Mandate For Relocation Of The 470-512 MHz (T-Band) Spectrum Terminated

On December 27, 2020, the President signed the Don’t Break Up the T-Band Act (T-Band Act) into law as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021. The T-Band Act repeals section 6103 of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, which had mandated that the Commission reallocate and auction frequencies used by public safety eligibles in the 470-512 MHz spectrum band (T-Band Mandate).

In June 2020, the Commission adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the above-captioned proceeding. The Commission adopted the T-Band NPRM as “the commencement of the process to meet each of the statutory deadlines and directives” in the T-Band Mandate. In initiating the rulemaking, the Commission noted that implementing the T-Band Mandate posed significant challenges and potential harm to first responder communications, and that multiple bills had been introduced in Congress to repeal the Mandate. The T-Band Act has now repealed the T-Band Mandate in its entirety, thus eliminating the statutory mandate to reallocate and auction T-Band spectrum occupied by public safety licensees. See Order for full details.

FCC Updates Rules For Over-The-Air Reception Devices

The Commission’s rule for over-the-air reception devices (OTARD) to expand its coverage to include hub and relay antennas that are used for the distribution of broadband-only fixed wireless services to multiple customer locations, regardless of whether they are primarily used for this purpose, provided the antennas satisfy other conditions of the rule. By making this modest adjustment to our rule while maintaining the other existing OTARD restrictions, the FCC places fixed wireless broadband-only service providers on similar competitive footing with other service providers. This rule change should allow fixed wireless service providers to bring faster Internet speeds, lower latency, and advanced applications—like the Internet of Things, telehealth, and remote learning—to all areas of the country, and to rural and underserved communities in particular. See Report and Order for full details.

FCC Reports On Post-Incentive Auction Status; Announces Further Allocations For LPTV / Translator Stations

The FCC provided a summary of the status of the post-incentive auction transition and reimbursement program. They also announced an additional allocation from the TV Broadcaster Relocation Fund (the Reimbursement Fund or Fund) for low power television (LPTV) and TV translator (together LPTV/Translator) stations to increase the allocation for LPTV/Translator stations from 85 percent to 92.5 percent of verified estimates, which is consistent with the percentage currently allocated to other categories of entities eligible for reimbursement from the Fund. See Public Notice for full details.