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Chicomm Blog

Narrowbanding: Time is Running Out!

Posted by Jill McNamara on Friday, November 11, 2011
   Don't have the time or interest to read through 5 or 10 pages of Public Notice procedural data about Narrowbanding? We're going to make it simple for you by cutting out what's somewhat important and highlighting what's most important! Here's what you need to know to make sure your radios operate after January 1, 2013:
  1. Who does it apply to? The mandate applies to all VHF and UHF Public Safety and Industrial/Business licenseees using land mobile radio (LMR) systems. For those of you who have licenses with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and are operating in frequency bands below 512 MHz, you will be required to replace or reprogram your entire radio system.
  2. Planning is key. Narrowbanding of your existing radio frequency is fast approaching! With the interface we have had with existing customers, the logistics takes a long time. In addition, purchasing of equipment and getting the programming lists correct is key!! I must urge you to not hesitate in putting a narrowband implementation strategy together. The longer you wait the longer everyone waits and the process may not be completed by the last day of 2012.
  3. Don't risk a violation! If you fail to comply with the mandate it will be considered a violation subject to FCC Enforcement Bureau action, which may include admonishment, monetary fines (up to $16,000 per violation ) and loss of license.
  4. Waivers are not a good back-up plan. Don’t expect the FCC to approve waiver requests unless you have extraordinary reasons for asking for more time. To even be considered you must  also demonstrate serious efforts by providing your plan, timetable and progress made to date for implementation.

    What does this mean to you? This means you need to take a current inventory of your radios throughout your system. For some commercial users this may be two portable radios, to some public safety agencies and towns, it could mean hundreds. Taking inventory will allow you to outline budget requirements to further your plans for implementation.

    If you choose to wait and all of the radio shops in the area are currently working on scheduled customers, you could MISS THE DEADLINE. At that point, you may be in violation of your FCC license through a lapse in filing or through noncompliance. For questions about licensing or any other part of the Narrowbanding mandate, contact Chicago Communications.



Don't Wait, NOW is the time to assess your current equipment.  

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To watch a video about Narrowbanding, click here.