Waiver requests from 23 public-safety jurisdictions seeking permission to build broadband LTE systems on 700 MHz spectrum licensed to the Public Safety Spectrum Trust (PSST) will be the subject of a proceeding launched Wednesday by the FCC's public safety and homeland security bureau.

Earlier this year, the agency approved 21 similar waiver requests from public-safety jurisdictions, most of which applied for federal broadband stimulus funding to pay for their deployments. Noting the similarities, the city of Chicago asked the FCC to bypass the comment process, but the bureau opted to seek comments on the 23 new applications.

Key questions the FCC bureau is asking in the proceeding include the eligibility of non-public-safety entities — for instance, for-profit utilities — to operate on a proposed network deployed on public-safety spectrum, and how the agency should deal with waiver requests from entities with overlapping geographical jurisdictions.

Comments on the waiver application are due Oct. 18, and no period for reply comments is scheduled, FCC spokesman Robert Kenny said. The final decisions whether to grant the waiver requests will "be handled at the bureau level," he said.

The following groups are seeking 700 MHz broadband waivers:

  • Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, Washoe County Sheriff's Department, the Washoe Regional Communications System, the Nevada Department of Transportation, and NV Energy; Nassau County, N.Y.;
  • State of Maryland;
  • Delaware County, Pa.;
  • Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Lancaster, Lebanon, Perry and York counties in Pennylvania. (the South Central Task Force);
  • Louisiana Statewide Interoperability Executive Committee;
  • City of Chicago;
  • Georgia Broadband Alliance;
  • Lackawanna County, Pa.;
  • Fairfax County, Va.;
  • Bucks County, Pa.;
  • City of Philadelphia;
  • Greater Harris County 911 Emergency Network, Texas;
  • State of Florida;
  • Seattle Urban Area Partners, including the cities of Seattle and Tacoma, surrounding counties and the state of Washington;
  • Harris County, Texas;
  • New Orleans Urban Area Security Initiative Region 1;
  • State of Oklahoma;
  • City of Baton Rouge, La.;
  • County of Chester, Pa.;
  • City of Philadelphia and the counties of Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery in Pennsylvania (the Southeastern Pennsylvania Regional Task Force);
  • Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; and
  • City of Tucson, Ariz.