LA-RICS Gets Relief Sought From FCC

Courtesy: TR Daily

The Policy and Licensing Division of the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau today granted relief sought by the Los Angeles Regional Interoperable Communications System (LA-RICS) related to T-band licenses.

An order in files 0008483760 et al., 0008485258, and 0008306279 et al. addressed LA-RICS requests seeking a waiver “to extend the construction completion date for multiple licenses in the 470-512 MHz band (T-Band) that are to be integrated into the Los Angeles Regional Interoperable Communications System (LA-RICS).”

The order acted on (1) “[a] request for extension of time to construct 78 licenses from December 31, 2018 to December 31, 2020, amended by a request for a further extension until December 31, 2022;” (2) “[a] request for waiver of section 90.155(g) of the Commission’s rules to allow acceptance of a late-filed construction extension request for call sign WQXE728;” and (3) “[t]en applications to modify various technical parameters for ten licenses (a subset of the 78 licenses referenced above), and a request for an extended implementation deadline of September 20, 2022 to complete the proposed modifications.

“For the reasons discussed below, we grant the County’s extension requests associated with the applications listed in Appendix A. We also grant the request for waiver to accept the untimely-filed extension request for call sign WQXE728. Finally, we grant the request for modification and extended implementation with respect to the licenses listed in Appendix B, but on our own motion, we extend the implementation deadline until December 31, 2022 in order to establish a uniform expiration date for all the licenses at issue,” the order said. —Paul Kirby,

FCC FederalNews PublicSafety CaliforniaNews

NPSTC, Motorola Oppose GoGo Waiver Request

Courtesy: TR Daily

The National Public Safety Telecommunications Council and Motorola Solutions, Inc., have filed comments opposing a request filed by GoGo Business Aviation LLC for a waiver of the FCC’s rules governing the effective radiated power (ERP) limits for air-to-ground operations in the 849-851 megahertz and 894-896 MHz bands (TR Daily, May 27 and July 7), citing, among other things, the potential for interference to nearby public safety operations.

The Wireless Telecommunications Bureau observed in a public notice released in WT docket 21-282 that GoGo “seeks relief from the rule to permit measurement of the maximum average power for the current ERP limit, rather than the current peak power measurement specified in the rule. GoGo BA states that a waiver is necessary to permit a transition to its next generation system using Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplex Technology (OFDM) that will improve throughput, coverage, and reliability for inflight connectivity to aircraft in the U.S and Canada,” and that adherence to the rule “would unnecessarily hamper the service being delivered with no discernable reduction in harmful interference risk for co-channel or adjacent band operators.”

“The Gogo BA ATG ground based transmitters operate at 849-851 MHz, directly adjacent to public safety operations at 851-854 MHz, with no intervening guard band. Grant of its waiver would result in increased power and deployment of OFDM technology with a greater propensity for out-of-band emissions than that of Gogo BA’s current technology,” NPSTC said in its comments.

“However, Gogo BA has ignored the risk of increased interference to public safety communications and therefore has failed to demonstrate that there is a stronger public interest benefit in granting the waiver than in applying the current rule. NPSTC believes it would be more prudent for the Commission to consider the Gogo request through a rulemaking proceeding in which it can more fully examine the potential interference impact to public safety operations,” NPSTC added. “If the Commission authorizes the Gogo request through either waiver or rulemaking, and interference to public safety operations occurs, Gogo BA should be required to shut down the offending base station(s) immediately until other steps, if any, can be taken to eliminate the interference.”

Motorola asked the FCC “to deny Gogo BA’s Request for Waiver, which broadly fails to meet the legal requirements for waiver of the Commission’s rules. Of note, the Commission may waive a rule if special circumstances warrant a deviation from the general rule and if that nonconformity to the rule would serve the public interest. In this case, Gogo BA’s Request for Waiver has neglected to demonstrate how it would advance the public interest and fails to provide sufficient information required to determine potential impacts on adjacent band operations. Specifically, Gogo BA requests increases in power and changes in waveforms that are not defined, unsubstantiated as to impact upon adjacent services, and have no basis in previous use under the specific circumstances stipulated by the Request for Waiver. Therefore, it is imperative that the Commission deny the Gogo BA Request for Waiver as contrary to its rules and the public interest.”

