• The FCC last week released FCC 12-85, an order terminating 20 existing waivers to construct public safety broadband networks in the 700 Megahertz band. It provides a process for those whose waivers were terminated to seek special temporary authority (STA) to continue deployment of their networks. In the order, the FCC stated that it expects an STA to be granted “in very few instances, and only where deployment clearly serves the public interest and will not be detrimental to the Public Safety Spectrum Act’s goals or jeopardize the mandate to deploy a nationwide interoperable public safety broadband network.” The order also dismisses pending waiver requests from more than three dozen state and local agencies. The order received the full support of the three Democratic Commissioners. Commissioner McDowell (Rep.) concurred in the vote and Commissioner Pai (Rep.) approved in part and concurred in part. FCC 12-85 is available here.
  • Last week, the Mobility Division of the FCC Wireless Telecommunications Bureau and the Policy and Licensing Division of the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau granted the New York City Transit Authority’s request for a waiver of the FCC’s VHF/UHF January 2013 narrowbanding deadline until June 30, 2016. The waiver applies to equipment deployed by the authority’s subway system. “Based on the record before us, we conclude that NYCTA has presented sufficient facts to meet the high standard for grant of the requested waiver,” the Bureaus stated. “The record shows that NYCTA began an extensive program to upgrade its subway radio system in 2003. Strict application of the narrowbanding rules would require NYCTA to expedite its contracted work schedule and risk service interruptions for millions of daily customers.” The order is available here.