Associations representing the nation’s cell phone carriers believe 39 months is enough time for television broadcasters to leave their former spectrum allocations and move to new channels after the FCC’s incentive auction ends. The broadcasters say it’s not enough time and even American Tower calls the FCC’s planned timetable challenging and aggressive.
In comments filed with the Commission, the Competitive Carriers Association supports “clearing the 600 MHz band as quickly as possible.”
“Low-band or “beachfront” spectrum like that in the 600 MHz band “has certain propagation advantages for network deployment over long distances, while also reaching deep into buildings and urban canyons,” CCA tells the agency. “Many carriers, especially competitive carriers, need immediate access to low-band spectrum to expand coverage and meet consumers’ growing needs.”
CCA urges the agency to develop a timetable that will provide certainty and stability to participating parties and ensure broadcasters remain on schedule. “The bureau must take concrete actions that will prioritize the clearing of the 600 MHz band so that wireless carriers may utilize the spectrum as it becomes available.
CTIA agrees, saying the FCC “should steadfastly attempt to maintain the 39-month timeline for repacking.” Also, wireless licensees will require comprehensive information about the status of the relocation and transition process, adds CTIA, which suggests the FCC designate a project manager to oversee the transition.