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Rulemaking

Part 90 - Channel Spacing and Bandwidth Utilization

12-64

On March 9, 2012, the FCC released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (Notice) to address technical rules governing Economic Area (EA)-based 800 MHz Specialized Mobile Radio (SMR) licenses. In an effort to reduce barriers to innovation and investment in new technologies and to promote greater spectrum efficiency, the Notice proposed to eliminate a legacy channel spacing and bandwidth limitation for EA-based 800 MHz SMR licensees in the 813.5-824/858.5-869 MHz band.

On May 24, 2012, the FCC released a Report and Order that eliminates the legacy channel spacing and bandwidth limitation for EA-based 800 MHz SMR licensees in the 813.5-824/858.5-869 MHz band, as outlined in the March 2012 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.

Under the legacy rule amended by this Report and Order, EA-based 800 MHz SMR licensees were effectively prohibited from deploying advanced technologies including CDMA and LTE. By the action taken in this Report and Order, affected licensees are now able to deploy competitive advanced wireless services, to consumers’ benefit.

In this Report and Order, the Commission eliminated the channel spacing and bandwidth limitation in Section 90.209 for EA-based 800 MHz SMR licenses in the frequencies 813.5-824/858.5-869 MHz. To protect public safety licensees from increased interference, EA-based 800 MHz SMR licensees may only exceed the channel spacing and bandwidth limitation in the 813.5-824/858.5-869 MHz band in National Public Safety Planning Advisory Committee (NPSPAC) regions where all 800 MHz public safety licensees in the region have completed band reconfiguration. In NPSPAC regions where band reconfiguration is incomplete, EA-based 800 MHz SMR licensees may exceed the channel spacing and bandwidth limitation only in the 813.5-821/858.5-866 MHz band.  

Additionally, EA-based 800 MHz SMR licensees must provide at least 30-days written notice to public safety licensees with base stations in the NPSPAC region where an EA-based 800 MHz SMR licensee intends to exceed the channel spacing and bandwidth limitation and to public safety licensees with base stations within 113 kilometers (70 miles) of the affected NPSPAC region border. This notice must include the estimated date upon which the EA-based 800 MHz SMR licensee intends to exceed the standard channel spacing and bandwidth limitation.

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