Wednesday, April 24, 2013

FCC Publishes FirstNet NPRM

Today the Federal Communications Commission published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal Register (78 FR 24138-24147) to “implement provisions of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (Public Safety Spectrum Act) governing deployment of a nationwide public safety broadband network in the 700 MHz band under a nationwide license issued to the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet)”.

• Technical service rules for the new public safety broadband network to be established pursuant to the Public Safety Spectrum Act;
• The Commission's statutory responsibilities as they relate to oversight of FirstNet; and
• The different classes of incumbents now occupying portions of the spectrum licensed to FirstNet.

The FCC is soliciting public comment on this NPRM. Comments need to be submitted by May 24th, 2013 and replies to submitted comments need to be submitted by June 10th. There is nothing in the NPRM that tells how the comments/replies are to be submitted beyond giving an email address for the point of contact Gene Fullano ( Nor is there any mention of where the public can see the submitted comments in order to prepare replies to those comments.

I have not covered much about the FCC’s work over the years, but I have to say that this is the worst written, least informative NPRM that I have ever reviewed. There are extensive changes proposed to 47 CFR parts 1, 2, 27 and 90, but nowhere is there a coherent description of what those changes entail or what the FCC is specifically attempting to do with those changes.  

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