FCC Releases Signal Booster Item

The FCC today released a second report and order and second further notice of proposed rulemaking it adopted yesterday in its signal booster proceeding (TR Daily, March 22). Comments on the second FNPRM are due 30 days after “Federal Register” publication and replies are due 30 days after that in WT docket 10-4.

Courtesy TRDaily


FCC to Hold Workshop on Improving Disaster Communications

The FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau today announced plans to hold a workshop on April 13 “to identify communications information needs of government and consumers to improve preparation and response efforts during crises.”

The bureau added, “Informed by input to a Bureau Public Notice seeking comment on the response to the 2017 Hurricane Season [TR Daily, Dec. 7, 2017], this workshop is intended to ensure the Commission is collecting the critical information necessary to best support the preparedness and response activities of stakeholders to facilitate the availability and reliability of communications during emergencies, disasters, and significant events.” The event is scheduled to run from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the Commission’s meeting room.

Courtesy TRDaily

Pleading Cycle Set for 911 NOI

Comments are due May 7 and replies June 21 in PS docket 18-64 on a notice of inquiry adopted by the FCC yesterday looking at ways to ensure that 911 calls placed from mobile phones reach the correct public safety answering point (PSAP) (TR Daily, March 22).

Courtesy TRDaily

FCC Deactivates DIRS for Hurricane Maria

The FCC, in coordination with the Department of Homeland Security’s National Coordinating Center for Communications and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, has deactivated the Disaster Information Reporting System (DIRS) for areas impacted by Hurricane Maria. DIRS was activated for Maria in September 2017, and it remained active for an unprecedented 183 days. “The FCC will instead commence periodic individual conference calls with relevant communications providers to discuss the status of their restoration efforts as well as lessons learned to prepare for the coming hurricane season,” the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau said in a public notice released today.

“Also, effective today, Network Outage Reporting System reporting obligations under Part 4 of the Commission’s rules, which were suspended for providers reporting in DIRS while DIRS was activated, are now again in effect for new network outages for the area covered by DIRS reporting for Hurricane Maria.”

Courtesy TRDaily

Republican Commissioners Eye Repurposing 4.9 GHz Band

Republican FCC Commissioners today emphasized the potential benefit of repurposing the 4.9 gigahertz band for commercial purposes, or at least opening it up to additional usage, citing the fact that the spectrum has not been heavily used since the Commission made it available for public safety agencies in 2002.

Their comments came as Commissioners unanimously adopted a sixth further notice of proposed rulemaking in WP docket 07-100 seeking views on ways to promote more intensive use of the 4940-4990 megahertz band.

In 2012, FCC Commissioners, saying they were disappointed that the public safety community hadn’t used the 4.9 GHz band more intensively, adopted a fifth FNPRM seeking views on proposals to spur higher utilization of the spectrum, including by opening the band up to wireless carriers on a secondary basis and critical infrastructure industry (CII) entities such as utilities on a primary basis (TR Daily, June 13, 2012).

The agency received a number of filings in response to that item, including a national plan submitted by the National Public Safety Telecommunications Council (TR Daily, Oct. 24, 2013), a white paper filed by the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials-International (TR Daily, Sept. 28, 2015), and other input. Continue reading

AUVSI and the National Council for Public Safety UAS Join Forces to Present the Public Safety UAS Forum, May 1-2.

AUSVI will host a comprehensive trade show for unmanned systems and robotics at the Colorado Convention Center on April 30-May 3. The public safety community is embracing unmanned systems in a variety of areas—from search and rescue to emergency response and everything in between. There’s no better place to explore all the ways drones and robotics can be used for public safety operations than at AUVSI XPONENTIAL 2018. AUVSI and the National Council for Public Safety UAS have joined forces to bring you the Public Safety UAS Forum. This two-day session, taking place Tuesday, May 1, and Wednesday, May 2, is tailored for public safety professionals and features timely sessions covering:

