12. The conclusion of any auction of eligible frequencies reallocated from Federal use to non-Federal use or from Federal use to shared use, however, is contingent on the cash proceeds attributable to such spectrum reaching 110 percent of the total estimated relocation or sharing costs provided to the Commission by NTIA. Once the relocation and sharing costs of the Federal incumbents are covered, the remainder of the proceeds attributable to eligible Federal spectrum, as well as the proceeds attributable to the 2155-2180 MHz non-Federal band, must be deposited in the Public Safety Trust Fund and then used to fund the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network to be established by the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet).
FCC CSEA Notification Letter and NTIA Response
13. The CSEA also requires the Commission to notify NTIA at least 18 months before the start of an auction of eligible frequencies and for NTIA to notify the Commission of estimated relocation and sharing costs, and timelines for such relocation or sharing, at least 6 months before the start of the auction. Accordingly, on March 20, 2013, the Commission notified NTIA that it "plans to commence the auction of licenses in the 1695-1710 MHz band and the 1755-1780 MHz band as early as September 2014" in order to satisfy the Spectrum Act licensing deadline of February 2015. On April 19, 2013, NTIA responded with several requests to the Commission. In particular, NTIA notes that the Department of Defense (DoD) has identified the 2025-2110 MHz band as the preferred option to relocate most of its operations in the 1755-1850 MHz band and that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and DoD identified the 5150-5250 MHz band as a comparable destination band for its aeronautical mobile telemetry systems.
Commerce Spectrum Management Advisory Committee and Related Efforts
14. In May 2012, NTIA established five joint government/industry working groups within its Commerce Spectrum Management Advisory Committee (CSMAC) to facilitate the implementation of services that support commercial wireless broadband in the 1695-1710 MHz and 1755-1850 MHz bands. Working Group 1 was charged with addressing sharing issues related to the 1675-1710 MHz band, while Working Groups 2-5 were charged with addressing sharing issues related to Federal operations in the 1755-1850 MHz band. A critical decision for each working group, according to NTIA, was to determine whether incoming non-Federal licensees would be able to share use of the spectrum with particular incumbent Federal systems. If a working group were to find that sharing is feasible, NTIA directed the group to explain the proposed manner of sharing in a way that could potentially be incorporated into service rules.
15. 1695-1710 MHz. Working Group 1 (WG1) (Meteorological-Satellite) completed its final report in February 2013 and the full CSMAC adopted it on February 21, 2013. The WG1 Final Report recommends that the Commission adopt a framework for reallocating the 1695-1710 MHz band for commercial use with "Protection Zones," rather than the "Exclusion Zones" originally contemplated in the NTIA Fast Track Report. Under this framework, commercial operations could be freely deployed outside of the "Protection Zones." Operations inside the "Protection Zones," however, would require prior Federal coordination. In February 2013, as required by the Spectrum Act, NTIA issued the NTIA 1695-1710 MHz Identification Report, in which it reaffirmed its recommendation that the Commission reallocate the 1695-1710 MHz segment of the 1675-1710 MHz band for wireless broadband use on a shared basis. On April 19, 2013, NTIA recommended that the Commission use the WG1 Final Report recommendations in drafting proposed rules to implement shared use of the 1695-1710 MHz band.