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Frequently Asked Questions This section contains Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) regarding 800 MHz reconfiguration. Select a category from the menu on the left to view common questions on that topic or process.
Actual Cost Reconciliation (ACR) FAQs

Canada Border Region (CBR) FAQs

Change Notice FAQs

Cost Metrics FAQs

Mexican Border Reconfiguration FAQs

Planning & Negotiation Phase FAQs

Reconfiguration Overview FAQs

Reconfiguration Costs FAQs

Regional Prioritization Plan (RPP) FAQs

Request for Planning Funding (RFPF) FAQs

Review Rights FAQs

Subscriber Equipment Deployment (SED) FAQs

Waiver Request FAQs

Actual Cost Reconciliation (ACR) FAQs

1. What is Actual Cost Reconciliation?
Actual Cost Reconciliation (ACR) is the process that matches cost support documentation with the amounts paid or to be paid to the licensee for reconfiguration costs. At a high level, it is the process by which licensees document the costs incurred in reconfiguration. It also includes a reconciliation of any replacement and/or loaner equipment included in your Planning Funding Agreement (PFA) or Frequency Reconfiguration Agreement (FRA).

2. Have the actual cost documentation requirements been modified since the program started?
The requirements to maintain and submit actual cost documentation have been standard procedure throughout the program. At the outset, Sprint Nextel did not obtain all cost documentation at ACR. Because of some difficulties in obtaining the required support after deals had closed, however, Sprint Nextel now seeks actual cost support at the time of reconciliation instead of after the deal is selected for cost review by the program's independent auditors. The 800 MHz Transition Administrator, LLC (TA) fully supports this approach and it is reflected in our guidance.

3. I cannot record my actual costs incurred due to issues with my internal time reporting system. Can I still be reimbursed for actual time spent?
You will be reimbursed for your actual time incurred in accordance with the terms of your FRA or PFA. Your actual cost documentation needs to support the costs for which you seek reimbursement and does not need to match the internal time reporting system. The support provided must meet the actual cost reconciliation documentation requirements. To assist incumbent licensees Sprint Nextel has created templates for time reporting (Per-Hour or Per-Unit) that meet all the requirements. Incumbent licensees are free to use these templates, but are not required to do so. Incumbent licensees have the flexibility to report their incurred time in the most cost effective way possible, provided that the time report meets the minimum standards of the program which require the name of the person performing the work, the date such work was performed, the hours incurred and the Schedule C line item description. The actual cost supporting documentation requirements are provided in the Actual Cost Reconciliation (ACR) Fact Sheet.

4. How do I allocate payment from Sprint Nextel into my internal accounting system?
The TA cannot provide advice regarding your internal accounting. We recommend, however, that you bring your finance and accounting personnel into the process early so that they can address issues such as this in advance and to make sure that they are aware of the documentation requirements.

5. I think I was overpaid by Sprint Nextel; what should I do?
According to the terms of your FRA or PFA you are entitled to be reimbursed for your actual costs. If your costs were less than your Cost Estimate and you received advance payments greater than your actual costs, you are required to refund the difference back to Sprint Nextel. If you believe you have been overpaid, you must return the excess to Sprint Nextel. Please contact the TA by phone or email, and we will assist you.

6. I negotiated my Schedule C on a "per unit" basis (i.e. 50 radios @ $50 per unit) but did not keep proper "per unit" support. What should I do?
In these situations, please contact the TA by phone or email so that we can assist with the presentation of the support.

7. Why are some incumbent licensees required to "redo" their time reporting?
Additional support and/or "redoing" time reports is required only if the initial time report does not meet the requirements of the program. The TA does not require that time reports be submitted in a specific format. Incumbent licensees have the flexibility to report their incurred time in the most cost effective way possible, provided that the time report meets the minimum standards of the program which require the name of the person performing the work, the date such work was performed, the hours incurred and the Schedule C line item description. The actual cost supporting documentation requirements are provided in the Actual Cost Reconciliation (ACR) Fact Sheet.

To assist incumbent licensees, Sprint Nextel has created templates for time reporting (Per-Hour or Per-Unit) that meet all the requirements if completed on an individual basis. Incumbent licensees are free to use these templates, but are not required to do so. For example, if the incumbent provides its underlying time records with appropriate summaries that can be traced back to the Schedule C line items, a template does not need to be used.

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Canada Border Region (CBR) FAQs

1. How do I know if I need to reconfigure as part of the Canadian border regions?
Many 800 MHz systems in the U.S.-Canada border regions are required to relocate to new frequencies as part of the transition from the current 800 MHz band plan to the new band plan. For information on the general guidelines for licensee relocation and on the specific band plans for the eight geographic regions along the U.S.-Canada border, you may review the FCC's May 9, 2008 Second Report and Order (DA 08-1094), specifically, paragraphs 7, paragraphs 43 through 47, and Appendices C-1 through C-4.

Note that there are also a number of licensees in the areas adjacent to the FCC-defined Canadian border regions that are now also able to move forward with their reconfigurations. These licensees are to be reconfigured under the standard United States band plan but are subject to the timetable for reconfiguration of the Canadian border regions.

Any licensee can also use the TA Call Sign Checker to determine the reconfiguration status of their call signs, or contact the TA if they have specific questions regarding reconfiguration for the Canadian border regions.

2. How long is the reconfiguration period for the Canadian border regions?
The FCC's 05.09.08 Second Report and Order (DA 08-1094) provided for a 30-month transition period for rebanding in the Canadian border regions, which began on October 14, 2008 and ended on April 14, 2011.

3. What should I do if I am affected by reconfiguration in the Canadian border regions?
First, you should submit a Point of Contact (POC) Form (PDF or Word version) to ensure that the TA has the correct address for mailing frequency proposals and other communications. Second, you should identify vendors and/or consultants that can assist you with reconfiguration. Third, you should review and update your license information, particularly contact information, in the FCC's Universal Licensing System (ULS) database to ensure that it is correct and up-to-date. Finally, you should consider what types of planning activities you will need to perform. If you will need funding for your planning activities, you should prepare a Request for Planning Funding (RFPF). All forms for the RFPF Process and Planning and Negotiation Process are available in the Resources by Process section of the TA's website.

4. What should I do if I believe I need planning funding?
If you require funding for activities associated with planning for reconfiguration, you should prepare a Request for Planning Funding (RFPF) and submit it to the TA by fax or via email as soon as possible. The RFPF Form and related documents are available in the Resources by Process section of the TA's website. After you submit an RFPF, you will negotiate a Planning Funding Agreement (PFA) with Sprint Nextel.

If you do not need separate funding for your planning activities, you should include any planning costs as part of your Frequency Reconfiguration Agreement (FRA). This is highly recommended if you have less than 500 subscriber units or need less than 30 business days of resource effort for planning.

5. I negotiated a Planning Funding Agreement (PFA) with Sprint Nextel. What is my deadline for completing my planning activities and submitting a Cost Estimate to Sprint Nextel?
After the later of (1) TA approval of your PFA; or (2) your receipt of your proposed replacement frequencies, you will have 90 to 110 days, depending on the number of subscriber units in your system (see below), to complete your planning activities and submit a Cost Estimate for the reconfiguration of your system to Sprint Nextel.
  • If you have up to 5,000 subscriber units, the period to complete planning and submit a Cost Estimate is 90 days;
  • If you have 5,001-10,000 units, the period is 100 days; and
  • Conduct non-frequency-specific engineering and implementation planning.
  • If you have more than 10,000 units, the period is 110 days.
If you require additional time to complete planning, you may request an extension from the PSHSB. You must provide the reasons why additional time is necessary and demonstrate that you have exercised diligence and made progress in the time already allotted. You should file extension requests via email with the PSHSB and copy TA Mediation at the email addresses provided.

6. I am a Stage 1 (B/ILT and SMR) licensee. What is my schedule for FRA negotiations if I do not plan to enter into a PFA with Sprint Nextel?
The Implementation Plan and Timetable for U.S.-Canada Border Regions designated October 14, 2008 as the official planning start date for Stage 1 (B/ILT and SMR) licensees that will not enter into a PFA. Such licensees should have submitted a Cost Estimate for their reconfiguration to Sprint Nextel by one of the following deadlines, depending on the size of their system:
  • For licensees with up to 5,000 subscriber units, the Cost Estimate should be submitted to Sprint Nextel by January 12, 2009;
  • For licensees that have between 5,001 and 10,000 subscriber units, the Cost Estimate should be submitted by January 22, 2009; or
  • For licensees with more than 10,000 subscriber units, the Cost Estimate should be submitted by February 1, 2009.
If you require additional time to submit a Cost Estimate, you may request an extension from the PSHSB. You must provide the reasons why more time is necessary and demonstrate that you have exercised diligence and made progress in the time already allotted. You may submit your extension request either as a motion or in a letter. The submission may be signed either by the licensee or by its counsel. You should file extension requests via email with the PSHSB and copy TA Mediation at the contact information listed on the TA's Contact webpage.
After submitting a complete Cost Estimate to Sprint Nextel, you will negotiate a Frequency Reconfiguration Agreement with Sprint Nextel.

