FCC grants 700 MHz spectrum license to FirstNet
As expected, the FCC yesterday issued a license for 20 MHz of 700 MHz spectrum to the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) that will be used to support a nationwide LTE network for first responders.
“The FCC’s action is another critical milestoneon our journey towards deploying a nationwide, mission-critical wireless network that will enable first responders to communicate with each other, improve response times and save lives,” FirstNet board Chairman Sam Ginn said in a prepared statement.
“We thank the FCC for its timely efforts as we undertake this historic task, and this license is a tangible reminder of our need to be good stewards of the invaluable spectrum resources that the administration and Congress, on behalf of the American people, have devoted to this cause.”
In February, Congress passed a law calling for the creation of FirstNet to oversee the deployment and operation of a nationwide broadband network for public safety. That law also called for FirstNet to be given the spectrum license for the D Block and the public-safety broadband spectrum held by the Public Safety Spectrum Trust (PSST).
Yesterday, the FCC informed the PSST that its spectrum license was cancelled, and a new spectrum license had been granted to FirstNet, as the FCC had indicated it would, according to PSST Chairman Harlin McEwen.
“Obviously, we all were anticipating it, because of the recent [FCC] order,” McEwen said during an interview with Urgent Communications. “It helps FirstNet move forward, and it also sets the tone for the PSST to shut down the corporation — both of those things will be happening, and I think that’s good.”
PSST board members are taking action to dissolve the entity — a process that should be complete early next year, McEwen said. McEwen will remain involved in the public-safety broadband effort after recently being named as chairman of the Public Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC) that will report to FirstNet.