Released: April 25, 2019
PS Docket Nos. 15-91, 15-94
By this Public Notice, the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau (Bureau) provides guidance to licensees of state channels in the 700 MHz public safety narrowband spectrum (769-775/799- 805 MHz), regarding their upcoming final substantial service benchmark showing. Licensees of state channels must demonstrate by June 13, 2019 that they are providing or prepared to provide “substantial service” to two-thirds of their population or territory.
Requirement to Provide Substantial Service
The Commission has designated ninety-six channel pairs (12.5 kHz bandwidth) in the 700 MHz narrowband spectrum for public safety use by states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories (state licensees). Each state licensee receives a geographic area license for those channels, covering the geopolitical boundaries of its jurisdiction. The Commission established a five-year interim benchmark and a ten-year final benchmark for state licensees to establish specified levels of substantial service within their statewide license areas. The due date for the ten-year final benchmark showing is June 13, 2019. By this date, state licensees must certify that they are providing or are prepared to provide “substantial service” to two-thirds of their population or territory.
“Substantial service” is defined as the construction and operation of facilities on state channels which is “sound, favorable, and substantially above a level of mediocre service which just might minimally warrant renewal.” The construction and operation of facilities means that a state licensee has constructed facilities on state license channels that are operational as of the date of certification.
A state licensee is deemed “prepared” to provide substantial service if it certifies that a radio system on state license channels, which system will provide service to two-thirds of the licensee’s jurisdictional area or population, has been approved and funded by the deadline date.