Alaska Gets Waiver for VHF Base Station Using Nonstandard Channel Centers
Thursday, November 30, 2017 | Comments

The FCC granted a request by the state of Alaska for a waiver of FCC rules to operate a new VHF base station on four channels using nonstandard channel centers.

Alaska operates a wide area VHF public-safety trunked radio system known as the Alaska Land Mobile Radio System (ALMR), which serves local, state and federal agencies throughout the state using a single shared infrastructure. The ALMR system operates using Project 25 (P25) technology and pairs about 1.5 megahertz of spectrum from the public-safety pool (150 MHz band) with an equal amount of spectrum from the federal government (138 – 144 MHz band) to create 110 channel pairs with 12.5-kilohertz bandwidth.

On Feb. 7, Alaska filed an application to add a base station to the ALMR system located in Delta Junction, Alaska. According to Alaska, users operating mobile units near Delta Junction experience coverage issues because a ridge that runs through the town shields it from the nearest ALMR base station. Therefore, Alaska seeks to license five public-safety pool channels at its proposed new base station in Delta Junction. It asked for a waiver so it can operate four of the five channels with center frequencies that are offset 2.5 kilohertz above or below the standard channel centers.

“Without the ability to operate on re-channelized public-safety pool channels, Alaska would either need to reprogram the more than 20,000 mobile units in use in its system or forgo adding a base station to its system in Delta Junction, Alaska,” the FCC’s order said. “In making our decision, we find persuasive the fact that Alaska’s frequency coordinator considered incumbents operating on the adjacent-standard channel centers as co-channel to Alaska when it coordinated Alaska’s proposed operation on offset channels.”

The full order is here.

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