New York Utility Urges FCC to Update Part 22 Paging Rules
Friday, June 07, 2019 | Comments

Executives from New York State Electric & Gas (NYSEG) and consulting form Trott Communications Group urged the FCC to update the Part 22 paging and radiotelephone service rules to provide greater flexibility and promote more intensive use of the band.

The proceeding has been pending for over four years since the comment period ended, and NYSEG officials said the commission should issue a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

Utilities have acquired Part 22 paging licenses through auction and the secondary market and incorporated the frequencies into their private LMR systems. At the same time, however, utilities are constrained in their ability to deploy Part 22 channels and expand their operations because of the various technical limitations imposed by certain provisions of the FCC’s rules.

“We reiterated that allowing for greater flexibility would enable utilities to make more intensive and efficient use of the band and incorporate new narrowband technological opportunities to facilitate essential utility service to their customers, provide increased coverage and capacity that will assist in maintaining the safety and reliability of the electric grid and natural gas delivery infrastructure and provide a means for data transmission to support smart grid applications for utilities,” an ex parte filing said. “It would also increase the overall use of the paging spectrum and further commission policy objectives regarding deployment of efficient and innovative technologies.”

The executives support greater flexibility with respect to the channel bandwidth and out-of-band emission limitations rules to allow licensees to use offset frequencies, especially in areas north of Line A that require frequency coordination with Canada. They also support permitting two-way mobile operations on channels allocated for one-way paging operations, authorizing mobile-to-mobile talk-around communications instead of requiring mobile stations to communicate only with and through base stations, and updating the Part 22 buildout requirements to more accurately reflect how the spectrum is used for private internal communications to support utility operations.

“We urged the FCC to conduct more frequent auctions to make additional Part 22 spectrum available under the new more flexible rules and to provide a timely mechanism for Part 22 licensees to re-acquire channels that they may have previously lost due to termination for being unable to meet the current stringent build-out requirements,” the filing said. “Finally, we discussed that the proposed changes to the Part 22 rules would not cause interference to existing operations or preclude incumbents from expanding their systems.”

The full notice is here.

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