Tell it to the FCC

Over the course of the past two months, a dozen public safety entities have begun petitioning the FCC for permission to build their own regional wireless broadband networks in 700 MHz. The Public Safety Spectrum Trust, which owns the real estate on which these networks would be built, has indicated support for some of these early build-outs on the condition that they meet certain technology standards and system requirements PSST sets.

There is a growing consensus among many police chiefs, fire chiefs, city administrators, and emergency preparedness planners the United States — not just those who are waiver applicants — that the FCC should move quickly to grant at least some of the waivers for local build-outs. You can file your support (or your opposition) directly with the FCC.

In mid-August 2009 the FCC issued a “call for comments” that is open now, and will terminate on October 16, 2009. All comments should reference the appropriate petition(s) and PS Docket No. 06-229. Parties wishing to submit replies to the statements filed between now and the October 16 comment deadline must do so on or before November 16, 2009. A brief summary of FCC’s instructions for sending your comments follows (the full text of the FCC’s instructions can be found here).

Interested parties may file comments on the above-referenced petition on or before October 16 2009. According to the FCC, comments may be filed using the FCC’s Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS), the Federal Government’s eRulemaking Portal, or by filing paper copies.

For electronic filers, tatements in support of (or in opposition to) the petition and replies to such statements may be filed electronically using the Internet by accessing the ECFS or the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Filers should follow the instructions provided on the website for submitting comments. For ECFS filers, in completing the transmittal screen, filers should include their full name, U.S. Postal Service mailing address, and the rulemaking number. Parties may also submit an electronic statement in support of or in opposition to the Petition and/or replies thereto by Internet e-mail. To get filing instructions, filers should send an e-mail to and include the following words in the body of the message: “get form.” A sample form and directions will be sent in response.

Parties who choose to file by paper must file an original and four copies of each filing. Filings can be sent by hand or messenger delivery, by commercial overnight courier, or by first-class or overnight U.S. Postal Service mail (although the Commission continues to experience delays in receiving U.S. Postal Service mail). All filings must be addressed to: Marlene H. Dortch, Office of the Secretary, Federal Communications Commission, 445 12th Street, SW, Washington, D.C. 20554. Parties must also serve one copy with the Commission’s copy contractor, Best Copy and Printing, Inc. (BCPI), Portals II, 445 12th Street, SW, Room CY-B402, Washington, D.C. 20554, (202) 488-5300, or via e-mail to

Commercial overnight mail (other than U.S. Postal Service Express Mail and Priority Mail) must be sent to 9300 East Hampton Drive, Capitol Heights, MD 20743.

U.S. Postal Service first-class, Express, and Priority mail should be addressed to 445 12th Street, SW, Washington, D.C. 20554.

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