So many metaphors come to mind when trying to describe the monumental feat of getting the D Block reallocated to public safety. I will opt for “miracle,” because when O’Brien first suggested the idea for this network, the collective reaction can be summed up in this sentence: “It would be a miracle if public safety ever got a nationwide broadband communications network of its own.”
There is little question that the wireless broadband network being contemplated would take public-safety communications into a bright new future. However, there also is little question that the wireless broadband network isn’t going to reach everybody.
The FCC’s recent decision to permit the use of two 6.25 kHz channels utilizing the NXDN 4 kHz emission mask within a single 12.5 kHz channel not only offers greater spectrum efficiency to licensees operating trunked systems in the UHF band (from 450 MHz to 470 MHz), it also greatly simplifies the narrowbanding process, according to Ralph Haller, chairman of the National Public Safety Telecommunications Council.
By now, you may be aware of the bill introduced by Rep. Steve Rothman (D-N.J.) that would delay the current narrowbanding deadline by two years. The bill (H.R. 3430) is just two pages long, and only directs the FCC to delay the deadline — there is no explanation as to why.