FCC Seeks Comment on Georgia County’s Request to Add SMR Pool Channel to Network
Monday, July 12, 2021 | Comments

The FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau (PSHSB) is seeking comment on an application by the Augusta Richmond County Consolidated Government in Georgia that seeks to modify its LMR system.

The county’s application proposed adding a new 800 MHz specialized mobile radio (SMR) pool channel to six simulcast base station repeater sites located throughout the county. In requesting the change, the county asked for a waiver of the FCC’s rules that say the requested pool channel, 857.6375 MHz is one of the 800 MHz frequencies available only to those eligible in the SMR category. Without that waiver, the county, which is a public-safety licensee, would not be eligible to license the requested SMR channel.

The county said that its LMR system has coverage limitations exacerbated by “suburban development into previously uninhabited areas.” Because of this, it plans to deploy a six-site, 10-channel simulcast system to supplement and enhance critical two-way dispatching and field communications to what it called “no coverage areas” within the city and county. The county’s current license currently only allows operation of nine simulcast channels at each of its six base station repeater sites.

In looking to expand its system, the county commissioned frequency coordinator Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) International to search for channels. In that search, APCO determined that there are no more public-safety or vacated spectrum frequencies in this area that will work at all six sites of the county’s network. Therefore, APCO identified the SMR frequency as a candidate for the new 10th channel.

Comments on the application are due July 30 and replies are due by August 16. Find the full request for comments here.

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