FCC Releases Notice on Motorola Petition, Reply Comments for 700 MHz Rules
Friday, December 02, 2016 | Comments

The FCC released a public notice for Motorola Solutions’ petition for partial reconsideration for the FCC’s 700 MHz narrowband service rules. Four entities filed reply comments to the 700 MHz rules.

Oppositions to a petition for reconsideration must be filed within 15 days of the public notice, and replies to an opposition must be filed within 10 days after the time for filing oppositions has expired.

Motorola Solutions filed the petition along with comments to the FCC regarding modified 700 MHz narrowband channel rules for Project 25 (P25) Compliance Assessment Program (CAP) compliance and vehicular repeater systems (VRS) in November.

The P25 CAP advisory panel (AP) reiterated in its comments that in October, the panel retracted eight of the 15 P25 CAP features that were originally submitted that should be tested. Plus, the CAP AP provided recommended replacement text for the remaining features. The CAP AP believes the remaining features are the baseline features for the 700 MHz interoperability channels.

In its reply comments, the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) International supported the new P25 CAP recommendations. “With the revised list of feature sets provided by the P25 CAP AP, all of the recommended baseline feature sets are defined by existing standards and included in the P25 CAP testing,” APCO said. “Thus, the adoption of baseline interoperability requirements should not result in additional costs, and there is no basis for delaying these steps to ensure first responders can seamlessly interoperate as was intended when the 700 MHz nationwide channels were made available to public safety.”

Regarding rule changes to allow vehicular repeater system (VRS) operation at 700 MHz, Motorola Solutions originally recommended that the FCC allow “low-power (5 watts or less), mobile-only operations on more than five channels per license without requiring trunking technology on the 700 MHz general use or state license channels.” In reply comments, Motorola Solutions removed the reference to a 5-watt threshold. “700 MHz narrowband mobile transmitters, including VRS devices, are commonly authorized to operate with powers exceeding 5 watts, and there is no technical reason to differentiate such operations with respect to the required trunking provisions of Section 90.237,” the reply comments said.

Virginia’s reply comments said no comments were filed supporting continued trunking for VRS, and said the FCC should amend its rules to exempt VRS from any trunking requirement. The commonwealth said that many VRS units can operate at 10 watts, and there is no evidence to support a 5-watt limitation.

The public notice is here. The Motorola petition is here.

The reply comments can be found here.

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