IMSA Asks FCC to Delay 6.25 kHz Equipment Certification until 2020
Tuesday, September 27, 2016 | Comments

The FCC requested comment on a waiver request by the International Municipal Signal Association (IMSA) regarding the FCC’s rule that it no longer accepts applications for certification of Part 90 equipment in the 150 – 174 MHz and 450 – 512 MHz bands that cannot operate in a 6.25-kilohertz mode or with equivalent efficiency.

IMSA said that the implementation of the 6.25-kilohertz capability requirement should be delayed until Jan. 1, 2020, at which time the commission should reassess the decision.

The 6.25-kilohertz capability requirement originally was scheduled to take effect Jan. 1, 2011. In 2010, the FCC temporarily waived the requirement until 2013, to avoid any impediment to VHF and UHF narrowbanding by the Jan. 1, 2013, deadline. The commission noted that a public-safety interoperability standard for 6.25-kilohertz operation was still under development and stated that if standards still were not in place by January 1, 2013, interested parties could request a further extension.

In 2013, the FCC delayed implementation of the requirement until Jan. 1, 2015, to allow additional time for standards bodies to complete the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) 102 Project 25 (P25) Phase 2 standard for the public-safety sector.

In its waiver request, IMSA notes that standards for 6.25-kilohertz technology still are not in place, and the FCC subsequently eliminated the 6.25-kilohertz capability requirement for public-safety equipment in the 700 MHz band. In addition, IMSA argues that the 6.25-kilohertz capability requirement will significantly raise prices and reduce deployment, especially for volunteer firefighters and ski patrols.

IMSA also said that because public-safety users are required to continue using radios with FM analog capabilities, there is no operational need to mandate digital capabilities as well. Further, it contends the 6.25-kilohertz capability requirement could harm interoperability by allowing incompatible equipment to proliferate.

Comments are due Oct. 26, and reply comments are due Nov. 10. The full public notice is here.

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