FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 1, 2020
LAS VEGAS, Nev.—The Public Safety Spectrum Alliance (PSSA), a coalition to protect public safety’s use of 4.9 GHz spectrum commends Commissioner Rosenworcel and Commissioner Starks for their support of public safety by dissenting on yesterday’s agenda item: Amendment of Part 90 of the Commission’s Rules, WP Docket No. 07-100. Their comments show that they clearly understand the significant negative impacts to public safety of this order and pointed out the procedural flaws in this proceeding that may violate the Administrative Procedures Act.
“This is not the time for an untested and unsupported experiment with a critical asset relied upon by public safety in order to appease commercial interests,” said Sue Swenson, former FirstNet Authority Chair and PSSA member. “We believe this action by the FCC was ill-conceived and improperly considered without appropriate notice, comment or support in the record. In addition, it represented an arbitrary and vague formulation which will not achieve greater utilization of the 4.9 GHz spectrum as intended and will place public safety communications at significant risk.”
Experience has demonstrated, as aptly noted by Commissioner Rosenworcel, that, “by breaking up this band into a patch work of state leases, we will further fragment the equipment market, raise costs and decrease the likelihood of interoperable communications.”
The Public Safety Spectrum Alliance (PSSA), announced that it will not be deterred by the unprecedented FCC action today to reallocate the 4.9 GHz spectrum to the states that has previously been allocated solely to public safety, and which the states, which have very little spectrum management experience, may decide to lease to commercial entities.
The PSSA has been working for months to help educate the FCC and Congress on the necessary changes to its rules to ensure optimal use of the 4.9GHz spectrum by first responders. Other public safety groups have similarly provided the FCC comments and suggestions on the record to ensure greater public safety utilization of the spectrum through appropriate revisions to the FCC’s current rules, which artificially limit the ability of public safety to take full advantage of the spectrum today. These comments have been available to the FCC for well over a year and yet they have been virtually ignored by the Commission. Instead, the FCC adopted an Order for which comment was not properly sought and considered, and for which there was no basis in the record.
The PSSA is reviewing options and will quickly move forward to take action to seek reversal of this decision.
The Public Safety Spectrum Alliance (PSSA) is an alliance amongst the nation’s leading public safety leaders and associations. The PSSA is an initiative of the Public Safety Broadband Technology Association. The purpose of the PSSA is to ensure that first responders nationwide are able to use the most technologically advanced communications capability that meets the difficult, life threatening challenges they face as they protect America. Our goal is to raise awareness in the FCC, Congress and the White House about what our broadband public safety communications needs are, including use of 4.9 GHz and the continued enhancement of FirstNet—the only nationwide, interoperable wireless communications network built for the first responders who protect America.
The PSSA is open to anyone who supports the goals of this Alliance, including individuals and the private sector. To learn more, additional information and resources can be found at http://www.thepssa.org.
The Public Safety Broadband Technology Association (PSBTA) is an organization focused exclusively on ensuring the success of the entire FirstNet ecosystem that includes the legal entity created by Congress, the network infrastructure, hardware and software, and the single most important component—the end users.