Telecom Alert — CBRS Auction Closes; 6 GHz Open Letter; FAA BVLOS Waiver Guide; NPSTC Emerging EMS Technology Report; 911 Location Accuracy Testing Delayed — Vol. XVII, Issue 35
CBRS Auction Closes
The FCC’s auction of Priority Access Licenses (PALs) in the 3550-3650 MHz Band (Vol. XVII, Issue 34) concluded last week. The auction consisted of 76 bidding rounds, with bidders winning 20,625 of 22, 631 available licenses. According to the Commission’s News Release, the gross proceeds exceeded $4.5 billion. This week, the Commission is expected to release a Public Notice detailing auction results and providing instructions for the post-auction procedures.
6 GHz Open Letter
On August 21, 2020, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), Edison Electric Institute (EEI), Utilities Technology Council (UTC), American Gas Association (AGA), American Public Power Association (APPA), American Petroleum Institute (API), APCO International, National Public Safety Telecommunications Council (NPSTC) and the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) filed an open letter with the Commission regarding unlicensed use of the 6 GHz band. The letter outlines key issues and operating principles for the 6 GHz multi-stakeholder group, with an emphasis on addressing testing, processes, and best practices to prevent, detect, and eliminate interference to mission-critical communications that are essential for public safety, energy and water services, and transportation. Last month, the FCC’s rules permitting unlicensed operations on 1,200 MHz of spectrum in the 6 GHz band took effect (Vol. XVII, Issue 22).
FAA Provides BVLOS Waiver Guide for Public Safety
The FAA released a Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) Waiver Guide for Public Safety organizations operating drones. The waivers will allow first responders to operate unmanned aircraft (UAS) BVLOS to safeguard human life in emergencies. The FAA will issue in advance, upon receipt of a complete and accurate application, a 14 CFR 91.113(b) waiver that will allow temporary UAS TBVLOS operations within specific conditions and requirements. The UAS will remain within 1,500 feet of the pilot and the pilot must not operate any higher than 50 feet above or greater than 400 feet laterally of the nearest obstacle. The 50 feet above an obstacle cannot exceed the 400 feet above ground level hard ceiling. The waivers are only to be used temporarily during extreme emergencies to safeguard human life.
NPSTC Emerging EMS Technology Report
The National Public Safety Technology Council (NPTSC) recently released three reports, including one that focuses on the future state of public-safety broadband for emergency medical services (EMS) and communications centers. The “Emerging EMS Technology: Use Case Analysis of Broadband Capabilities to Support Operations and Patient Care” provides four use cases, examining how broadband may support emergency medical services (EMS) patient care technologies. Regarding 911, the report shows that emergency communications centers will need new technology solutions to receive data alerts and to manage new methods of interacting with 911 callers.
911 Location Accuracy Testing Delayed
On August 21, 2020, CTIA, on behalf of the 9-1-1 Location Technologies Test Bed, LLC (Test Bed), notified the Commission that the next round of 911 vertical (Z-axis) location will be delayed due to COVID-19. According to the filing, the pandemic has restricted access to buildings affecting the ability to safely and effectively test Z-axis technologies. Based on these challenges, the Test Bed has decided to postpone testing and will inform the Commission when testing can safely resume.