New Rule to License Public-Safety Radios on Federal Interop Channels Kicks In
Thursday, August 30, 2018 | Comments

The FCC released a public notice announcing that rule Section 90.251, which codifies a new procedure for public-safety entities to license mobile and portable radios on the federal interoperability channels, became effective Aug. 29.

In March, the commission released an order that amended the its rules to conform to a new streamlined procedure for nonfederal public-safety entities to license and use the 40 channels that the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) designated for interoperability. The rule changes included adopting new Section 90.25, which lists the federal interoperability channels to which the new streamlining process applies.

Pursuant to Section 90.25, an applicant seeking to license mobile or portable radios on any of the federal interoperability channels must include a concurrence letter from its statewide interoperability coordinator (SWIC) or state-appointed official with its application. The requirement for applicants to obtain written concurrence from its SWIC or state appointed official and include that concurrence with its application constitutes a new information collection subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), Public Law 104-13.5.

The FCC can now accept and grant applications for the federal interoperability channels filed in accordance with the procedure described in Section 90.25. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number for the information collection requirement detailed in Section 90.25 is 3060- 1257.

The FCC indicated that Section 90.25 would become effective only after OMB review and approval, and the commission received OMB approval Aug. 13. It published an announcement of that OMB approval in the Federal Register Aug. 29, and the rule is now effective.

The FCC may grant applications for the federal interoperability channels from eligible public-safety entities that include a concurrence letter from their SWIC or state-appointed official with their application.

The new simplified procedure applies only to mobile or portable radio units — not to base stations — used by nonfederal licensees on the federal interoperability channels.

The full public notice is here.

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