October 3, 2016–The National Public Safety Telecommunications Council has submitted to the FCC a position paper warning against converting 700 megahertz band narrowband spectrum to broadband use.
“NPSTC understands that some jurisdictions have expressed potential interest in converting the 700 MHz narrowband spectrum to broadband use. Doing so would result in a mix of narrowband and broadband operations across different jurisdictions in the same block of 700 MHz band spectrum,” according to the federation. “Based on information currently available, NPSTC recommends against mixing broadband and narrowband operations in the same spectrum, as doing so can negatively impact both public safety communications reliability and interoperability.
“Based on recommendations from the public safety community and direction from Congress, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted rules for the 700 MHz spectrum that provide the opportunity for both reliable broadband and narrowband operations with nationwide interoperability in each set of operations,” the paper added. “Although Section 6102 of Public Law 112-96 provides that the FCC may allow flexible use of the narrowband spectrum, it does not require the FCC to do so. Furthermore, for interoperability, the FCC designated Project 25 (P25) as the technology required for narrowband interoperability channels and Long Term Evolution (LTE) as the technology for broadband operations.” – Paul Kirby, email@example.com