Idaho City Gets Waiver for 700 MHz Wideband Mobile Data System
Wednesday, August 30, 2017 | Comments

The FCC granted a waiver to the city of Post Falls, Idaho, to allow the city to operate its wideband mobile data system on channels in the portion of the 700 MHz band reserved for public-safety narrowband systems.

Post Falls operates an 11-year old, 50-kilohertz bandwidth, wideband mobile data system that provides emergency communications to its police officers in the field throughout Kootenai County, Idaho.

The city operates its mobile data system on a channel in the 768 – 769/798 – 799 MHz guard band that separates the broadband spectrum block licensed to the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) from the 769 – 775/799 – 805 MHz public-safety narrowband spectrum block.

Post Falls included a letter with its application from its frequency coordinator, the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials (APCO) International, which indicates that based on its search results there are no existing licenses on the co-channel or adjacent channels proposed in this application, and it does not appear that the proposed channels would adversely reduce the availability of narrowband channels for other operations.

The FCC said the request to relocate its mobile data system to the narrowband segment of the band serves the public interest because the relocation will assist FirstNet in clearing incumbents from its licensed spectrum so it can deploy the nationwide public-safety broadband network as directed by Congress.

FCC rules limit public-safety systems operating in the narrowband spectrum to a maximum channel bandwidth of 25 kilohertz. The commission said it would be unduly costly and burdensome to require Post Falls to reduce its system bandwidth to 25 kilohertz, because its wideband system needs a minimum channel bandwidth of 50 kilohertz to support current data throughput rates to each patrol car it serves.

The full order is here.

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