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June 2013 True up Deferral Order

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Released: June 27, 2013

Federal Communications Commission

DA 13-1456

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: June 27, 2013

Released: June 27, 2013

By the Chief, Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau:

I.

INTRODUCTION

1.
By this Order, pursuant to delegated authority, we (1) provisionally postpone the 800
MHz rebanding financial reconciliation "true-up" date from July 1, 2013 to December 31, 2013, and (2)
require the 800 MHz Transition Administrator (TA) to file a report by November 15, 2013, with its
recommendation on whether the true-up date should occur on December 31, 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, WT Docket No. 02-55, 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, WT Docket No. 02-55, 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 13-1456

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.11
5.
The Bureau has previously exercised the delegated authority granted by the Commission
to extend the true-up deadline, which the Bureau has done in six-month increments, based on periodic
reports and recommendations from the TA.12 The latest such extension expires on July 1, 2013.13 On
May 15, 2013, the TA filed its most recent true-up report recommending that the true-up date be further
extended from July 1, 2013 until December 31, 2013.14
6.
We note that the Commission has pending before it a Petition for Declaratory Ruling
filed by Sprint in which Sprint states that the true-up can be conducted now based on cost and payment
information already available to the TA and the Commission.15 The TA, however, "believes that the true-
up remains premature at this time and that additional rebanding expenditures are required to provide a
meaningful report of Sprint Nextel's total rebanding costs for both the 800 MHz rebanding and for the
relocation of BAS licensees."16

III.

DISCUSSION

7.
Although BAS relocation is now complete and substantial progress has been made in
800 MHz rebanding, a significant number of 800 MHz licensees have yet to complete the process, and


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 2012).
13 See Improving Public Safety Communications in the 800 MHz Band, WT Docket No. 02-55, Order, 27 FCC Rcd
15949 (PSHSB 2012).
14 See Recommendation to Further Postpone 800 MHz Rebanding Financial True-up, WT Docket 02-55, filed on
May 15, 2013 by the 800 MHz Transition Administrator, LLC, at 1-3 (May 15, 2013 Deferral Letter).
15 Petition for a Declaratory Ruling filed by Sprint Nextel Corporation at iii (Jan. 22, 2013). On January 25, 2013,
the Bureau sought comment on Sprint's declaratory ruling petition. See Public Safety and Homeland Security
Bureau Seeks Comment on Petition for Declaratory Ruling by Sprint Nextel Corporation Concerning 800 MHz
Rebanding "Anti-Windfall" Payment and Letter of Credit Minimum Amount, WT Docket 02-55, Public Notice, 28
FCC Rcd 371 (PSHSB 2013).
16 May 15, 2013 Deferral Letter at 2.
2

Federal Communications Commission

DA 13-1456

rebanding in the US-Mexico border region has only recently begun.17 The Commission has also made no
determination with respect to Sprint's declaratory ruling request to conduct the true-up based on currently
available information. In light of these factors and the TA's recommendation, we conclude that
conducting a true-up of Sprint's rebanding expenditures as of July 1, 2013 would be premature.
Accordingly, we provisionally extend the true-up date, as recommended by the TA, until December 31,
2013, and direct the TA to file a report by November 15, 2013, with its recommendation on whether the
true-up should be conducted as of December 31, 2013, or be further postponed. We grant this extension
on a provisional basis because it is subject to any action the Commission may take on Sprint's declaratory
ruling petition. Thus, it does not preclude the Commission setting an alternative true-up date based on the
record in that proceeding. We also emphasize that as with prior true-up extensions, 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.

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 sooner directed by the Commission, the true-up ordered in
the Fourth Memorandum Opinion and Order SHALL BE CALCULATED based on rebanding
expenditures by Sprint Nextel Corporation as of December 31, 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 June 30, 2014.
10.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Transition Administrator SHALL FILE in this
docket, by November 15, 2013, its recommendation on any further extension of the true-up date.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
David S. Turetsky
Chief, Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau


17 The TA's most recently filed quarterly report indicates that excluding the US-Mexico border region, 89.8 percent
of 800 MHz licensees subject to rebanding have completed physical retuning and 69.3 percent have completed all
rebanding-related transactions. See 800 MHz Transition Administrator, LLC Quarterly Progress Report for the
Quarter Ended December 31, 2012, filed March 15, 2013, at 1. On April 1, 2013, the Bureau issued a Report and
Order
announcing commencement of a 30-month period for rebanding in the US-Mexico border region. Improving
Public Safety Communications in the 800 MHz Band; New 800 MHz Band Plan for U.S. - Mexico Sharing Zone,
Fifth Report and Order, WT Docket No. 02-55, 28 FCC Rcd 4085 (PSHSB 2013).
3

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