7. I am a Stage 2 (Public Safety) licensee. What is my schedule for FRA negotiations if I do not plan to enter into a PFA with Sprint Nextel?
For Stage 2 (Public Safety) licensees that did not enter into a PFA, the TA-designated date for commencement of planning was January 15, 2009. Licensees without a PFA should have submitted a Cost Estimate for their reconfiguration to Sprint Nextel by one of the following deadlines, depending on the size of their system:
  • For licensees with up to 5,000 subscriber units, by April 15, 2009;
  • For licensees that have between 5,001 and 10,000 subscriber units, by April 27, 2009; or
  • For licensees with more than 10,000 subscriber units, by May 5, 2009.
If a licensee did not receive its proposed replacement frequencies by January 15, 2009, its Cost Estimate should be submitted to Sprint Nextel 90, 100, or 110 days from the date of receipt of those frequencies, depending upon the number of subscriber units in the system.
If you require additional time to submit a Cost Estimate, you may request an extension from the PSHSB. You must provide the reasons why more time is necessary and demonstrate that you have exercised diligence and made progress in the time already allotted. You may submit your extension request either as a motion or in a letter and the submission may be signed either by the licensee or by its counsel. You should file extension requests via email with the PSHSB and copy TA Mediation at the email addresses provided.
After completing your planning activities and submitting a complete Cost Estimate to Sprint Nextel, you will negotiate a Frequency Reconfiguration Agreement with Sprint Nextel.

8. What else can I do to move my reconfiguration process along more quickly?
If you have completed your inventory, you may want to consider participating in the Subscriber Equipment Deployment (SED) program, which allows licensees to begin reconfiguration of subscriber units, including obtaining replacement equipment, software upgrade kits, and installation services, before negotiating a complete FRA. Additional information on the SED program is available in the SED FAQs, and in the SED documents listed under the RFPF Process in the Resources section of our website.

9. How long do I have to negotiate an FRA?
After completing your planning activities and submitting a complete Cost Estimate to Sprint Nextel, you will have 30 days to negotiate an FRA with Sprint Nextel under the monitoring of a TA mediator. If you are unable to negotiate an FRA within 30 days, you and Sprint Nextel will participate in active mediation for 20 days. If you do not reach agreement during the mediation period, the TA will refer any remaining disputed issues to the PSHSB within 10 days of the close of the mediation period. Mediation guidance is available in the Resources by Process section of our website.

10. What do I do if I still have additional questions?
Please contact the TA by phone or email, and we will be happy to assist you with your rebanding questions and efforts.

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Change Notice FAQs

1. What is a Change Notice?
A Change Notice is a written notice that serves to notify Sprint Nextel and the TA of changes to the scope, cost, or schedule of your planning or reconfiguration implementation activities subsequent to the execution of your TA-approved Planning Funding Agreement (PFA) or Frequency Reconfiguration Agreement (FRA). As stated in the FCC's September 12, 2007 Public Notice (FCC 07-168), the Change Notice process is designed to address unanticipated changes in cost, scope or schedule that occur during implementation or in the case of an emergency. A Change Notice is not intended as a means to recover costs that were either (1) reasonably foreseeable during PFA or FRA contract negotiations, but were not raised in negotiations, or (2) considered and rejected or otherwise relinquished during the course of negotiations. Additional Change Notice Process documents are available in the Resources by Process section of our website.

2. What is the difference between a Change Notice and an amendment?
A Change Notice is the first step in notifying Sprint Nextel and the TA of a change in the scope and/or cost of your reconfiguration activities. Certain Change Notices need to be documented with a formal amendment to the FRA or PFA. Sprint Nextel will inform you if an amendment is necessary.

3. When should I submit a Change Notice?
A Change Notice should be submitted as soon as you recognize that there will be a change in project costs or scope. Specifically, the terms of your PFA or FRA require that you submit a written Change Notice when a change to the work contemplated by your PFA or FRA is needed. Change Notices should generally be submitted prior to incurring additional costs beyond your PFA or FRA, otherwise you will bear the risk that the costs may not be approved by Sprint Nextel.

4. Can I submit more than one Change Notice?
Yes. You can submit more than one Change Notice, however, if you submit more than one Change Notice or Amendment for additional cost reimbursement, you will face, with each subsequent request, increasingly high burdens for demonstrating that additional costs were not foreseeable and are otherwise reasonable.

5. What costs are considered to be "foreseeable" and what types of costs are NOT recoverable under the Change Notice process?
As stated in the FCC's September 12, 2007 Public Notice (FCC 07-168), the Change Notice process is designed to address unanticipated changes in cost, scope or schedule that occur during implementation or in the case of an emergency. You may not use the Change Notice process to recover costs that were reasonably foreseeable during PFA or FRA negotiations but were not raised in negotiations, or that were considered and rejected.

6. Can I include a Contingency in my PFA or FRA instead of submitting a subsequent Change Notice?
Inclusion of a contingency in the PFA or FRA is a matter of negotiation with Sprint Nextel. A Contingency may be appropriate only if certain planning or reconfiguration tasks can be identified but are still subject to substantial uncertainty. If contingency funding is agreed upon with Sprint Nextel and approved by the TA, the amount of the contingency should be identified as a line-item and the potential uncertainty associated with the contingency funding should be described on the cost estimate.

7. Should I submit a Change Notice to seek reimbursement for costs associated with project delays?
You may submit a Change Notice seeking reimbursement for increased costs associated with "project delays." However, you should be aware that, first, as with all Change Notices, the additional costs sought must not have been foreseeable at the time the PFA or FRA was negotiated; and second, Change Notices for project delays will receive a hard look from the TA during its review process.

8. What information should I include in my Change Notice form if I am submitting a Change Notice for additional project management costs associated with project delays?
Your Change Notice should clearly describe: (1) The nature of the delay and why it was unforeseeable, and (2) How any additional costs were or will be mitigated. Licensees and project management vendors have an obligation to mitigate the impact of project delays. For example, during slower periods of activity, meetings and reporting can be reduced, simplified or eliminated.

9. Does the TA expect transactional costs to be included in my Change Notice request?
All transactional costs, including those for legal review, associated with an Amendment or Change Notice are foreseeable and should be included in the same Amendment or Change Notice.

10. Do I need to submit a Change Notice when the hourly rate exceeds the rate negotiated in the PFA or FRA if the negotiated rate is an average or blended rate of the hourly rates typically charged by our employees?
Sprint Nextel's payment obligations are established by the terms of the FRA or PFA. You should seek reimbursement up to the negotiated rate included in your agreement. If the parties agreed to an average or blended rate, you should seek reimbursement at the agreed upon rate. To the extent that your requested reimbursed rate exceeds the rate provided in the Cost Estimate, the FRA and/or PFA needs to be modified via a Change Notice.

11. Why does time need to be broken down on a cost estimate task level? Why can't you just allow cost over-runs to be offset by cost under-runs in other categories? As long as the total dollars stays under the allowable amount, why is that insufficient?
Cost estimates are prepared by the parties and reviewed by the TA at the task level to ensure that all costs are reasonable and prudent expenses directly related to the retuning of an 800 MHz system and to ensure that the cost estimate does not exceed the cost of providing comparable facilities. When a licensee is aware that its costs, including internal time, will exceed the Cost Estimate included in the FRA or PFA, it should submit a Change Notice providing an explanation as to why the additional costs would be needed to complete the reconfiguration, and why the costs would exceed the Cost Estimate amount. For additional information on submitting a Change Notice, please refer to the TA's Change Notice documents in the Resources by Process section of the TA's website.

12. Do I need to submit a Change Notice if there is a decrease in the costs as they appear in my PFA or FRA?
If you have a decrease in a single Cost Estimate line item, you do not need to file a Change Notice. However, if you have an increase in one or more Cost Estimate line items, you must file a Change Notice. If you have an increase in one or more Cost Estimate line items AND a decrease in one or more Cost Estimate line items, you must file a Change Notice.