The company added, “The Waiver Request improperly suggests that the adjacent service that Gogo BA needs to protect is that of another broadband service, the newly created 900 MHz broadband allocation at 936.5-939.5 MHz. However, the adjacent service that will encounter the brunt of any increased out-of-band emissions (‘OOBE’) created by the proposed Gogo BA Request for Waiver is the narrowband sub-allocation operating in the 935-936.5 MHz band; paired with 896.0-897.5 MHz.” —Paul Kirby,

FederalNews FCC SpectrumAllocation

Emergency Connectivity Fund Webinar

The FCC will host a webinar on August 3, at 2 p.m. ET to provide additional information about the Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) Program. The event will highlight some of the most frequently asked questions and address some common misconceptions about the program.  The free virtual webinar will be live streamed on and does not require registration.   

During, or in advance of this event, questions can be submitted by sending an email to  The webinar will be recorded and available on the FCC’s website following the event. 

In addition to the webinar, there are a number of resources available to applicants:

  • You can find more information about the program on the Emergency Connectivity Fund website
  • You can review responses to other frequently asked questions, which may not be addressed in the webinar, on the FCC’s FAQs page. 
  • You can access resources from past trainings and information about future trainings, or register to attend one of the Universal Service Administrative Company’s (USAC) weekly office hours by visiting:
  • You can contact the Universal Service Administrative Company’s (USAC) Emergency Connectivity Fund Customer Service Support Center at (800) 234-9781, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET. 

As a reminder, the first application filing window for the ECF Program closes on August 13, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. ET.  This Application Overview is also available to guide you through the application process.

To help spread the word about this unique emergency funding opportunity for schools and libraries, the FCC has also added new social media posts and images, an updated video, and a flyer that can be shared with your networks.   

About the Emergency Connectivity Fund 

The Emergency Connectivity Fund is a $7.17 billion program that will help schools and libraries provide the tools and services their communities need for remote learning during the COVID-19 emergency period.   From June 29 to August 13, 2021, eligible schools and libraries can apply for financial support to purchase connected devices like laptops and tablets, Wi-Fi hotspots, modems, routers, and broadband connectivity received or delivered between July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022 to meet unmet needs for off-campus use by students, school staff, and library patrons during the COVID-19 emergency period. 

Public Safety Groups Welcome Draft 4.9 GHz Band Stay Order

Courtesy: TR Daily

Public safety groups today welcomed a draft order circulated to FCC Commissioners this week that sources said would stay the 4.9 gigahertz band order that the agency adopted last September over the objections of Democratic Commissioner Geoffrey Starks, now acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel, and public safety entities that complained that the new regime would hinder the ability of first responders to use the frequencies (TR Daily, April 29).

Several public safety groups have asked the FCC to vacate the order, which was adopted in WP docket 07-100 (TR Daily, Sept. 30, 2020) and “permits one statewide 4.9 GHz band licensee per state to lease some or all of its spectrum rights to third parties—including commercial and public safety users—in those states that the FCC has not identified as a diverter of 911 fees,” the FCC noted in a news release issued when the item was adopted. “The Report and Order does not limit or modify the rights of any incumbent public safety licensees, so they will be able to continue to provide existing services. These new rules also eliminate the requirement that leased spectrum must be used to support public safety but would require lessees to adhere to the informal coordination requirements applicable to the band.”

The Public Safety Spectrum Alliance, the National Public Safety Telecommunications Council, and the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials-International filed petitions for reconsideration and the PSSA also filed a petition for stay (TR Daily, Jan. 4). The public safety groups asked the Commission to vacate the sixth report and order and accompanying seventh further notice of proposed rulemaking. A dozen major public safety groups had urged the FCC to pull the item from the agenda for the meeting at which it was adopted. The draft order was circulated on Wednesday, according to the FCC’s weekly list of circulated items.

“The stay is an important issue for public safety.  We are hopeful that the entire commission sees the interoperability chaos which results from reverting to a state by state approach. This is a necessary step to recreate a full record on how best to achieve the FCC’s goals and yet support public safety,” said Jeff Johnson, chief executive officer of the Western Fire Chiefs Association and a leader of the PSSA.

“NPSTC is pleased that the FCC is revisiting the 4.9 GHz issue,” said Ralph Haller, chair of the federation. “This is an important band that needs to be preserved for public safety use.  While the marketplace can function well in many areas, subjecting public safety spectrum to marketplace forces, as was proposed by turning the band over to the states, could destroy critical public safety communications needs.”

