The Obama administration is seeking to promote more sharing of wireless spectrum in a series of actions outlined in a June 14 presidential memo. Agencies will be required to consider spectrum efficiency when procuring spectrum-dependent systems and hardware, the memo says.
The First Responder Network Authority approved June 4 an organizational structure and a budget resolution that increases authorized spending to $20 million and obligates $50 million for fiscal 2013, says a National Telecommunications and Information Administration press release.
Ad hoc networking and Wi-Fi access points that can be opened up to the public would be valuable resources during emergencies when cellular networks are overwhelmed, the former head of the Federal Communications Commission and a leading academic recently wrote.
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration is accepting nominations to the First Responder Network Authority board. When the board was formed to develop a nationwide interoperable broadband network for first responders in August 2012, four of the 12 non-permanent members had 1-year terms.
During last month's meeting, Fitzgerald accused the board in charge of setting up a national public safety broadband network of not thoroughly weighing the interests of the public safety subcommittee and making decisions about the network in secretive meetings.
Rules that would restrict the participation of the two largest wireless carriers could reduce Federal Communications Commission spectrum auction proceeds by 40 percent and put First Responder Network funding at risk, a April 30 Georgetown Center for Business and Public Policy report (.pdf) says. The FCC currently is developing a two-part auction that enables television broadcasters to voluntarily give up some of their spectrum licenses in a reverse auction so they can be resold to wireless service providers.
The First Responder Network Authority's April 23 meeting turned contentious when Story County, Iowa Sheriff and Board Member Paul Fitzgerald was asked to provide a routine update on the public safety advisory committee and instead presented a list of concerns around FirstNet's operations thus far.
The Federal Communications Commission April 29, issued a final rule it hopes will help the experimental radio service framework more quickly move innovative technologies to market.
Following the bombings at the Boston Marathon April 15, the Associated Press incorrectly cited an anonymous law enforcement official who said cellular service in the neighborhood of the bombings was temporarily shut down in order to prevent potential remote detonations of bombs.
With the April 1 report and order, the commission adopts a reconfigured channel plan, which incorporates comments from a public inquiry. It finalizes technical parameters for operation in the "sharing zone"--the 806-824 and 851–869 MHz band within 68 miles of the shared border. The commission also establishes a 30-month transition period for licensees to complete rebranding, according to the document.