FCC launches public-safety narrowbanding Web page
Public-safety agencies operating LMR systems at 512 MHz and below trying to comply with the FCC mandate to migrate to 12.5 kHz channels in a little more than two years can access information to meet the requirement at the agency’s narrowbanding web page, the agency announced today.
Established by the FCC’s public safety and homeland security bureau, the Web page (www.fcc.gov/narrowbanding) provides answers to common technical and policy questions, contact information for FCC officials and public-safety frequency coordinators and a description of narrowbanding benefits for public-safety users. In addition, the page includes links to grant programs that can be used to help find funding to pay for narrowbanding, which many public-safety agencies have indicated will be a significant challenge for them.
In addition, the FCC bureau established a new e-mail box (firstname.lastname@example.org) for interested parties to use in submitting questions related to narrowbanding.
Although the FCC nixed most of the interim narrowbanding deadlines that were scheduled to become effective next month, the overall deadline of Jan. 1, 2013, for LMR systems to migrate from 25 kHz channels to 12.5 kHz channels remains in place.
“The FCC’s commitment to helping public safety make the migration to narrowband communications by the January 2013 compliance deadline remains strong,” Jamie Barnett, chief of the FCC’s public safety and homeland security bureau, said in a prepared statement. “We are at a critical juncture in this process, especially with the deadline approaching, state and local governments tightening budgets, and public safety officials working hard to explain their fiscal and technical needs to lawmakers.”
In addition to FCC-generated information, the bureau will consider putting information from other sources on the Web page, FCC spokesman Rob Kenny said.
“It certainly is a clearinghouse for the FCC to offer guidance to public safety, so we certainly would entertain any potential information that would be helpful to everyone involved,” Kenny said during an interview. “We would welcome any kind input with regard to the site and with information that others think would be helpful to the process. We might be able to post some experiences … [from entities that] have been successful.”