FCC Narrowbanding Backlog Could be Cleared by End of First Quarter (1/17/13)
Thursday, January 17, 2013 | Comments

Land mobile frequency coordinators met with the FCC this week to discuss how to handle licenses for systems in the VHF and UHF band that didn’t comply with the Jan. 1, 2013, narrowband deadline. In late 2012, the frequency coordinators recommended to ignore these systems when coordinating the new systems after Feb. 1, 2013.

FCC officials said this week that most licenses are now narrowband compliant and that the FCC is still getting waiver requests for the narrowband deadline, said Klaus Bender, senior director of standards and engineering with the Utilities Telecom Council (UTC), a member organization of the Land Mobile Communications Council (LMCC).

The commission staff urged licensees that may have narrowbanded but did not file an application to file it now. The staff said that the Gettysburg, Pa., licensing facility has a large backlog of applications related to the deadline. The FCC will likely take until the end of the first quarter to clear some of these applications. At that time, FCC staff will consider an audit of non-compliant systems, giving those licensees one last chance to comply or cancel their licenses. The FCC would also like to establish a single point of contact at its Enforcement Bureau related to narrowband compliance issues, but has yet to do so.

In the meantime, per FCC attorneys, the coordinators can’t just ignore those licenses. Until further notice, these non-compliant wideband systems will be considered as analog compliant narrowband with an emission designator similar to 11K2F3E. Another FCC public notice will be released as soon as possible detailing the FCC plans.

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