13. How do I withdraw a Change Notice that I have already submitted? What if I would like to resubmit a Change Notice that I had previously withdrawn?
If you want to withdraw your Change Notice, you may send a fax to 866-221-6990 or 703-935-5377 indicating that you are withdrawing the Change Notice and noting the date it was originally submitted. If, at a later date, you resubmit the withdrawn Change Notice with additional information or submit a revised version of it, please indicate on the Change Notice Form that your submission is a revised Change Notice and note the date of the original submission.

14. The TA has stated that a licensee’s subscriber unit inventory, for purposes of reconfiguration, should be accurate to +/- 5%. If I determine that my actual subscriber unit count, as compared to the estimated count, is outside the +/-5% accuracy guideline, do I need to submit a Change Notice to correct my subscriber unit count? Do I need to conduct additional subscriber unit inventory work?
  • The TA generally discourages the submission of a Change Notice for funds to conduct additional inventory work once an initial estimate of inventory is obtained to an accuracy of +/- 5%. If the actual subscriber unit count is determined to be different during reconfiguration, any resulting change in the scope of your reconfiguration activities may be addressed by a Change Notice at that time. <

  • As you conduct your implementation activities:
    • If your actual subscriber unit count is lower than the estimated count in your FRA (or amended FRA, if applicable), it is generally not necessary to submit a Change Notice to correct the subscriber unit count. Adjustments will be made during the equipment reconciliation and true-up process.
    • If you find additional radios not included in your FRA, you should submit a Change Notice to add the costs to reconfigure those radios to Schedule C of your FRA and to include the radios on Schedule D, if applicable. In this event, the TA encourages you to use the TA’s Change Notice Form to prepare the Change Notice. You should submit the Change Notice by fax to 866-221-6990. Additional information about Change Notices, including the Change Notice Process Fact Sheet, is available in the Resources by Process section of the TA’s website.
  • In the event you believe that there are unique circumstances where there would be a benefit to correcting your subscriber count or conducting additional inventory work, you may submit a Change Notice. You should clearly state what unique circumstances exist that would warrant a Change Notice at that point. For example, a large deviation in subscriber unit count that would warrant additional planning.
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    Cost Metrics FAQs

    1. Why does the TA publish cost metrics information from approved PFAs and FRAs?
    On January 8, 2007, the FCC released an Order (DA 07-27) instructing the TA to make available cost metrics that identify statistical measures of licensee planning and reconfiguration implementation costs and rates based on system size. The TA expects that the cost metrics information will assist Public Safety licensees with the preparation of RFPFs and Cost Estimates and expedite the negotiation of PFAs and FRAs. The PFA Cost Metrics (licensee planning costs and rates) and the FRA Cost Metrics (licensee reconfiguration implementation costs and rates) are available in the Cost Metrics section of the TA's website.

    2. How does the TA use published cost metrics from previously approved PFAs and FRAs in its review of Cost Estimates in PFAs and FRAs?
    The TA’s review of costs is influenced by its experience in reviewing costs incurred by 800 MHz licensees in planning or reconfiguration. The cost metrics provide a measure of costs for systems of varying size and complexity. The cost metrics are only one factor underlying the TA’s analysis of the reasonableness of planning or reconfiguration costs. The TA may seek additional information from a licensee to explain a cost element in its PFA or FRA. In cases where the TA seeks additional information, licensees are required to provide supporting information that explains the need for the work proposed to be performed. Because each system reconfiguration is unique, historical cost metrics, while useful, are not always sufficient in and of themselves for the TA to conclude that the estimated costs are the minimum necessary to complete rebanding in a reasonable, prudent and timely manner.

    3. How are the FRA Cost Metrics compiled?
    The FRA Cost Metrics are derived from the reconfiguration costs documented in approved FRAs and amendments between Stage 2 public safety licensees and Sprint Nextel. Currently, the FRA Cost Metrics reflect cost data from more than 800 FRAs and amendments that have been evaluated and approved by the TA.

    4. Do the metrics include any planning costs?
    The FRA Cost Metrics do not include any costs associated with Planning Funding Agreements (PFAs). The TA develops and publishes a separate set of metrics for PFAs. A small number of licensees, whose reconfigurations did not require significant planning projects, chose to include small amounts of planning costs in their FRA as permitted. When accumulating metric data, the TA is careful to identify such FRAs and any associated planning tasks and categorize them appropriately for metrics purposes. These costs are isolated to the Pre-Implementation Planning cost category.

    5. How do the FRA Cost Metrics account for differences in system size and complexity?
    The cost data underlying the FRA Cost Metrics are grouped by system size as determined by the number of subscriber units or, in some cost categories, by the number of repeaters. These groupings provide segmentation of reconfiguration cost metrics to account for different sized public safety radio systems.
    The FRA Cost Metrics provide median costs and the 25th and 75th percentiles for 17 specific categories of tasks within FRAs. The detailed breakdown of the metrics allows costs within more complex reconfigurations to be identified and quantified in the metrics as they may be associated with more specific areas of costs.

    6. How are replacement radios accounted for in the metrics?
    Replacement radios are counted in the number of subscriber units in the licensee’s system. This affects which subscriber unit count category is used for comparison to the metrics.
    Labor and related costs associated with replacement radios are included in the “Subscriber Units Reconfiguration” cost category in Table 2 of the FRA Cost Metrics. The costs of actual replacement equipment provided to licensees by Sprint Nextel and listed in Schedule D of the FRA are not included in the FRA Cost Metrics. Replacement units may carry other subscriber category costs beyond just the labor to replace and retune the units, such as longer wait times for public safety officers, personnel, and vehicle-based mobile units. There are also additional replacement costs associated with logging, tracking, handling, packing, and shipping the replaced units back to Sprint Nextel or the manufacturer.

    7. My system is spread out over a very large geographic area. How do metrics account for this?
    Systems that are spread out over a large geographic area may have increased costs in two areas: (i) higher subscriber unit or infrastructure reconfiguration costs due to a higher subscriber unit count or repeater count, and (ii) higher travel costs. Travel to remote distant sites to complete reconfiguration tasks and/or access equipment at remote distant locations is more common in FRAs for licensees with large coverage areas. The FRA Cost Metrics include separate categories for travel costs which account for these more common costs associated with systems covering a larger geographic area.

    8. Can the TA provide more detailed metrics reports?
    Yes. Following the receipt of a Cost Metrics Comparison Report and upon request by a licensee or Sprint Nextel, the TA can provide a detailed metrics report containing certain underlying data about the similarly sized FRAs used in preparing the Cost Metrics Comparison Report for that licensee. This report provides the following information about those licensees’ FRAs: Subscriber Unit Count Category, Subscriber Unit Count, Number of Fixed Sites, System Type (e.g., conventional, trunked, or simulcast), System Vendor, Contract Value, Repeater Count Category, Repeater Count, Multiple Subscriber touches, and Number of Mobiles and Portables being (1) retuned, (2) reflashed/reprogrammed, and (3) replaced. It also provides the specific costs in each of the 17 cost categories in those FRAs.

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    Mexican Border Reconfiguration FAQs

    1. How do I know if I need to reconfigure as part of the Mexican border reconfiguration?
    Many 800 MHz licensees along the U.S.-Mexico border will be required to relocate to new frequencies as part of the transition from the current band plan to the new band plan. This includes virtually all licensees operating within the Sharing Zone (i.e., within 110 kilometers of the border with Mexico) in the NPSPAC regions bordering Mexico and many licensees operating immediately north of the Sharing Zone in the NPSPAC regions bordering Mexico. The affected regions are NPSPAC Region 3: Arizona, NPSPAC Region 5: Southern California, NPSPAC Region 29: New Mexico, NPSPAC Region 50: Texas - El Paso, and NPSPAC Region 53: Texas - San Antonio. For a description of the general guidelines about where licensees will relocate to and for more detailed information on the specific band plans for the NPSPAC regions along the U.S.-Mexico border, you may review the FCC’s Fifth Report and Order.

    You also can contact the TA if you have specific questions regarding reconfiguration.

    2. How long is the reconfiguration period for licensees along the U.S.-Mexico border?
    The FCC’s Fifth Report and Order established a 30-month transition period for licensees to complete rebanding in the NPSPAC regions bordering Mexico. The transition period began on August 23, 2013.

