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BRS & EBS Radio Services



Transition Plan

The transition plan creates a process for relocating Educational Broadband Service (EBS) licensees and Broadband Radio Service (BRS) licensees from their current channel locations to their new spectrum blocks in the Lower Band Segment (LBS), Middle band Segment (MBS), or Upper Band Segment (UBS). The transition occurs by Major Economic Area (MEA) and is undertaken by a proponent or multiple proponents. A proponent(s) must pay the cost of transitioning EBS licensees. The transition occurs in the following three phases: the Initiation Phase, the Transition Planning Phase, and the Transition Completion Phase. IMPORTANT UPDATE: See FCC's April 2006 decision in the BRS/EBS Proceeding (pdf).

The Initiation Phase

The Initiation Phase begins on January 10, 2005. For a particular MEA, the Initiation Phase ends when the proponent files the Initiation Plan with the Commission, which can be no later than January 10, 2008. When an Initiation Plan is not filed for a particular MEA by or on January 10, 2008, the Commission will use another method of transitioning it, which the Commission will adopt in the future as a result of the Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking released in conjunction with the Report and Order. A potential proponent is required to send all BRS and EBS licensees within a given MEA a Pre-Transition Data Request, which enables the potential proponent(s) to assess, based on the information that it receives, whether to undertake the responsibilities to transition a particular MEA (see Section 27.1231 (f)).
Once a proponent(s) has decided to transition a particular MEA, it must send a Transition Notice to all BRS and EBS licensees in the MEA. In the Transition Notice, the proponent(s) identifies itself and indicates that it intends to transition the MEA (see Section 27.1231 (g)). The Initiation Phase is completed when the proponent(s) files an Initiation Plan with the Commission at the Office of the Secretary, Washington D.C. (see Section 27.1231 (d)).
A proponent(s) may withdraw an Initiation Plan by formally informing the Commission and all of the BRS and EBS licensees that are included in the Transition Notice that the proponent will no longer transition the MEA. Once a proponent(s) withdraws from transitioning an MEA it may not then seek to transition that MEA at a future time. If no other proponent(s) files an Initiation Plan for this MEA on or before January 10, 2008, the Commission will use another method to transition it.

The Transition Planning Phase

The Transition Planning Phase is the ninety-day period that starts on the day after the proponent(s) files the Initiation Plan with the Commission. Within sixty days of the start of the Transition Planning Phase, the proponent(s) must send a Transition Plan to all BRS and EBS licensees within the MEA. The Transition Plan specifies who will be transitioned, identifies the channels each licensee will receive as a result of the transition, and specifies technical information for those licensees receiving replacement downconverters and video programming and replacement tracks (see Section 27.1231 (b)).
A BRS or EBS licensee may accept the Transition Plan or submit a counteroffer to the Transition Plan. If a licensee wishes to counteroffer, it must do so at least ten days before the end of the Transition Planning Period. A licensee may not, however, object to any part of the Transition Plan that falls within the two safe harbors adopted by the Commission (see Section 27.1232 (d) (1) & (2)). A proponent may accept the counter proposal and amend the Transition Plan accordingly or seek dispute resolution. If a proponent accepts the counter proposal and amends the Transition Plan, it must send the amended Transition Plan to all BRS and EBS licensees in the MEA. If a proponent seeks dispute resolution, the proponent(s) may continue with the transition or stay the ninety-day Transition Planning Period until the resolution of the dispute.

The Transition Completion Phase

Eighteen months after the Transition Planning Period ends, the transition must be completed. During this phase, the proponent(s) must replace downconverters and migrate video programming tracks for eligible EBS licensees.(see Section 27.1233). At the end of this phase, the proponent(s) and the BRS and EBS licensees must jointly file with a Post-Transition Notice that indicates that the MEA has been transitioned and the licensees are operating according to the new rules. The Post-Transition Notice must be filed with the Commission at the Office of the Secretary, Washington, D.C. (see Section 27.1235).
Related Documents
arrow in front of link Transition Timeline (pdf)
arrow in front of link BRS-EBS Band Plans (pdf)
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