ACTING FCC CHAIRWOMAN MIGNON L. CLYBURN
Implementing Public Safety Broadband Provisions of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation
Act of 2012
Safety Network in the 700 MHz Band, PS Docket No. 06-229; Service Rules for the 698–746, 747–
762, and 777–792 MHz Bands, WT Docket No. 06-150.
Hurricane Sandy made landfall in the United States one year ago tomorrow with a force so traumatic
that an area stretching over 1000 miles, from Florida to Maine, was impacted. Sandy reminded us once again
of the importance of communications during disasters – that it is vital for all Americans, particularly our
brave public safety responders, who risk their lives every day to keep our communities safe. After that storm,
the Commission conducted a series of field hearings to see what lessons we could learn from this historic,
catastrophic event. On the anniversary of Sandy, it is fitting that the Commission is moving forward with yet
another item that will help improve public safety communications.
When Congress enacted the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, it provided a solid
framework for a nationwide interoperable public safety broadband network – a network that the public safety
community needs and deserves to protect our communities. In concert with the First Responder Network
Authority (FirstNet) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), the
Commission is working to ensure the success of this first-of-its-kind network.
Today, the Commission meets its Congressional directive by adopting important technical rules for
the 700 MHz public safety broadband spectrum. These clear rules will advance FirstNet’s mission by
spurring innovation and competition in the market for public safety broadband equipment. The rules provide
urgently needed clarity for equipment manufacturers, and will facilitate prompt product development to
support the early adopters in this band, and to meet FirstNet’s deployment time line. The rules will also
fulfill the Commission’s obligation to provide interference protection to other Commission licensees,
ensuring that users in adjacent spectrum can continue to operate without harmful interference.
Today’s action addresses the most pressing concern in this proceeding: technical rules for the public
safety band, which provide vendors with the lead time necessary to bring equipment to the marketplace.
However, we also remain aware of the other outstanding issues in this docket and understand the importance
of their timely resolution. We will continue to work with all stakeholders to ensure that these issues are
I would like to thank the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau and the Office of Engineering
of Technology for their work on this issue, along with the International Bureau, Wireless Bureau, and the
Office of General Counsel. In particular, I’d like to thank Bureau Chief David Turetsky, and staff members
Brain Hurley, Gene Fullano, Rasoul Safavian, Erika Olsen, Behzad Ghaffari and Yoon Chang in the Public
Safety Bureau, for their contributions in bringing this item to the Commission today.
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