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Extension of EWA PLMR Conditional Authority Waiver Below 470 MHz

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Released: December 27, 2013

Federal Communications Commission

DA 13-2476

Before the

Federal Communications Commission

Washington, D.C. 20554

In the Matter of
)
)
ENTERPRISE WIRELESS ALLIANCE
)
)
Request for Extension of Temporary Waiver –
)
Part 90 Conditional Licensing Authority Above
)
470 MHz
)

ORDER

Adopted: December 26, 2013

Released: December 27, 2013

By the Deputy Chief, Mobility Division, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau:
1.
Introduction. We have before us the request of the Enterprise Wireless Alliance (EWA)
to extend a temporary waiver1 of Section 90.159(b) of the Commission’s Rules2 to permit applicants for
new or modified stations in the 470-512 MHz, 806-824/851-866 MHz, and 896-901/935-940 MHz bands
to operate while the applications are pending.3 We grant the extension request as set forth below.
2.
Background. Pursuant to Section 90.159(b), most applicants proposing to operate a new
private land mobile radio (PLMR) station or modify an existing PLMR station below 470 MHz that are
required to include a showing of frequency coordination are permitted to operate the proposed station
during the pendency of the application for a period of up to 180 days, beginning ten days after the
application is submitted to the Commission.4 This conditional authority is not available for applicants in
the PLMR frequency bands above 470 MHz.
3.
In its initial waiver request, EWA noted that the Commission’s January 1, 2013 PLMR
narrowbanding deadline triggered the filing of a large number of Part 90 applications in late 2012 and into
2013, resulting in notably longer processing times for non-Public Safety Pool applications.5 EWA
contended that the limitation in Section 90.159(b) to applications below 470 MHz “creates the anomalous
situation whereby, for example, a licensee proposing to upgrade from analog to digital equipment, which
requires a modification of the emission designator, can deploy its new technology 10 business days after
its below-470 MHz application is filed, yet must wait many months if the system is in the 470-512 MHz,


1 Enterprise Wireless Alliance, Order, 28 FCC Rcd 13910 (WTB MD 2013) (Waiver Order).
2 See 47 C.F.R. § 90.159(b).
3 See Letter dated December 24, 2013 from Mark E. Crosby, President/CEO, EWA to Roger C. Sherman, Acting
Chief, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (Extension Request).
4 See 47 C.F.R. 90.159(b), (b)(6). This conditional authority applies only to applications that meet the following
requirements: the proposed station location is south of Line A and west of Line C; the proposed antenna structure
has previously been determined by the Federal Aviation Administration to pose no hazard to aviation safety, or the
proposed structure height does not exceed 6.1 meters above ground level or above an existing man-made structure;
grant of the application does not require a waiver of the Commission’s rules; the proposed facility will not have a
significant environmental effect; and the proposed station is not in a quiet zone. 47 C.F.R. 90.159(b)(1)-(5).
5 See Letter dated June 21, 2013 from Mark E. Crosby, President/CEO, EWA to Ruth Milkman, Chief, Wireless
Telecommunications Bureau at 1 & n.2.

Federal Communications Commission

DA 13-2476

800 MHz, or 900 MHz frequency bands.”6 EWA requested a waiver to grant conditional authority for
above-470 MHz applications filed with the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (WTB) on or before
December 31, 2013 that meet all of the other requirements and conditions of Section 90.159(b).7
4.
WTB’s Mobility Division (Division) granted EWA’s request.8 It agreed with EWA that
the large number of narrowbanding-related applications and the attendant temporary increase in
processing time for all WTB applications was a unique or unusual factual circumstance for which
waiver relief was appropriate, and that, under the circumstances, restricting conditional authority to
applications involving frequencies below 470 MHz during this period would be inequitable and
unduly burdensome to applicants that could not have anticipated this increased processing time.9 The
Division granted the waiver only for PLMR applications filed on or before December 31, 2013 because it
expected processing times to return to normal by the time that applications filed thereafter are
processed.10
5.
On December 24, 2013, EWA requested a six-month extension of the waiver. It notes
that processing times have improved somewhat since it filed its initial waiver request, but still do not
approach WTB’s prior speed-of-service.11 EWA asserts that conditional operation pursuant to the waiver
has not produced any complaints of interference or other regulatory issues, and states that it expects a
petition for rulemaking to amend Section 90.259 to eliminate the below-470 MHz limitation to be filed in
early 2014.12
6.
Discussion. Based on the record before us, we grant EWA’s request to extend the
temporary waiver under the same terms as the initial waiver. Specifically, we grant EWA’s request to
temporarily waive Section 90.159(b) for applications in the 470-512 MHz, 806-824/851-866 MHz, and
896-901/935-940 MHz bands with WTB radio service codes13 filed on or before June 30, 2014 (including
applications that are currently pending). The waiver applies only to such applications that meet all of the
requirements of Section 90.159(b) other than the below-470 MHz limitation. The waiver does not apply
to public safety applicants or licenses.
7.
We remind applicants that frequency coordination recommendations are advisory in
character and not an assurance that the Commission will grant the requested license.14 Conditional
authority does not prejudice any action the Commission may take on the application, and may be


6 See id. at 1.
7 See id. at 1-2.
8 See Waiver Order, 28 FCC Rcd at 13911 ¶ 6.
9 See id. at 13911 ¶ 5. The Division also concluded that temporarily allowing above-470 MHz PLMR applicants to
initiate service consistent with the requirements of Section 90.159(b) would serve the public interest by permitting
the more timely deployment of systems that serve many parties’ communications needs. Id.
10 See id. at 13911 ¶ 6.
11 See Extension Request at 1. It also notes that the Federal Government shutdown in October negatively affected
processing times. See id.
12 See id. at 2. When the Commission enacted the rule granting conditional authority below 470 MHz, it stated that
it was being conservative in the implementation of conditional authority, and could consider expanding the concept
in the future if experience demonstrated that such action was appropriate. See Amendment of Part 90 of the
Commission's Rules to Implement a Conditional Authorization Procedure for Proposed Private Land Mobile Radio
Service Stations, Report and Order, PR Docket No. 88-567, 4 FCC Rcd 8280, 8283 ¶ 25 (1989).
13 See http://wireless.fcc.gov/uls/index.htm?job=radio_services.
14 47 C.F.R. § 90.175(h).
2

Federal Communications Commission

DA 13-2476

modified or canceled by the Commission at any time.15 The applicant assumes all risk associated with
operation under conditional authority16 and should be cautious in purchasing radio equipment prior to
obtaining a valid permanent authorization from the Commission.17
8.
Conclusion and Ordering Clauses. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED pursuant to Section
4(i) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. § 154(i), and Section 1.925(b)(3) of the
Commission’s Rules, 47 C.F.R. § 1.925(b)(3), that the Request for Extension of Temporary Waiver filed
by the Enterprise Wireless Alliance on December 24, 2013 IS GRANTED to the extent set forth in
paragraph 6.
9.
This action is taken under delegated authority pursuant to Sections 0.131 and 0.331 of the
Commission’s rules, 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.131, 0.331.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Scot Stone
Deputy Chief, Mobility Division
Wireless Telecommunications Bureau


15 47 C.F.R. § 90.159(d).
16 Id.
17 47 C.F.R. § 90.175(h).
3

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