BUSINESSES WILL SOON BE FORCED TO RECONFIGURE
INTERNAL RADIO COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEMS
WASHINGTON, D.C. - June 3, 2005 - Mark Del Bianco, our telecommunications counsel in
Washington, D.C., has reminded us that the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is requiring many businesses with radio systems which operate in the 800MHz band -- factories, distribution companies, delivery companies, transportation firms and any other businesses using their own radios to communicate -- to relocate to other frequencies within the 800MHz band under an FCC imposed schedule. The schedule began May 27, 2005.
This transition is part of a process that involves moving the frequencies of some public safety agencies (police and fire) and Nextel Communications--all of whom also share the 800 MHz band. Historically, businesses with their own radio systems and government public safety agencies have used the 800MHz band. For years, they peacefully co-existed, but now there is too much interference in this band to national security/local public safety users. Last year, the FCC ordered this reconfiguration under a plan to minimize interference to public safety radio systems.
Nextel is required by the FCC order to pay other businesses' costs of relocation, including their costs of hiring necessary attorneys and consultants to assist in the relocation.
Last week, the FCC imposed a schedule of geographic-based "Waves" to reconfigure users in the 800MHz band. Eastern Pennsylvania, Northern California, DC, Maryland, New England and the New York City areas, for examples, are included in "Wave 1," where reconfiguration is scheduled to begin on June 27, 2005. Businesses in Wave 1 will enter a three-month voluntary negotiation period with Nextel followed by, if necessary, a three-month mandatory negotiation period. There are 3 other Waves, the last scheduled to begin on April 3, 2006. To see the FCC order and plans go to
What a business needs to prepare to do is: (1) identify affected licenses on the 800MHz band; (2) negotiate a contract with Nextel to compensate your firm for the costs of the change; and (3) monitor the construction and installation of the new networks. To repeat, the new FCC "rebanding" plan potentially affects any business which operates internal radio systems on the 800MHz band.
Please forward this to your IT department or your in-house counsel. If you or they have questions, please contact Mark Del Bianco or
Dan Hull at either firstname.lastname@example.org or
Hull McGuire PC
Based in Pittsburgh, Hull McGuire PC
(www.hullmcguire.com) practices in the areas of international law, international trade and transactions, tax (domestic and international), telecommunications, intellectual property, litigation, employment practices, natural resources and legislative affairs.
Established in 1992, the firm also has offices in Washington, D.C.
and San Diego. The firm in an active member of the International Business Law Consortium, based in Salzburg, Austria and London.