NPSTC September 2013 Regulatory Update

Articles provided by Bette Rinehart, NPSTC Editorial Task Group Chair

U.S. and Canada Reach Spectrum Sharing Agreements:  The U.S. and Canada have reached agreement on three interim sharing arrangements along the U.S.-Canada border.

Arrangement U – Specialized Mobile Radio Services – 896-901 and 935-940 MHz. This band is used for both private internal business/industrial communications and SMR operations. The new Arrangement governing sharing and coordination within 100 km of the border simplified the criteria for permitting secondary users in the band.  Arrangement U’s operational provisions will be applied on an interim basis pending further legal review.

Air-to-Ground Services – Statement of Intent for the Frequency Bands 454.6625-454.9875 MHz and 459.6625-459.9875 MHz. This Statement of Intent makes possible the creation of a nationwide digital system for coordination and sharing of spectrum to be used for general aviation air-to-ground services.

Arrangement V – Fixed Services – 71-76, 81-86, and 94.1-95 GHz. This arrangement will allow fixed services within the border area and facilitate deployment of broadband internet access, high-speed wireless LANs, and backhaul for mobile broadband networks

The text of the News Release is available at:

State of Montana Waiver Grants:  The State of Montana, Department of Transportation, had sought a waiver of the eligibility and operating requirements in the Maritime radio service (Part 80) in order to expand its Interoperability Montana System (IM System).  While the state was maximizing use of VHF Part 90 public safety radio service frequencies, it needed additional VHF spectrum due to unexpectedly high levels of traffic on its currently constructed sites.  The state chose VHF spectrum as the best and most cost-effective solution to cover its large but sparsely populated geographic area. Continue reading

NPSTC Outreach News September 20, 2013

npstc daily news header
September 20, 2013

The National Public Safety Telecommunications Council (NPSTC) periodically publishes news of interest, including releases from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and links to articles from various trade publications.

First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) Meetings this Monday, September 23, and Thursday, October 17:   Special Board Meeting.  There will be a Special Meeting of the FirstNet Board, conducted telephonically, this Monday, September 23rd from 10:30 to 11:30 am EDT.   Information on how to listen to the meeting, open to the public, can be found at

October Board Meeting.  FirstNet has changed the date and location of its October Board meeting to Thursday, October 17th, from 9:30 am to 12 pm PDT, in Concord, California.

NPSTC Broadband Working Group (BBWG) Hard at Work on Next Phase of Public Safety Broadband Requirements:  Task Groups are actively engaged in the following tasks or beginning operations in the near term.

  • Phase 1 Launch Quantitative Statement of Requirements (SoR):  Adding  metrics to the Phase 1 Statement of Requirements Launch Document to include specific quantitative elements.
  • Phase 2 Year 1-3 Qualitative SOR:  Based on the main broadband SoR, the BBWG will extract what the public safety      community needs in Year 1 through Year 3.  This is the next phase beyond the work that created the Launch SoR.
  • International Standards Coordination:  The BBWG      will ensure NPSTC is actively working with various international groups      regarding 3GPP standards and other LTE standards.  It is important to support international 3GPP standards rather than creating a North American standard.
  • Public Safety Messaging: This group will be looking at necessary requirements for public safety messaging in the National Public Safety Broadband Network (NPSBN) beyond what is commercially available today.
  •  Public Safety Telephony:  This group will be looking at what requirements are necessary for public safety telephony with the NPSBN beyond what is commercially available today.
  • Voice Over LTE (a living document):  This Task Group is examining Mission Critical Voice over LTE and is coordinating that work with other international groups including results   in the United Kingdom, which has an aggressive timeline to switch to LTE      voice for their public safety agencies.
  • Console LTE Requirements: This group is looking at public safety requirements for integration of NPSBN  with LMR consoles, including other systems (CAD, NG911, etc.)
  • Security Issues:  This group will be working on specific security issues with integration of the NPSBN and local public safety      networks. Continue reading

Public Safety Advocate: Week of September 20, 2013

First Appeared: Fri Sep 20 11:35:23 2013
Public Safety Advocate News Patterns Weekly News Summary
From: Public Safety News/Intelligence

Good Morning-light news week but interesting articles regarding the push to require phones to be unlocked so that customers can move from one network to another. However those pushing for this do not seem to understand that different networks are using different technologies so not all phones will be able to be moved from one network to another.

Upcoming FirstNet events:
Special FirstNet Board meeting Monday September 23, 2013 10:30 am ET information here:

FirstNet October Board Meeting, Thursday October 17th at 9:30 to noon PDT. the meeting will be in Concord, CA and will be streamed live. Notice of the meeting will be posted at: Continue reading

Public Safety Advocate: Week of September 13, 201

First Appeared, Fri Sep 13 11:45:56 2013
Public Safety Advocate News-Patterns Weekly News Summary
From: Public Safety News/Intelligence

FirstNet is filling out more full-time positions in their top management and will be gearing up for even more full-time positions at multiple levels. If you are interested in getting involved with FirstNet keep your eyes open for their job postings here:

Other news of importance includes AT&T’s latest reversal on providing devices to cover more of the 700 MHz band and make it easier for the smaller network operators to gain access to a wider verity of 700 MHz LTE devices. Continue reading

Public Safety Advocate: Week of September 6, 2013

First Appeared: Fri Sep 6 11:40:01 2013
Public Safety Advocate News-Patterns Weekly News Summary
From: Public Safety News/Intelligence

Good Friday Morning to all!

Light news this week but important work continues to be done for the Public Safety Broadband Network under the direction of the FirstNet Board of Directors. NPSTC has stood up a committee on defining and refining the meaning of “Public Safety Grade”. In conjunction with this the APCO Broadband Committee has set up a sub-committee to come up with Radio Site hardening requirements. Work is underway and the APCO report, once vetted by the entire Broadband committee and the APCO Executive Committee will be published and submitted to NPTSC for inclusion in the Public Safety Grade document.

For any of your who do not also subscribe to my Commentary posts the lasted on is called May I Digress which deals with the changes in the commercial wireless world. You can read it at<br
The subscribership of this list continues to grow each week and I am open to input on how to make this weekly news brief better, please contact me with your comments and ideas. Continue reading

Public Safety Advocate New Summary: Week of August 30, 2013

First Appeared: Fri Aug 30 11:28:35 2013
Public Safety Advocate News-Patterns Weekly New Summary
From: Public Safety News/Intelligence

Good Morning!

Light news but some important news as well. The week after the APCO Conference I am surprised that there was not more news from the Conference.

FirstNet’s pressance at the APCO Conference was noticeable. Many of the Board Members were there, as was the Chairman of FirstNet as well as many of the contractor consultants. They took an active part in the events, sessions, and I saw most of them walking the show floor and visiting with many of the vendors. Continue reading

Detecting Heartbeats in Rubble

Courtesy Department of Homeland Security, DHS Snapshots

In June 2013, Urban Search and Rescue team tested the FINDER’s human-finding abilities at the Fairfax County Fire Department training center.

When natural disasters or man-made catastrophes topple buildings, search and rescue teams immediately set out to recover victims trapped beneath the wreckage. During these missions, time is imperative, and quickly detecting living victims greatly increases chances for rescue and survival.

A new radar-based technology named Finding Individuals for Disaster and Emergency Response (FINDER) has been developed by the Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) and the National Aeronautics Space Administration’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) to detect a human heartbeat buried beneath 30 feet of crushed materials, hidden behind 20 feet of solid concrete, and from a distance of 100 feet in open spaces. In the past several months, Continue reading