FCC Daily Digest March 30, 2015

On March 30, 2015, the FCC released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) proposing to amend Part 4 of its rules regarding the reporting of communications outages.  In general, the NPRM seeks to expand the types and extent of outages operators must report to the FCC.  This includes any network malfunction that significantly degrades 911 calls, problems with overloaded Radio Access Networks on wireless systems, and other events that result in communications outages.  Comments on the proposal will be due 30 days following publication of the NPRM in the Federal Register.  The NPRM can be accessed through the following link.



Hartford Courant Reports Man Who Made False Fire Radio Calls Sent to Prison

A Massachusetts man who made a series of phony radio calls on frequencies used by Litchfield County fire departments and ambulance crews was sentenced Monday to 30 months in prison.  Adam Perrelli, 36, who has been jailed since his arrest April 6, 2014, pleaded guilty to falsely reporting an incident and tampering with evidence, according to a court clerk. His sentence is five years in prison, suspended after he serves 30 months, and three years of probation.

Perrelli admitted to state police that he made the radio calls in December 2013 and January 2014 that interfered with fire and ambulance dispatching. The broadcasts began Christmas Day and staff at Litchfield County Dispatch knew they were dealing with a poseur. The agency provides fire and ambulance dispatching to 20 northwest Connecticut towns. Continue reading

Charley Bryson’s First Responder News, March 27, 2015

As a continuing reminder to all 700 MHz Regional Planning Committees, FCC 14-172 requires the revision of RPC 700 MHz channel plans with submissions to the Commission’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau by June 2, 2015.

PSHSB AND WTB ANNOUNCE COMMENT AND REPLY COMMENT DATES FOR NPRM SEEKING COMMENT ON CREATION OF 800 MHZ INTERSTITIAL 12.5 KHZ CHANNELS IN THE 800 MHZ BAND BETWEEN 809-817/854-862 MHZ. (DA No.  15-370). (Dkt No 15-32 ). Comments Due:  05/11/2015. Reply Comments Due:  05/26/2015.  PSHSB WTB . Contact:  John Evanoff at (202) 418-0848, email: John.Evanoff@fcc.gov or Rodney Conway at (202) 418-2904, email: Rodney.Conway@fcc.gov


ICOM AMERICA, INC.   Denied the Waiver Request. Action by:  Deputy Chief, Mobility Division, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau. Adopted:  03/24/2015 by ORDER. (DA No. 15-371).  WTB https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-15-371A1.docx

FCC AND FDA ANNOUNCE AGENDA FOR JOINT WORKSHOP ON MEDICAL TECHNOLOGY INNOVATION AND WIRELESS TEST BEDS. (DA No.  15-340)  Chairman Tom Wheeler and Commissioner Mignon Clyburn of the FCC, and Dr. William Maisel, Deputy Director, Center for Devices and Radiological Health, FDA, will address workshop participants.  OGC . News Media Contact: Katie Gorscak at (202) 418-2156, email: Katie.Gorscak@fcc.gov


WIRELESS TELECOMMUNICATIONS BUREAU SEEKS COMMENT ON REQUEST FOR WAIVER OF PART 80 POWER LIMITS FOR COUNTY OF COLUMBIA, NEW YORK LAND MOBILE RADIO OPERATIONS ON MARITIME FREQUENCIES. (DA No.  15-363). (Dkt No 15-72 ). Comments Due:  04/22/2015. Reply Comments Due:  05/08/2015.  WTB  https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-15-363A1.docx

TRAVELERS’ INFORMATION STATIONS.   Reaffirmed and clarified that TIS licensees may integrate weather broadcasts into TIS feeds during times of hazardous conditions.  The Report and Order adopts new filtering rules and procedures. by Order on Reconsideration. (Dkt No.  RM-11514 09-19 RM-11531 ). Action by:  the Commission. Adopted:  03/25/2015 by R&O. (FCC No. 15-37).  PSHSB https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-15-37A1.docx

Courtesy Charley Bryson’s First Responder News

Andy Seybold’s Public Safety Advocate, March 27, 2015

At the top of the news are three items this week : First is that the FirstNet second request of comment deadline has been extended until April 20, 2015 to give those who wish to comment more time to do so. The next item up is that the RFP for FirstNet partners draft which was supposed to have been released by the end of March will now not see the light of day until after the FirstNet Board meeting in April. The committee which has been reviewing the draft wanted to see some changes made as well as some clarifications. FirstNet only has this one chance to get one or more partners lined up to assist in the build out and running of the network so they want to make sure that it is as good as it can be before initial release for comments.

