Lte | P25 | 2020-08-28

PSSA Releases Petition to Protect 4.9 GHz Spectrum for Public Safety

Source: The Critical Communications Review | Gert Jan Wolf editor

The Public Safety Spectrum Alliance (PSSA), a newly formed coalition to protect public safety’s use of 4.9 GHz spectrum, announced during a national webinar that it has launched a petition supporting the effort.

Organized by the Public Safety Broadband Technology Association (PSBTA), PSSA is comprised of public safety leadership and supporting associations, collaborating to spread awareness of first responders’ critical requirement to preserve the 4.9 GHz spectrum for their current and future broadband needs.

The PSSA initiative serves as public safety’s voice to communicate the vital need for spectrum and to assign it to the FirstNet Authority—which is in the best position to work collaboratively with the public safety community to determine a nationwide plan that optimizes the ability to protect life and property.

Members of the first responder community are asked to support the effort by signing and widely sharing the official PSSA petition to protect the spectrum and move it under the FirstNet Authority for oversight and stewardship. Here are the three objectives of the PSSA effort:

  • Protect and preserve 4.9 GHz nationwide spectrum for public safety use.
  • Assign the 4.9 GHz spectrum to the FirstNet Authority on behalf of public safety.
  • Require the FirstNet Authority to develop a spectrum plan for the 50 MHz of public safety spectrum at 4.9 GHz. This plan would allow for the continued support and protection of existing public safety licensees while also allocating a portion of the spectrum for 5G technologies and potentially integrating it with the National Public Safety Broadband Network (NPSBN). 

“Data is an integral part of helping public safety protect our citizens and communities and additional spectrum is needed to make it secure and accessible,” said Kim Zagaris, PSSA spokesman and retired fire chief. “The creation of FirstNet was a huge win for public safety and we need to raise our voices by signing the petition to ensure the 4.9 GHz spectrum remains with the same entity best positioned for its oversight and protection.”

Dependable, secure broadband connectivity is essential to overcome the difficult, life-threatening challenges first responders face in the field. Allocation of 4.9 GHz spectrum to the FirstNet Authority will ensure that it will be able to meet public safety’s present and future technology, communication and connectivity needs.

“I share with people that spectrum is essentially the lanes through the air by which data flows and it’s extremely valuable and critical to public safety’s future,” said Jeff Johnson, CEO of the Western Fire Chiefs Association (WFCA) and former vice chairman of the FirstNet Authority. “Moving the 4.9 GHz spectrum under the FirstNet Authority will help ensure those lanes are wide open for public safety.”