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FCC Releases Order on Reconsideration re: 700 MHz Public Safety Waiver Recipients

Wednesday, August 29, 2012   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Chris Nussman
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On August 29, the FCC released an Order on Reconsideration, modifying one aspect of the agency’s July 31, 2012 Order that provided a process for entities implementing public safety networks to receive STAs to continue their deployment. The July 31 Order limited early deployment under STAs to existing public safety broadband spectrum and did not include the 700 MHz D-Block spectrum. In response to an August 17, 2012 NTIA letter and under the Order on Reconsideration, the FCC will now entertain STA applications that contemplate 10x10 MHz operations – i.e., operations that span both the existing public safety spectrum and the 700 MHz D-Block (758-763 MHz/788-793 MHz).

In the Order on Reconsideration, the Commission noted that NTIA "persuasively argues” that limiting STA operations to the existing public safety broadband spectrum "could unduly constrain early deployments and undermine their value as a resource for FirstNet.” However, the Commission declined to prohibit "the operation of public safety broadband networks under STA on a 5x5 MHz basis” as such a "prohibition may unduly prejudice those jurisdictions that have invested substantially in developing 5x5 MHz public safety broadband networks and may be prepared to enter service in the immediate term. …. We find that the best course is to provide each jurisdiction flexibility in managing this transition for its own deployment. We believe that our approach strikes a reasonable balance between accommodating the prior plans of STA applicants and preserving their need for flexibility, while addressing NTIA’s concerns in accordance with the emphasis in the STA Order on ‘facilitating integration of these facilities to the greatest extent possible in order to support FirstNet’s mission.’”