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Order Granting State of Texas 700 MHz STA Renewal

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Released: March 1, 2013

Federal Communications Commission

DA 13-319

Before the

Federal Communications Commission

Washington, D.C. 20554

In the Matter of
)
)
Implementing Public Safety Broadband Provisions )
PS Docket No. 12-94
of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation )
Act of 2012
)
)
Service Rules for the 698-746, 747-762 and 777- )
WT Docket No. 06-150
792 MHz Bands
)
)
Implementing a Nationwide, Broadband,
)
PS Docket No. 06-229
Interoperable Public Safety Network in the 700
)
MHz Band
)

ORDER

Adopted: March 1, 2013

Released: March 1, 2013

By the Chief, Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau.

I.

INTRODUCTION

1.
In this Order, we grant a request filed by the State of Texas (Texas) for renewal of its
grant of Special Temporary Authority (STA), call sign WQPW682, to operate a 700 MHz public safety
broadband network in Harris County, Texas.

II.

BACKGROUND

2.
The Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 tasks the First Responder
Network Authority (FirstNet) with establishing a nationwide public safety broadband network under a
license for the 700 MHz D Block (758-763/788-793 MHz) and the existing public safety broadband
spectrum (763-769/793-799 MHz).1 On July 31, 2012, the Federal Communications Commission
(Commission) released an order (STA Order) that provides for limited deployment of state and local
public safety broadband networks in this spectrum under STA as FirstNet prepares to commence its
nationwide deployment.2 The STA Order identifies a number of public interest considerations that would
counsel in favor of an STA grant: (1) substantial network deployment by the applicant prior to enactment


1 See id. §§ 6201(a), 6202; see also Universal Licensing System, Call Sign WQQE234 (Nov. 15, 2012) (FirstNet license). The
“existing public safety broadband spectrum” includes the 768-769 MHz and 798-799 MHz bands, which are designated under
Commission rules as a guard band that spectrally separates the broadband segment of the Upper 700 MHz public safety band
from the narrowband segment. See 47 C.F.R. § 90.531(f).
2 See Implementing Public Safety Broadband Provisions of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, PS
Docket No. 12-94, Order, 27 FCC Rcd 9652 (2012) (STA Order). Although the STA Order provided only for operations
confined to the existing public safety broadband spectrum, the Commission delegated authority to the Bureau in a subsequent
Order on Reconsideration to entertain requests that contemplate “10x10 MHz” operations, i.e., operations that also span the D
Block. See Implementing Public Safety Broadband Provisions of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012,
Order on Reconsideration, 27 FCC Rcd 10786, 10788 ¶¶ 1, 6 (2012) (Order on Reconsideration).

Federal Communications Commission

DA 13-319

of the Act; (2) an ability to deliver timely service; (3) a specific, identifiable public safety need; (4)
evidence of state-level coordination; and (5) compliance with interoperability recommendations
developed for the nationwide network.3
3.
The Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau (Bureau) is directed to grant within
thirty days of filing any such STA requests “that present a compelling basis for relief” in light of the
public interest considerations the Commission articulated.4 The STA Order notes the Commission’s
“expectation that we would renew” STA grants to the extent they “continue to satisfy [the Commission’s]
renewal and public interest criteria” but cautions that “FirstNet’s preferences, if any, regarding continued
early deployment in its licensed spectrum” will also be afforded “considerable weight.”5
4.
On August 9, 2012, the State of Texas (Texas) filed a request for STA to operate within
Harris County, Texas, a “10x10 MHz” public safety broadband network as contemplated in the STA
Order
and Order on Reconsideration.6 Finding that Texas’s request, as amended, satisfied the public
interest considerations set forth in the STA Order, the Bureau granted the STA, effective September 3,
2012, for a period of 180 days.7 With the authorization set to expire on March 2, 2013, Texas filed a
request on February 8, 2013, to renew the STA.8 For reasons explained below, we grant the request.

III.

