Narrowband Relocation

In order to maximize the benefits of the 700 MHz Public Safety/Private Partnership to deploy a nationwide, interoperable broadband communications network, narrowband operations presently in channels 63 and 68 (and the upper 1 megahertz of channels 64 and 69) must be cleared no later than the DTV transition date of February 17, 2009.

Consolidation of the narrowband segments of the 700 MHz band will promote the benefits of the 700 MHz Public/Private Partnership by creating a contiguous public safety broadband allocation adjacent to commercial broadband spectrum, and distancing the narrowband segment from the broadband segment to minimize interference potential. Further, consolidating the narrowband segments in this manner will maximize spectrum efficiency, thereby reducing the need for internal guard bands between narrowband and broadband operations from two separate guard bands to only one internal guard band. Specifically, the Commission consolidated the public safety narrowband operations in the upper paired 6-megahertz blocks (twelve megahertz total) of the 700 MHz Public Safety Band.

The Relocation Process

The Upper 700 MHz Band D Block licensee will be required to pay the costs associated with relocating public safety narrowband operations to the consolidated channels. The Public Safety Broadband Licensee will administer the relocation process.

To facilitate the relocation, the Commission required each 700 MHz Band public safety licensee, whether holding individual narrowband authorizations or operating pursuant to a State License, to file a certification to the Commission no later than October 23, 2007, detailing certain elements of its operations prior to August 30, 2007.

Relocation Reimbursement Requirements

Relocation costs have been capped at $10 million.

The funding of the costs of relocation of narrowband operation is only for handsets and base stations that are actually in operation as part of licensed narrowband operations in channels 63 and 68, and the upper 1 megahertz of channels 64 and 69, as of August 30, 2007.

The obligation of the D Block licensee to fund the costs of relocation will be limited to the minimum costs directly associated with modifications necessary to implement the relocation of base stations, mobiles and portables, and not for any unrelated improvements.

The Commission is not imposing a funding obligation to cover costs associated with any modifications that may be necessary to the CAPRAD system and other programs used by Regional Planning Committees (RPCs) to assign channels, or to any costs associated with amendments to regional plans or narrowband licenses.

Authorizations, whether pursuant to individual license or State License, of any new narrowband operations in channels 63 and 68, or in the upper 1 megahertz of channels 64 and 69, as of August 30, 2007, are prohibited.

Any equipment deployed in these frequencies subsequent to August 30, 2007, will be ineligible for relocation funding.

Public safety entities may continue to place into operation narrowband equipment in the consolidated narrowband blocks 769-775 and 799-805 MHz.

The winning bidder for the D Block license and the Public Safety Broadband Licensee jointly must submit for Commission approval a relocation plan within 30 days following the Network Sharing Agreement Negotiation Commencement Date. This plan must address the process and schedule for accomplishing the narrowband relocation, including identification of equipment vendors or other consultants that would perform the necessary technical changes to handsets and base stations, and a detailed schedule for completion of the relocation process for every radio and base station identified in the certifications we require above. Furthermore, this plan must specify the total costs to be incurred for the complete relocation process.