FCC Addresses South Dakota’s Part 22 Licenses for Statewide Public-Safety Network
Tuesday, February 05, 2019 | Comments

The FCC addressed South Dakota’s notifications of construction and requests to waive and/or extend the construction deadline for certain of its Part 22 VHF/UHF paging licenses of its statewide interoperable digital trunked public-safety radio system.

The FCC found that South Dakota failed to demonstrate substantial service throughout its South Dakota Interagency Communications System (SDICS) paging system and dismissed the state’s construction notifications that do not show any construction. The commission also dismissed the state’s pending waiver and extension requests that are untimely and denied South Dakota’s timely filed alternative waiver/extension requests where it failed to justify its argument for additional time to construct.

The FCC also determined on its own motion that the public interest supports the grant of a partial waiver of the construction requirements for certain South Dakota paging licenses to permit the state to keep those areas it had constructed by the applicable construction deadlines for each license, rather than terminate the licenses in their entirety. The commission proposed modifying those licenses subject to the partial waiver.

“We conclude that such relief is in the public interest given the unique factual circumstances involved, and we impose conditions that will promote use of spectrum for important public-safety functions while protecting against harmful interference to adjacent licensees,” the order said. “We also find it in the public interest to grant a waiver for a limited extension of time for three of the state’s licenses in order to allow the state to keep essential operational facilities.”

The FCC also granted a waiver of relevant technical rules to the extent necessary to permit continued operation on the Part 22 paging frequencies in use as of the construction deadline applicable to each license. The technical waivers are conditioned on South Dakota obtaining consent from any neighboring or adjacent licensees that may be impacted by our proposed modification. The FCC also granted special temporary authority (STA) to operate while South Dakota brings the system into compliance with our rules.

The full order and proposed order of modification is here.

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