250,000 FirstNet Connections Active at 3,600 Public Safety Agencies

AT&T, Inc., announced today that more than 250,000 connections at more than 3,600 public safety agencies have been activated on network that AT&T is building for the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet), a nearly 50% increase in agencies signed up in nearly two months. “Much work still needs to be done to make sure FirstNet is a solution that meets the needs of all first responders. But we’re proud of how FirstNet has been delivering for first responders and the communities they serve when help is most needed. And we’re honored to see public safety embrace their network,” said Chris Sambar, AT&T’s senior vice president-FirstNet. A news release emphasized the use of FirstNet during hurricanes Florence and Michael and during other events.

“Recent events continue to underscore the need for FirstNet,” said FirstNet acting Chief Executive Officer Ed Parkinson. “We’re still early in the build process, and we’ll continue to work side-by-side with the public safety community to ensure FirstNet lives up to its promises. But to see FirstNet in action and hear how first responders across the country have already benefitted from the service is a remarkable start and a solid testament to why FirstNet was created.”

Courtesy TRDaily

FCC Proposes Freeing Up Unlicensed Spectrum in 6 GHz Band

The FCC unanimously adopted a notice of proposed rulemaking today proposing to free up as much as 1,200 megahertz of spectrum in the 6 gigahertz band for unlicensed use. The spectrum under consideration in the item is in the 5.925-7.125 GHz band.

“The proposed rules are designed to allow unlicensed devices to operate in the 6 GHz band without interfering with the operation of the licensed services that will continue to use this spectrum.  In those portions of the 6 GHz band that are heavily used by point-to-point microwave links [5.925-6.425 GHz and 6.525-6.875 GHz], the Commission proposes to allow unlicensed devices to operate where permitted by an automated frequency coordination system and invites comment as to whether this is necessary for devices operated only indoors,” the agency said in a news release on the item, which was adopted in ET dockets 18-295 and GN docket 17-183. “In the other portions of the band [6.425-6.525 GHz and 6.875-7.125 GHz] where licensed mobile services, such as the Broadcast Auxiliary Service and Cable Television Relay Service, operate, the unlicensed devices would be restricted to indoor operations at lower power. These proposed rules will allow a valuable spectrum resource to be more intensively used to benefit consumers while allowing the existing licensed uses of the 6 GHz band to continue uninterrupted.

The Commission last year adopted a notice of inquiry in its mid-band proceeding that included spectrum in the 3.7-4.2 GHz and 6 GHz bands (TR Daily, Aug. 3, 2017). A number of incumbents expressed concern that use of the 6 GHz band by unlicensed devices would cause interference to their operations. Some reiterated those concerns today.

“From Wi-Fi routers to connected home appliances to retro cordless phones for those of us who still have landlines, we use devices that connect via unlicensed spectrum every day.  Indeed, they’ve become so popular that there is now a shortage of airwaves dedicated for their use,” FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said.

“So today, we address this problem by proposing to open up 1,200 megahertz of spectrum in the 6 GHz band for different types of unlicensed uses.  And we seek to do so in a way that will protect incumbent licensed operations in the band,” he added. “This decision will help us meet the mandate set forth in RAY BAUM’S Act to make more spectrum available for unlicensed use.  It is also part of our aggressive and balanced spectrum strategy: pushing more licensed and unlicensed spectrum into the commercial marketplace and including a mix of low-band, mid-band, and high-band spectrum.  And with the massive amount of wireless traffic that is off-loaded to Wi-Fi, opening up this wide swath of spectrum for unlicensed use could be a big boost to our nation’s 5G future.” Continue reading

FCC Dismisses Colorado FirstNet Filing

The FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau today dismissed as premature a request by the Colorado Public Safety Broadband Governing Body (CPSBGB) that the Commission clarify guidelines and requirements concerning interoperability and roaming between the nationwide public safety broadband network being built by AT&T, Inc., for the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) and wireless carriers (TR Daily, July 9). The order adopted today in PS dockets 16-269, 12-94, and 06-229, and WT docket 06-150 noted that the Colorado Governor’s Office of Information Technology subsequently asked the FCC not to take any action at this time on the CPSBGB’s filing (TR Daily, July 16).

“Consistent with Colorado’s decision to Opt-In to the NPSBN [National Public Safety Broadband Network] on December 18, 2017, the Broadband Office will work collaboratively with the CPSBGB and FirstNet to resolve the concerns raised regarding interoperability and ensure the Colorado first responder community has access to a state of the art communications system,” the latter filing added. “In light of our dismissal of the Request, we also find the filings by other parties supporting the Request to be moot,” today’s order said. “If other parties have concerns that they believe warrant Commission action, they may petition accordingly.”

Courtesy TRDaily


Pai: Wireless Resiliency Framework Needs Evaluation

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, who has criticized wireless carriers’ efforts to restore networks in the wake of Hurricane Michael, said today there is a need to review the adequacy of the Wireless Network Resiliency Cooperative Framework. “I believe that it is time for a comprehensive reevaluation of the last administration’s Wireless Resiliency Framework,” Mr. Pai told reporters during a news conference after today’s monthly FCC meeting.