Jim Goldstein, director-government relations for NPSTC, said, “NPSTC was disappointed that the FCC did not follow the previous recommendations NPSTC made for 4.9 GHz. The NPSTC proposal would have resulted in a complete database of current and future use, implemented nationwide frequency coordination to prevent uncertainty due to interference, allowed for some dedicated uses like robotics, and opened use of the band to critical infrastructure organizations. This would have assured that the band would serve the needs of public safety well into the future. Under the FCC’s current plan, there is no certainty that public safety needs will be met, based on the decisions made in each state. The plan potentially promotes a profit motive within a state rather than assuring adequate public safety access to the band.”  

APCO Executive Director and CEO Derek Poarch said, “We appreciate Acting Chairwoman Rosenworcel’s circulation of a stay order. As we and many others in public safety have made clear, the 4.9 GHz order was ill-conceived and unlikely to promote public safety or the Commission’s spectrum utilization goals. A stay would be appropriate to enable the Commission to chart a much better course for this band.”

“I applaud Acting FCC Chairwoman Rosenworcel’s move to circulate a stay to FCC Commissioners on the Commission’s previous 4.9 GHz order,” said Kenneth Stuebing, acting president and chairman of the Board of the International Association of Fire Chiefs. “Public safety communications on the 4.9 GHz band provide mission-critical support for local public safety agencies, such as hosting broadband intranet networks and bomb disposal robot operations. As new technologies are adapted for public safety usage this spectrum will become increasingly important to the first responder community. It is critical that 4.9 GHz spectrum remains available for public safety. I urge the FCC Commissioners to support the Acting Chairwoman’s stay on the 4.9 GHz spectrum order.”

“We stand firm on our position that 4.9 is a welcome resource for public safety, and that the ‘under-used’ argument is no longer relevant,” said Kevin McGinnis, communications technology adviser to the National Association of State EMS Officials. “FirstNet has opened a door that has revealed more critical uses for this bandwidth in EMS as it has for all of public safety and we are jumping onboard so that our patients benefit. The pandemic has emphasized our need for telehealth capability so that we can safely test, treat, and intervene in life-threatening emergencies without putting responders at risk. This is but one example of how 4.9 will serve our increasing need—a need that can’t be met by the fragmented coordination created by the 2020 Order. EMS systems do not stop at state lines.”

An FCC spokesperson declined to comment. 

“This decision is unfortunate,” said Ms. Rosenworcel said in her dissent on the item. “It is not the right way forward for the 4.9 GHz band. It is a slapdash effort to try to foster use of this spectrum by giving states the right to divert public safety communications in exchange for revenue. This approach has virtually no support in the record. However, it does have opposition from a wide range of stakeholders from wireless carriers to public safety officials.” —Paul Kirby,

FCC FederalNews SpectrumAllocation PublicSafety

Klobuchar to Reintroduce NG-911 Legislation

Courtesy: TR Daily

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D., Minn.) has announced that she plans to reintroduce next-generation 911 (NG-911) legislation in the Senate and said she hopes it will be included in an infrastructure package that moves in that chamber. The legislation would establish a federal grant program, she noted.

In pre-taped remarks for a virtual awards ceremony organized by the Next Generation 911 Institute in conjunction with NENA’s virtual 911 Goes to Washington event, Sen. Klobuchar said she would reintroduce the NG-911 bill with Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D., Nev.).

Ms. Klobuchar, a Senate co-chair of the Congressional Next-Gen 9-1-1 Caucus, said that provisions of NG-911 legislation she introduced in the 116th Congress were included in House infrastructure bill that passed the House last summer (TR Daily, July 1, 2020).

The senator’s office did not reply to a question today on when Sen. Klobuchar planned to reintroduce the legislation.

In other remarks, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R., Wash.), ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said she wants to work with her colleagues on bipartisan NG-911 legislation. She also noted that Congress has directed the FCC to address the diversion by states of 911 fees for other purposes.

Also, Rep. Richard Hudson (R., N.C.), a House co-chair of the Congressional Next-Gen 9-1-1 Caucus, said NG-911 issues are traditionally bipartisan.

Meanwhile, NENA and National Association of 911 Administrators (NASNA) officials who spoke at the  911 event reiterated their call for Congress to make what they suggested are minor changes to NG-911 provisions in the Leading Infrastructure For Tomorrow’s America (LIFT America) Act. The Industry Council for Emergency Response Technologies (iCERT) also expressed support for changes to the bill.

