Think Tank Releases Paper on 4.9 GHz Band NPRM
Monday, March 21, 2022 | Comments

The Phoenix Center for Advanced Legal and Economic Public Policy Studies think tank released a white paper examining the FCC’s most recent notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) for the 4.9 GHz spectrum.

For many years, the 4.9 GHz band has been dedicated to public-safety use. However, the FCC has released multiple NPRMs seeking to revitalize what it has described as an underused band. In 2021, the FCC adopted rules that would allow states to license portions of the spectrum to entities outside of public safety.

However, following a backlash from public-safety organization, the commission vacated those rules and released a new NPRM’s seeking comments on how to increase use of the band while maximizing and protecting public-safety use in the band.

Reply comments, which were due in January, showed a divide in the industry over different aspects of the FCC’s plan including how to manage the band and who should manage the band.

Part of the FCC’s newest proposal for the band was to centralize non-public-safety use of the band. The think tank said that economics support the centralized approach. The paper also estimated that designating the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority) as the national spectrum coordinator for the band would “release about $34 billion in gross domestic product and create 160,000 jobs.”

The idea of having the FirstNet Authority administrate the 4.9 GHz band was first introduced by the Public Safety Spectrum Alliance (PSSA), and there has been a divide in the industry over that proposal.

Find the full paper here.

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