FCC meets with frequency coordinators on narrowband
This week, I participated with Part 90 frequency coordinators in a discussion with FCC personnel concerning how those licensees who have failed to narrowband their VHF and UHF systems (and did not receive a waiver) should be treated.
As you may recall, the coordinators (through the Land Mobile Communications Council) told the FCC that they would treat such systems as non-existent beginning February 1, 2013. In response, the FCC requested some amendment to that position.
The FCC reports that, as of this moment, most systems are in compliance. However, the Commission continues to receive waiver requests, which they are sorting through. Given the huge number of applications still pending with the commission, this process will likely take several months to conclude. Until that process has been completed, and pending further review of the situation by the FCC, the commission has asked the coordinators to treat these non-compliant systems as if they are narrowband systems.
In addition, the commission reports that they are working on establishing a single point of contact for narrowbanding-related enforcement issues. Further, the commission is discussing a methodology to conduct a licensee audit to determine whether non-compliant licensees are still in operation (and in what format) or whether their licenses should be cancelled.
These steps are positive ones towards ensuring compliance and maximizing spectrum for new systems. However, licensees who were unable to timely comply are encouraged by the FCC to still file waiver requests.
What do you think? Tell us in the comment box below.
Alan Tilles is counsel to hundreds of entities in the wireless industry. He is a partner in the law firm of Shulman Rogers Gandal Pordy & Ecker and can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @landmobilelaw.