H.R. 451 "Don’t Break Up the T-Band Act of 2020" has passed the House

GTR8000

NYS Database Guy
Database Admin
Joined
Oct 4, 2007
Messages
9,188
Location
BEE00
H.R.451 - Don't Break Up the T-Band Act of 2020

This bill repeals the requirement for the Federal Communications Commission to reallocate and auction the 470-512 MHz band (referred to as the "T-Band spectrum"). The T-Band spectrum is a frequency range currently utilized by public-safety entities in certain urban areas.



The bill was finally passed by the House of Representatives today, and will now move on to the Senate. Let's hope it's smooth sailing from here, and this colossal mess can finally be put to rest.
 

N5XPM

Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2011
Messages
157
Location
Texas
Great step in the right direction here. Interesting to see the bill language and whether Narrow banding mandate will be required for users that remain, assuming Senate and Exec. Branch agree with the bill.
 

GTR8000

NYS Database Guy
Database Admin
Joined
Oct 4, 2007
Messages
9,188
Location
BEE00
Great news. Never made sense to me that the largest metro's in the US were on T-band but, somehow the rest of the country "needed" this spectrum for television.
T-Band aka TV-Band was always used for television. In fact, to this day television stations are the primary users of the band, with public safety sharing 470-512 with them in various metro markets. The T-Band giveback of 2012 was not intended to give the spectrum back to TV, but to auction it off. The idea being that cell phone and broadband providers, SMR/ESMR, etc. would jump at the opportunity to own that spectrum. Instead they found spectrum elsewhere (600 and 700 MHz in particular), and their lack of interest was the final nail in the coffin.
 

wowologist

Certifiable
Joined
Jul 21, 2013
Messages
158
Location
CM87
Well sure they did that, that portion of the UHF band is no longer commercially viable except really for local area LMR systems, (the cell phone CO's and carriers are greasing palms already for 10GHz+) ...IE: theirs no reason to cheer lead for it (the spectrum) if $$'s not going to be flowing in all directions to acquire chunks of it, and their palms aren't getting greased. If the FCC was smart they would expand the Amateur portion +10 mhz up and make it a primary/non shared for us and then make another 15mhz a portion for the paying GMRS peeps, increase the price to 150$ a year and make some skrill off this generations big mouth version of the CB'er.
 

kb5udf

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Apr 7, 2004
Messages
570
Location
Louisiana
Responding to GTR, right, but my point (or at least the point I failed to make) was here in the smaller/medium cities, where t-band wasn't available, it's not like we had more UHF tv stations then bigger cities, or more demand for the same.
 

gmclam

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Sep 15, 2006
Messages
5,729
Location
Fair Oaks, CA
There's so much of a spectrum grab going on by cell companies it sickens me. Certainly television was using a lot of it, since each channel in the USA is 6MHz wide. While the idea of not selling the T band (to cell companies) might be great, it makes me wonder where all those TV stations are going to physically reside now that channels 37 to 51 are no longer available (as are channels 52 to 69 or 83).
 

ecps92

Member
Joined
Jul 8, 2002
Messages
11,429
Location
Taxachusetts
No direct impact, other than those who would have been exiting T-Band and looking for a home, may have been eyeing your frequencies to "SHARE" aka Co-user outside of a xx mile distance from your users. Now you won't have to worry about UHF Congestion during the fall cold/flu season :)
Can somebody smarter than me chime in and tell me how this bill affects my fire rescue agency in the 450-460mhz range that we use.
 

N5XPM

Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2011
Messages
157
Location
Texas
Can somebody smarter than me chime in and tell me how this bill affects my fire rescue agency in the 450-460mhz range that we use.
It should not make any difference to what you are doing now. The only possible change would be it might make frequencies available in the T band (470-512) in the future if you wanted to obtain additional frequencies in that frequency band.
 

N9JIG

Sheriff
Moderator
Joined
Dec 14, 2001
Messages
4,421
Location
Far NW Valley
This is turning into as big a debacle as the Nextel rebanding a few years back or the narrowbanding reversal for T-Band users after that.

The T-Band give-back was supposed to provide reimbursement for public safety users to relocate out of the revenue from the auctions. Even if things went according to plans I doubt agencies would have ever received a dime. Now, if the whole thing is scuttled what about the agencies that already spent big money to comply with the original order and have already relocated?

After narrowbanding was mandated we spent boatload of cash to narrowband dozens of T-Band repeaters, control stations and satellite receivers, not to mention hundreds of mobile and portable radios on our system. A week after we completed the project (and the same day I signed the last check for the project) they reversed course and said that we would not have to narrowband our T-Band system after all.

