LMCC Seeks TV Protection Rule Changes

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Herndon, VA — The Land Mobile Communications Council (LMCC) has filed a Petition for Rulemaking that would modernize the rules governing protection of television stations by land mobile systems operating in the 470-512 MHz band (T-Band) to reflect a much-changed spectrum environment since 1970 when the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) first authorized land mobile sharing of television channels 14-20 in a limited number of major markets in the county. While the rules governing protection of television stations by land mobile systems remain based on those stations transmitting in an analog National Television System Committee (NTSC) format, these stations have converted to digital transmission (DTV) using the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) DTV format (also called ATSC-1). The rules should be modified to reflect appropriate protection criteria for full-service ATSC-1 digital stations as well as Class A stations that have been introduced since the adoption of land mobile sharing rules in 1970. Updated rules will maximize the interference-free use of this important band by both television stations and land mobile systems, consistent with the more advanced technologies that have been implemented by these licensees.

While land mobile activity in the T-Band had been suspended for almost a decade, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 repealed Section 6103 of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, which had required the Commission to reallocate and auction T-Band frequencies used by public safety entities. The lifting of the “T-Band Mandate” prompted the FCC to modify its suspension on the acceptance and processing of most applications for T-Band spectrum and resume processing applications from incumbent land mobile licensees. “To maximize the efficient use of this band by both private wireless and broadcast licensees, the sharing rules should reflect present day operational and technical realities,” stated LMCC President David Smith.

Author: Andrea Cumpston

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