NPSTC Publishes 4.9 GHz National Plan and Recommendations

Public safety agencies have expressed frustration with the 4.9 GHz band because current rules allow geographically based licensing with little documentation on system design and transmitter location. Agencies contemplating new service in this band cannot determine if other agencies in their area might cause harmful interference today or in the future. While the licensing rules provide for geographical sharing of the band between different agencies, the lack of licensing detail invites the potential for conflict and interference. Law enforcement and fire/rescue agencies also need dedicated channels to support unmanned aerial devices (UAVs), bomb robots and other specialized applications, all of which require broadband channels for video and data.
On October 15, 2013, NPSTC submitted its 4.9 GHz National Plan Recommendations to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

This report is designed to examine all of the above issues and make appropriate recommendations which will enhance access and utilization of the 4.9 GHz band. The intent of NPSTC’s report and National Plan is to document the current problems with the existing rules and processes that are restricting more effective use of the band and to propose new rules that will facilitate increased use of the band to promote safety of life and property. As part of this plan, the potential to share with critical infrastructure (CII) entities was examined, and rules that protect public safety users while allowing alternate use of the band will be proposed.

The full report is on the NPSTC website at

FCC Seeks Comment on NPSTC Report: On October 30, the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau (PSHSB) is seeking comment on NPSTC’s plan for use of the 4.9 GHz band. Comments are due November 22 and replies December 13 in WP Docket 07-100, PS Docket 06-229, and WT Docket 06-150.