House Bill Would Repeal T-Band Giveback

wa8pyr

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Legislation (HR 5085) introduced by Rep. Elliot Engel (D., N.Y.) yesterday would repeal a provision included in the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 that would require the T-band to be reauctioned by the FCC for commercial use.

 

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mmckenna

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Is this good or bad ? and for what purpose ?
Well, it's good if they repeal the law that required the give-back. But that hasn't happened yet.
The law says that by 2021 they have to start bidding on the 470-520MHz spectrum.
That part is bad. FCC is just saying that the "law of the land" says they have to start getting ready to bid the spectrum, so they are going to stop allowing changes/licenses, etc.

There's a lot of public safety users in that spectrum that would need to move to other bands and replace all their equipment. At no point was any spectrum identified for that move, only that they had to move. The general idea was that these agencies needed to move to 700MHz.
But that creates issues since the propagation differences between 470-520 and 700MHz is different. That would mean more radio sites in most cases.
And if we compare that to the Nextel 800MHz rebanding, we can see that it'll take a L-O-N-G time to happen and will have lots of hidden issues along the way.

So, hopefully sanity will prevail in Washington (yeah, right….) and this nonsense will get shut down.

The general idea was that auctioning off that spectrum would raise a few billion dollars for the federal government (FCC = Federal Cash Cow).
So, screw public safety, give the spectrum to cellular/WISP, etc. and take the money to pay for government stuff. Theoretically the moving of agencies to other spectrum would be covered, but 800MHz/Nextel showed us that was a Charlie Foxtrot.
 

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So, hopefully sanity will prevail in Washington (yeah, right….) and this nonsense will get shut down.

That probably means politicians need a firm understanding of how radio communications work, their logistics and all the rest that encompasses what a major PITA not to mention the cost to have public safety agencies in this band migrate to 700 MHz entails. By in large, it is my opinion that most law makers don't have any idea about this stuff. One can only hope that the aforementioned word of "sanity" does prevail in the interest of all things common sense. LOL
 

mmckenna

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That probably means politicians need a firm understanding of how radio communications work, their logistics and all the rest that encompasses what a major PITA not to mention the cost to have public safety agencies in this band migrate to 700 MHz entails. By in large, it is my opinion that most law makers don't have any idea about this stuff. One can only hope that the aforementioned word of "sanity" does prevail in the interest of all things common sense. LOL
Well, most people, in general, have no understanding of how radio works. Politicians are no exception. The FCC hasn't been known for making wise decisions. They tend to get bought out by the highest bidder in many instances.

They'll hopefully look at the costs versus benefits and hopefully make the right choice. The risk is that high dollar lobbyists from the cell carriers don't get involved enough to sway the vote. 40 something megahertz of spectrum would be pretty valuable to cellular carriers.
 

poltergeisty

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Well, most people, in general, have no understanding of how radio works. Politicians are no exception. The FCC hasn't been known for making wise decisions. They tend to get bought out by the highest bidder in many instances.

They'll hopefully look at the costs versus benefits and hopefully make the right choice. The risk is that high dollar lobbyists from the cell carriers don't get involved enough to sway the vote. 40 something megahertz of spectrum would be pretty valuable to cellular carriers.

Yeah, that is true most people don't know anything about radio, etc. But for a lawmaker to make a critical decision pertaining to this spectrum and its use by public safety, it would perhaps be prudent for that lawmaker to have an idea on what he/she is voting on before they cast their vote. (I do realize that's asking waaay too much for someone that gets paid roughly 175K a year and just makes an up or down vote)

Yeah, lobbyists... They've been a big pet peeve of mine. If I were a lawmaker I'd introduce a bill to outlaw its practice. Though, I'm sure some lawmakers have tried already. But as they 'say, try, try again.' LOL
 

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What is going to happen to the agencies that already spent big money to comply with the mandate in good faith? If this passes and the mandate is reversed those agencies that could have stayed on T-Band aren't going to see a penny. Of course it was unlikely they would have received any auction funds either.

The whole thing was misguided from the start. Without a clean swath of spectrum nationwide it is basically worthless to the large carriers.
 

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And of course, what everyone forgets about, is that there is a lot more than just public safety in that band. There are lots of LMR business/industrial/and other similar users there as well. The original law had no provisions for that. Those users aren't even mentioned. No requirement for them to move or anything. So how would that work?
 

