Guest Editorial: T-Mobile Supports Taking 'September 11th Radio Spectrum' Away. Public Safety, Let Them Know They’re Wrong… Again
Published: 9/30/2020
Author: Chuck Dowd, Assistant Chief (Retired), NYPD

Shortly after the September 11th terror attacks, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) assigned critically needed radio frequencies (4.9 GHz) nationwide to first responders. T-Mobile, in recent FCC filings, now supports taking it away from public safety for commercial use.

This isn’t the first time T-Mobile has opposed the will of Public Safety. During 2010-11, T-Mobile actively opposed the assigning of the 700 MHz D-block spectrum to first responders. Federal legislation ultimately assigned it to public safety and created the FirstNet Authority, responsible for managing the spectrum on public safety’s behalf. The legislation is supported by every Public Safety agency and organization in the U.S.

T-Mobile’s recent FCC filings state that they “reject suggestions that the spectrum be made available to AT&T.” They know that’s not public safety’s position. Two critical points are artfully left out by the attorneys at T-Mobile:

1.  No one in public safety is asking that it be assigned to AT&T -- their only concern is protecting the spectrum. One option is to assign the spectrum to the federally created FirstNet Authority and its Public Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC), which has representation from every major public safety organization. If not there, then by whatever other entity public safety determines to be the most appropriate.

2.  Public safety universally supports keeping the 4.9 spectrum for its current and future needs. We do not want to be in the position of reacting to another tragic event, answering why they permitted taking the spectrum away. You can support the effort by letting the FCC hear your voice, sign the on-line petition to protect the 4.9 spectrum.

Public Safety – protect your spectrum!

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