Skip Navigation

Federal Communications Commission

English Display Options

Commission Document

FCC Proposes Plan to Improve Spectrum Efficiency

Download Options

Released: June 13, 2012

Federal Communications Commission

News Media Information 202 / 418-0500

445 12th Street, S.W.


Washington, D. C. 20554

TTY: 1-888-835-5322

This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action.
See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).

June 13, 2012
Lauren Kravetz: 202-418-7944




Washington, D.C. – The Federal Communications Commission today proposed rules and asked for
comment on a number of issues involved in improving spectrum efficiency and encouraging greater
use of the 4940-4990 MHz (4.9 GHz) band for public safety broadband communications. Improved
use of the 4.9 GHz band will facilitate wireless local area networks for incident scene management,
fixed point-point surveillance, and support for dispatch operations and vehicular or personal
The 4.9 GHz broadband spectrum is a contiguous block of 50 megahertz of spectrum that is
designated for both fixed and mobile and dedicated for public safety. Using 4.9 GHz spectrum,
public safety users can set up temporary mesh networks that support data, voice, and video
communications at scenes of emergencies; monitor sensitive locations remotely with point-to-point
video links; and set up city-wide Wi-Fi networks to give first responders dedicated broadband
access. The 4.9 GHz spectrum holds great potential to complement the national public safety
broadband network for backhaul; facilitate safer operation of our nation’s critical infrastructure and
utilities; and provide wireless broadband connectivity in remote or sparsely populated locations.
Specifically, in the Fifth Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, the Commission seeks comment
· Whether to establish formal coordination requirements in the 4.9 GHz band, whether the 700
MHz Regional Planning Committees (RPCs) could administer a database registration
process, and options for a registration database to be used for coordination purposes;
· Whether expanding eligibility to critical infrastructure entities and commercial users would
promote more effective and efficient use of the band;
· Whether eligibility for commercial users should be on a secondary basis subject to a
shutdown feature to allow public safety priority access;
· Whether the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) is or should be eligible for a 4.9
GHz band license, particularly for backhaul links in support of the 700 MHz network;
technical proposals to increase spectrum efficiency, usage, and throughput in the band.
Specifically, the Commission invited input on issues such as the channel plan, power and
antenna gain limits, aeronautical mobile operations, and interoperability standards.

The Commission tentatively concludes that allowing non-public safety entities to obtain licenses
directly rather than having to enter into sharing arrangements with public safety licensees would
remove a barrier to entry and stimulate more investment in the band. The Commission also
addresses how the 4.9 GHz band can complement the nationwide 700 MHz public safety broadband
network to be deployed by FirstNet under the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of
2012 and asked for comment on whether the 4.9 GHz band could support the 700 MHz network
through the offloading of fixed video and/or backhaul applications.
The Fourth Report and Order portion of the Commission’s action corrects minor errors, including
reinstating an exemption of 4.9 GHz band applications from certified frequency coordination
requirements; correcting and clarifying the 4.9 GHz band plan; and making three “clean-up”
amendments to the Public Safety Pool Frequency Table.
Action by the Commission June 13, 2012, by Fourth Report and Order and Fifth Notice of
Proposed Rulemaking
(FCC 12-61). Chairman Genachowski, Commissioners McDowell, Clyburn,
Rosenworcel and Pai. Separate statements issued by Chairman Genachowski, Commissioners
McDowell, Clyburn, Rosenworcel and Pai.
For additional information, contact Zenji Nakazawa at (202) 418-7949 or via email:, or Thomas Eng at (202) 418-0019 or via email:
WP Docket No. 07-100, PS Docket No. 06-229, WT Docket No. 06-150
News and information about the Federal Communications Commission
is available at

Note: We are currently transitioning our documents into web compatible formats for easier reading. We have done our best to supply this content to you in a presentable form, but there may be some formatting issues while we improve the technology. The original version of the document is available as a PDF, Word Document, or as plain text.


You are leaving the FCC website

You are about to leave the FCC website and visit a third-party, non-governmental website that the FCC does not maintain or control. The FCC does not endorse any product or service, and is not responsible for, nor can it guarantee the validity or timeliness of the content on the page you are about to visit. Additionally, the privacy policies of this third-party page may differ from those of the FCC.