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Federal Communications Commission
1919 - M Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20554
News media information 202 / 418-0500
Fax-On-Demand 202 / 418-2830
Internet: http://www.fcc.gov

This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action. See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).


Report No. ET 97-6 July 9, 1997

(ET DOCKET NO. 97-157)

The Commission today proposed the reallocation of television Channels 60-69 (the 746-806 MHz band) to other services. The Commission stated that the reallocation of these channels would help to alleviate a critical shortage of public safety spectrum, make new technologies and services available to the American public, and allow more efficient use of spectrum in the 746-806 MHz band.

Specifically, the Commission proposed to allocate 24 MHz at 764-776 MHz and 794-806 MHz to the fixed and mobile services for public safety use. The remaining 36 MHz at 746-764 MHz and 776-794 MHz would be allocated to the fixed, mobile, and broadcasting services.

Recently, the Commission adopted a Table of Allotments to be used for DTV service during the transition from analog to digital television service. The DTV Table also facilitates the early recovery of a portion of the existing broadcast spectrum, specifically, channels 60-69, by minimizing the use of these channels for DTV purposes. All full service television broadcast stations will be protected against interference during the DTV transition period, which is targeted for completion in the year 2006.

The Commission said that it will issue a proposal in the future to develop rules for the new services that will operate in the channel 60-69 spectrum. This subsequent proposal will include the criteria for protecting existing analog TV and future DTV stations against interference.

Comments are requested on ways of alleviating the impact of this allocation on low power TV (LPTV) and television translators. In developing the DTV transition plan the Commission has already taken several actions to mitigate the impact on low power operations, including those operating in TV channels 60-69. The Commission did not, however, alter the secondary status of LPTV and TV translator stations.

In 1995, the Commission and the National Telecommunications and Information Agency created the Public Safety Wireless Advisory Committee (PSWAC) to study public safety telecommunications requirements. On September 11, 1996, the PSWAC issued its Final Report. The PSWAC found that the currently allocated public safety spectrum is insufficient to support current voice and data needs of the public safety community, and fails to provide adequate capacity for interoperability channels or to meet future needs based on projected population growth and demographic changes. The PSWAC found that, in the short term, new public safety spectrum is needed, and concluded that public safety users should be granted access to portions of the unused spectrum in the 746-806 MHz band. This proceeding was initiated to address an additional spectrum allocation to meet expanding needs for public safety wireless communications.

Action by the Commission July 9, 1997, by Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FCC 97-245). Chairman Hundt, Commissioners Quello, Ness, and Chong, with Commissioner Quello issuing a separate statement.


News Media contact: Patricia A. Chew at (202) 418-0500.
Office of Engineering and Technology contact: Sean White (202) 418-2453.