IMSA Request to Delay 6.25-Kilohertz Equipment Implementation Denied by FCC
Thursday, July 06, 2017 | Comments

The FCC denied a waiver request filed by the International Municipal Signal Association (IMSA) seeking to delay the implementation of 6.25-kilohertz equipment until at least Jan. 1, 2020.

In 2013, the FCC amended the rules to postpone the implementation of the 6.25-kilohertz technology or equipment until Jan. 1, 2015. The commission later eliminated the 6.25-kilohertz capability requirement for 700 MHz public-safety equipment. The prohibition against certification of private LMR (PLMR) equipment that is not capable of operating at 6.25 kilohertz for VHF and UHF bands went into effect Jan. 1, 2015.

IMSA filed its waiver request in mid-2016, arguing that the 6.25-kilohertz capability requirement would significantly raise prices and reduce deployment, especially for volunteer firefighters and ski patrols.

The commission said the record does not substantiate IMSA’s assertion that continued implementation of the 6.25-kilohertz capability requirement for PLMR equipment will significantly raise prices and reduce deployment. In its waiver request, IMSA did not quantify the requirement’s effect on equipment costs or deployment, the FCC said.

In comments filed with the FCC, the Government Wireless and Technology Association (GWTCA) and Icom America opposed the IMSA waiver request, but three other commenters agreed with the request.

“We find that resuming the certification of PLMR equipment that is not capable of operating on 6.25-kilohertz channels or with equivalent efficiency would not serve the public interest,” the order said. “Such an action would increase the embedded base of equipment that is not 6.25-kilohertz capable, and such equipment would eventually have to be replaced as part of the migration to 6.25-kilohertz technology, thus delaying the transition.”

Delaying the 6.25-kilohertz capability requirement again would be contrary to the intent of the FCC in establishing the narrowbanding rules and would frustrate the purpose of the underlying rule, the commission said.

The full order is here.

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