In a move designed to free up additional spectrum resources for public safety, The Federal Communications Commission has issued proposed rules and asked for comments on encouraging greater use of the 4.9 GHz spectrum band. That band currently has 50 megahertz of contiguous spectrum designated for fixed and mobile broadband use by the public safety community.
“Using 4.9 GHz spectrum, public safety users can set up temporary mesh networks that support data, voice and video communications at scenes of emergencies; monitor sensitive locations remotely with point-to-point video links; and set up city-wide Wi-Fi networks to give first responders dedicated broadband access,” the FCC noted in a statement.
The agency also added that the spectrum holds “great potential” for providing backhaul services for a nationwide, public-safety broadband network.
In its request, the FCC is looking at whether to establish formal coordination requirements in the 4.9 GHz band that could also be administered by the 700 MHz Regional Planning Committees; whether expanding use of the band to commercial entities would promote more efficient use of the spectrum; and whether the First Responder Network Authority should be granted a license for that spectrum to facilitate backhaul services.
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