  • Small UAS Operations in Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria
  • Public Safety use of SUAS in an Urban Setting
  • UAS in the Fire Service – From Concept to Reality and How We Got Here
  • Developing a Public Safety UAS Training Program
  • Critical Elements of a Successful Rural Search and Rescue Mission
  • Accuracy in Drone Imagery, Does It Really Matter?
  • Public Safety: Working with the National Media and Their Local News Outlets

Denver Post Reports: Colorado Police Use of Social Media to Deliver News Raises Transparency Concerns

It opens with a warning: This video contains footage from real police body cameras. Viewer discretion is advised. Then, an introduction: “I would like you to hear from me, what happened,” Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock says, facing the camera. The next eight minutes provide a carefully edited glimpse of the events that led to a 29-year-old deputy’s Dec. 31 death inside an apartment complex south of Denver. ….

There’s nothing wrong with police communicating through social media, open government advocates said. But they worry it allows law enforcement to bypass questions from traditional media and warn that taking advantage of the tools requires agencies to be completely transparent, whatever the situation. Read article here: https://www.denverpost.com/2018/03/14/police-body-cameras-social-media/


Andy Seybold’s Public Safety Advocate, March 15, 2018

Public Safety Advocate: T-Band, IWCE, FirstNet

T-Band Call to Action: The T-Band (470-512 MHz) is spectrum used by both the public safety community and business users in 11 metro areas of the United States. When the bill creating FirstNet was passed in 2012, Congress required public safety to “give back” some spectrum in exchange for the 10 MHz of spectrum then known as the D-block adjacent to the 700-MHz spectrum that had been reallocated from wideband (50-KHz) channels. This was to enable public safety to deploy its own nationwide public safety broadband network. Congress decided the T-band would be a perfect giveback since it would be auctioned, once returned, for millions of dollars. Since the bill was passed, the major cities and surrounding areas that make use of this spectrum have been unable to find either the spectrum or the funding to relocate, in a timely fashion, their many radio networks that call this spectrum home. See the National Public Safety Telecommunications Council (NPSTC) T-Band report…

IWCE 2018: For the first time in a very long time, IWCE was not held in Las Vegas, but Orlando, which is also a great convention city. However, when you weigh in spring break visitors and flights in and out of the area it can be tricky to plan what you want, and even the TSA pre-check lanes were experiencing long delays processing travelers. Even so, the conference itself was top notch. Perhaps it was because this was the first full IWCE after FirstNet the Authority awarded the contract to AT&T. The mood was upbeat, the sessions I attended and those I was part of all had good crowds, and this year it seems many more people were asking questions after the panels and/or offering up their advice. I always enjoy it when those in the audience ask questions so we can learn about their concerns…

FirstNet:  FirstNet was an even more integral part of IWCE this year. There were keynotes, sessions, and more directly related to FirstNet. It was announced at IWCE that FirstNet, the Authority, had given a task order to FirstNet built with AT&T to start the band 14 (FirstNet) spectrum build-out. Task orders for various aspects of the network build-out, operation, training, and more are released by FirstNet the Authority based on milestones reached by FirstNet. So far, FirstNet is running well ahead of what anyone would have guessed because AT&T included not only band 14 but all of its own LTE and upcoming 5G spectrum and deployments… Read the Entire Post Here

MissionCritical Mar  9 10:13

AT&T signed a new task order with the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) for building out 700 MHz band 14 in all 56 states and territories. AT&T executives said the carrier has already begun buildout in most states, but the new task order formalizes the next step in AT&T’s year-old agreement with FirstNet to build a nationwide public-safety broadband network (NPSBN). read more

Continue reading

FCC Grants WEA Waiver for Test

The FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau released an order today granting a limited waiver of its wireless emergency alert (WEA) rules to permit wireless carriers to participate in a WEA test to be conducted by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments’ Emergency Managers’ Committee. The test is to occur between 10 and 10:30 a.m. April 5. It “would consist of separate WEA tests from twelve of the twenty jurisdictions,” the bureau noted in its order in PS docket 15-91.