PdvWireless (PDVW) Friday commended the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) proposed 900 MHz band realignment, but said it supports a “success threshold” in addressing potential holdouts, wants consideration in the eligibility criteria for a BB license, and recommends unique licensing authority for the Association of American Railroads (AAR), which “occupies a unique position in the 900 MHz Band.”
The commission adopted the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in March.
In comments submitted regarding the NPRM, pdvWireless said it agrees with much of the proposal.
The company said there is an “urgent need” for the introduction of a broadband option, while allowing a spectrum for narrowband operations. It agreed, however, that “a purely voluntary relocation approach would allow a single incumbent … to thwart the Commission’s determination,” and recommended mandatory relocations for such holdouts once a “success threshold” in voluntary negotiations is reached.
The company noted that incumbents include, not only those demanding disproportionate compensation, but “corporations of such size and economic heft that voluntary negotiations to relocate a handful of 900 MHz frequencies are unlikely to ever reach the top of their business/legal teams’ to-do-lists,” as well as “governmental entities or other nonprofit organizations for which economic compensation is not necessarily a motivation to consider a purely voluntary transaction.”
PdvWireless additionally said it has already entered into agreements with certain incumbents, who want to either replace their frequencies in the proposed broadband segment with frequencies in the narrowband segments or to move out of the 900 MHz band completely. But unless the licensing criteria is modified to take such early deals into consideration, the company may be unable to take credit and would lose eligibility for a BB license.
PdvWireless has already negotiated a letter of intent with the AAR. Under the terms it will exchange all six of the AAR’s non-contiguous frequencies for the nationwide 10-channel A block, subject to FCC approval. However, under the agency’s original proposal, the agreement would again not be credited to the company in terms of license eligibility. The exchange would also fail to meet the 1:1 replacement frequency requirement. The “AAR’s nationwide 900 MHz interests must be addressed,” PdvWireless said, “if broadband is to be deployed anywhere in the country.”
PdvWireless’ stock was up almost 3% before mid-day Friday.