Among the questions that should be asked include whether wireless carriers are following the framework, should the framework include backhaul providers, are power companies and wireless carriers communicating effectively, and does the FCC have the authority to ensure there is speedy restoration of communications networks after disasters or should Congress provide additional authority, Mr. Pai said. “These are just a few of the questions that I think need to be asked,” he added.

Mr. Pai visited hard-hit areas of Florida on Friday, and he said he had separate discussions with representatives of the four national wireless carriers, Comcast Corp., and a small fiber provider. He said the carrier representatives said there has been poor communication between carriers and power companies and a problem of fiber lines being cut accidently by power and debris-removal crews. Continue reading

IWCE Will Be Back in Las Vegas March 4-8, 2019

IWCE is heading back to Las Vegas! IWCE brings together everything all under one roof including a comprehensive five-day conference program, an exhibit hall with over 400 exhibitors, free special events and countless networking opportunities.

To view IWCE’s Show Policies, click here. Questions? Contact customer service at 800-927-5007 or iwce@compusystems.com

FCC Adopts 800 MHz Band Item

The FCC today deleted from its agenda for tomorrow’s meeting an 800 megahertz band report and order and order after it adopted the item on Friday in WP dockets 15-32 and 16-261. The text of the item was released this afternoon.

A fact sheet released when the item was circulated earlier this month (TR Daily, Oct. 2) noted that it:

(1) adds “318 new interstitial channels in the 800 MHz Mid-Band, the portion of the 800 MHz band used most extensively for PLMR”; (2) directs “Commission staff to announce when applications for 800 MHz Expansion Band, Guard Band, Sprint-vacated, and interstitial channels may be filed in the 44 of 55 National Public Safety Planning Advisory Committee regions where 800 MHz rebanding has been completed”; (3) declines “to give incumbent 800 MHz licensees filing priority for 800 MHz Expansion Band and Guard Band over non-incumbents after such an announcement”; (4) terminates “the 1995 freeze on inter-category sharing of 800 MHz channels, making it no longer necessary for applicants to seek a waiver of the freeze”; (5) makes “available new 450-470 MHz Industrial/Business Pool channels in gaps located between Industrial/Business Pool spectrum and spectrum designated for other services”; (6) authorizes “trackside boosters on PLMR railroad channels to facilitate communication between the front and rear of trains where direct communication is unsatisfactory because of the length of the train or intervening terrain”; (7) extends “conditional licensing to PLMR stations that operate in the 700 MHz public safety narrowband and the 800 MHz band”; (8) and makes “underused Central Station Alarm channels available for other PLMR purposes provided that the Central Station Alarm frequency coordinator concurs.”- Paul Kirby, paul.kirby@wolterskluwer.com

Courtesy TRDaily

Florida Cell Site Outages Drop

The FCC reported today that as of 11 a.m., 5.2% of cell sites were out of service as a result of Hurricane Michael in the impacted area of Florida, down from 5.5% yesterday. But in Bay County, Fla., which includes Mexico Beach, near where the hurricane made landfall on Oct. 10, 29.7% of cell sites remained down. Gulf County was second at 26.1%.

Today’s FCC Disaster Information Reporting System (DIRS) report also said that no public safety answering points (PSAPs) were reported down this morning and two had calls being rerouted with ALI (automatic location identification). As for cable and wireline system outages, 55,006 subscribers had no service in Florida. Nine TV stations were reported operational, and one was reported out of service. The FCC said that 29 FM radio stations were reported operational and seven were reported out of service. Six AM radio stations were reported operational, while two were reported out of service.

Courtesy TRDaily

FCC Addresses Maine Waiver Request

The Mobility Division of the FCC’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau issued an order and proposed order on modification today concerning a waiver request submitted by the state of Maine seeking an extension of the construction deadline for 10 part 22 paging licenses used in the Maine State Communications Network (MSCommNet), which is a statewide, interoperable public safety communications system.

In the order, the division denied the state’s extension request, concluding that Maine failed to satisfy the construction requirements. Continue reading

P25 CAP AP Seeks Nominations to Fill Seat on Advisory Panel

On October 1, 2018, DHS S&T published a 30 Day Federal Register Notice seeking nominations to fill an open seat on the Project 25 Compliance Assessment Program (P25 CAP) Advisory Panel (AP). The P25 CAP AP members provide the views of active local, state, tribal, territorial and federal government users of portable, handheld, mobile vehicle-mounted radios and infrastructure, including repeaters, consoles and gateways.

The P25 CAP AP provides recommendations to S&T for strategic direction of the P25 CAP, addresses user input to improve the P25 CAP compliance process and provides feedback to P25 standards committees. The notice can be found here: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2018/10/01/2018-21241/office-for-interoperability-and-compatibility-seeks-nominations-for-the-project-25-compliance.

All expressions of interest and nominations should be submitted to P25CAP@hq.dhs.gov. Please note that the 30 day notice will close on October 31, 2018.