The FCC is giving the New York City Fire Department access to more spectrum on a temporary basis as it dispatches critical personnel in the fight against the coronavirus.
The FCC's Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau granted special temporary authority (STA) to expand capacity and coverage of the department's communications systems, using the T-band spectrum that FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has said should remain in first responders' hands, rather than auctioned as a current law directs. Legislators on both sides of the aisle agree that auction should not happen.
The 2012 Middle Classs Tax Relief and Job Creation Bill directed the FCC to auction that spectrum.
“During this national crisis, public safety communications—including the ability to dispatch first responders using emergency radios—are more critical than ever,” said Pai. “This additional spectrum access will help ensure that New York’s emergency communications networks do not become overwhelmed and can continue to work smoothly. We are granting use of additional frequencies to help New York City’s heroic first responders carry out their life-saving work.”