And finally, LA-RICS appears to be in a bind over the planned Broadband towers to be built at fire stations around LA County and within the various cities within the County. This week the board of supervisors voted to stop the build out. There are many rumors swirling around about this issue but the Firefighters union ran ads on the major news stations in LA saying that the 70 foot towers at the fire stations would cause cancer in not only the firefighters by nearby residents. In spite of the fact that the FCC does not permit RF related health issues to be used in denying towers, the outcry was enough so that the board of Supervisors shut the program down.


The above is based on the facts, this paragraph is based on rumors and third party reports. First up is the fact that LA-RICS did not do any community outreach in the areas where the towers were to be built. Secondly, LA-RICs obtained a blanket CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act) waiver for all of the fire stations. This might work except that some of the fire stations are on leased property so cannot be covered by the CEQA and then, of course, there is the rumor that the Firefighters Union told LA-RICS that they would stop complaining if the fire fighters received hazardous duty pay!

LA-RIC is designed to provide Public Safety, including the fire fighters, with better communications which will result in more information regarding fires, hazards and other issues, and will save lives not only of the people served but by those serving as well. The unfortunate thing about this entire mess is that the grant for LA-RICS runs out in September. Then there is the “technical expert” hired by the Fire Fighters union who insists that the FCC rules are not good enough and in fact a level of 0.01 microwatts per square centimeter is acceptable, a level with is 50,000 times lower than the FCC requires. Another engineer who actually works with this type of RF all of the time did the math and determined that the towers will, in fact, expose the fire fighters to far less RF than the maximum permitted by the FCC. The result is a mess at this point and hopefully someone will be able to convince the Fire Fighters union that they should be supporting this network and not fighting it. Have a safe and good week-end Andy
Continue reading

EMS Telemedicine Questionnaire: Assessing the Impact of Prehospital Video

NPSTC’s EMS Working Group is currently studying the use of prehospital (EMS) mobile telemedicine.  A new nationwide public safety broadband network, called FirstNet, will allow EMTs and paramedics to access a dedicated high-speed data network.  This new network will allow secure live video, pictures, text, patient data, and vital signs telemetry to be shared with receiving physicians, hospitals, and trauma centers, in addition to automated crash telemetry sensor data that is becoming standard on many vehicles.
 ems bag jpg

The EMS Working Group is examining the operational use cases for prehospital telemedicine (video and picture images).  While the field of video conferencing and multi-media messaging technology is advancing quickly, there is no consensus in the health care community on how it should be used most effectively.

For example, is there a benefit to having a paramedic stream live video of a burn patient to the Emergency Department or is a snapshot picture sufficient to visualize the severity of the injury?  Would a video clip of a field stroke assessment be sufficient for the ED or Neuro team or would live video be better? Would pictures or a video clip from an accident scene help the trauma team prepare? Would EMS system medical directors or online medical control physicians prefer to visualize and interact with a diabetic patient in their home before authorizing an EMS crew to not transport the patient for evaluation, or simply to document a refusal?

This questionnaire is one step to help determine how video and images might be used in the prehospital patient care setting. We would greatly appreciate you taking the time to answer a series of short questions to help us identify the different needs of EMS providers, EMS Medical Directors, and Hospital Emergency Department/Trauma Center Physicians/Directors.
Please access the questionnaire using this link:


The results of this questionnaire will be incorporated into a formal report on public safety video in EMS and presented to the FirstNet Public Safety Advisory Committee. We will also provide each respondent to this questionnaire with a copy of the report.  Please contact us at support@npstc.org if you have any questions or need further information.

This questionnaire will close on Friday, April 24, 2015, at 5:00 PM Pacific Daylight Time.
We would appreciate your forwarding this message to your local EMS agencies, EMS Medical Directors and Hospital ED/Trauma Center directors.

Paul Patrick, EMS Working Group Chair
National Public Safety Telecommunications Council

Rosenworcel, O’Rielly Supporting Push for More Unlicensed Spectrum

FCC Commissioners Jessica Rosenworcel and Mike O’Rielly presented a united front in their aim to make available more spectrum for unlicensed use, with Ms. Rosenworcel saying she hoped for action sometime this year to permit more unlicensed use in the upper 5 gigahertz band.  Speaking at an event organized by WiFiForward, Ms. Rosenworcel noted earlier efforts to allow unlicensed use in the lower 5 GHz band, and said, “I’d like to keep the momentum going.”