I have since retired but before I left I started the replacement project and provided the agencies with alternatives to choose from to comply with the mandate to leave T-Band. One of the options was to move to the state digital system and that is what they did. Purchase of several hundred radios at $4K and up apiece, a bunch of consoles, an initial Impact Fee and monthly connection charges ensued. While the bill said that we would be reimbursed for these expenses, I advised my agencies not to expect a penny and not to be surprised if, at the last minute, they reversed the mandate. I guess I was right.
 

garys

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jun 13, 2002
Messages
4,933
Location
Eastern MA
Some agencies in eastern MA narrow banded their T band channels just in time to be told it wasn't necessary. Others moved from T band to UHF even though there has been speculation for at least five years that the mandate would be cancelled.

That's a lot of money that agencies could have put to other uses, but there isn't going to be any reimbursement forthcoming.
 

RFI-EMI-GUY

Member
Joined
Dec 22, 2013
Messages
3,983
Great step in the right direction here. Interesting to see the bill language and whether Narrow banding mandate will be required for users that remain, assuming Senate and Exec. Branch agree with the bill.
470-512 was also subject to the narrow banding mandate deadline of January 2013. Some agencies sought a waiver because it would have meant revamping an entire system and then replacing it in a few years under the T band auction. So the FCC granted those waivers which have nothing to do with the recent H.R 451. So if an agency is operating wide band under a waiver, it will now become moot and I would expect the FCC will want to see new justification upon renewal or will outright tell those agencies to convert to NB if they have not already. Whether the FCC puts out a formal position on this will be interesting. More likely the industry is already drafting letters.

Narrowbanding has a serious impact on reliability for a Public Safety grade system, so those licensees will see an impact to coverage or their pocketbook depending upon how they proceed.

 

GTR8000

NYS Database Guy
Database Admin
Joined
Oct 4, 2007
Messages
9,188
Location
BEE00
470-512 was also subject to the narrow banding mandate deadline of January 2013. Some agencies sought a waiver because it would have meant revamping an entire system and then replacing it in a few years under the T band auction. So the FCC granted those waivers which have nothing to do with the recent H.R 451. So if an agency is operating wide band under a waiver, it will now become moot and I would expect the FCC will want to see new justification upon renewal or will outright tell those agencies to convert to NB if they have not already. Whether the FCC puts out a formal position on this will be interesting. More likely the industry is already drafting letters.
That's not an accurate recounting of what happened.

The FCC issued a blanket waiver of the narrowbanding mandate for all of T-Band shortly after the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 passed in early 2012. It was not necessary for any T-Band user to obtain a separate waiver. There were waivers granted to T-Band users in the past 8 years after the freeze on most T-Band applications was put in place, but those are unrelated to narrowbanding.

  • Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 became law on February 22, 2012
  • FCC issued blanket T-Band narrowband waiver on April 26, 2012
 

RFI-EMI-GUY

Member
Joined
Dec 22, 2013
Messages
3,983
I stand corrected, indeed there was a blanket waiver issued:


However note the underlned below as it concerns future steps the commission will likely take, which certainly may include NB mandate:

"7. Specifically, we waive the requirement that Industrial/Business and Public Safety Radio
Pool licensees in the 470-512 MHz band migrate to 12.5 kHz channel bandwidth or utilize a technology
that achieves equivalent efficiency by January 1, 2013. We emphasize that this waiver applies only to
PLMR frequencies in the 470-512 MHz band. T-Band licensees that also operate on frequencies in the
150-174 MHz and 421-470 MHz bands must meet the narrowbanding deadline with respect to those
frequencies even if the other frequencies are authorized at the same location or under the same call sign as
T-Band frequencies, unless the licensee obtains an individual waiver.15 The Commission will consider
how long this waiver relief should remain in effect once it takes further steps that clarify the status of
incumbent T-Band licensees. Consistent with past actions, narrowbanding deadlines will apply equally to
Industrial/Business and Public Safety Pool licensees.1

That's not an accurate recounting of what happened.

The FCC issued a blanket waiver of the narrowbanding mandate for all of T-Band shortly after the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 passed in early 2012. It was not necessary for any T-Band user to obtain a separate waiver. There were waivers granted to T-Band users in the past 8 years after the freeze on most T-Band applications was put in place, but those are unrelated to narrowbanding.

  • Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 became law on February 22, 2012
  • FCC issued blanket T-Band narrowband waiver on April 26, 2012
 

N9JIG

Sheriff
Moderator
Joined
Dec 14, 2001
Messages
4,421
Location
Far NW Valley
If the T-Band giveback is rescinded then a new narrowbanding deadline would almost certainly be established, then probably extended after New York fails to comply.
 

GTR8000

NYS Database Guy
Database Admin
Joined
Oct 4, 2007
Messages
9,188
Location
BEE00
Which will be largely moot in NYC's case, as FDNY is already narrow on T-Band, and NYPD is actively in the process of deploying infrastructure and subscribers that will eventually operate in P25 mode, which is inherently narrow.

Assuming the FCC does decide to rescind that waiver, licensees will have at least 5 years to comply, if not more. The original narrowband mandate was announced around 2006? and didn't take full effect until 7 years later at the start of 2013.
 
Top