Cantwell Hails FCC Approval of Seattle Petition

Broadband network will increase communications, interoperability for first responders

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell applauded the Federal Communications Commission’s conditional approval of Seattle’s petition for early deployment of a local interoperable, wireless broadband network for first responders. The network will be established in coordination with the FCC’s Emergency Response Interoperability Center (ERIC), which will ensure that all networks being deployed nationally are technically compatible and fully interoperable. This network will operate in the 700 MHz public safety broadband spectrum and will leverage advanced 4-G networks under development by commercial providers.
“Today’s announcement will lead to our region being safer by enabling those in public safety to use broadband communications to better protect the life, health, and property of people living in Seattle” said Senator Cantwell. “Without interoperability, a rapid response to emergencies by our law enforcement becomes increasingly difficult. I remain committed to using federal resources to help develop a nationwide broadband network to better help our first responders share time-sensitive information.” 
For approval, Seattle had to meet several conditions, including complying with technical requirements, submitting a plan for achieving and maintaining interoperability, and enter into a standard form spectrum lease with the Public Safety Spectrum Trust (PSST), which holds the national license for the public safety broadband spectrum.
Once national technical standards are established, the Seattle public safety network can be built out over a few years. Seattle intends to work with other communities in King, Pierce, Snohomish County in the planning and designing of the public safety network. There is interest in extending the Seattle network, once built, to additional communities in order to develop a regional broadband public safety network.