The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) started the Narrowbanding proceedings, also known as Refarming, almost twenty years ago in an effort to promote more efficient spectrum use in the 150-174 MHz (VHF) and 421-512 MHz (UHF) Part 90 radio frequency bands (which include Business, Industrial, Education, Transportation, Public Safety, and State, Local, and Provincial Government two-way radio system licensees). The FCC has released numerous rulings during this time defining the requirements and mandating specific deadlines which you may need to take action on.
We are here to help you prepare for a smooth and cost-effective transition. While Motorola radios purchased in the last ten years are likely dual-mode 25/12.5 kHz, older equipment may need to be replaced. Today Motorola offers the broadest choice of two-way radio equipment, with close to 60 models capable of operating in 12.5 kHz efficiency. This document includes information on most of Motorola's 12.5 kHz products.
As of January 1, 2013, the Commission's rules will prohibit Industrial/Business and Public Safety Radio Pool licensees in the 150-174 MHz and 421-512 MHz bands from operating with wide-band channels (unless their equipment meets the narrowband efficiency standard), even if the license still lists a wide-band emission designator. Licensees operating in wide-band mode after January 1, 2013 that have not received a waiver from the Commission extending the deadline will be in violation of these rules.
Operation in violation of the Commission's rules 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.
The FCC Narrowbanding Mandate is finally here. Licensees who have not completed their narrowband migration should review the following steps:
- Take an inventory of your radios to assess what equipment is capable of operating in 12.5 kHz and what will need to be replaced. The FCC has required all radios certified since 1997 to include a 12.5 kHz efficiency mode. Therefore, most of your new equipment is likely to be dual mode (25/12.5 kHz) that can be simple converted via software by us.
- If you have pagers on your system, you will need to verify whether or not they are operating on "paging only" channels.
- Develop budget your requirements and explore possible funding options.
- Establish a conversion and implementation schedule to meet the deadline.
- Contact us to help coordinate your conversion with FCC neighboring agencies to facilitate continued interoperability among your locations and or agencies.
- Conduct tests during your conversion to ensure your system continues to provide similar coverage.
Our team at Radio Communication of Virginia can help you with the entire process. Please contact us today for assistance with your transition.