700 MHz State License

The state license is a geographic area license based on state boundaries, which differs from traditional site-based public safety licensing. State licenses are subject to the general limits that govern geographic licenses including antenna structures and air navigation, international coordination, and environmental requirements including quiet zones.

How much spectrum has been designated?

A portion of the 700 MHz public safety narrowband spectrum is designated for statewide, geographic-area licenses. The Commission designated the same amount of spectrum for all states, regardless of size, and it designated the same 2.4 megahertz of spectrum nationwide.

Who received the State Licenses?

All 50 states, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia were granted a State License on or before February 1, 2002.

Does the State License have construction conditions?

Yes. Construction and operation requirements were established to ensure timely and efficient use of the spectrum, including the provision of service to rural and remote areas. The initial construction/operation benchmark was set at 5 years; however, because broadcasters are not required to complete relocations until December 31, 2006, the start date for calculating the benchmark is January 1, 2007. The first build-out date is January 1, 2012 and the second build-out date is January 1, 2017.

When can states begin building their systems?

Planning can begin now. States may begin using the state license spectrum when:

  • Full power TV or DTV stations vacate the 700 MHz spectrum
  • Project 25 Phase 1 equipment is available for purchase
  • General operating and technical requirements are met such as:
    1. coordinating transmitting sites near the U.S./Canada and U.S./Mexico border;
    2. compliance with quiet zones, and
    3. registration of antenna structures with the FAA and FCC as required under Part 17 of the Commission's Rules.

For further information about the State license, see the Commission's Rules, 47 C.F.R. 90.529 and Public Notice DA 01-406 (includes Fact Sheet attachment).