Regulatory Update, Spring 2014

Articles provided by Bette Rinehart, NPSTC Editorial Task Group Chair

 Regulatory News

  • Three Industry Associations Provide FCC with 900 MHz Broadband Proposal
  • Workshops on Environmental Compliance and Historic Preservation Review Training for the Construction of Communications Towers To Be Held
  • Workshop on Technology Transitions and Public Safety
  • New Application Processing Fees
  • County of Juneau, WI, Granted Waiver to Use an I/B Pool Frequency
  • H Block Auction Closes
  • Comment Sought on Mobile Relay Associates Waiver Request to Use UHF Spectrum Located Between Part 90 and Part 74
  • Consumer Signal Booster Equipment Compliance Deadline Extended
  • Text to 9-1-1

 Narrowbanding News

  • Part 90 VHF/UHF Licensees Will No Longer Be Able to Renew Licenses with 25 kHz Emission Designators
  • School District Issued Notice of Violation for Failing to Narrowband all Radio Equipment

800 MHz News

  • Township of West Orange, NJ, and NYC DOITT Resolve Licensing Dispute
  • Waivers of Mexican Border Rebanding Deadlines Granted
  • Comment Sought on Sprint’s Waiver Request to Deploy Wideband Operations in 866-869 MHz Prior to Completion of Band Reconfiguration in Two NPSPAC Regions
  • Regions 19 and 21 Plan Modifications Granted
  • City of Spartanburg, SC Request to Waive Timely Construction Notification Deadline Denied

Regulatory News

Three Industry Associations Provide FCC with 900 MHz Broadband Proposal. Three private enterprise industry organizations – American Petroleum Institute (API), Enterprise Wireless Alliance (EWA) and Utilities Telecom Council (UTC) – have filed a proposal to reconfigure the existing 900 MHz band allocation to create a “900 MHz Private Land Mobile Broadband” initiative. Continue reading

FirstNet Hires Chief Technical Officer

FirstNet CTO Ali AfrashtehFirstNet welcomes Ali Afrashteh as Chief Technology Officer, a position that will help advance efforts to build a Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network (NPSBN) . In this role, Mr. Afrashteh will manage FirstNet’s planning and deployment of technology programs and initiatives and provide expertise on strategic wireless technology and network operational planning. Continue reading

DHS Showcases Lightweight Firefighting Glove

Designed using current technology and improved materials, the Improved Structure Firefighting Glove is lightweight, provides improved fit and form, and allows for more precise movements.

firefighter gloves 2014 0429Firefighters wear protective gloves called “structure gloves” to keep their hands safe on the job. The protective equipment firefighters wear—including structure gloves—give them the confidence to focus on putting out fires and saving lives; however, the structure gloves currently used by firefighters are not designed for the precision movements our first responders must perform. Continue reading

South Korea Looking at 700 MHz for Public Safety Emergency Use

The Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning is discussing building a wireless communications network for national disaster by using the 700 MHz ‘golden frequency’ band in an attempt to address the national disaster response agencies’ failure to communicate, a problem that surfaced in the aftermath of the Sewol’s sinking. The page is translated to English via Google.


Public Safety Advocate by Andy Seybold, April 25, 2014

Lot of interesting news this week. Everyone is on edge wondering how the FCC will structure the incentive auctions that are so important to FirstNet. Meanwhile, neutrality is back in the news as are more comments about the FirstNet GM resigning after a year on the job. I don’t normally mention bloggers here but a recent blog by Michael Myers in his Advancing Telecom Blog really set me off. His premise is that the FN GM, having come from the commercial wireless world, was not a good pick and only made Public Safety more leery of FirstNet. I don’t know what Myers’ real agenda is but these comments are as far from the truth about Bill D’Agastino as they can be.

First, having worked closely with him prior to my contracting with FirstNet and even more closely after I was onboard I have to say that he was VERY dedicated to the Public Safety community and gained a huge amount of respect within Public Safety because of his stance and what he was able to accomplish in less than a year on the job. If anything, his dedication to Public Safety may have been a point of friction between Bill, some of the board members, and some within the NTIA. I can only speak from my own experience and from what I hear from within the Public Safety community, but my assessment is that Myers’ comments were made either without firsthand knowledge of the GM’s accomplishments and reputation or to further some other agenda.

