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Sprint Corp - Waiver to Permit 800 MHz Wideband Operations in Florida

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Released: November 25, 2013
Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
November 25, 2013
James B. Goldstein
DA 13-2262
Sprint Corporation
12502 Sunrise Valley Drive
Reston, VA 20196
Re: Sprint Corporation Request for Waiver to Permit 800 MHz Wideband Operations in Portions
of Florida Prior to Completion of 800 MHz Band Reconfiguration in the Entire NPSPAC
Region, WT Docket 12-64; FCC File Nos. 0006020514, 0006020472, 0006020725,
0006020738, 0006020746, 0006020758, 0006020761, 0006020440, 0006020484,
0006020456
Dear Mr. Goldstein:
This letter addresses Sprint Corporation’s (Sprint) request for a waiver of Section 90.209(b)(7) of
the Commission’s rules.1 As explained below, we grant the Waiver Request to the extent described
herein.
Pursuant to section 90.209(b)(7) of the Commission’s rules, Sprint is deploying a 1.25 MHz wide
CDMA channel in the lower portion of the 800 MHz Enhanced Specialized Mobile Radio (ESMR) band
(817-821/862-866 MHz) throughout the country. In addition, Sprint is deploying a 5 x 5 MHz Long-
Term Evolution (LTE) channel in the 800 MHz ESMR band at 819-824/864-869 MHz in National Public
Safety Advisory Committee (NPSPAC) Regions where 800 MHz band reconfiguration has been
completed.2
Sprint notes that 800 MHz band reconfiguration is complete in the NPSPAC Florida Region in all
areas of the state except the Miami-Dade metropolitan area. Specifically, 23 of the 25 public safety
licensees required to be retuned from the “old NPSPAC band” (821-824/866-869 MHz) have successfully
complete their retunes; only Miami-Dade County and the State of Florida remain in the retuning process.3
Sprint states that until these two licensees have certified that they have completed their retunes, section
90.209(b)(7) prohibits broadband operations at 821-824/866-869 MHz anywhere in the NPSPAC Florida
Region. Thus, Sprint argues, it cannot deploy broadband LTE in the old NPSPAC band in areas of
Florida which are fully cleared of public safety operations, including populous metropolitan areas such as
Tampa-St. Petersburg and Orlando.4 Sprint maintains that it can integrate the old NPSPAC band
spectrum into its broadband network in much of Florida without posing any risk of interference to the
Miami-Dade licensees finalizing their retuning.5

1 See FCC File Nos. 0006020514, 0006020472, 0006020725, 0006020738, 0006020746, 0006020758, 0006020761,
0006020440, 0006020484, 0006020456 (collectively “Waiver Request”).
2 Waiver Request at 1.
3 Id. at 2.
4 Id. at 2.
5 Id. at 2-3.

James B. Goldstein
Page 2
Sprint requests a waiver of section 90.209(b)(7) so that it can launch LTE in the 56 Florida
counties6 in which 800 MHz rebanding is complete. Sprint notes that each county is more than 80 miles
away from the nearest Miami-Dade County or State of Florida operational site in the old NPSPAC band
and argues that this more than 80-mile co-channel separation far exceeds the co-channel separation
requirements in section 90.621(b) of the Commission’s rules.7 Further, Sprint maintains that the
minimum 80-mile co-channel separation will provide an additional protection buffer for the remaining
Miami-Dade public safety operations in the process of being retuned.8 Additionally, Sprint will provide
the State of Florida and Miami-Dade County 30 days advance notice of Sprint’s deployment and planned
initiation date of operations.9
Sprint states that it provided both the State of Florida and Miami-Dade County with details of
Sprint’s proposed deployment and its proposed measures to protect these jurisdictions from any risk of
interference.10 Sprint also submits written confirmation from both jurisdictions indicating that neither has
any objection to a grant of the Waiver Request in light of the 80-mile co-channel distance separation
proposed by Sprint.11
A waiver may be granted, pursuant to section 1.925 of the Commission’s rules, if the petitioner
establishes that: (1) the underlying purpose of the rule would not be served or would be frustrated by
application to the instant case, and the grant of the waiver would be in the public interest; or (2) where the
petitioner establishes unique or unusual factual circumstances, that application of the rule would be
inequitable, unduly burdensome or contrary to the public interest, or the applicant has no reasonable
alternative.12
Based on the unusual factual circumstances described by Sprint, we find that a waiver is
warranted in this case because application of the rule would inhibit LTE deployment in 56 counties in the
NPSPAC Florida Region where retuning has been completed. As Sprint argues, it would be inequitable
and unduly burdensome to prohibit its subscribers’ access to these valuable broadband wireless services
until the final two public safety licensees complete their retuning from the old NPSPAC band, particularly
where neither licensee objects to the planned deployment.13 Such a constraint on broadband deployment
and consumer choice is contrary to the public interest in light of measures (i.e. co-channel separation and
advance notification) that will protect public safety entities from harmful interference. We therefore