The LIFT America Act, which was introduced by the 32 Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee (TR Daily, March 11), includes $15 billion for grants to fund NG-911 deployment.

NENA Chief Executive Officer Brian Fontes said he wants to “set the record straight” on comments by “another organization” that he said “has mischaracterized NENA as opposing the legislation. That is clearly not the case. We do, however, support improving the language in a few areas of the statute.”

“We do believe they’re easy fixes, and we hope that those fixes will be made,” Mr. Fontes said, adding that “through these changes, we are convinced that the grant program will be more efficient, effective, and achievable in a timely manner.”

Mr. Fontes had no comment in response to a TR Daily question via e-mail about whether he was referring to the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials-International, which has noted concerns that NENA and NASNA have with the bill and said that complaints about the legislation “are based either on misrepresentations of the bill language or just plain misinformation” (TR Daily, March 31). APCO is one of eight major public safety groups lobbying for the bill as part of the Public Safety Next Generation 9-1-1- Coalition.

Dan Henry, NENA’s regulatory counsel and director-government affairs, said that the group’s top priority concerning the legislation is modifying the definition of “commonly accepted standards,” which he said could exclude NENA’s i3 standard.

The definition of commonly accepted standards should not require the i3 standard, GIS (geographic information system) standards, and other standards to be approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and meet the bill’s definition of “interoperable” while not requiring other standards to meet that definition, NENA and NASNA have argued. NENA has 50 standards that haven’t been approved by ANSI, Mr. Henry said.

Mr. Henry said that lawmakers should modify the bill so commonly accepted standards are those “followed by the communications industry that enable interoperability, are consensus-based, and are developed by recognized standards development organizations.”

Mr. Henry detailed other changes that NENA and NASNA are pushing in the NG-911 legislation.

He said that (1) the definition of “interoperable” should recognize that proprietary interfaces may be needed during the NG-911 transition, (2) the Public Safety Advisory Board should be staffed with NG-911 experts, (3) the mission of a nationwide NG-911 security operations center should be clarified or establishment of the center should be deleted from the bill, and (4) Congress should defer to the FCC on reliability requirements rather than imposing additional mandates.

NASNA President Maria Jacques and NASNA Executive Director Harriet Rennie-Brown also discussed the NG-911 legislation, especially the current standards definition.

“This goes way beyond the battle of NENA i3,” Ms. Jacques said. “What about the other standards” of NENA’s and GIS standards that are not ANSI accredited? she asked.

Don Brittingham, president of consulting firm Northern Lights Consulting LLC and chair of iCERT’s Policy Committee, outlined concerns his group has with the NG-911 legislation.

He said it is also concerned with the standards definition, saying it is “overly prescriptive” and “inherently biased.” He said the bill treated i3 and other standards unfairly and said that lawmakers should amend the bill to support all NG-911 standards.

Regarding cyber provisions, Mr. Brittingham said iCERT has concerns that the bill, through establishment of the national NG-911 security operations center, puts responsibilities on the federal government instead of states.

Instead, the bill should mirror a recommendation by the FCC’s Task Force on Optimal PSAP Architecture (TFOPA) dealing with implementation of state-based emergency communications cybersecurity centers (EC3) to provide intrusion detection and protection services for public safety answering points (PSAPs) in states.

Mr. Brittingham also said there should be “explicit requirements” allowing grant funds to be used for cybersecurity.

In other remarks at today’s show, Rep. Norma Torres (D., Calif.), a former 911 dispatcher, noted that the 911 Supporting Accurate Views of Emergency Services (911 SAVES) Act that she introduced recently with Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R., Pa.) (TR Daily, April 2) has 50 cosponsors.

She said more cosponsors will convince the House Education and Labor Committee to hold a hearing on the legislation, and 290 cosponsors would allow the bill to be brought directly to the House floor. “Your voice is more critical than ever,” she told the public safety community.

The legislation would direct the Office of Management and Budget to change the classification of 911 dispatchers in the Standard Occupational Classification catalog. The dispatchers are currently classified as administrative support staff; advocates of the change want them to be classified as a protective service occupation. NENA said passage of the legislation is its No. 2 legislative goal after the NG-911 bill.

David Furth, deputy chief of the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, ran down a list of 911 and other issues that the agency has worked on.

