Public safety spectrum serves the mission-critical communications needs of First Responders charged with the protection of life and property, such as police, fire fighters and Emergency Medical Service (EMS) providers.  Public safety spectrum also serves the public safety-related telecommunications needs of state and local governments generally. 

Public safety channels are available in the VHF band, 220 MHz band, UHF, T-Band, 700 MHz narrowband, 700 MHz broadband, 800 MHz band, 4.9 GHz, and 5.9 GHz bands, as follows:

Public Safety Spectrum


MHz Available for Public Safety

25-50 MHz
(VHF Low Band)

6.3 MHz

150-174 MHz
(VHF High Band)

3.6 MHz

(220 MHz band)

0.1 MHz

(UHF Band)

3.7 MHz

470-512 MHz

6 to 12 MHz blocks
[contiguous in specified markets]

758-769/788-799 MHz
(700 Broadband)

22 MHz
(11 MHz x 11 MHz)

(700 Narrowband)[1]

14 MHz
(7 MHz x 7 MHz)

806-809/851-854 MHz

6 MHz
(3 MHz x 3 MHz)

809-815/854-860 MHz
(800 MHz Band)

3.5 MHz
(1.75 MHz x 1.75 MHz)

4940-4990 MHz
(4.9 GHz Band)

50 MHz

5850-5925 MHz band
(5.9 GHz Band)

75 MHz

[1] This includes 2 MHz of guard band.

The 758-769/788-799 MHz broadband allotment is licensed to the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet), which is responsible for building and operating the nationwide broadband public safety network.  All other public safety channels are licensed by the FCC under varying rules and administrative procedures.  Some public safety channel assignments provide for exclusive use by a single licensee within its service area whereas others are shared; i.e., have multiple licensees on the same channel within the same general area.  Narrowband channels in the 700 MHz band and the 800 MHz NPSPAC band are assigned in accordance with channel plans developed by the 55 Regional Planning Committees (RPCs) and approved by the Commission.  All channels, except those in the 4.9 GHz and 5.9 GHz bands, are subject to frequency coordination to ensure against mutual interference.  The 5.9 GHz band, known as the Dedicated Short Range Communications Service (DSRCS), is intended to promote automobile safety.


Thursday, December 7, 2017