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FCC seeks comment on public safety use of DTV spectrum to be vacated

The FCC adopted an Eighth Notice of Proposed Rulemaking March 17 seeking comment on whether certain channels within the 24MHz of spectrum in the 700MHz band allocated for public safety use should be modified to accommodate broadband communications.

The 700MHz public safety spectrum is currently being used by television broadcasters during the digital television transition but will become available for use by public safety agencies by Feb. 18, 2009, when the DTV transition is completed.

In the Seventh Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, the FCC sought comment on a variety of technical and operational rules for the 700MHz public safety spectrum, including a Public Safety National Coordination Committee proposal to adopt a wideband data interoperability standard, commonly known as Scalable Adaptive Modulation (SAM) and to require that all wideband radios be capable of supporting the SAM standard.

The notice seeks additional input and an update of the record regarding wideband interoperability and the SAM standard in light of proposals to accommodate broadband communications.

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