Also of note is RCC’s new posting regarding States opting in or out of FirstNet. RCC has suggested a middle ground approach which is worth reading about and considering. It can be found here:RCC Watch for my next Public Safety Advocate article next week, “Is FirstNet Running Out of Time?” The November congressional election outcome could bring additional scrutiny and pressure. Have a great weekend Andy

FCC Opens 3.5 GHz for Shared AccessDailyWirelessApr 24 08:30Under a proposed rulemaking, the FCC is looking to create the Citizen Broadband Radio Service that will include 150 megahertz of spectrum between the 3550-3700 MHz bands. The FCC hopes to provide a “three-tiered access and sharing model with federal and non-federal incumbents, priority access licensees, and general authorized access users.” “Federal and non-federal incumbents […]

US wireless users may get to share military spectrumNetwork World Fusion Apr 25 09:01 The U.S. military might have to share its radar frequencies with mobile broadband providers under a plan the Federal Communications Commission continued to flesh out this week under the catchy name Citizens Broadband Radio Service.

MSIP mulls tapping 700 MHz frequency band for disaster communications networkMaeil Business Newspaper Apr 25 06:04 The Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning is discussing building a wireless communications network for national disaster by using the 700 megahertz (MHz) ‘golden frequency’ band in an attempt to address the national disaster response agencies’..

New FCC rules would allow payments for speedier trafficComputerWorld Apr 24 06:00 The U.S. Federal Communications Commission will propose new net neutrality rules Thursday that will allow broadband providers to charge companies like Netflix for preferential traffic management, according to a news report.

APCO’s Application Community (AppComm) Celebrates its First Anniversary | Public Safety … via Google Alerts Apr 23 17:03 Recognizing the potential of apps to revolutionize public safety communications, APCO created AppComm to facilitate collaboration between public … [Editor’s Note (Andrew Seybold): Congrats to APCO for their Application Community!]

FCC highlights NextGen 911 cybersecurity concernsFierce Mobile Government via Google Alerts Apr 23 14:59 However, IP connectivity – which will deliver voice, video, text and data calls to public safety answering points – present a cybersecurity challenge that …

FirstNet | Wildfire via Google Alerts Apr 23 08:58 The FirstNet network will be a single, nationwide long term evolution (LTE) network that makes it easier for public safety users to communicate …

MissionCritical Communications, Radio Resource International, and Public Safety Report … via Google Alerts Apr 22 03:58 FCC Denies Fire District’s Vehicular Repeater Waiver Request (4/21/14) The FCC denied an application and waiver request to use frequency 170.150 …

Webinar on Utilities and Canada’s 700 MHz Public Safety Broadband Network | National Public … via Google Alerts Apr 21 17:02 UTC Canada is hosting a free webinar to address the 700 MHz Public Safety Broadband Network (700 MHz PSBN) and opportunities for utilities to …

FirstNet To Begin State Consultations In JulyCivSource via Google Alerts Apr 21 07:58 FirstNet, the project that aims to create a nationwide data and voice network for first responders is moving forward, albeit in fits and starts. CivSource … [Editor’s Note (Andrew Seybold): The State’s, or many of them, are looking for more direction]

Transitioning to BroadbandDaily Policy Digest Apr 18 08:55 The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently issued an Internet Protocol Technology Transitions Order, inviting trial experiments on the transition from a telephone-based network to an Internet-based one. The FCC — and other government agencies — have lagged behind the American public in their acceptance of broadband technologies. While Americans have switched to smartphones and other services in place of traditional telephone services, the FCC continues to cling to the old telephone network, says Richard Bennett, a… [Editor’s Note (Andrew Seybold): All Things Broadband]

Firstnet EMS Factsheet – via Google Alerts Apr 18 07:58 The FirstNet network will be a single, nationwide long term evolution. (LTE) network that makes it easier for public safety users to communicate during …

Deconstructing the FCC’s Net Neutrality Ruling – AOL via Google Alerts Apr 25 10:58 Regulators are proposing new rules on Internet traffic that would allow broadband providers to charge companies a premium for access to their fastest …

So Far, Few Fans for FCC’s New Internet RulesWSJ: Digits Apr 25 06:52 Even before FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler began circulating his latest proposal to ensure broadband providers don’t block or slow down individual websites, politicians and interest groups began weighing in.

