Spectrum Policy: Public Safety and Wireless Communications Interference [August 25, 2010] [open pdf - 112KB]
From the Summary: "In mid-2005, wireless communications managers commenced the process of moving selected public safety radio channels to new frequencies. This step was part of a rebanding plan to mitigate persistent problems with interference to public safety radio communications. The majority of documented incidents of interference was attributed to the network built by Nextel Communications, Inc (now Sprint Nextel). As part of an agreement originally made between Nextel and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), some public safety wireless users have moved or will move to new frequencies, with the wireless company paying all or part of the cost. The rebanding agreement was not affected by the merger between Nextel and Sprint Corporation. In return for the expenditures, and reflecting the value of spectrum that Sprint Nextel relinquished as part of the band reconfiguration, the FCC assigned new spectrum licenses to the wireless company. The FCC set the 'windfall' value of the new licenses, after allowing for the value of the licenses being relinquished, at $2.8 billion. The costs that Sprint Nextel incurs in the rebanding process are being applied to the $2.8 billion windfall. If the total is less than $2.8 billion, Sprint Nextel will be required to make an 'anti-windfall' payment to the U.S. Treasury for the difference. If the costs exceed $2.8 billion, Sprint Nextel is obligated to pay them without any new concessions from the FCC."
CRS Report for Congress, RL32408