Colorado Authority Seeks Reconsideration of Interoperability Order

The Boulder, Colo., Regional Emergency Telephone Service Authority (BRETSA) has filed a petition for reconsideration of an order (TR Daily, Oct. 23) released by the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau in October that dismissed as premature a request by the Colorado Public Safety Broadband Governing Body (CPSBGB) asking 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 Oct. 23 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). “In light of our dismissal of the Request, we also find the filings by other parties supporting the Request to be moot,” the order said. “If other parties have concerns that they believe warrant Commission action, they may petition accordingly.”

In a petition for reconsideration or, in the alternative, petition for declaratory ruling and petition for rulemaking in WT docket 06-150, BRETSA asked the FCC to consider the interoperability issue, noting that the CPSBGB’s filing drew support from Verizon Communications, Inc., C Spire Wireless, Southern Linc, and the Competitive Carriers Association.

“Full interoperability is a fundamental and ubiquitous requirement for FirstNet. It is not economically feasible for FirstNet to supply the coverage necessary to replace Public Safety LMR systems,” BRETSA said. “Nor in the near term can FirstNet fully replicate the coverage nationwide of other CMRS providers offering or developing public safety priority services. Even if FirstNet could replicate the coverage of existing LMR networks and other CMRS networks, operation of LMR networks may be more cost effective for certain uses. Public safety agencies have established investments in LMR networks, and may have relationships with other CMRS providers’ and investments in their service offerings.

“Absent support for interoperability at all levels, including network, services, applications and devices, FirstNet will just become just another competitor in the public safety radio space leveraging market share on interoperability; but doing so on frequencies and with funding granted for the purpose of providing interoperable communications,” the petition added. —Paul Kirby,

Courtesy TRDaily