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PSHSB Grants State of Texas Public Safety Broadband STA Renewal

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Released: August 27, 2013

Federal Communications Commission

DA 13-1828

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: August 27, 2013

Released: August 27, 2013

By the Chief, Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau.

I.

INTRODUCTION

1.
In this Order, we grant, to the extent indicated below, 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 Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, Pub. L. No. 112-96, 126 Stat. 156 6201(a), 6202 (2012)
(codified at 47 U.S.C. 1421(a), 1422); 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 13-1828

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 We then granted a renewal of that authority, with the concurrence of
FirstNet, for an additional 180 days on March 1, 2013.8 With the renewal authorization set to expire on
August 28, 2013, Texas filed a request on August 15, 2013, for renewal of the STA for an additional 180-
day period.9
5.
On August 23, 2013, FirstNet filed a letter of concurrence in this second renewal, but
only for a period of ninety days.10 FirstNet explains that its concurrence is premised on, among other
conditions, Texas's continued pursuit of spectrum lease negotiations with FirstNet.11

6.
For the reasons explained below, we grant the requested renewal for a period of ninety
days.

III.

DISCUSSION

7.
Texas contends that further 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


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). See note 2 supra.
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 Implementing Public Safety Broadband Provisions of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, PS
Docket 12-94, Order, 28 FCC Rcd 1974 (PSHSB 2013) (Texas STA Renewal Order). FirstNet was granted its license, call sign
WQQE234, on Nov. 15, 2012.
9 See State of Texas, Universal Licensing System, File No. 0005896713 (Aug. 15, 2013) (STA Second 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 Second Renewal Narrative.
10 See id. at FirstNet Concurrence Letter.
11 See id. at 2.
2

Federal Communications Commission

DA 13-1828

Order. It notes that significant progress has been made in negotiating a spectrum lease with FirstNet, but
that additional time is needed to conclude the negotiations.12 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."13 Texas represents that "no funding obstacles exist
which would inhibit establishment of . . . public safety operations within the coverage footprint" of its
STA grant.14 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."15 As noted above, the application is filed on behalf of Harris County by the State,
thus satisfying the state-level coordination requirement. Texas also reaffirms its commitment to
maintaining compliance with each of the "recommended minimum technical requirements" for
interoperability developed for the nationwide network.16 We accordingly find that Texas's renewal
request satisfies the public interest considerations set forth in the STA Order.
8.
FirstNet concurs in the requested renewal, but only for a period of ninety days.17 The
STA Order directs the Bureau to afford "considerable weight" to FirstNet's preferences regarding STA
operations in its licensed spectrum, and we accordingly limit Texas's renewal to ninety days in duration
as FirstNet recommends. Our limiting the duration of Texas's STA renewal to ninety days does not,
however, foreclose the possibility that further extensions may be granted, and any request filed for such
extension will be addressed as appropriate under the terms of the STA Order.
9.
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 a
period of ninety days, commencing August 28, 2013.18

IV.

ORDERING CLAUSES

10.
Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that pursuant to sections 1, 4(i), 301, 303, 332 and
1421(c) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 151, 154(i), 301, 303, 332, and
1421(c), THIS ORDER in PS Docket No. 12-94, WT Docket No. 06-150, and PS Docket No. 06-229 is
ADOPTED.
11.
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 0005896713.
12.
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


12 See STA Second Renewal Letter.
13 See STA Second Renewal Narrative at 1-2.
14 See id. at 2.
15 See id.
16 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).
17 See FirstNet Concurrence Letter. FirstNet's concurrence is "premised on temporary operations" within specified
"parameters," id. at 1. These parameters are consistent with the terms of Texas's existing authority.
18 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 13-1828

(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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