FCC order allows Texas county to continue with LTE network
Harris County, Texas, will be able to continue operating its public-safety LTE network after the FCC last week issued an order that grants a six-month extension to the county’s right to use the 700 MHz spectrum in Band 14 that is licensed to FirstNet.
Harris County has deployed and operated the LTE network under a six-month special temporary authority (STA) granted by the FCC that was due to expire on March 2. Last Friday — March 1 — the FCC’s public-safety and homeland-security bureau issued an order that extends the STA by another six months.
Since the FCC granted the first STA to Harris County — with the support of the state of Texas — the public-safety broadband spectrum has been licensed to FirstNet, as mandated by Congress in Feb. 2012. In its order, the commission noted that FirstNet had sent a letter to the state of Texas supporting the renewal of the STA for an additional six months.
Motorola Solutions is the vendor supporting the Harris County public-safety LTE deployment and issued a statement last Friday.
“Through this extension, the network will continue to provide first responders with increased access to data and interoperable communications that are proving to be crucial in helping them serve and protect their communities,” the statement reads in part. “This network is the first of its kind, and it is introducing enhanced technology that will benefit public safety agencies.”
Calls to officials of Harris County and the state of Texas were not returned in time to be included in this article.