Ms. Rosenworcel said she hopes the FCC conducts a successful auction of 600 megahertz spectrum, but also makes available for unlicensed use spectrum in the guard band as well as in the 5 GHz band.  “Good spectrum policy involves licensed and unlicensed spectrum,” she said, citing figures that estimate unlicensed spectrum use has helped create $140 billion of economic activity.   “This is a marketplace we should help develop and grow,” she said. Continue reading

FirstNet Delays Vote to Release RFP Following Finance Committee Questions

The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) board today delayed for “several weeks” approving the release of a draft comprehensive network request for proposals (RFP) to provide additional time to answer questions raised by members of its Finance Committee.

Yesterday, a FirstNet spokesman said that the board planned to move forward today to vote on the material terms of the draft RFP that were endorsed by the board’s three other committees, while giving the Finance Committee additional time get answers to its questions (TRDaily, March 24). But the board ended up delaying a vote on release of the entire RFP. Finance Committee members said they had questions about the RFP during a meeting yesterday. Continue reading

FirstNet Extends Comments to April 20 in PN Re Opt Out States

Stakeholders wanting to give input to FirstNet about its public notice regarding “opt-out” states will have an extra week—until April 20—to submit responses, in accordance with numerous request made since the proceeding was initiated  earlier this month, according to FirstNet officials.

FirstNet’s Acting Executive Director TJ Kennedy said the decision was based on input from multiple sources—many of whom spoke with FirstNet officials at IWCE—that indicated the April 13 deadline for responses to the second public notice would create logistical problems for them, particularly if statewide consensus on a position is needed.

“[We] last week were at IWCE, and a lot of the comments we received were, ‘Things are really moving now; we have a lot of things going on,’” Kennedy said during yesterday’s FirstNet board meeting, which was webcast. “In some cases, people were asking for more time, which I think is a good sign that we’re reaching a point where we’re out in front, or at least keeping up with demands and requests for information.”

FirstNet will post a formal announcement of response extension in the Federal Register, Kennedy said.


DHS Appropriations Act; OEC Analyzes Effects on OEC Stakeholders

On March 4, the President signed the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2015, which provides funding to the Department through the end of the fiscal year (September 30, 2015). Below is a high-level analysis of provisions in the law that affect DHS grants, and may impact OEC stakeholders.

DHS Grants Observations

Congress maintained the status quo on grant funding. The same grants that were funded in FY 2014 are funded at approximately the same levels in this bill (~ $2.3B)

  • State Homeland Security Program (SHSP) – $467M § With a $55M set-aside for Operation Stonegarden (OPSG)
  • Urban Area Strategic Initiative (UASI) – $600M § With a $13M set-aside for Non-profit Security Grant Program (NSGP)
  • Transit Security Grant program (TSGP) – $100M § With a $10M set-aside for Amtrak, and
  • With a new $3M set-aside for Over-the-Road Bus Security
  • Port Security Grant Program (PSGP) – $100M
  • Assistance to Firefighters (AFG) – $680M
  • Emergency Management Performance Grant (EMPG) – $350M

Congress did not support the consolidation of grants. In the FY 2015 President’s Budget, the Administration requested funding for the National Preparedness Grant Program (NPGP) – the program consolidates the separate FEMA grants (SHSP, UASI, TSGP, PSGP) into one big grant program (NPGP). Congress did not support this program in the previous three years that it was presented, and did not support the consolidation in FY 2015. Continue reading

Items fromFCC Daily Digest, March 24, 2015

 1) The FCC proposed budget for FY 2016 includes proposed closure of 16 field offices and establishment of a “Tiger team” based in Maryland that could travel to address issues in the field.   Chairman Wheeler quotes a $9M annual savings from the field office closures.  FCC also proposes to move its headquarters to different facilities by the time its current lease is up in 2017.  https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-332654A2.pdf  (slide summary)https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-332654A1.pdf  (Chairman’s statement)

 2)  The FCC released the agenda for the joint FCC and FDA workshop on medical technology innovation being held at FCC headquarters on March 31, 2015 from 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM. According to the FCC Public Notice,  the workshop will convene experts from industry, medicine, academia, and government to focus on the role of wireless medical test beds and their influence on the development of converged medical technology for clinical and non-clinical settings. It also indicates that a wireless test bed is an environment where devices can be evaluated across a range of interference scenarios.  https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-15-340A1.pdf