DISCUSSION

5.
Texas contends that renewal of its STA would permit continued deployment and
operation of its network in a manner that satisfies each of the public interest criteria set forth in the STA
Order
. Texas explains that it has brought the majority of its planned sites into operation and “has
aggressively implemented the final deployment work items needed to initiate live public safety
operation.”9 Texas represents that “no funding obstacles exist which would inhibit establishment of . . .
public safety operations within the coverage footprint” of its STA grant.10 In addition, Texas continues
to assert that the network will continue to support specific public safety needs, including “higher quality
telemetry, on-site analysis and other tools to assist emergency response.”11 As noted above, the
application is filed on behalf of Harris County by the State, thus satisfying the state-level coordination


3 See STA Order, 27 FCC Rcd at 9662-64 ¶ 25. These considerations are meant to inform the Commission’s determination
under Section 1.931(b)(2)(v) of its rules as to whether circumstances exist “which are of such extraordinary nature that delay in
the institution of temporary operation would seriously prejudice the public interest.” See 47 C.F.R. § 1.931(b)(2)(v).
4 Id. at 9664-65 ¶ 28.
5 Id. at 9665 ¶ 29.
6 See State of Texas, Universal Licensing System, File No. 0005346762 (Aug. 9, 2012) (STA Application); see also State of
Texas, Universal Licensing System, File No. 0005346762 (Aug. 28, 2012) (Amended Application).
7 See Implementing Public Safety Broadband Provisions of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, PS
Docket 12-94, Order, 27 FCC Rcd 10333 (PSHSB 2012) (Texas STA Order).
8 See State of Texas, Universal Licensing System, File No. 0005641097 (Feb. 8, 2013) (STA Renewal Application). The
application includes an attached narrative addressing Texas’s compliance with the public interest considerations set forth in the
STA Order. See id. at STA Renewal Narrative.
9 See STA Renewal Narrative at 1-2.
10 See id. at 2.
11 See id.
2

Federal Communications Commission

DA 13-319

requirement. Texas also reaffirms its commitment to maintaining compliance with each of the
“recommended minimum technical requirements” for interoperability developed for the nationwide
network.12 We accordingly find that Texas’s renewal request satisfies the public interest considerations
set forth in the STA Order.
6.
In addition, Texas has provided a letter from FirstNet concurring in renewal of its STA
for a period of up to 180 days. FirstNet offers its concurrence “premised on temporary operations” by
Texas that conform to specified conditions13 and “subject to FirstNet’s ongoing ability to monitor any
operations and use of FirstNet’s licensed spectrum.”14 Consistent with the STA Order, we find FirstNet’s
concurrence “highly probative” of the conclusion that renewal of Texas’s authority would satisfy the
public interest considerations set forth in that order.15
7.
For the foregoing reasons, we grant Texas’s request and direct the Licensing Branch of
the Bureau’s Policy and Licensing Division to grant Texas’s pending STA renewal application for the
requested period of 180 days, commencing March 2, 2013.16

IV.

ORDERING CLAUSES

8.
Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that pursuant to sections 1, 4(i), 301, 303, and 332 of the
Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. §§ 151, 154(i), 301, 303, and 332, and Section
6201(c) of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, Pub. L. No. 112-96, 126 Stat. 156
(2012), THIS ORDER in PS Docket No. 12-94, WT Docket No. 06-150, and PS Docket No. 06-229 is
ADOPTED.
9.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Licensing Branch of the Policy and Licensing
Division SHALL GRANT the pending application for renewal of Special Temporary Authority filed by
the State of Texas, Universal Licensing System File Number 0005641097.


12 See id. at 2-7; see also Recommendations of the Technical Advisory Board for First Responder Interoperability, PS Docket
12-74, Order of Transmittal, 27 FCC Rcd 7733 (2012).
13 See State of Texas, Universal Licensing System, File No. 0005641097 (Feb. 8, 2013) (FirstNet Letter of Concurrence). We
find that the operational “parameters” specified by FirstNet are consistent with the terms of Texas’s existing authority. See id.
at 1-2.
14 See id. at 2.
15 See STA Order, 27 FCC Rcd at 9665 ¶ 29.
16 The authority renewed under this order remains limited to operation of the fourteen sites identified in Texas’s original
application, one of which was specified as its Mobile Command Vehicle (“Cell on Wheels”), and our grant herein does not
prejudge our consideration of any future request to expand or modify the scope of these approved network operations.
3

Federal Communications Commission

DA 13-319

10.
This action is taken under delegated authority pursuant to Sections 0.191 and 0.392 of
the Commission’s Rules, 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.191, 0.392, paragraph 28 of the STA Order, 27 FCC Rcd 9652
(2012), and paragraphs 1 and 6 of the Order on Reconsideration, 27 FCC Rcd 10786 (2012).
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
David S. Turetsky
Chief, Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau
4

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