    3. What can I do now to prepare for reconfiguration?
    In the Fifth Report and Order, the FCC encouraged licensees along the U.S.-Mexico border to begin preparing for reconfiguration prior to the start of the 30-month transition period. Although you are not required to engage in planning prior to receiving frequency proposals from the TA, the FCC has encouraged licensees to engage in planning activities “to the extent that they are not frequency-dependent and would not result in unnecessary duplication of costs.” There are a number of non-frequency-dependent activities that you can initiate prior to receiving proposed replacement frequencies from the TA.

    You should undertake the following activities to facilitate the rebanding process: You may be able to perform certain planning activities prior to receiving proposed replacement frequencies from the TA. If you need funding for planning activities, you should submit a Request for Planning Funding (RFPF) and then negotiate a Planning Funding Agreement (PFA) with Sprint Nextel. All reconfiguration costs, including those related to planning, must be negotiated with and approved by Sprint Nextel as part of either a PFA or a Frequency Reconfiguration Agreement (FRA) and approved by the TA. Among other items, the TA has approved reasonable and prudent costs for licensees to conduct the following planning activities:
    • Conduct subscriber unit inventory.
    • Conduct infrastructure inventory.
    • Determine whether any of the equipment requires special considerations for reconfiguration. Examples include Vehicular Repeater Systems (VRS), irrigation systems, sirens, and equipment in nuclear power plants.
    • Conduct non-frequency-specific engineering and implementation planning.
    • Define your interoperability environment.
    4. How can I obtain funding for planning activities?
    If you believe you need funding for activities to plan for reconfiguration, you should prepare a Request for Planning Funding and submit it on or before August 23, 2013. The RFPF Form is available in PDF or Word versions and related documents are available here.

    After you submit an RFPF, you will negotiate a Planning Funding Agreement with Sprint Nextel. You and Sprint Nextel will have 30 days from submittal of the RFPF to negotiate a PFA. If, at the end of the 30 day period, there is no agreement on a PFA, you and Sprint Nextel will participate in mediation for 20 working days. If you do not reach agreement during the mediation period, the TA will refer any remaining disputed issues to the FCC within 10 days after the close of the mediation period.

    If you do not need separate funding for your planning activities, you can include planning costs as part of your Frequency Reconfiguration Agreement. This is highly recommended if you have less than 500 subscriber units or need less than 30 business days of resource effort for planning.

    5. I previously entered into a Planning Funding Agreement with Sprint Nextel, but need to amend it to complete the planning process. How do I amend the PFA?
    If you previously entered into a PFA and need to amend your PFA to complete the planning process, you must submit a Change Notice on or before August 23, 2013. The Change Notice Form is available here and information about submitting a Change Notice is available here.

    After you submit a Change Notice, you and Sprint Nextel will negotiate an Amendment to your PFA. You and Sprint Nextel will have 30 days from submittal of the Change Notice to negotiate a PFA Amendment. If, at the end of the 30 day period, there is no agreement on a PFA Amendment, you and Sprint Nextel will participate in mediation for 20 working days. If you do not reach agreement during the mediation period, the TA will refer any remaining disputed issues to the FCC within 10 days after the close of the mediation period.

    6. I negotiated a PFA or PFA Amendment with Sprint Nextel. What is my deadline for completing my planning activities and submitting a Cost Estimate to Sprint Nextel?
    After the TA approves your PFA or PFA Amendment, you will have 90 to 110 days, depending on the number of subscriber units in your system (see below), to complete your planning activities and submit a Cost Estimate for the reconfiguration of your system to Sprint Nextel.
    • If you have up to 5,000 subscriber units, the period to complete planning and submit a Cost Estimate is 90 days;
    • If you have 5,001-10,000 units, the period is 100 days; and
    • If you have more than 10,000 units, the period is 110 days.
    If you have not received your proposed replacement frequencies by the date the TA approves your PFA or PFA Amendment, the planning period will run from the date you receive your proposed replacement frequencies.

    7. Is there a freeze on applications in the U.S.-Mexico border region?
    Yes. The FCC has imposed a freeze on the acceptance of new non-rebanding-related 800 MHz applications along the U.S.-Mexico border. The freeze along the U.S.-Mexico border is currently in effect until February 1, 2017. The freeze applies to NPSPAC Region 3: Arizona, NPSPAC Region 5: Southern California, NPSPAC Region 29: New Mexico, NPSPAC Region 50: Texas - El Paso, and NPSPAC Region 53: Texas - San Antonio and to stations located within 70 miles of the borders of these NPSPAC regions.

     The freeze applies only to applications for new facilities or modification applications that involve a change of frequency or expand a station's existing coverage area. Applications that do not affect frequency or coverage (e.g., administrative updates, assignments/transfers, or renewal-only applications) are not subject to the freeze. Licensees on pre-rebanding channels proposing to expand coverage or add a new channel during the freeze may seek Special Temporary Authorization (STA) from the FCC based upon a showing of public interest need as described in the FCC’s December 20, 2006 Public Notice. Licensees on post-rebanding channels proposing to expand coverage or add a new channel during the freeze may apply for permanent authorization from the FCC provided they include a request for waiver of the freeze with their application.

    8. What do I do if I still have additional questions?
    Please contact the TA by phone or email, and we will be happy to assist you with your rebanding questions and efforts.

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    Planning and Negotiation Phase FAQs

    1. When should I get started?
    Licensees should expect to be contacted by a Sprint Nextel representative to initiate negotiations. Reconfiguring licensees that are not contacted by Sprint Nextel may contact Sprint Nextel directly or contact the TA for further instructions at the contact information provided.

    2. When will I receive the Point of Contact (POC) Form?
    Shortly before the start of your reconfiguration Wave, you will receive a mailing, which includes a copy of the POC Form. This mailing has been sent to all non-border licensees in Waves 1-4 and to Canadian border licensees. If you are such a licensee and have not received this mailing, please contact the TA. The POC Form (PDF or Word version) is also available in the Forms section of the Resources page.

    3. What is the negotiation process?
    Negotiating and successfully completing a Frequency Reconfiguration Agreement (FRA) and Planning Funding Agreement (PFA), if necessary, is a critical step in the reconfiguration process. Initially, if planning funding is required, you will need to reach a PFA with Sprint Nextel regarding costs and activities required to perform planning activities for reconfiguration. These planning activities that 800 MHz licensees conduct in preparation for reconfiguration (e.g., inventories, frequency evaluation, development of Cost Estimates, etc.) are used as important inputs to the Cost Estimate, and eventual FRA, you will negotiate with Sprint Nextel.

    After negotiating your RFPF or Cost Estimate, and reaching agreement on the terms of the PFA or FRA, sign it and return it to Sprint Nextel. Sprint Nextel will submit the PFA or FRA to the TA for review and approval prior to execution. Activities related to negotiating reconfiguration contracts may include:
    • Establishing and maintaining communications channels with Sprint Nextel;
    • Obtaining the assistance of counsel to help with contract negotiations and review (if desired);
    • Obtaining TA assistance with the mediation of disputes associated with a PFA or FRA
    4. What am I required to negotiate with Sprint Nextel?
    Reconfiguring 800 MHz licensees are required to negotiate the specifics of their reconfigurations directly with Sprint Nextel. Key terms and conditions to be negotiated include:
    • Agreement on the reconfiguring licensee's new frequencies (i.e., that they are comparable)
    • The overall costs and timetable for physical reconfiguration
    • "Soft" or transactional costs (e.g., legal and administrative costs)
    • Payment terms
    • Who will prepare and file FCC applications
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    Reconfiguration Overview FAQs

    1. Why did the FCC order a reconfiguration of the 800 MHz band?
    Public safety radio systems, such as those used by police, firefighters, and emergency medical technicians and other systems operating at 806-824 MHz/851-869 MHz — commonly known as "the 800 MHz band" — have been experiencing increasing levels of interference from commercial wireless carriers operating in the same or adjacent spectrum bands.

    This problem has been exacerbated because, during the past several years, 800 MHz public safety radio systems have become more widespread and 800 MHz commercial wireless systems have proliferated, both in terms of transmitter sites and subscribers. Consequently, public safety systems began to encounter pockets of "dead zones" or have otherwise suffered from interference within their coverage areas.

    The FCC ordered the reconfiguration of the 800 MHz band to avoid a potentially life-threatening problem where public safety communications equipment may be rendered inoperable.

    For more information about the circumstances that prompted the need for reconfiguration, go to the FCC’s PSHSB Website for 800 MHz Rebanding.

    2. What is the 800 MHz Reconfiguration project?
    The primary purpose of the 800 MHz reconfiguration project is to eliminate and avoid interference to public safety radio systems and other 800 MHz systems by separating spectrum for commercial, low-site cellularized wireless networks from spectrum for “high-site” radio networks typically operated by public safety groups and other licensees.

