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Improving Public Safety Communications in the 800 MHz Band

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Released: December 21, 2012

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-2070

Before the

Federal Communications Commission

Washington, D.C. 20554

In the Matter of
)
)
Improving Public Safety Communications in the
)
WT Docket No. 02-55
800 MHz Band
)

ORDER

Adopted: December 21, 2012

Released: December 21, 2012

By the Chief, Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau:

I.

INTRODUCTION

1.
By this Order, pursuant to delegated authority, we (1) postpone the 800 MHz rebanding
financial reconciliation “true-up” date from December 31, 2012 to July 1, 2013, and (2) require the 800
MHz Transition Administrator (TA) to file a report by May 15, 2013, with its recommendation on
whether the true-up date should occur on July 1, 2013, or be further postponed.

II.

BACKGROUND

2.
The Commission established the true-up process in the 800 MHz Report and Order to
assess the total creditable rebanding costs incurred by Sprint Nextel Corporation (Sprint) for both 800
MHz rebanding and relocation of Broadcast Auxiliary Service (BAS) licensees in the 1.9 GHz band, and
to compare these costs to the value of the 1.9 GHz spectrum that the Commission awarded to Sprint.1 If
the true-up shows that the value of the 1.9 GHz spectrum exceeds Sprint’s combined 800 MHz and BAS
relocation costs, Sprint must pay the difference in an “anti-windfall” payment to the U.S. Treasury.2
3.
The 800 MHz Report and Order originally required Sprint to complete 800 MHz
rebanding in non-border areas within thirty-six months3 and provided that that the true-up would occur
within six months thereafter.4 The thirty-six month rebanding period expired on June 26, 2008, at which
time neither 800 MHz rebanding nor BAS relocation was complete.5 Accordingly, on June 25, 2008,
Sprint requested that the true-up – which was scheduled to occur on December 26, 2008 – be postponed
indefinitely until both 800 MHz rebanding and BAS relocation were complete.6 Noting that both
rebanding projects had been subject to unforeseen complexity and delay, Sprint contended that
conducting the true-up as scheduled would be premature and would fail to account for significant
rebanding costs that Sprint had yet to incur.7


1 Improving Public Safety Communications in the 800 MHz Band, Report and Order, Fifth Report and Order,
Fourth Memorandum Opinion and Order, and Order
, 19 FCC Rcd 14969, 15124 ¶ 330 (2004) (800 MHz Report
and Order
).
2 Id.
3 Id. at 14977 ¶ 11.
4 Id. at 15124 ¶ 330.
5 Improving Public Safety Communications in the 800 MHz Band, Fourth Memorandum Opinion and Order, 23
FCC Rcd 18512, 18514 ¶ 9 (2008) (Fourth Memorandum Opinion and Order).
6 Id. at 18512 ¶ 1.
7 Id. at 18513-14 ¶ 6.

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-2070

4.
In its December 2008 Fourth Memorandum Opinion and Order, the Commission granted
Sprint’s request in part and extended the true-up date from December 26, 2008 until July 1, 2009.8 The
Commission found that circumstances had changed since the establishment of the initial true-up schedule,
and that neither 800 MHz rebanding nor BAS relocation had progressed sufficiently to justify conducting
the true-up as originally scheduled. However, the Commission declined to postpone the true-up
indefinitely, noting that Sprint could incur sufficient creditable costs before the completion of rebanding
to allow the true-up to proceed.9 The Commission therefore extended the true-up date until July 1, 2009,
and directed the TA to file a report by May 1, 2009, with its recommendation on whether rebanding had
progressed sufficiently that the true-up should be conducted on July 1, 2009, or whether it should be
further postponed.10 The Commission also delegated authority to the Public Safety and Homeland
Security Bureau (Bureau) to consider and grant further extensions of the true-up deadline based on the
TA’s recommendation.11
5.
The Bureau has previously exercised the delegated authority granted by the Commission
to extend the true-up deadline from July 1, 2009 until December 31, 2012, based on periodic reports and
recommendations by the TA.12 On November 15, 2012, the TA filed its most recent true-up report,
recommending that the true-up date be further extended from December 31, 2012 until July 1, 2012.13

III.

DISCUSSION

6.
The TA has indicated that, despite additional progress in rebanding since the last true-up
extension, Sprint has still not incurred sufficient rebanding expenditures to warrant moving forward with
the true-up at this time.14 We agree with the TA’s analysis. While BAS relocation is now complete and
continued progress has been made in 800 MHz rebanding, a substantial number of licensees have yet to
complete the process.15 Therefore, we conclude that conducting a true-up of Sprint’s rebanding
expenditures as of December 31, 2012, would be premature because it would fail to take into account a
large portion of Sprint’s eventual cost obligation.
7.
We therefore extend the true-up date until July 1, 2013, and direct the TA to file a report
by May 15, 2013, with its recommendation on whether the true-up should be conducted based on
rebanding expenditures incurred by Sprint as of July 1, 2013, or be further postponed. Should the true-up
be conducted based on expenditures as of July 1, 2013, the TA shall submit its final true-up report by
December 31, 2013. We emphasize that our action with respect to the true-up date is intended to have no
impact on any other aspect of the timetable for 800 MHz rebanding.


8 Id. at 18512 ¶ 1.
9 Id. at 18515 ¶ 11.
10 Id. at ¶ 12.
11 Id.
12 See Improving Public Safety Communications in the 800 MHz Band, WT Docket No. 02-55, Order, 24 FCC Rcd
8410 (PSHSB 2009); Order, 24 FCC Rcd 14642 (PSHSB 2009); Order, 25 FCC Rcd 8217 (PSHSB 2010); Order
25 FCC Rcd 17794 (PSHSB 2010); Order, 26 FCC Rcd 8572 (PSHSB 2011); Order, 26 FCC Rcd. 16506 (PSHSB
2011); Order, 27 FCC Rcd 7308 (PSHSB).
13 See Recommendation to Further Postpone 800 MHz Rebanding Financial True-Up, WT Docket 02-55, filed
November 15, 2012 by the 800 MHz Transition Administrator, LLC, at 1-3.
14 Id. at 1.
15 800 MHz Transition Administrator, LLC Quarterly Progress Report for the Quarter Ended June 30, 2012, filed
September 25, 2012.
2

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-2070

IV.

ORDERING CLAUSES

8.
Accordingly, pursuant to Section 4(i) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended,
47 U.S.C. § 154(i), and Sections 0.191, 0.392, and 90.677 of the Commission’s rules, 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.191,
0.392, 90.677, IT IS ORDERED that, unless further extended, the true-up ordered in the Fourth
Memorandum Opinion and Order
SHALL BE CALCULATED based on rebanding expenditures by
Sprint Nextel Corporation as of July 1, 2013.
9.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that, unless the true-up is further extended, the 800 MHz
Transition Administrator SHALL FILE its final true-up report by December 31, 2013.
10.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Transition Administrator SHALL FILE in this
docket, by May 15, 2012, its recommendation on any further extension of the true-up date.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
David S. Turetsky
Chief, Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau
3

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