Skip Navigation

Federal Communications Commission

English Display Options

Commission Document

Grants waiver request of Section 90.209(b) of the Commission's Rules‚

Download Options

Released: November 9, 2012

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1812

Before the

Federal Communications Commission

Washington, D.C. 20554

In the Matter of
)
)
PENNSYLVANIA STATE POLICE
)
WT Docket 99-87
)
Request for Waiver of Section 90.209(b) of the
)
Commission’s Rules
)

ORDER

Adopted: November 9, 2012

Released: November 9, 2012

By the Deputy Chief, Policy and Licensing Division, Public Safety and Homeland Security
Bureau:

I.

INTRODUCTION

1.
On January 25, 2012, the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) submitted a request for
waiver1 of the Commission’s VHF/UHF narrowbanding deadline, which requires private land
mobile radio licenses in the 150-174 MHz and 450-512 MHz bands to operate using channel
bandwidth of no more than 12.5 kHz, or equivalent efficiency, by January 1, 2013.2 PSP seeks a
one-year extension of the narrowbanding deadline until and including December 31, 2013.3 By
this Order, we grant the request.

II.

BACKGROUND

2.
PSP began its migration from a legacy VHF system to an 800 MHz system,
known as the Pennsylvania Statewide Radio Network (PA-STARNET), in 2006 and completed a
statewide upgrade to the 800 MHz system as its primary dispatch and communications system in
2010.4 According to PSP, however, site selection and acquisition issues, along with vendor


1 See Request for Waiver of Commission Rules, filed January 25, 2012, by the Pennsylvania State Police
(Waiver Request). See also Update Regarding Request for Waiver of Commission Rules, filed August 17,
2012, by the Pennsylvania State Police (Update); Implementation of Sections 309(j) and 337 of the
Communications Act of 1934 as Amended; Promotion of Spectrum Efficient Technologies on Certain Part
90 Frequencies, Third Memorandum Opinion and Order and Third Further Notice of Proposed Rule
Making and Order
, WT Docket No. 99-87, 19 FCC Rcd 25045 (2004).
2 47 C.F.R. § 90.209(b)(5). Licensees in the T-Band (450-512 MHz) are exempt from the narrowbanding
requirement, effective April 26, 2012. See Wireless Telecommunications Bureau and Public Safety and
Homeland Security Bureau Suspend the Acceptance and Processing of Certain Part 22 and 90 Applications
for 470-512 MHz (T-Band) Spectrum, Public Notice, 27 FCC Rcd 4218 (WTB/PSHSB 2012).
3 Update at 1. PSP originally sought a two-year extension, but later amended its request to a one-year
extension.
4 Id. at 2, 3.

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1812

hardware and software problems have prevented PSP from fully evaluating the performance of
the new 800 MHz system by the Commission’s January 1, 2013 narrowbanding deadline.5
3.
PSP states that its 800 MHz system is incomplete and experiences most outages
in areas where rough terrain inhibits construction of fully hardened sites.6 PSP has added fully
hardened 800 MHz sites over the past few years to increase interoperability, and 217 of such sites
currently provide coverage to 85 percent of Pennsylvania’s total land area.7 PSP wishes to retain
its legacy VHF system until the 800 MHz PA-STARNET system is fully tested.8 In 2011 PSP
and the Pennsylvania Office of Public Radio Services (OPRS) evaluated the feasibility of
maintaining the current VHF system on an interim basis.9 Because its existing VHF radio system
consists of 2,500 mobile units, 1,200 portable units, 80 dispatch systems, and 109 VHF base
stations,10 PSP and OPRS determined that it would be cost-prohibitive to completely narrowband
the statewide VHF system, given that PSP plans to decommission this system once the 800 MHz
PA-STARNET system is completed.11 Accordingly, PSP seeks a waiver to continue to use its
existing VHF system beyond the Commission’s January 1, 2013 narrowbanding deadline, until its
800 MHz system is fully operable on December 31, 2013.
4.
At the time PSP filed its Waiver Request, in January, 2012, PSP had already
developed the fundamental system requirements for PA-STARNET, which consists of 248 high
profile radio tower sites and 739 microcell sites, with 44 more sites in the design stage.12 Since
then, PSP has improved its VHF system by purchasing some narrowband-compliant mobile
radios and dispatch equipment, and has secured narrowband emission designators for its licenses.
It estimates that these improvements to the VHF system will be complete by the end of 2012.13
PSP also included funding for narrowband-compliant equipment in its budget for Fiscal Year
2012-2013.14
5.
PSP does not anticipate any negative effects on other licensees if its waiver
request is granted.15 PSP argues that, absent the challenges it faced in implementing a complex,
statewide 800 MHz system, it would not have required the requested waiver.16 PSP also argues
that denying the waiver would punish a licensee that has made good-faith efforts to accomplish
the Commission’s objectives.17 Lastly, PSP claims that denial of a waiver would be detrimental
to its State Troopers and Pennsylvania citizens as a whole.18


