FCC Chairman Kevin Martin has expressed concern for the portion of the 700 MHz spectrum that has been set aside for the creation of a national public safety network. The most vocal contender was Frontline Wireless, which recently closed up shop, most likely due to lack of funding.
The 700 MHz spectrum auction is scheduled to begin in less than two weeks, and Martin has said that he hopes another company will express interest in the public safety network project. Martin reportedly told a group of reporters, that he is “still hopeful” that an interested party “will emerge as being willing to take on that challenge.”
The license in the D-Band will cost at least $1.3 billion and analysts speculate that only an established player in the industry will be able to come up with enough capital to purchase the license and then build the network. If the minimum bid is not met for the D-Block, then that portion of the spectrum will be re-auctioned without the same conditions. Not necessarily endangering the creation of a national emergency network, but not guaranteeing anything either.
The FCC has currently awarded the Public Safety Spectrum Trust (PSST) as a sort of guardian of the D-Block license, requiring the winning bidder work with the Trust to ensure that the network meet the needs of the public safety community.
While the PSST has not said anything specifically about Frontline bowing out the race, it has said that it hopes the FCC will continue to do all that it can to support the public-private partnership concept for the creation of a public safety network.
Filed Under: Infrastructure