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MTA PD Request for Extended Implementation

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Released: November 30, 2012

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1919

Before the

Federal Communications Commission

Washington, D.C. 20554

In The Matter of
)
)

State of New York
)
)

File No. 0005375300
Metropolitan Transportation Authority Police
)
Department
)
)

Request For Extended Implementation
)

ORDER

Adopted:

November 30, 2012

Released:

November 30, 2012
By the Deputy Chief, Policy and Licensing Division, Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau:

I.

INTRODUCTION

1.
On November 16, 2012, the State of New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority
Police Department (MTAPD) submitted a request for extension of its "slow growth" authority relative to
two channels of its proposed new 800 MHz communications system. MTAPD also requests waiver of
Section 90.629 of the Commission's rules1 which limits extended authorizations to five years (Waiver
Request). MTAPD proposes that, if the extension of its "slow growth" authority is granted, it will
complete construction of the two channels by January 31, 2017. For the reasons set out below, we find
that MTAPD has shown good cause for grant of its requested waiver and extend the completion date for
the two channels to January 31, 2017.

II.

BACKGROUND

2.
Frequencies 808/853.2625 MHz and 808/853.8375 MHz were initially licensed to the
MTAPD which assigned the frequencies to the New York State Office of Interoperable and Emergency
Communications, for use in the New York Statewide Wireless Network (SWN), a statewide system in
which MTAPD would participate.2 The SWN was only partially constructed when the New York State
Office of Interoperable and Emergency Communications, terminated the contract with the system
vendor.3 The MTAPD successfully requested re-assignment of the channels but the relevant authorization
expires in December, 2012 leaving insufficient time for MTAPD to construct and activate its system.
3.
MTAPD represents that it has completed a preliminary design of its proposed system and
has identified sites and calculated coverage from those sites.4 It estimates that the complete system
comprised of more than the two channels requested will cost $110 million, $ 93 million of which is
already committed, with the remainder to be provided in the Metropolitan Transit Authority's 2015-2019

1 47 C.F.R. 90.629.
2 Waiver Request at 1.
3 Id.
4 Id.

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1919

Capital Program.5 MTAPD has proposed a project timetable which contemplates the system will be fully
operational in January, 2017.6

III.

DISCUSSION

4.
Section 90.629 of the Commission's rules governing extended implementation of
proposed facilities makes no provision for extension of the five-year maximum construction period that
the rule allows for. The Commission's limited construction periods are intended to deter "spectrum
warehousing" whereby parties hold licenses to the exclusion of others that could sooner provide service.7
Accordingly, in order to obtain its requested extension of its "slow growth" authority, MTAPD must
justify waiver of Section 90.629.
5.
The Commission will grant a waiver request if the waiver proponent shows that: "(i) The
underlying purpose of the rule(s) would not be served or would be frustrated by application to the instant
case, and that a grant of the requested waiver would be in the public interest; or (ii) In view of unique or
unusual factual circumstances of the instant case, application of the rule(s) would be inequitable, unduly
burdensome or contrary to the public interest, or the applicant has no reasonable alternative."8

IV.

DECISION

6.
Here, we analyze MTAPD's waiver request with reference to the second prong of the
waiver standard whether there exist unique or unusual factual circumstances that would make strict
application of Section 90.629 inequitable, unduly burdensome or contrary to the public interest.
MTAPD's assignment of its frequencies to the SWN, and SWN's cancellation of the contract for its
partially constructed system constitute an unusual set of facts that would render strict application of the
rule both burdensome and contrary to the public interest. Denial of the waiver request would burden
MTAPD because, absent the waiver, it would have to retain its existing communications system which
MTAPD represents does not provide "public safety-grade" service.9 We find no evidence of spectrum
warehousing by MTAPD, it has funding assurances for the greater part of its new system,10 and MTAPD
has presented a reasonable schedule for system completion. Accordingly, there are adequate public
interest grounds for grant of the requested waiver.
7.
We note that MTAPD has requested a waiver for only two channels of several channels
for which it is licensed in the 800 MHz band, presumably because of the imminent expiration of the
license for the two channels. The instant waiver, however, should not be construed to capture the other
channels in MTAPD's system. Any extension of "slow growth" authority for channels not covered by
this Order must, if necessary, be requested separately by MTAPD.

5 Id. at 2.
6 Id.
7 Cf. Amendment of Parts 1 and 90 of the Commission's Rules Concerning the Construction, Licensing, and
Operation of Private Land Mobile Radio Stations, Notice of Proposed Rule Making, PR Docket No. 90-481, 5 FCC
Rcd 6401 (1990).
8 47 C.F.R. 1.925. On waiver standards generally, see Northeast Cellular Telephone Co. v. FCC., 897 F.2d 1164,
1166 (D.C. Cir. 1990)("[A] waiver is appropriate only if special circumstances warrant a deviation from the general
rule and such deviation will serve the public interest") citing WAIT Radio v. FCC., 418 F.2d 1153, 1157-59 (D.C.
Cir. 1969).
9 Waiver Request at 1.
10 Id. at 2.

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1919

V.

ORDERING CLAUSES

8.
Accordingly, pursuant to the authority of Sections 0.191 and 0.392 of the Commission's
rules, 47 C.F.R. 0.191, 0.392; Section 4(i) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C.
154(i) and Section 1.925 of the Commission's Rules, 47 C.F.R. 1.925, IT IS ORDERED that the
Request for Extension of "Slow Growth" Authorization and Request for Waiver to the Extent Required
filed by the State of New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority Police Department on November
16, 2012 IS GRANTED to the extent discussed herein.
9.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, that the construction period for the 808/853.2625 MHz and
808/853.8375 MHz facilities authorized in FCC Call Sign WQCZ325 IS EXTENDED until January 31,
2017.
10.
This action is taken under delegated authority pursuant to Sections 0.191 and 0.392 of the
Commission's rules, 47 C.F.R. 0.191, 0.392.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Michael J. Wilhelm
Deputy Chief, Policy and Licensing Division
Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau

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