5 Id. at 3.
6 Id. at 4.
7 Id. at 4.
8 Id. at 3-5.
9 Id. at 5.
10 Id. at 1.
11 Waiver Request at 2, 5.
12 Id. at 3.
13 Id. at 5; Update at 1.
14 Waiver Request at 6.
15 Id. at 7.
16 Id. at 9.
17 Id.
18 Id.
2

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1812

6.
On January 27, 2012, the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau issued a
Public Notice seeking comment on the Waiver Request.19 No party filed comments in support or
opposition.

III.

DISCUSSION

7.
PSP seeks relief pursuant to Section 1.925(b) of the Commission’s rules, which
provides that, in order to obtain a waiver of the Commission’s rules, a petitioner must
demonstrate either that: (i) the underlying purpose of the rule(s) would not be served or would be
frustrated by application to the present case, and that a grant of the waiver would be in the public
interest;20 or (ii) in view of unique or unusual factual circumstances of the instant case,
application of the rule(s) would be inequitable, unduly burdensome, or contrary to the public
interest, or the applicant has no reasonable alternative.21
8.
The Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, the Public Safety and Homeland
Security Bureau, and the Office of Engineering and Technology stated in the jointly issued
Narrowbanding Waiver Guidance Notice, that “requests for waivers of the deadline (under
§ 1.925) will be subject to a high level of scrutiny.”22 The notice suggests factors for licensees to
include in a request for a waiver.23 In addressing those factors, the notice specifically
recommends that licensees explain how: (i) they have worked diligently and in good faith to
narrowband their systems expeditiously; (ii) their specific circumstances warrant a temporary
extension of the deadline; and (iii) the amount of time for which a waiver is requested is no more
than is reasonably necessary to complete the narrowbanding process.24
9.
Based on the facts before us, we find that PSP warrants waiver relief because it
has demonstrated that the underlying purpose of the narrowbanding rule—promoting efficient
spectrum use—would not be served or would be frustrated by application to the present case, and
that a grant of the waiver would be in the public interest.27 In reaching this decision, we find that
PSP has exercised due diligence and shown good faith in its effort to migrate from its VHF
system to the 800 MHz PA-STARNET system.25 We also recognize that this transition was
hindered by hardware and software issues with the 800 MHz system and that geographic
constraints have hindered its overall migration efforts, thus justifying a temporary extension of
the narrowbanding deadline.26


19 See Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau Seeks Comment on Requests for Waiver of the
January 1, 2013 VHF-UHF Narrowbanding Deadline, Public Notice, 27 FCC Rcd. 430 (PSHSB 2012).
20 47 C.F.R. § 1.925(b)(3)(i).
21 § 1.925(b)(3)(ii).
22 Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, and Office of
Engineering and Technology Provide Reminder of January 1, 2013 Deadline for Transition to Narrowband
Operations in the 150-174 MHz and 421-512 MHz Bands and Guidance for Submission of Requests for
Waiver and Other Matters, Public Notice, 26 FCC Rcd. 9647, 9648 (PSHSB, OET, WTB 2011) (Reminder
and Guidance Notice
).
23 Id. at 9649.
24 Id.
27 See 47 C.F.R. § 1.925(b)(3)(i).
25 Waiver Request at 3.
26 Id. at 4.
3