    Separating these types of communications requires moving public safety systems to spectrum lower in the 800 MHz band, and moving commercial carriers such as Sprint Nextel to the opposite end of the band. The planned reconfiguration of the 800 MHz band includes creating a “guard band,” or buffer, to help ensure that signals from the different types of networks will not interfere with each other.

    The 800 MHz rebanding is part of a larger solution to the 800 MHz interference problem. On August 6, 2004, the FCC released a 800 MHz Report and Order (FCC 04-168), in which it established a two-pronged solution to the 800 MHz interference problem. First, to address actual interference problems, the FCC adopted technical standards (the Enhanced Best Practices) to identify and address instances of unacceptable interference to 800 MHz public safety or other non-cellular licensees. The second prong of the solution addresses the root cause of the interference, and involves reconfiguration of the 800 MHz band, placing generally incompatible technologies in separate band segments in order to prevent interference.

    3. Who needs to reconfigure?
    The diagram below depicts the affected portions of the 800 MHz band before and after reconfiguration.

    800 MHz Band
    Reconfiguration
    Enlarge


    Many 800 MHz systems, including public safety, CII, B/ILT, and commercial SMR systems operating in the 800 MHz Band will be required to relocate. Licensees in the 809-815/854-860 MHz Band are not required to relocate. The following general guidelines apply:
    • Licensees currently in the 806-809 MHz/851-854 MHz band (“Channels 1-120”) will be relocated.
    • NPSPAC licensees currently in the 821-824 MHz/866-869 MHz band will be relocated.
    • Public safety systems currently operating in the newly created “Expansion Band” at 815-816 MHz/860-861MHz will be relocated unless they elect otherwise.
    • EA licensees who qualify and wish to operate ESMR systems may elect to relocate into the “ESMR Band” at 817-824 MHz/861-869 MHz.
    • Licensees operating below 817 MHz/862 MHz may elect to relocate to the “Guard Band” at 816-817 MHz/861-862 MHz.
    • All licensees may request to make voluntary relocations during the 800 MHz reconfiguration under certain circumstances.
    • There is a slightly different 800 MHz band plan for certain areas in the Southeastern United States (sometimes known as the “Appendix G area”). In these affected areas, licensees operating at 812.5-817 MHz/857.5-862 MHz may also be required to relocate.
    The TA’s Regional Prioritization Plan (RPP) provides a schedule – known as "Waves" – for when NPSPAC regions will begin the reconfiguration process. A complete copy of the RPP and RPP Modification is available in the Resources section under TA Policies. Prior to the start of each Wave, the TA will notify those licensees assigned to that specific Wave who will have to reconfigure.

    U.S. Regional
    Prioritization Plan
    (RPP) Map
    Enlarge


    Additional resources are available in the Tools section on our website to assist Non-EA based 800 MHz licensees in determining their reconfiguration requirements and options during the 800 MHz reconfiguration process.

    4. What is the Role of the FCC?
    As the government entity in charge of regulating interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite and cable, the FCC released the 800 MHz Report and Order (FCC 04-168) ordering the reconfiguration of the 800 MHz Band. The FCC will provide oversight to the TA to ensure that band reconfiguration proceeds on schedule, and resolve any disputes that are referred to them by the TA.

    5. What is the role of the 800 MHz Transition Administrator ("TA")?
    The FCC established the Transition Administrator (TA) as an independent party to oversee the administrative and financial aspects of the 800 MHz Band reconfiguration process. The 800 MHz Transition Administrator, LLC (TA LLC) serves as the Transition Administrator for the reconfiguration of the 800 MHz Band mandated by the FCC. TA LLC has contracted with Deloitte Consulting LLP, Squire, Sanders & Dempsey LLP, and Baseline Wireless Services LLC to perform the duties of the TA. Among its duties, the TA establishes reconfiguration guidelines, specifies replacement channels, reviews reconfiguration Cost Estimates, monitors payment of reconfiguration costs, manages the relocation schedule, facilitates issue resolution and administers the alternative dispute resolution process. You are encouraged to use the TA as a fair and independent source of information and for assistance related to the 800 MHz reconfiguration process.

    6. What is the role of Sprint Nextel?
    Sprint Nextel has been charged by the FCC with funding relocation costs for affected licensees. In addition to reconfiguring many of its own 800 MHz operations, Sprint Nextel will pay all allowable costs of relocating other 800 MHz incumbents that are required to reconfigure their systems to new frequencies with comparable facilities. To ensure that the reconfiguration is completed nationwide, the FCC has required Sprint Nextel to secure irrevocable letters of credit in the amount of $2.5 billion and commit to fully funding the 800 MHz reconfiguration. Sprint Nextel can be reached using information listed on the Contacts page of our website.

    7. What is the role of the Licensee?
    As the primary party affected by the FCC’s mandated reconfiguration, you will be heavily involved in the reconfiguration process. You and your authorized representatives can expect to obtain comparable facilities at your new frequency(ies), and have all reasonable reconfiguration costs covered. To accomplish this relocation, you will negotiate with Sprint Nextel to reach a contract/agreement. It is important to note that you and associated third parties are required to make representations to the TA with the same requirement of truth and candor as representations to the FCC.

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    Reconfiguration Costs FAQs

    1. What is the licensee-required certification of minimum costs?
    The FCC requires that licensees include with submitted Cost Estimates for PFAs and FRAs a signed certification that the costs represent the minimum necessary to provide facilities comparable to those presently in use. The FCC has clarified, however, that this requirement does not mean the "absolute lowest cost in all circumstances. Rather, it means the minimum cost possible to accomplish rebanding in a manner that is reasonable, prudent and timely. While all system reconfigurations are unique, the Cost Estimate must take into account the overall goals of the program to complete rebanding in as timely and efficient manner as possible, and to minimize the burden on public safety licensees and their ability to continue operations during rebanding. Licensees are not required to use competitive bidding when selecting vendors for reconfiguration services or equipment.

    2. Who will pay for the reconfiguration? Sprint Nextel is responsible for the cost of relocating all affected 800 MHz incumbents to new spectrum with comparable technological and operational capabilities. The FCC has required Sprint Nextel to provide irrevocable letters of credit in the amount of $2.5 billion to ensure payment for the costs of reconfiguring the 800 MHz Band. Sprint Nextel must provide additional funds if the costs of the reconfiguration process exceed $2.5 billion. Sprint Nextel is also required to make funds available for the reconfiguration of the border areas.

    3. Will funding be available to licensees for hiring engineering and legal assistance in planning and executing system reconfigurations?
    Yes. The FCC's 800 MHz Report and Order (FCC 04-168) provides for a funding mechanism by which Sprint Nextel will pay for the costs of reconfiguring licensee systems. Sprint Nextel will make direct payments to vendors who provide goods and services to licensees for their reconfigurations and associated planning activities as agreed to with licensees. Sprint Nextel will also make payments directly to licensees for costs incurred by licensee personnel in performing reconfiguration or planning activities and vendor costs paid directly by the licensee.

    4. Can the 800 MHz Transition Administrator recommend to licensees the names of consulting firms, radio frequency experts, or reconfiguration software packages?
    The TA does not offer endorsements of individual reconfiguration experts, consultants or software packages. Licensees are free to make their own decisions concerning what individuals, agencies, or software they use for assistance with their reconfiguration efforts; provided that the vendors and service providers they select are qualified to perform the reconfiguration tasks for which they are hired.

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    Regional Prioritization Plan (RPP) FAQs

    1. What is the Regional Prioritization Plan?
    As required by the FCC, the TA developed a Regional Prioritization Plan (RPP) (01.31.05) that lists the order in which the 55 NPSPAC regions will start the process of reconfiguration. The FCC approved the RPP on March 11, 2005. The TA considered many factors in crafting the RPP, including the FCC’s reconfiguration timeline targets, population, existing instances of interference to public safety systems, the need to reconfigure interconnected regions together, workload balance, seasonal cycles, and the need for new international treaties in border areas.

    Beginning with the official start date for reconfiguration, June 27, 2005, the RPP defines four "Waves" or groupings of NPSPAC regions to be reconfigured. Each Wave contains groups of NPSPAC regions that will begin reconfiguration at the same time. The diagram below shows the NPSPAC Regions within each prioritization Wave.