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And of course, what everyone forgets about, is that there is a lot more than just public safety in that band. There are lots of LMR business/industrial/and other similar users there as well. The original law had no provisions for that. Those users aren't even mentioned. No requirement for them to move or anything. So how would that work?
That is probably the biggest reason they bands would have no value at auction. The remaining users have no reason to move and that makes the spectrum effectively useless as a cellular/data service.
 

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That is probably the biggest reason they bands would have no value at auction. The remaining users have no reason to move and that makes the spectrum effectively useless as a cellular/data service.
And of course, what everyone forgets about, is that there is a lot more than just public safety in that band. There are lots of LMR business/industrial/and other similar users there as well. The original law had no provisions for that. Those users aren't even mentioned. No requirement for them to move or anything. So how would that work?
From the article (bold for emphasis is mine):

Congress required the FCC to reallocate and auction public safety spectrum in the T-band by 2021 and relocate incumbents by 2023.
 

Anderegg

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And of course, what everyone forgets about, is that there is a lot more than just public safety in that band. There are lots of LMR business/industrial/and other similar users there as well. The original law had no provisions for that. Those users aren't even mentioned. No requirement for them to move or anything. So how would that work?
The Connect Plus MotoTRBO system (Fisher Wireless) I use has a ot of T band sites in it.

Paul
 

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Exactly - and most folks skip over that issue. Plenty of T-Band business licenses
And of course, what everyone forgets about, is that there is a lot more than just public safety in that band. There are lots of LMR business/industrial/and other similar users there as well. The original law had no provisions for that. Those users aren't even mentioned. No requirement for them to move or anything. So how would that work?
 

wa8pyr

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Well, most people, in general, have no understanding of how radio works. Politicians are no exception. The FCC hasn't been known for making wise decisions. They tend to get bought out by the highest bidder in many instances.

They'll hopefully look at the costs versus benefits and hopefully make the right choice. The risk is that high dollar lobbyists from the cell carriers don't get involved enough to sway the vote. 40 something megahertz of spectrum would be pretty valuable to cellular carriers.
But, the Commission has already looked at it and for once made a wise decision, coming to the conclusion that the cost-benefit ratio doesn't work out, hence their call for Congress to repeal the give-back provision. That's certainly going to have significant weight with Congress-critters, especially when the magic words "public safety" or "first responders" are thrown in.

Something else to consider is the current "repacking" of the UHF TV spectrum. Stations are being shuffled around to clear some of the upper channels for wireless services; I can't find anything that specifically notes which or how many channels, but my guess would be at least the top three or four channels (18-24 MHz of spectrum). Freeing up that much spectrum could alleviate the need to clear the T-Band, and give the FCC ammunition to call for the repeal of the give-back provision.

Edit: Looks like considerably more than 3-4 channels. According to one source I just found, it appears channels 38-51 have been reallocated, or a total of 84 MHz of spectrum. That would definitely take some of the pressure off the T-Band, as well as provide a heck of a lot of spectrum for people to stream their latest cat videos from YouTube.
 
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But, the Commission has already looked at it and for once made a wise decision, coming to the conclusion that the cost-benefit ratio doesn't work out, hence their call for Congress to repeal the give-back provision. That's certainly going to have significant weight with Congress-critters, especially when the magic words "public safety" or "first responders" are thrown in.
I agree 100%.
My concern is that high dollar lobbyists from soMe large coMpany will sway the outcoMe. There was one clear winner in the 800MHz rebanding, and it wasn't public safety.
 

wa8pyr

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I agree 100%.
My concern is that high dollar lobbyists from soMe large coMpany will sway the outcoMe. There was one clear winner in the 800MHz rebanding, and it wasn't public safety.
Got that right. I just got my closing documents in an email this morning; ten years since our FRA was approved and signed. At least we're getting another $10k payment with the closing; that should pay for about 33% of the cost of LED beacons at the tower site next year.
 

mmckenna

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Got that right. I just got my closing documents in an email this morning; ten years since our FRA was approved and signed. At least we're getting another $10k payment with the closing; that should pay for about 33% of the cost of LED beacons at the tower site next year.
We rebanded in 2008. We finally closed it all out earlier this year.
I recall the kick off meeting. 2 Motorola technical guys and 3 or 4 sales people. We spent a whole 15 minutes talking about rebanding the system, then they wanted to spend another hour selling us a brand new P25 system. I finally had to shut the salespeople down since it was not going to happen.
 
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