The FirstNet Team: Opening the Lines of Communication | First Responder Network via Google Alerts Apr 24 18:03 The public safety mission is close to home for her: Avis’ brother is a 9-1-1 dispatcher and her cousin is a firefighter. As she learned more about FirstNet …

Public Safety Bureau, Market-Based Pending Terminations, 04/23/2014 | via Google Alerts Apr 24 16:59 PUBLIC NOTICE. Federal Communications Commission. News Media Information 202 / 418-0500. 445 12th St., S.W.. Internet:

‘Net neutrality’ rules may get less, well, neutralxmlpush Apr 24 09:34 Think of it as a one-way ratchet: Proposed Federal Communications Commission rules would not allow broadband providers to slow access for some traffic, but the rules would allow some of it to move faster. The Wall Street Journal reports that FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has developed the proposal to prevent broadband providers from blocking or slowing access to individual websites. But the plan would let those providers create ” and sell ” fast lanes for some companies…

FCC adds $9 billion to broadband subsidy fundNetwork World Fusion Apr 24 05:00 The U.S. Federal Communications Commission voted Wednesday to shift US$9 billion over five years from traditional telephone subsidies to broadband subsidies, in an effort to bring high-speed Internet services to 5 million U.S. residents who don’t have access.

Mediagazer: Net Neutrality Advocates Angered by FCC’s Planned New Rules (Sam Gustin/TIME) via Google Alerts Apr 24 00:58 FCC to propose letting broadband providers give some traffic preferential treatment — FCC to Propose New ‘Net Neutrality’ Rules — Proposal Would …

Public Safety Bureau, Site-Based Actions, 04/23/2014 | via Google Alerts Apr 24 00:58 Federal Communications Commission. News Media …

FCC revisits the idea of a shared “innovation” band for broadband useGigaOM via Google Alerts Apr 24 00:57 The FCC on Wednesday approved a new notice for proposed rulemaking to …

4G Americas: 2014 & 2015 Pivotal Years for Spectrum Decisions in Latin AmericaLteWorld via Google Alerts Apr 23 21:05 According to 4G Americas, the 700 MHz band is needed to continue the progress of mobile broadband connections in the region and to provide a …

The FCC (Still) Stinks at Defending the InternetGizmodo Apr 23 19:34 The FCC’s soon-to-be-proposed rules on net neutrality reportedly won’t stop broadband providers from giving better service to people that pay for it. That stinks. This was the agency’s big chance to lock down a set of regulations that will keep the internet free and open, and it’s letting America down. Read more…

AWS(1700 /2100 MHz) vs 700 MHz LTE speed comparison – Android Forums at via Google Alerts Apr 22 17:02 I tested the LTE speeds on my Verizon Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and my Co workers Verizon Samsung Galaxy Note II side by side, and speeds indoors …

NTIA (National Telecommunications and Information Administration) | Geneva Internet via Google Alerts Apr 22 16:06 The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), located …

Bid on Public Safety Communications Consultant in Oklahoma City | Oklahoma Bid via Google Alerts Apr 20 20:57 To evolve and improve dramatically the capabilities of public safety communications. The act creates a NPSBN concept and calls for FirstNet, the …

FCC vote in May could further open broadband competitionComputerworld via Google Alerts Apr 19 13:58 … a significant amount of spectrum in its upcoming auctions of the television band for unlicensed uses such as Wi-Fi, agency officials said Friday.

While We Wait for FirstNet (A Different Take)Andrew Seybold, Inc Apr 18 18:00 The Public Safety community wants to be more than simply customers on the FirstNet system. They want to be good partners as well. But in order to prepare for FirstNet they need some guidance and they need it soon. Many opportunities to ensure that new Public Safety LMR systems are “FirstNet-ready” will be lost unless this type of information is created and then disseminated in a timely fashion.

Association of Public Safety Communication Officials (APCO) – Alert Public via Google Alerts Apr 18 07:58 Event: Association of Public Safety Communication Officials (APCO); Start: August 3, 2014; End: August 6, 2014; Organizer: APCO International …

How to save the InternetBoy Genius Report Apr 25 09:45 Net neutrality died back in January of this year when a U.S. Appeals Court struck down the Federal Communications Commission’s 2010 order imposing certain regulations on wireline broadband service providers. People across the country were infuriated, and rightfully so. But news emerged earlier this week suggesting that the Federal Communications Commission would once again try to instate a new set of regulations to help keep a level playing field on the Web. Has the Internet been saved? Is net neutrality coming back? The answer, according to tens of thousands of angry consumers across the U.S., is no. One need only…

So Far, Few Fans for FCC’s New Internet RulesWSJ: Digits Apr 25 02:45 Even before FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler began circulating his latest proposal to ensure broadband providers don’t block or slow down individual websites, politicians and interest groups began weighing in.