    U.S. Regional
    Prioritization Plan
    (RPP) Map
    Enlarge


    2. What are NPSPAC Regions and why were they used for the RPP?
    NPSPAC stands for the National Public Safety Planning Advisory Committee set up by the FCC in the 1980's to determine how public safety communications in the 800 MHz channels were going to be used. NPSPAC developed a usage plan for public safety that divided the country into many different NPSPAC regions.

    The TA recognizes that NPSPAC regions have not been used for licensing CII, B/ILT and commercial systems. The FCC’s 800 MHz Report and Order (FCC 04-168) and the TA's Regional Prioritization Plan ("RPP") (01.31.05) use NPSPAC regions to divide the nation geographically for purposes of administering an orderly reconfiguration of the 800 MHz Band for all users. The concept of NPSPAC regions will be applied to such entities solely for reconfiguration timing purposes. Channels 1-120 in a NPSPAC region must be cleared of all users (most of whom are commercial entities, not public safety entities) to allow NPSPAC relocation. This means NPSPAC licensees cannot move the timing of their physical relocation outside of their Wave, region, or stage.

    3. How do I find out which Wave I am assigned to?
    Visit the Tools section of our website for the call sign and frequency checkers (for non-EA licensees). You may also view the U.S. Regional Prioritization Plan (RPP) Map (above) in the Resources section of our website.

    4. When do I begin reconfiguration if my system spans regions across different waves?
    Licensees with systems that span multiple reconfiguration waves must begin the reconfiguration process at the designated time for the first wave in which they have a system. This will help ensure that complex systems spanning reconfiguration waves have adequate time to reconfigure. One possible exception is for licensees in U.S.-Canada and U.S.-Mexico border regions.

    5. What is a Channel 1-120 Licensee?
    Channel 1-120 licensees are those currently operating in 806-809 MHz/851-854 MHz. Channels 1-120 in a NPSPAC region must be cleared of all users (most of whom are commercial entities, not public safety entities) to allow NPSPAC relocation.

    800 MHz Band
    Reconfiguration
    Enlarge


    6. How can I determine the freeze dates for new license applications?
    The FCC has imposed a freeze on the acceptance of new non-rebanding-related 800 MHz applications in certain areas. The application freeze applies to certain NPSPAC regions and to stations located within 70 miles of the borders of these NPSPAC regions. The freeze applies only to applications for new facilities or modification applications that involve a change of frequency or expand a station's existing coverage area. Applications that do not affect frequency or coverage (e.g., administrative updates, assignments/transfers, or renewal-only applications) are not subject to the freeze. Licensees on pre-rebanding channels proposing to expand coverage or add a new channel during the freeze may seek Special Temporary Authorization (STA) from the FCC based upon a showing of public interest need as described in the FCC’s December 20, 2006 Public Notice. Licensees on post-rebanding channels proposing to expand coverage or add a new channel during the freeze may apply for permanent authorization from the FCC provided they include a request for waiver of the freeze with their application.


    The freeze on new applications along the U.S.-Mexico border is currently in effect until Fedbruary 1, 2017. The freeze applies to NPSPAC Region 3: Arizona, NPSPAC Region 5: Southern California, NPSPAC Region 29: New Mexico, NPSPAC Region 50: Texas - El Paso, and NPSPAC Region 53: Texas - San Antonio and to stations located within 70 miles of the borders of these NPSPAC regions.

    The freeze on new applications in non-border areas and along the U.S.-Canada border is no longer in effect. The FCC lifted the freeze in NPSPAC Region 30: Eastern Upstate New York and NPSPAC Region 36: Western Pennsylvania as of April 12, 2013 and in NPSPAC Region 21: Michigan, NPSPAC Region 33: Ohio, and NPSPAC Region 55: Western Upstate New York as of April 18, 2014. The freeze in NPSPAC Region 43: Washington ended as of April 18, 2016.
     


    Request for Planning Funding (RFPF) FAQs

    1. Is the Fast Track just for small agencies?
    No. Large agencies can utilize Fast Track in some cases as well. All licensees are eligible. There is no limitation on the size of the system or number of radios on the system to be eligible for Fast Track. Any licensee submitting an RFPF is eligible for Fast Track provided they meet the conditions:
    • $55 or less per subscriber unit
    • 8% or less for Legal
    • 25% or less project management
    The TA would like as many licensees as possible to use the Fast Track. Ultimately, the goal for the TA, the program, and licensees is to get to the FRA and reconfigure the system. Please see the PFA Fast Track Fact Sheet for additional information.

    2. Do licensees forfeit any rights by utilizing the PFA Fast Track option?
    No. You do not give up any rights by using the Fast Track option. Make your best effort to include ALL planning costs and your best known number of subscriber units on your system. If the numbers are not right, it becomes difficult to make a judgment on whether a licensee is eligible for Fast Track. These are the types of issues the TA will review when you apply for Fast Track. For additional information, please see the on the RFPF Process section of the Resources page.

    Don't forget that you are eligible for reimbursement for time spent developing the RFPF and attending training, etc., as long as you provide sufficient documentation and justification. Sprint Nextel will consider funding that has been done ahead of time, but you must negotiate each cost item on an individual basis.

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    Review Rights FAQs

    1. What is a TA Review Rights Request for Information (RFI) Letter, what does it mean, and why did I receive this letter?
    The TA issues a TA Review Rights RFI Letter as part of the preparation of the 800 MHz Reconfiguration Program ("Program") Statement of Program Expenditures. An incumbent licensee that receives such a letter must provide documentation to support the reconfiguration funds it received under the terms of its PFA or FRA. The documentation is being requested to the extent that it was not provided during the Actual Cost Reconciliation (ACR) Process, which occurs as part of the closing of the PFA and/or FRA.

    2. When will the funds that I received be subject to cost support review?
    The TA and the program's independent auditors review cost support throughout the year. The funds that incumbent licensees have received are subject to cost support review after the FRA or PFA is closed and the required closing documents have been reviewed and approved by the TA. To the extent that the licensee provided complete documentation as part of ACR the TA will not contact the licensee.

    3. Why is the Reconfiguration Program being audited?
    The Federal Communication Commission ("FCC") requires the TA to provide an audited Statement of Program Expenditures. Payments made to incumbent licensees and/or their vendors, as well as the costs of any replacement equipment provided to the incumbent licensees, are part of this review.

    4. How often is the Statement of Program Expenditures issued?
    The Statement of Program Expenditures is issued on an annual calendar basis. The work necessary to prepare the statement is performed throughout the year.

    5. If I am selected for cost support review when should I expect to receive a letter?
    If you provided complete documentation as part of the ACR, you will not receive a TA Review Rights RFI Letter. If it is necessary for the TA to issue a Review Rights RFI, it will generally be sent within a year of the closing of the FRA or PFA.

    6. How was my PFA or FRA selected for cost support review?
    PFAs or FRAs chosen for cost support review will be selected by the Program's independent auditing firm. Incumbent licensees who are chosen are not singled out. Sprint Nextel is not involved in the selection process.

    7. I provided documentation to Sprint Nextel as part of the Actual Cost Reconciliation Process. Why do I need to provide additional information now?
    The Program's independent auditor will review the documentation provided to Sprint Nextel as part of the Actual Cost Reconciliation (ACR) Process and determine whether additional supporting documentation is necessary. In certain situations, the auditors may require additional documentation because the documentation provided as part of ACR does not meet audit standards.

    8. What is the TA's role in the audit process?
    The TA's role is a facilitator between the incumbent licensee and the Program's auditor. As such, the TA will:
    • notify the incumbent licensees who need to provide additional supporting documentation
    • receive from the incumbent licensees the support requested and provide it to the auditor
    • communicate any additional follow-up requests that may be required as a result of the review of the supporting documentation provided
    • help to provide additional clarification to the request when needed
    9. How long do I have to comply with the TA Review Rights RFI Letter?
    Incumbent licensees are asked to respond with the requested supporting documentation within 30 days of receiving the TA Review Rights RFI Letter. Licensees that do not respond to the TA Review Rights RFI letters will be referred to the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau of the FCC.

    10. What additional support do I need to provide?
    The TA's letter will identify the additional support required, provide instructions on where to submit records and give a due date that is 30 days from the date of the letter for when to submit the required support. In addition, the TA has provided further guidance on the Actual Cost Reconciliation (ACR) process and the Incumbent Labor Reimbursement Policy in the Resources section of the Website.

    11. How will I know that I have provided all requested information and my cost support review is complete?
    If you respond to a TA Review Rights RFI you will receive notice once the cost support review is complete and no additional information is required from you unless otherwise notified. You should, however, maintain all cost support in accordance with the terms of your FRA or PFA.

