Southern Linc Reiterates Points on FirstNet Plan

May 9, 2017–Southern Linc has reiterated points it made concerning the submission to the FCC of alternative plans by states to those plans prepared by the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) (TR Daily, Oct. 24, 2016).  In an ex parte filing yesterday in PS docket 16-269 and GN docket 17-83, the carrier submitted, “additional information in support of its position that the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (the Spectrum Act) allows states to propose plans to opt-out of FirstNet’s nationwide public safety broadband network (NPSBN) that include both a radio access network (RAN) and an evolved packet core (EPC or core). …

Additionally, the Commission cannot create atextual and extra-statutory procedural hurdles to that application process because the Spectrum Act created only a limited role for the FCC in reviewing state opt-out plans. The Commission’s review under the Act is two-fold: it must determine whether a state’s proposed plan (1) complies with the FCC Technical Advisory Board’s minimum technical interoperability requirements, and (2) is interoperable with the NPSBN. So long as these interoperability requirements are satisfied, the Commission lacks the authority to demand additional showings. Accordingly, the Commission cannot mandate that opting-out states award contracts based on their requests for proposals (RFPs) within 180 days of a state providing notice of its intention to opt-out. Nor can the Commission redefine the manner in which a Governor chooses to submit his or her opt-out notification. Finally, the Spectrum Act requires the FCC to provide a state with an opportunity to cure defects in its original opt-out proposal and to provide a written explanation of the agency’s final decision on an opt-out plan sufficient to enable judicial review.”

Courtesy TRDaily