FCC puts funding for public safety network and debt reduction in jeopardyThe Hill via Google Alerts Apr 24 18:03 American consumers love their mobile devices, so much so that the … [Editor’s Note (Andrew Seybold): Another viewpoint on the Incentive Auction]

FCC revisits the idea of a shared “innovation” band for broadband useGigaom Apr 23 16:34 After a two year wait, the FCC is again taking up a proposal that would create a shared spectrum band between government uses, carriers and the public.

US to Vote on Sharp Increase in Broadband SubsidiesCIO Apr 23 06:45 New funds target broadband deployment to 5 million US residents, the FCC says

FCC Vote on Incentive Auction Plan Could Further Open Broadband CompetitionCIO Apr 18 17:00 The agency’s plan includes selling ‘generic’ 5MHz spectrum blocks

WSJ: The FCC’s New Net Neutrality Rules Will OK Pay-to-PlayGizmodoApr 23 16:55Initial reports about the FCC’s hotly anticipated net neutrality rules are out, and they are foreboding. While they’ll prevent broadband providers from blocking legal content on the internet, it does not explicitly ban companies from paying for better service. While that’s bad for net neutrality, it’s not entirely a surprise. Read more…

DHS Celebrates 10th Anniversary of First Center of Excellence

On April 24, 2014, the National Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events (CREATE)—the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) first Center of Excellence (COE)—celebrated its tenth anniversary with a full-day of events, discussions, and remarks from counterterrorism officials from the public and private sector highlighting the contributions and advancements developed by CREATE to enhance homeland security missions.

The COEs were established at the direction of Congress as part of the Homeland Security Act of 2002. The DHS Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) was tasked with developing and managing a university-based system that uses science and technology to enhance the nation’s security. Each COE has a focused area of study aligned with universities to engage the expertise of the academic community. The nine COEs are responsible for developing multidisciplinary, customer-driven, homeland security science and technology solutions as well as training the next generation of homeland security experts. Continue reading

Webinar on Utilities and Canada’s 700 MHz Public Safety Broadband Network

UTC Canada is hosting a free webinar to address the 700 MHz Public Safety Broadband Network (700 MHz PSBN) and opportunities for utilities to partner with public safety and share the network. The webinar will describe the latest developments in Canada as well as the United States regarding the 700 MHz PSBN. It will explain the issues, and discuss possible next steps for utilities. UTC Canada is engaging with the public safety community to develop technical and business solutions for sharing the network. This webinar will describe UTC Canada’s public policy and public safety efforts around this issue, and features CITIG Chair Assistant Deputy Fire Chief Michael Sullivan. To register, visit the following link:

Registration Opens for 2014 PSCR Public Safety Broadband Stakeholder Conference

Registration is NOW OPEN for the 2014 PSCR Public Safety Broadband Stakeholder Conference. The Public Safety Communications Research (PSCR) program will host this 3-day event Tuesday, June 3 through Thursday, June 5, 2014 at the Westin Hotel in Westminster, CO. Registration is limited and will fill up fast! For more information on the conference and how to register, please visit:

Continue reading

FCC Announces Agenda for April 17-18 Workshop on Technology Transition and Public Safety

FCC Announces Agenda for April 17-18 Workshop on Technology Transition and Public Safety: The FCC Workshop on “Public Safety Imperatives for All-IP Networks” will explore the impact of the technology transition on key public safety, emergency response, and national security functions. NPSTC’s Tom Sorley and Barry Luke will participate in two of the Workshop session. See the complete agenda here:

Webcast: The Commission will provide audio and/or video coverage of the public sessions of the workshop over the Internet from the FCC’s Web page at The audience will have an opportunity to ask questions. The FCC will also be accepting questions on issues presented during the public session discussions via email at and Twitter by using “#TechTransitions” hashtag. Continue reading

National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week–April 13-19

This week the Association of Public Safety Officials – International (APCO) honors the public safety telecommunications community who work tirelessly to support emergency communications nationwide. Their website states, “Every year during the second week of April, the telecommunications personnel in the public safety community, are honored.  This week-long event, initially set up in 1981 by Patricia Anderson of the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office in California, is a time to celebrate and thank those who dedicate their lives to serving the public. It is a week that should be set aside so everyone can be made aware of their hard work and dedication.” NPSTC salutes telecommunicators everywhere. Send your dispatchers a Thank You!