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Maintaining Public Safety Communications Reliability and Interoperability in the 700 MHz Band
National Public Safety Telecommunications Council
The National Public Safety Telecommunications Council (NPSTC) submitted this position paper to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC):
Maintaining Public Safety Communications Reliability and Interoperability in the 700 MHz Band:
NPSTC Recommends Against Mixing Narrowband and Broadband Technologies in the Same Spectrum Segment
Introduction and Executive Summary
NPSTC understands that some jurisdictions have expressed potential interest in converting the 700 MHz narrowband spectrum to broadband use.  Doing so would result in a mix of narrowband and broadband operations across different jurisdictions in the same block of 700 MHz band spectrum.  Based on information currently available, NPSTC recommends against mixing broadband and narrowband operations in the same spectrum, as doing so can negatively impact both public safety communications reliability and interoperability.
Based on recommendations from the public safety community and direction from Congress, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted rules for the 700 MHz spectrum that provide the opportunity for both reliable broadband and narrowband operations with nationwide interoperability in each set of operations.  As shown in Figure 1 in the position paper, narrowband public safety operations are conducted in a designated 6 +6 MHz block of paired spectrum while broadband operations are being planned in a designated 10 +10 MHz paired block of spectrum licensed to the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet).[1]  A 1 +1 MHz "guardband" also licensed to FirstNet separates narrowband and broadband spectrum.  Although Section 6102 of Public Law 112-96 provides that the FCC may allow flexible use of the narrowband spectrum, it does not require the FCC to do so.  Furthermore, for interoperability, the FCC designated Project 25 (P25) as the technology required for narrowband interoperability channels and Long Term Evolution (LTE) as the technology for broadband operations.
Click here to read entire position paper.
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NPSTC is a federation of organizations whose mission is to improve public safety communications and interoperability through collaborative leadership.
Support provided by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Science and Technology Directorate, Office for Interoperability and Compatibility, and the National Program and Protection Directorate, Office of Emergency Communications.  Points of view or opinions expressed are those of the originators and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
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