The Enterprise Wireless Alliance (EWA) filed comments today with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) supporting a Request for Waiver submitted by Flint Hills Resources (FHR), for use of three UHF channels allocated for use by Public Safety (PS) entities due to the lack of available Industrial Business (IB) spectrum. FHR is in the process of upgrading its communications system to a Terrestrial Trunked Radio (TETRA) system. EWA certified the application for FHR which included one available IB channel and confirmed that no additional IB channels were available for the system prior to seeking inter-category approval for three public safety channels. This process of exhausting all possibilities within your own eligible allocation conforms with agreed-upon inter-category protocols among certified frequency advisory committees as well as the FCC rules.
In response to similar waiver requests, the FCC has noted that its rules governing requests for access to spectrum outside an applicant’s pool do not make a distinction between Public Safety and Industrial/Business applicants when determining need. Rather, frequency coordinators are to recommend the most appropriate frequency with no express limitation to the spectrum pool for which the applicant is eligible. The FCC has granted several waivers that allow Public Safety entities access to Industrial/Business spectrum when the applicant has demonstrated that there are no usable PS channels and that the waiver request satisfies the FCC’s standards.
“Flint Hill’s spectrum requirements are best accommodated through the spectrum solution strategies EWA has pursued. As anticipated, APCO has vocalized its reservations, but at the end of the day, the public safety channels that are available for use by Flint Hill will be used for critical purposes without affecting any current or future public safety systems,” said EWA CEO Mark Crosby.