Public Safety/Private Partnership

In the 700 MHz Second Report and Order, the Commission established a single nationwide Public Safety Broadband License (PSBL) for the 700 MHz public safety broadband spectrum. On November 19, 2007, the Commission assigned this license to the Public Safety Spectrum Trust Corporation (PSSTC). The PSBL and the Upper D Block commercial licensee will form a Public Safety/Private Partnership to develop a shared, nationwide interoperable network for both commercial and public safety users. This network will provide public safety entities access to new broadband technologies across the country.

The Commission will award a nationwide 10 megahertz commercial license in the Upper 700 MHz Band “D” Block to the winning bidder once it has entered into a Commission-approved Network Sharing Agreement (NSA) with the PSBL. The NSA is subject to FCC approval, and must contain certain provisions such as service fees and a detailed build-out schedule for the network. The public safety broadband network will facilitate effective communications among first responders not just in emergencies, but as part of cooperative communications plans that will enable first responders from different disciplines, such as police and fire departments, and jurisdictions to work together in emergency preparedness and response.

Under the Partnership, the PSBL will have priority access to the commercial spectrum in times of emergency, and the commercial licensee will have preemptible, secondary access to the public safety broadband spectrum. Providing for shared infrastructure will help achieve significant cost efficiencies while maximizing public safety’s access to interoperable broadband spectrum.

For information on the Commercial segments of the 700 MHz band, visit the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau’s web site.