Comments Sought on Narrowbanding Waiver Request in Missouri (10/26/11)
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 | Comments

The FCC put its first VHF and UHF narrowbanding waiver request out for public comment. The commission is seeking comment on the requests of the Missouri counties of St. Louis and St. Charles and the Jefferson County (Mo.) 9-1-1 Dispatch Board and the East-West Gateway Council of Governments in Missouri for a narrowbanding waiver until Dec. 31, 2013. Comments are due Nov. 17.

The FCC’s narrowbanding mandate, which requires private land mobile radio licensees in the 150 – 174 MHz and 450 – 512 MHz bands to operate using channel bandwidth of no more than 12.5 kilohertz, is Jan. 1, 2013.

The petitioners’ waiver requests encompass multiple VHF and UHF authorizations in their respective jurisdictions. The petitioners are members of the St. Louis Urban Area, which is in the process of constructing a multicounty interoperable 800 MHz radio system.

The jurisdictions said they passed sales tax initiatives to secure funding for the new 800 MHz system, which has an FCC-approved extended implementation schedule until Dec. 31, 2013. The counties intend to transition their VHF/UHF operations that are the subject of the waiver requests onto the new system and subsequently will vacate their UHF and VHF authorizations.

However, because the new system will not be operational by the Jan. 1, 2013, narrowbanding deadline, the petitioners seek a waiver of the deadline until the end of 2013 to avoid having to divert financial, technical and administrative resources to narrowbanding of their existing VHF and UHF systems pending the transition.

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