Arizona Utility Receives Waiver for 800 MHz Channels on Mexican Border
Thursday, November 16, 2017 | Comments

The FCC granted a request filed by the Arizona Public Service Co. (APSC) for waiver of the 800 MHz application freeze along the border with Mexico, to permit licensing and implementation of a new statewide radio system.

APSC is implementing a new Project 25 (25) radio system that will ensure reliable communications during critical outages and will improve coverage in APSC’s service area and along key transmission line corridors. The utility plans to deploy the new system in parallel with the existing system to ensure uninterrupted service, but it does not have enough spectrum to facilitate parallel operations while the new system is being tested and communications is transitioned over from the legacy system.

The FCC sought comment on the request. The Enterprise Wireless Alliance (EWA) supported the waiver request. The Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) International urged the commission to grant the waiver only if it will not negatively affect the needs of public-safety licensees during the rebanding process.

The commission said APSC has no reasonable alternative, and the utility demonstrated that a delay could have serious negative effects on its operations and the safety and welfare of the public. APSC also demonstrated that the request will not affect the 800 MHz rebanding process and committed to returning unneeded 800 MHz channels after the system replacement is complete.

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