PSST halts agent/advisor selection process—for now
A nonprofit corporation hoping to be named the national public-safety licensee in the 700 MHz band will not name an agent/advisor until its board of directors can be reconstituted to meet FCC criteria included in the commission’s recent 700 MHz order.
Public Safety Spectrum Trust (PSST) President Harlin McEwen said each of the three finalists for the agent/advisor position offered “excellent proposals with unique approaches,” but the PSST will not make a decision until its board is revamped.
“We will not hire an agent until the new board is constituted, because I don’t think that would be proper,” McEwen said.
In June, a group of nine public-safety organizations established the PSST to be a leading candidate to serve as the national public-safety licensee in a potential public-private broadband network framework being considered by the FCC. But the commission’s order—approved on July 31 and released on Aug. 10—requires that the public-safety licensee have an 11-member board consisting of representatives from nine designated organizations and two at-large members chosen by FCC bureau chiefs.
Of the FCC’s nine designated organizations, six already were represented on the PSST board but three others—the American Association of State Highways and Transportation Officials, the Forestry Conservation Communications Association (FCCA) and the International Municipal Signal Association (IMSA)—were not included. Instead, the FCC requires representatives from the International City/County Management Association (ICMA), the National Emergency Number Association (NENA) and the National Governors’ Association (NGA) on the board.
“We will make the changes that are required [to accommodate the FCC order]—that’s a given, and that is in the works,” McEwen said, noting that NENA already has accepted an invitation to join the PSST.
However, as the logistical matters associated with this transition are executed, the PSST has halted the process of selecting an agent/advisor—a position that will exist only if the FCC names the PSST as the national public-safety licensee—that was started in July. After 10 firms applied for the post, the PSST narrowed the candidate list to three finalists that were interviewed on Aug. 13.
The FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau (PSHSB) is required to establish the selection process for the national public-safety licensee by Sept. 10. So far, the PSST is the only organization that publicly has expressed interest in filling this licensee role.