There’s a new coalition in town, and its mission is to protect local control of 4.9 GHz spectrum used by public safety organizations across the country.
Specifically, the Coalition for Emergency Response and Critical Infrastructure (CERCI) wants to keep the 4.9 GHz spectrum under the control of public safety and critical infrastructure industry users and out of the hands of FirstNet, whose 700 MHz network is run by AT&T.
T-Mobile, Verizon and UScellular are among the founding members of the CERCI. Other founding members are the Competitive Carriers Association (CCA), National Sheriffs Association, Major Cities Chiefs Association and Edison Electric Institute.
The group sent a letter to the FCC this week outlining the importance of maintaining the 4.9 GHz band as a locally controlled public safety communications resource that serves the public interest.
They’re responding to a proposal from the Public Safety Spectrum Alliance (PSSA) that calls for the FirstNet Authority to be awarded a nationwide license for the 4.9 GHz band and to select a new band manager.
According to the CERCI, the PSSA proposal would eliminate local public safety choice and control, end current uses of the 4.9 GHz band and “suffocate ongoing user-led development of innovative public safety and critical infrastructure applications.”
Earlier this year, the FCC established a coordinated nationwide approach to managing the 4.9 GHz band, in part through the addition of a band manager, and it sought comment on how to implement that kind of model. The proceeding is still pending.