House Commerce Democrats Release New Legislation to Create Nationwide, Interoperable Public Safety Broadband Network and Spur Wireless Innovation11/29/2011
FCC Chapter: 5.8.2
The Federal Communications Commission should auction the 10 megahertz Upper 700 MHz D Block for commercial use that is technically compatible with public safety broadband services.
The FCC should auction the Upper 700 MHz D Block for commercial use with limited technical requirements that would ensure technical compatibility between the D Block and the adjacent public safety broadband spectrum block and would enable, but not obligate, the licensee to enter into a spectrum-sharing partnership with the neighboring Public Safety Broadband Licensee (PSBL).
The D Block should be auctioned with the following rules:
- The D Block licensee(s) must use a nationally standardized air interface. The emerging consensus in the public safety community is that the LTE family of standards is most appropriate. A standardized air interface will ensure that the D block will be technically capable of supporting roaming and priority access by public safety users of the neighboring public safety broadband block.
- The FCC should initiate a proceeding to enable authorized state, local and federal public safety users to have rights to roaming and priority access for broadband service on commercial networks subject to compensation. Before the D Block is auctioned, it must be clear that D Block licensee(s) are required to provide such roaming and priority access to public safety users.
- D Block licensee(s) must develop and offer devices that operate both on the D Block and the neighboring public safety broadband block, with a path toward scale production of components and devices that can utilize both blocks, in order to stimulate the public safety broadband equipment "ecosystem."
- The D Block license should be subject to commercially reasonable buildout requirements. The Commission should also consider the use of incentives to promote additional deployment by the D Block licensee(s) for the benefit of rural citizens and for public safety agencies.
The FCC should promptly take steps needed to implement these recommendations.