FCC Adopts Technical Rules for FirstNet
This article first appeared in TV Technology.
Communications Commission set the rules for devices intended to operate in
FirstNet, the nation’s first wireless broadband network dedicated to first
“The rules, which include power limits
and other technical parameters for operating in this spectrum band, will
provide a foundation for FirstNet’s operations, help avoid harmful interference
to spectrum users in adjacent bands, and expedite the availability of equipment
for use on the public safety network, thereby fostering competition and
innovation in the marketplace,” the commission said in announcing the rules.
The network will operate in 700 MHz
spectrum, from 758 to 768 MHz, and 788 to 798 MHz. Power levels will be limited
to “3,000 microwatts per square meter on the ground within 1,000 meters of the
base of an antenna for any signal transmitted in excess of 1,000 watts
effective radiated power,” as the FCC originally proposed. The rules also
restrict out-of-band emissions to protect adjacent-band operations as well as
GPS receivers at 1,559 to 1,610 MHz, further aligning the FirstNet rules with
those already established for 700 MHz LTE networks, the commission said.
The commission had proposed a field
strength limit of 40 dBuV/M to prevent interference between FirstNet and any
statewide networks deployed in the spectrum. It was noted, however, that state
networks must be interoperable with FirstNet, making field strength limits
unnecessary. Further network coordination rules were also found to be
unnecessary at this time. Guard bands will be retained for the time being.
The rules further address the equipment
certification process and other issues bought up in the comment record. The
rules will go into effect immediately upon publication in the Federal Register.
FirstNet is to be funded at $7 billion
through TV spectrum auction proceeds, with another $135 million allotted for a
state and local implementation grant program.