Narrowbanding - Phase 1


 


Are you ready?

Key points of the FCC narrowbanding mandate:

  • Most land mobile radio systems use 25 kHz-wide channels.
  • The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has mandated that all VHF & UHF land mobile licensees using 25 kHz radio systems migrate to narrowband 12.5 kHz by 11:59 pm, December 31, 2012.
  • Licensees that do NOT meet the deadlines will face the loss of their communication capabilities.

Need assistance preparing?

Our focus is providing professional services for you:

  • We can prepare an assessment to determine your needs
  • Inventory and assess existing equipment for narrowband capability
  • Develop a migration plan to minimize system downtime
  • Consider interoperability between different departments of a city/county
  • Clarify impact on wide-area mutual aid and emergency channels
  • Research alternatives for upgrading to digital paging, station alerting and siren activation
  • Explore options for upgrade to P25 (digital) systems
  • Assist in frequency coordination and FCC licensing

 


 

Consequences of Non-Compliance

 

The commission released a public notice reminding licensees, frequency coordinators, equipment vendors and other interested parties of its Jan. 1, 2013, deadline for private land mobile radio (PLMR) services in the 150 – 174 MHz and 421 – 470 MHz (VHF/UHF) bands to migrate to 12.5 kilohertz or narrower technology.

The FCC said information on narrowbanding is updated regularly and available at http://www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/narrowbanding-overview.

Potential consequences were outlined in the notice. Licensees operating in wideband mode after Jan. 1, 2013, that have not received a waiver from the FCC extending the deadline will be in violation of FCC rules and may subject licensees to appropriate enforcement action, including admonishments, license revocation, and/or monetary forfeitures of up to $16,000 for each such violation or each day of a continuing violation and up to $112,500 for any single act or failure to act.

In addition, the Land Mobile Communications Council (LMCC) which includes every FCC-certified frequency coordinator, said that effective Feb.1, 2013, frequency coordinators will treat incumbent noncompliant 25-kilohertz systems as 12.5-kilohertz systems for purposes of identifying frequency assignments for use with land mobile systems, pursuant to Section 90.18712 and other applicable commission rules, absent a pending modification application evidencing narrowbanding compliance or a pending or granted request for waiver of the deadline.

Further information regarding the FCC mandate for narrow-band emission can be found here.