    12. How is Sprint Nextel involved in the TA's review?
    Sprint Nextel is not involved with the TA's cost review process. They provide the TA with the Incumbent's ACR supporting documentation. Any additional documentation an Incumbent submits to the TA in response to a TA Review Rights RFI Letter will not be shared with Sprint Nextel. This documentation will only be used to support the funds that you received. Summary data of the total costs supported and not supported is shared with Sprint Nextel.

    13. Where do I submit the requested documentation?
    Submit the supporting documentation required via toll free fax or via mail to the TA's Incumbent Financial Support.

    14. What is the process to be reimbursed for complying with the TA Review Rights request for information?
    Sprint Nextel should be contacted directly for reimbursement of your incurred costs. Costs associated with responding to TA Review Rights RFIs (including legal fees associated with an Incumbent's response) should be minimal because the documentation required to be provided to the TA should have been maintained from the beginning of your reconfiguration.

    The TA and Sprint Nextel have established a simplified process for reviewing and approving up to $5,000 of costs for complying with a review rights request. In the event that you believe that your costs will exceed this amount, you need to negotiate those costs with Sprint Nextel and seek advanced TA review before incurring such costs. The costs of complying with review rights requests, similar to the costs of attending Implementation Planning Sessions, do not require a formal amendment to the FRA/PFA or the actual cost reconciliation and other closing documents.

    15. What should I do if I am unable to support some of the costs documented in the Exhibit A?
    Pursuant to your PFA or FRA you are contractually obligated to maintain records and other supporting evidence that documents the costs for which you have been reimbursed by Sprint Nextel. In addition, the agreements provide that you shall make the supporting documentation available to the Transition Administrator upon request. If you are unable to provide support for certain costs, you need to provide the TA with an explanation of why you are unable to provide the requested supporting documentation. The TA will determine if there are other ways to verify the costs, however, if the TA cannot do so to its or the program auditor's satisfaction, you will be required to refund the unsupported reimbursed costs.

    16. Who do I contact if I have questions regarding TA Review Rights?
    If you have any questions or concerns about the documentation requested by the TA, do not hesitate to contact the TA via email or by phone. Sprint Nextel should be contacted directly for reimbursement of your audit costs incurred. It will provide you with the required process.

    17. During negotiations should Incumbents add fees for the cost of complying with review rights requests?
    Because you are obligated to maintain the necessary cost support documentation from the start of your reconfiguration, the additional costs of complying with a TA Review Rights RFI should be minimal. If you want to include a contingency for these costs, the TA will approve FRAs and PFAs with contingency fees for the cost of complying with review rights requests. It is not necessary, however, for incumbents to include such a contingency.

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    Subscriber Equipment Deployment (SED) FAQs

    1. Will Subscriber Equipment Deployment (SED) require me to have two (2) FRAs?
    No. SED negotiations result in the signing and execution of your Frequency Reconfiguration Agreement (FRA) with standard FRA terms and conditions. However, the costs will specifically cover only the subscriber equipment deployment. All additional costs associated with the reconfiguration of your infrastructure will be included in an amendment to the FRA once they are agreed to by you and Sprint Nextel.

    2. If I have completed planning and am ready to provide a Cost Estimate and plan for reconfiguring my entire system, including subscriber units and infrastructure, am I required to negotiate a SED and then separately negotiate my infrastructure reconfiguration at a subsequent time?
    No. However, if you feel you would benefit from the SED program and it would speed your reconfiguration, then SED may be the right option for you. If you have completed your planning and are ready to provide a Cost Estimate and negotiate an FRA that covers all aspects of your reconfiguration, you may do so in a single negotiation. The FRA should include terms that call for early deployment of all subscriber equipment if appropriate and early completion of any other tasks that can be done ahead of infrastructure reconfiguration.

    3. Will SED cause delays in my negotiation periods and ultimately my reconfiguration schedule?
    The SED program is intended to speed reconfiguration of subscriber equipment prior to completing all negotiations. As such, negotiation periods will be maximized since licensees and vendors will be able to start implementation activities earlier and spread the work over a longer period of time. Also, if you identify any tasks or vehicle types that might cause a delay in completing the FRA for SED, the parties may consider deferring those items to the infrastructure negotiations.

    4. When do I negotiate the terms and conditions of my FRA?
    If you choose to participate in the SED initiative, then negotiate the terms and conditions of your FRA during negotiations for SED. One of the benefits of SED is that the parties can agree on standard FRA terms and conditions not related to tasks and costs up front and get approvals one time for the FRA. Historically, negotiations over terms and conditions have not been a significant point of contention.

    5. Can I participate in SED if I am still in the planning phase and do not have a PFA?
    Yes. If your planning is far enough along to determine the subscriber equipment and associated costs, then you may participate in SED.

    6. Do I need to complete any other documentation as part of my SED request? The Subscriber Equipment Deployment (SED) Request Form does not include such items as travel costs. In what document do I account for those costs?
    Any costs associated with tasks that are required for SED, but not included on the Form, may be added to your Schedule C. Any costs not required or known for SED should be added to the later amendment to the FRA when infrastructure reconfiguration is negotiated.

    7. I have specialty vehicles not listed on the request form. Can these units be included?
    You can add specialty vehicles (such as motor graders, boats, etc.) to the form by inserting the costs in the special vehicle section (item 1d). Insert additional lines for each vehicle type. List the vehicle type and include a brief description of the installation type, Level of Effort (LOE), labor rate, and total cost.

    8. Item 1 lists tasks to be included for front or remote mount replacements, but I need to do some additional small tasks such as engraving an asset tag number on the unit or tracking the vehicle in a data base. What should I do?
    The suggested LOE for item 1a includes time for such details. Include your time for those small tasks in that LOE number. If your LOE exceeds the LOE number that is presumed to be reasonable, then you should include an explanation justifying the additional time.

    9. The tasks for the templates only refer to modifying existing templates. My old radios used a DOS-based template and I need to create a new template using new Windows-based software. How do I show that?
    The template modification task is intended to include the time to create a new Windows template with other templates or derivatives of a master template. Although you are creating a new template in Windows, it is considered a modification of the old DOS template. Include all templates in the modify templates task.

    10. Are the LOE numbers provided by the TA in the SED Request Form absolutes for all tasks? Will the TA accept numbers that may be above or below the numbers provided?
    The TA recognizes that each system is unique, and in some cases the suggested LOE number may not be suitable for some tasks. The standards suggested may be lower or higher than what is actually required by the licensee for a particular vehicle or other situation. Each licensee should request only the minimum hours required to complete a task based on its network. If the actual time is less than the suggested stated LOE, further justification is not required. For the tasks listed on the form for which your LOE exceeds the suggested standard LOE presumed reasonable and more time is required for a task, the licensee must justify the additional time required.

    11. If I require multiple touches to my system, do I negotiate that as part of SED, or do I address that as part of the infrastructure amendment to my FRA?
    SED can get you started with the initial touch of your subscriber equipment. In the SED request, include any replaced units, any units needing reprogramming (flashed), and the initial retune of the subscriber equipment. Any further touches of the subscriber equipment should be part of the later amendment to the FRA for infrastructure reconfiguration. This approach will allow a licensee to get started on reconfiguration of subscriber equipment while negotiating the total reconfiguration package.

    12. What if I am in mediation? Can I still participate in SED?
    Yes. If the parties are in mediation, the TA mediator can assist the parties to reach an SED agreement. Interest in participating in SED should be communicated to the TA mediator.

    13. If I am not in mediation, and negotiations do not appear to be progressing toward an agreement, what should I do?
    The SED program is intended to speed reconfiguration of subscriber equipment prior to completing all negotiations. Parties may request mediation when negotiations are not progressing. The Request for Mediation Form (PDF or Word) and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Plan are available on the TA's website in the Resources section.

    14. I have incurred outside legal costs associated with issues regarding the reconfiguration of my infrastructure. Can these additional outside legal costs be included in the SED form so that they can be paid without waiting for the FRA to be amended to include the additional costs?
    No. The legal costs included on the Subscriber Equipment Deployment form should be limited to costs incurred or anticipated to be incurred with respect to negotiating the terms and conditions of the FRA. Legal costs incurred negotiating issues associated with implementation should be included in the subsequent amendment once all negotiations are complete.

