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PSHSB Grants State of Texas Public Safety Broadband STA Renewal

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Released: November 25, 2013

Federal Communications Commission

DA 13-2251

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: November 25, 2013

Released: November 25, 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 a ninety-day
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 13-2251

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 two renewals of the STA, for periods of 180 days and
ninety days respectively.8 With the second renewal period set to expire on November 26, 2013, Texas
filed a request on November 20, 2013, for an additional ninety-day renewal.9 Texas explains that this
renewal will enable it to “maintain uninterrupted services” for users of its network as it concludes
spectrum lease negotiations with FirstNet.10 On November 21, 2013, FirstNet filed a letter of
concurrence in the requested renewal.

III.

DISCUSSION

5.
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
Order
. It notes that significant progress has been made in negotiating a spectrum lease with FirstNet, and
that there are “very few issues remaining,” but that additional time is needed to conclude the
negotiations.11 Texas explains that it achieved substantial deployment prior to enactment of the statute,
and has brought eleven of its thirteen fixed sites into operation, with RF antennas and backhaul


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); 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 12766
(PSHSB 2013) (Texas STA Second Renewal Order).
9 See State of Texas, Universal Licensing System, File No. 0006021603 (Nov. 20, 2013) (STA Third Renewal Application).
10 STA Third Renewal Letter at 1.
11 See id.
2

Federal Communications Commission

DA 13-2251

equipment installed at the remaining two.12 Texas represents that “no funding obstacles exist which
would inhibit establishment of . . . public safety operations within the coverage footprint” of its STA
grant, and that it has a target date to integrate the remaining sites on or near December 31, 2013.13 In
addition, Texas asserts 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.”14 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.15 We accordingly find that Texas’s renewal request satisfies the public interest considerations
set forth in the STA Order.
6.
Moreover, the STA Order directs the Bureau to afford “considerable weight” to
FirstNet’s preferences regarding STA operations in its licensed spectrum.16 FirstNet concurs in Texas’s
requested ninety-day STA renewal.17
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 a
period of ninety days, commencing November 26, 2013.18

IV.

ORDERING CLAUSES

8.
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.
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 0006021603.


12 See STA Third Renewal Narrative at 1. The last of Texas’ fourteen authorized sites is a PS LTE enabled Mobile Command
Vehicle (“Cell on Wheels”), which Texas proposes to operate only within Harris County and only where no active coverage
exists. Id. at 8; STA Third Renewal Letter at 2.
13 See STA Third Renewal Narrative at 2, 8.
14 See id.
15 See id. at 2-8; see also Recommendations of the Technical Advisory Board for First Responder Interoperability, PS Docket
12-74, Order of Transmittal, 27 FCC Rcd 7733 (2012).
16 STA Order, 27 FCC Rcd at 9665 ¶ 29.
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 Cell on Wheels described above, 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 13-2251

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 G. Simpson, Rear Admiral, USN (ret.)
Chief, Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau
4

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