|Re:||In the Matter of Service Rules for the 746-764 and 776-794 MHz Bands, and Revisions to Part 27 of the Commission's Rules, Second Report and Order, WT Docket No. 99-168|
In the Matter of Service Rules for the 746-764 and 776-794 MHz Bands, and Revisions to Part 27 of the Commission's Rules, Second Report and Order, WT Docket No. 99-168
With this Order, we conclude our adoption of rules for licensing new commercial services in the spectrum currently utilized by television channels 60 to 69. In the near future, we will auction a total of 36 MHz in the 746-806 MHz band. In our First Report and Order in this proceeding, I strongly supported our actions unleashing 30 MHz of prime spectrum for a variety of wireless services that could include fixed and mobile Internet access. Our decision balanced the needs of a number of competing demands for spectrum, including those seeking to provide wireless alternatives to the local loop, fixed high-speed Internet connections and advanced mobile services. We provided for an extremely flexible allocation of expansive regional 10 MHz and 20 MHz spectrum blocks with the capability for paired channels; the marketplace will determine which services will be provided to the public. From this action will flow the deployment of new advance wireless services that will benefit the public.
In our First Report and Order, I also supported the designation of 6 MHz of spectrum to serve as guard bands to ensure that the public safety service licensees that will operate in the 700 MHz band will "operate free of interference from any new commercial licensees." While I strongly considered a flexible allocation of 36 MHz relying on technical constraints alone to protect public safety operations, I concluded with my colleagues that the Congressional directive to maximize our protection of public safety communications was best served by establishing guard bands. Today I also support the strict technical rules, coordination requirements, and architectural restrictions we adopt to further ensure, as Congress mandated, that public safety organizations using frequencies adjacent to commercial operations in this band do not suffer harmful interference to their critical communications services. In supporting these restrictions, my objective, as it was in establishing the guard bands, is to protect public safety operations from interference. I have listened carefully to the representatives of public safety organizations across this country, including APCO and the Independent Association of Police Chiefs, and reviewed the conclusions of our staff regarding potential interference to public safety operations. While it is a difficult balance, I believe the Commission and its staff have made the wisest choices to protect public safety. I support the proposed restrictions because I conclude that we should not take any unnecessary chance that adjacent commercial operations will interfere with the efforts of those who place their lives on the line to protect and secure the public safety.