    15. If I am in a Wave 4 region, can I participate in SED?
    Those licensees in Wave 4 with operations outside of the FCC-defined border areas (110 km for Mexico and 140 km for Canada), those licensees that operate a system with transmitter locations and subscriber units that operate both outside and inside a border area, and licensees in the Canadian border regions can participate in SED. For agencies that operate entirely within the U.S.-Mexico border region, participation will be on a case-by-case basis, and such agencies should contact the TA prior to submitting the SED request. Please contact the TA by phone or email, and a TA representative will assist you.

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    Waiver Request FAQs

    1. I am a non-border licensee that has not completed rebanding. Do I need to file a supplemental request for waiver of the rebanding completion deadline?
    The FCC's January 17, 2008 Public Notice (FCC 08-23) stated that any 800 MHz non-border licensee that will not complete rebanding by the June 26, 2008 deadline must request a waiver of the deadline from the FCC's Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau (PSHSB).

    The PSHSB’s January 16, 2015 Order (DA 15-62) addressed the supplemental requests for waiver of the rebanding completion deadline filed by non-border licensees since August 9, 2012. Please review the Order to determine whether you were granted a waiver and until what date. The latest waiver date granted was March 31, 2015.

    Pursuant to the PSHSB’s Order, if you had not completed physical reconfiguration of your system and (a) you had not filed a request for waiver, or (b) the requested extension date in your latest request for waiver had passed, you were required to file a supplemental request for waiver with the PSHSB by February 18, 2015. Such licensees were listed in Appendix A-3 of the Order.

    If you were granted a waiver in the PSHSB’s Order and will not complete the physical reconfiguration of your system by the waiver grant date, you should file with the PSHSB a supplemental request for waiver seeking additional time to complete reconfiguration.

    To determine whether you will complete rebanding by your waiver grant date, you should assess the progress of your reconfiguration efforts, including, but not limited to, the following:
    • Have you engaged in discussions with Sprint regarding dates for Sprint Nextel to clear your new channels? If so, will the channels be available before your waiver date?
    • Have you established your reconfiguration timeline with your vendor(s)?
    • Will you and your vendor(s) be able to complete reconfiguration by your waiver grant date?
    2. I am a Canadian Border Region licensee that has not completed rebanding. Do I need to file a request for waiver of the rebanding completion deadline?
    Canadian Border Region licensees were required to complete rebanding by April 14, 2011. If you did not complete the physical reconfiguration of your system by April 14, 2011, you were required to file a request for waiver of the deadline with the PSHSB by May 31, 2011.

    The PSHSB’s January 16, 2015 Order (DA 15-62) addressed the requests for waiver of the rebanding completion deadline filed by Canadian Border Region licensees. Please review the Order to determine whether you were granted a waiver and until what date. The latest waiver date granted was March 31, 2015.

    Pursuant to the PSHSB’s Order, if you had not completed physical reconfiguration of your system and (a) you had not filed a request for waiver, or (b) the requested extension date in your latest request for waiver had passed, you were required to file a supplemental request for waiver with the PSHSB by February 18, 2015. Such licensees were listed in Appendix A-3 of the Order.

    If you were granted a waiver in the PSHSB’s Order and will not complete the physical reconfiguration of your system by the waiver grant date, you should file with the PSHSB a supplemental request for waiver seeking additional time to complete reconfiguration

    3. Is there a form that I can use to file a request for waiver of the rebanding completion deadline?
    Non-border licensees should use the TA's template Request for Waiver of the June 26, 2008 Deadline for Completion of 800 MHz Rebanding, which is available in PDF or Word versions. Canadian Border Region licensees should use the TA's template Request for Waiver of the April 14, 2011 Deadline for Completion of 800 MHz Rebanding in the U.S.-Canada Border Regions, which is available in PDF or Word versions. Puerto Rico licensees should use the TA's template Request for Waiver of the March 19, 2012 Deadline for Completion of 800 MHz Rebanding in Puerto Rico, which is available in PDF or Word versions. The templates outline the estimated implementation milestones that the PSHSB has directed licensees to provide. To expedite licensee preparation of supplemental requests for waiver and PSHSB review, the PSHSB has strongly encouraged licensees to use these templates in preparing their requests.

    4. How do I submit a supplemental request for waiver?
    Licensees may file requests for waiver with the PSHSB via email to PSHSB800@fcc.gov. Licensees must provide copies of the requests to the TA at Waivers@800TA.org and to Sprint at 800MHZ@sprint.com.

    5. When is a licensee's rebanding "complete" for purposes of submitting waiver requests?
    For purposes of waiver requests, a licensee has completed physical reconfiguration of its system when it has completed subscriber unit deployment (i.e., retuning, reflashing, and/or replacing subscriber equipment), retuned its base stations to its new channel assignments, commenced system operations on its new channels, and completed post-cutover system modifications, including disposal or return of temporary or legacy equipment and, in the proper case, removal of pre-rebanding channels from subscriber units. A licensee that has completed physical reconfiguration does not need a waiver for the time needed to submit final rebanding cost documentation to Sprint and/or the TA and to modify its licenses to delete pre-rebanding channels.

    If a licensee's FRA provides for multiple touches to its subscriber units, and the licensee has not completed its second (or subsequent) touch to remove the pre-rebanding channels from its subscriber units, the licensee has not yet completed physical reconfiguration and should file a supplemental request for waiver. A licensee does not need to file a supplemental request for waiver if its second (or subsequent) touch is solely to remove the pre-rebanding nationwide NPSPAC mutual aid channels from its subscriber units.

    Licensees that need to file a supplemental request for waiver because they have not yet completed a second (or subsequent) touch of their subscriber units to remove non-mutual aid channels are encouraged to use the Request for Waiver template (PDF or Word version). Such licensees do not need to answer all of the questions on the Request for Waiver template. Licensees should complete pages 1 and 2 of the template, and sign and date it on page 2. Licensees need only answer question 1 (licensee information), question 6 (proposed timetable subscriber units), and question 8 (anticipated completion) of the Waiver Request Information Form.

    6. What documentation should I provide to the TA to show I have completed reconfiguration?
    You should send a letter or an email to the TA indicating you have completed the reconfiguration of your system and noting the completion date. The notice of completion may be emailed to comments@800TA.org or faxed to 1-888-701-4380. If you continue to operate infrastructure that supports the five nationwide mutual aid channels in the old NPSPAC band, you should note that in the notice of completion.

    7. Do I need to file a request for waiver with the PSHSB if I have agreed with Sprint on a schedule for Sprint to clear my replacement frequencies and I have received a Retuning Schedule Letter (RSL) from Sprint memorializing that agreement?
    Yes. Even if you have agreed with Sprint - either in an FRA or in a RSL - on a channel clearing date that is after your waiver date granted by the PSHSB, you are not relieved of your regulatory obligation to comply with the rebanding completion deadline. Even if the channel clearing date is before your waiver date granted by the PSHSB, but you will be unable to complete reconfiguration until after that date, you must file a request for waiver.

    8. Do I need to file a request for waiver to continue operating on the nationwide mutual aid channels in the old NPSPAC band?
    You do not need to seek a waiver for continued operation and support of operations on the five nationwide mutual aid channels in the old NPSPAC band after you have completed your own rebanding. You may continue to operate and maintain infrastructure that supports the five mutual aid channels until all NPSPAC licensees in the region have completed rebanding of their own systems, provided that you notify the TA of such continued mutual aid operations.

    9. The FCC encouraged licensees who are part of a regional coordination plan or who are otherwise coordinating their rebanding efforts to file coordinated requests for waiver. The FCC stated that coordinating licensees may designate a "lead" licensee to file a request for waiver on their behalf, but that each licensee that is part of the requesting group should separately provide certain information. What information do the non-lead licensees need to provide?
    If, for example, you are part of a regional coordination plan or are a party to a multi-agency FRA, the "lead" agency may file a single request for waiver for all licensees who are part of the regional coordination effort or FRA. However, you and each non-lead licensee that is part of the regional coordination plan must provide the information regarding its system described in the FCC's January 17, 2008 Public Notice (FCC 08-23) for non-border licensees or the PSHSB's April 8, 2011 Public Notice (DA 11-644) for Canadian Border Region licensees, and set forth in the TA's Waiver Request Information Form, available in the relevant Request for Waiver template (PDF or Word versions for non-border licensees or PDF or Word versions for Canadian Border Region licensees). Specifically, you and all non-lead licensees should complete and submit Section 1 (Licensee Information), Section 2 (System size and complexity), and Section 3 (Interoperability with other systems), as well as reference the lead licensee's request for waiver. If there are special circumstances associated with your system or you propose a different timeline than the lead agencies, this information may also be included on your Waiver Request Information Form.

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