FCC Requests Comment on Public-Safety LTE Interoperability with FirstNet
Thursday, September 12, 2019 | Comments

The FCC requested comment on petitions for declaratory ruling and rulemaking filed by the Boulder Regional Emergency Telephone Service Authority (BRETSA) in Colorado to ensure interoperability with the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet).

Last year, BRETSA asked the FCC to issue a declaratory ruling and a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) or notice of inquiry (NOI) on the same grounds presented in a request for clarification previously filed by the Colorado Public Safety Broadband Governing Body (CPSBGB).

BRETSA wants a declaratory ruling from the commission to ensure that “interoperability is a fundamental responsibility of FirstNet and that FirstNet is supported at all levels including network, services, applications and devices.”

BRETSA asked the FCC to issue an NPRM or NOI to address “roaming and prioritization as it applies to applications such as [push-to-talk] and [mission-critical push-to- talk], as well as other applications that will face the same issues.”

BRETSA also requests that the commission address:
• The responsibility of providers other than FirstNet — public-safety LMR systems or services and public-safety priority services offered over commercial mobile radio service (CMRS) networks — to cooperate with FirstNet in the development of interoperability solutions, and to provide full interoperability with FirstNet, LMR and other CMRS priority public-safety services subject only to technological limitations of a specific service
• The issue of roaming and prioritization as applicable to LMR and other CMRS public-safety priority services, and;
• The availability of commission processes for dispute resolution and standards for dispute resolution concerning matters of interoperability, roaming and prioritization.

Comments are due Sept. 26, and reply comment are due Oct. 11. The full notice is here.

Separately, the FCC dismissed as untimely a petition for reconsideration filed by BRETSA of an FCC order that dismissed a request for clarification filed July 6, 2018, by CPSBGB.

The FCC said the Colorado dismissal order is an interlocutory order. In the order, the FCC did not take final action on CPSBGB’s request for clarification, but left open — to CPSBGB or any other interested party — the opportunity to pursue the results specified in the request.

“Because it appeared that the events underlying CPSBGB’s request were unfolding in a manner that could resolve the interoperability concerns raised in the request, [FCC] dismissed CPSBGB’s request, without prejudice, as premature.”

The FCC said it specifically noted that other parties (like BRETSA) may file their own petitions.

The original CPSBGB request for clarification was followed by a filing by the Colorado Governor’s Office of Information and Technology Broadband Office asking the FCC to ignore the request. A Colorado Open Records Act (CORA) request found FirstNet and AT&T executives pressured Colorado state employees following the first filing and promoted the second filing.

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