FCC issues proposed rule on interoperability framework

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Washington – The Federal Communications Commission is seeking comment until April 11 on a new proposal for the creation of a nationwide public safety broadband network. The proposal (.pdf file) is the latest FCC has published on a technical framework for the long-sought interoperable safety network.

FCC originally attempted to create a network funded and developed in a public-private partnership, but that plan failed to obtain a winning bidder. With this latest proposal, FCC adopted rules mandating all public safety broadband networks use the same technology platform. The agency also proposed rules it says will be necessary to ensure interoperability of the network through the creation of technical and operational compatibility requirements.

Several first responder stakeholders and politicians have been calling for a nationwide interoperability network, which would allow responders to easily communicate with one another in the event of a disaster. President Barack Obama has called for more than $10 billion in funds to develop the network.

In related news, FCC’s Communications Security, Reliability and Interoperability Council, which provides best practices recommendations to the agency for communications systems, is scheduled to host its final meeting March 14 in Washington.

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