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1812

10.
We also find that grant of the waiver is in the public interest, as it will provide
PSP with a reasonable amount of time to complete its ongoing narrowbanding process via
migration to the 800 MHz PA-STARNET system, while allowing the existing VHF system to
maintain interoperability without adversely affecting other licensees.27 We also find that PSP’s
request for an extension of the deadline by one year is warranted because it is no longer than is
reasonably necessary to complete the transition to its 800 MHz system.28

IV.

CONCLUSION

11.
Based on the foregoing, we conclude that granting the requested waiver is in the
public interest. Accordingly, we grant PSP a waiver of the Commission’s January 1, 2013
VHF/UHF narrowbanding deadline, until and including December 31, 2013, for the call signs set
forth in Appendix A.

V.

ORDERING CLAUSES

12.
Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED pursuant to Section 4(i) of the Communications
Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. § 154(i), and Section 1.925(b)(3)(i) of the Commission’s
rules, 47 C.F.R. § 1.925(b)(3)(i), that the Request for Waiver of Commission Rules filed by the
Pennsylvania State Police IS GRANTED.
13.
We take this action under delegated authority pursuant to Sections 0.191 and
0.392 of the Commission’s rules, 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.191 and 0.392.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Zenji Nakazawa
Deputy Chief, Policy and Licensing Division
Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau


27 Waiver Request at 7.
28 Update at 1.
4

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1812

Appendix A: List of Affected Call Signs

Pennsylvania State Police VHF Call Signs

KAP963
KXH325
KXH355
KXH385
WPAR858
WYF420
KB46156
KXH326
KXH356
KXH386
WPDI891
WYF421
KDN501
KXH328
KXH361
KXH387
WPDM594
WYF422
KLE766
KXH329
KXH362
KXH388
WPDX281
WYF423
KM2926
KXH330
KXH363
KXH389
WPFA965
WYF424
KN6259
KXH331
KXH364
KXH390
WPGX918
WYF426
KN9796
KXH332
KXH365
KXM889
WPJP607
WYF427
KNNG311
KXH333
KXH366
KXM890
WPJP609
WYF428
KNNG312
KXH334
KXH367
KXM891
WPKU625
KNNG313
KXH335
KXH368
KXM893
WPTB419
KNNG314
KXH336
KXH370
KXO901
WQGL628
KSK964
KXH337
KXH371
KXO903
WQGL629
KSO688
KXH338
KXH372
KXO906
WQGL632
KSO710
KXH339
KXH373
KXO915
WQGL634
KSO727
KXH340
KXH375
KXO921
WQGL635
KXH312
KXH342
KXH376
KXO922
WQGL636
KXH315
KXH343
KXH377
KXO932
WQGL638
KXH316
KXH344
KXH378
KXU261
WQGN636
KXH317
KXH345
KXH379
KZC557
WQHA456
KXH318
KXH346
KXH380
KZC686
WQHX837
KXH319
KXH348
KXH381
WDQ898
WQIE564
KXH320
KXH351
KXH382
WNWP460
WQJS621
KXH321
KXH352
KXH383
WNYZ968
WQKR950
KXH322
KXH353
KXH384
WNZN651
WYE866
5

Note: We are currently transitioning our documents into web compatible formats for easier reading. We have done our best to supply this content to you in a presentable form, but there may be some formatting issues while we improve the technology. The original version of the document is available as a PDF, Word Document, or as plain text.

close
FCC

You are leaving the FCC website

You are about to leave the FCC website and visit a third-party, non-governmental website that the FCC does not maintain or control. The FCC does not endorse any product or service, and is not responsible for, nor can it guarantee the validity or timeliness of the content on the page you are about to visit. Additionally, the privacy policies of this third-party page may differ from those of the FCC.