6 See Attachment A.
7 Waiver Request at 3. Section 90.621(b) permits 800 MHz co-channel usage at sites as close as 55 miles depending
on the technical parameters of the proposed facilities. 47 C.F.R. § 90.621(b).
8 Waiver Request at 3.
9 See id. at 3 n.6; see also Improving Spectrum Efficiency Through Flexible Channel Spacing and Bandwidth
Utilization for Economic Area-based 800 MHz Specialized Mobile Radio Licenses; Request for Declaratory Ruling
that the Commission’s Rules Authorize Greater than 25 kHz Bandwidth Operations in the 817-824/862-869 MHz
Band, Report and Order, 27 FCC Rcd 6489, ¶ 14 (2012).
10 Waiver Request at 3.
11 Correspondence from Charles Hadley, Communications Engineer, Florida Department of Management Services,
to James Goldstein, Senior Counsel, Sprint Corporation, dated Sept. 30, 2013; Correspondence from Felix Perez,
Division Director, Miami-Dade County, to James Goldstein, Senior Counsel, Sprint Corporation, dated Aug. 30,
2013.
1212 47 C.F.R. § 1.925.
13

James B. Goldstein
Page 3
waive section 90.209(b)(7) to permit Sprint to accelerate its broadband deployment in the 56 counties
listed in Attachment A. This waiver is specifically conditioned on the following:
(1) In the 56 counties listed in Attachment A, Sprint must maintain a minimum 80-mile co-
channel separation between Sprint’s proposed operations in 821-824/866-869 MHz and the
closest Miami-Dade County or State of Florida site still operational in the old NPSPAC band.
(2) Sprint must provide the State of Florida and Miami-Dade County with 30 days advance
notice of Sprint’s deployment and planned initiation date of operations.
(3) Sprint may not deploy LTE in 821-824/866-869 MHz in the 11 counties listed in Attachment
B until 800 MHz band reconfiguration has been completed in the entire NPSPAC Florida
Region.
As conditioned, our grant will facilitate more rapid broadband availability in the State of Florida,
while protecting ongoing public safety operations in the old NPSPAC band until they are fully retuned.
The conditions of this wavier will terminate when the 800 MHz band reconfiguration has been completed
in the entire NPSPAC Florida Region.
Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to section 4(i) and 303(r) of the Communications
Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. §§ 154(i), 303(r), and sections 0.331 and 1.925 of the Commission’s
rules, 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.331, 1.925, Sprint Corporation’s waiver request IS GRANTED to the extent
described above.
Sincerely,
Roger S. Noel
Chief, Mobility Division
Wireless Telecommunications Bureau
Federal Communications Commission

James B. Goldstein
Page 4

Attachment A – List of Florida Counties Subject to Waiver Request

Alachua
Lafayette
Baker
Lake
Bay
Leon
Bradford
Levy
Brevard
Liberty
Calhoun
Madison
Charlotte
Manatee
Citrus
Marion
Clay
Nassau
Columbia
Okaloosa
DeSoto
Orange
Dixie
Osceola
Duval
Pasco
Escambia
Pinellas
Flagler
Polk
Franklin
Putnam
Gadsden
Santa Rosa
Gilchrist
Sarasota
Gulf
Seminole
Hamilton
St. Johns
Hardee
Sumter
Hernando
Suwannee
Highlands
Taylor
Hillsborough
Union
Holmes
Volusia
Indian River
Wakulla
Jackson
Walton
Jefferson
Washington

James B. Goldstein
Page 5

Attachment B – List of Florida Counties Excluded from Waiver Request

Broward
Collier
Glades
Hendry
Lee
Martin
Miami-Dade
Monroe
Okeechobee
Palm Beach
St. Lucie

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