz band (channels 251-470) that have been relinquished by Sprint Nextel at certain locations within certain NPSPAC Regions beginning on January 17, 2013; and (3) lift the freeze on new applications for the 900 MHz band on May 28, 2013. The FCC previously ordered that spectrum vacated by Sprint Nextel in the Interleaved portion of the band (809-815/854-860 MHz) be made available first to public safety entities and then to critical infrastructure industry (CII) entities.
The FCC also announced that 800 MHz Interleaved Band channels will be made available in other non-border NPSPAC regions where rebanding is ongoing.
Applications for the Expansion Band and Guard Band and 800 MHz Interleaved Band (for Public Safety applicants) are subject to certain pre-coordination procedures, which will begin on December 11, 2012. There may be circumstances where an application for the 800 MHz Expansion Band or Guard Band or post-freeze 900 MHz band implicates a still-frozen neighboring region, which has yet to complete rebanding. In such a case, an applicant may file a waiver request to allow its coverage to extend into the still-frozen region, if the overlapping coverage area is limited and would not disrupt ongoing rebanding efforts in that region.
The timeline for accessing these three options (800 MHz Expansion Band or Guard Band, 800 MHz Interleaved Band, and 900 MHz Band) is as follows:
- December 11, 2012 at 8:00 AM EST: Pre-Coordination process begins for applications for the 800 MHz Expansion Band and Guard Band and 800 MHz Interleaved Band (for public safety applicants). Each frequency coordinator must submit electronic notification to the other participating coordinators of applications that it has prepared for coordination.
- January 17, 2013: 800 MHz Expansion Band and Guard Band Channels in the above-referenced NPSPAC regions will be made available for licensing. On this date, frequency coordinators may begin filing applications in ULS on behalf of eligible applicants. Any application filed prior to this date will be dismissed.
- January 17, 2016: 800 MHz Interleaved Band channels will be made available licensing to CII entities.
Copies of the FCC's Public Notices are available at