For example, he said the agency is “on track” to meet a June 25 statutory deadline for adopting new 911 fee diversion rules and expects a 911 fee diversion “strike force” to begin meeting in May or June. The panel is required to submit a report to Congress by Sept. 23. “We’ve been really pleased by the quality of the nominations that we’ve gotten,” Mr. Furth said.

Mr. Furth also noted that the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau has launched an inquiry into whether national wireless service providers are complying with Commission rules that required them to start delivering 911 callers’ vertical location information by April 3 (TR Daily, April 2), but he said he couldn’t comment further. —Paul Kirby,

Congress FCC FederalNews PublicSafety

LMCC Board Members

Courtesy: TR Daily

The Land Mobile Communications Council today elected members of its board of directors for the 2021- 2022 fiscal year. They are David Smith of the Forest Industries Telecommunications (president), Doug Aiken of the International Association of Fire Chiefs (vice president), Mark Crosby of the Enterprise Wireless Alliance (secretary/treasurer), and at-large members Michele Farquhar of the Association of American Railroads, Ralph Haller of the Forestry Conservation Communications Association, and Farokh Latif of the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials-International.

AT&T Announces Tower-to-Core Encryption

Courtesy: TR Daily

AT&T, Inc., today announced plans to deploy nationwide tower-to-core encryption on the network it is building for the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet). “FirstNet will be the first-ever nationwide network with this comprehensive network encryption,” it said. “That means FirstNet traffic will be automatically secured as it moves from the cell tower, through the backhaul, to the core and back again. Commercial networks may encrypt parts of the communications pathway, but only FirstNet will have encryption along the entire route. To achieve this, we’re rolling out security upgrades on every cell tower across the country. Houston and Cleveland are the first 2 cities to benefit this month, with nationwide completion expected by Q1 2022.”

PublicSafety FederalNews

FCC Releases List of Providers Approved for EBBP

 Courtesy: TR Daily

The FCC today released a list, organized by state, district, and territory, of providers that have been accepted to participate in the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program.  The list can be found at  The Commission said it expects additional providers will sign up.  

FederalNews FCC BroadbandAdoption Covid19

Russian Ministry Drafts Amendments to Data Protection Law

Courtesy: TR Daily

Russia’s Ministry of Digital Development has announced that it has drafted proposed amendments to the country’s data protection law, Federal Law of 27 July 2006 No. 152-FZ, requiring telecommunications operators to request the consent of customers prior to selling their personal information.

In a report in the Russian Gazette on Mar. 29 outlining the amendments, the ministry said the amendments were developed in response to a sharp increase in violations of laws related to spam advertising. The amendments will allow telecom operators to transfer anonymized data of Russians to government agencies for specified purposes, but each case related to such sharing will be considered separately, taking into account the future burden on the business of depersonalizing data and preparing the relevant data sets. —Tony Foley,

InternationalNews Privacy

Draft Third NPRM Aims at Harmonizing 911 Outage Reporting Rules

Courtesy: TR Daily

The FCC plans to vote at its April 22 meeting on a draft third notice of proposed rulemaking that would propose harmonizing requirements for reporting network outages that affect 911 service and thus improving public safety.

The 911 outage draft item is one of eight items listed on the tentative agenda for the April 22 meeting released today (see separate stories.)

The NPRM proposes harmonizing “the time-frame, means, and frequency of notification from originating and covered 911 service providers to PSAPs [public safety answering points] about network disruptions. This includes requiring originating service providers to notify, via telephone and in writing through electronic means, potentially affected 911 facilities of an outage no later than 30 minutes of discovering the outage. Also, as additional information becomes available, service providers would be required to communicate such information no later than two hours after the initial notification,” the FCC said in a fact sheet released with the draft NPRM today.

The draft item would also propose standardizing “the type of information conveyed to PSAPs, which includes ‘all available material information,’ such as name of the service provider(s) offering the notification and/or experiencing the outage, date and time when the incident began, communications services affected, and potential impact on PSAPs.”

Finally, it would propose ensuring “that originating and covered 911 service providers maintain accurate PSAP contact information”; establishing “consumer notification procedures for 911 unavailability, such as service providers notifying customers of 911 outages within 60 minutes of determining the outage by providing information on their websites and Internet-related applications.” —Lynn Stanton,  

FederalNews FCC PublicSafety