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Iowa Department of Public Safety Narrowband Order

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Released: December 10, 2012

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1981

Before the

Federal Communications Commission

Washington, D.C. 20554

In the Matter of
)
)
Iowa Department of Public Safety
)
WT Docket 99-87
Iowa Department of Natural Resources
)
)
Requests for Waiver of Section 90.209(b) of the
)
Commission’s Rules
)

ORDER

Adopted: December 10, 2012

Released: December 10, 2012

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

I.

INTRODUCTION

1.
The Iowa Department of Public Safety (DPS) and the Iowa Department of Natural
Resources,1 submitted a request for waiver, until November 14, 2014, of the Commission’s VHF/UHF
narrowbanding deadline, which requires private land mobile radio licensees in the 150-174 MHz and 421-
512 MHz bands to operate using channel bandwidth of no more than 12.5 kHz, or equivalent efficiency,
by January 1, 2013.2 By this Order, we grant the Waiver Request.

II.

BACKGROUND

2.
The Iowa DPS is Iowa’s largest and most comprehensive state law enforcement agency
and provides backup and assistance to the municipal and county law enforcement agencies in Iowa, as
well as several other state law enforcement agencies with more limited scope of authority.3


1 See Iowa DPS Waiver Request, filed January 4, 2012, by the Iowa Department of Public Safety (Waiver Request).
On August 23, 2012, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources petitioned the Public Safety and Homeland
Security Bureau to add ten of its authorizations to the Waiver Request. See email, dated August 23, 2012 from
Robert O. Garrison, Chief, Law Enforcement Bureau, Iowa Department of Natural Resources to Roberto
Mussenden, Federal Communications Commission (FCC). See also 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, RM-9332, 19 FCC Rcd 25045 (2004).
2 See 47 C.F.R. § 90.209(b)(5); see also 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, RM-9332, 19 FCC Rcd 25045 (2004). On April 26, 2012, the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, Public
Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, and Office of Engineering and Technology waived the January 1, 2013
narrowbanding deadline for 470-512 MHz band frequencies. See 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, Order, WT Docket No. 99-87, RM-9332, 27 FCC Rcd 4213 (WTB/PSHSB/OET 2012).
3 Waiver Request at 1.

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1981

3.
In accordance with a plan that has been in place since 2008, the Iowa DPS has
narrowbanded its in-car radios 4 and thirty-one repeater sites, which serve local law enforcement agencies,
Iowa Department of Transportation, Iowa Department of Corrections, Iowa Department of Natural
Resources law enforcement bureaus, and several federal agencies.5
4.
Iowa DPS also uses a vehicular repeater system (VRS) that extends its portable radio
coverage when an officer is outside the vehicle in which the VRS is installed.6 The VRS converts the
portable UHF signal to mobile VHF. The current VRS is crystal controlled, is not narrowband compliant,
and cannot be made narrowband compliant.7 Iowa DPS has purchased new mobile multiband radios with
an integral VRS feature.8 When a full complement of these new radios is purchased and installed, the
entire Iowa DPS system will be fully narrowband-compliant. The VRS system is critical to Iowa DPS’s
radio communications because of its system’s limited mobile [sic] coverage. Iowa DPS’s new multiband
radios provide full interoperability with all Iowa law enforcement agencies. 9
5.
The Iowa Legislature appropriated funding for the upgrade of the Iowa DPS system in
three fiscal-year commitments.10 Iowa DPS used the first year’s appropriation to upgrade its towers and
upgrade its infrastructure to narrowband standards.11 However, the first year’s appropriated funds were
not adequate to purchase a full complement of mobile radios. Consequently, Iowa DPS was able to
acquire only 100 of the new multiband radios with the integral VRS during the first year. 12 It has funding
commitments for obtaining the remaining new radios,13 but the funding is spread over the next two years.
In September, 2012 the Iowa DPS issued a request for proposals to obtain the remaining radios.14
6.
On January 27, 2012, the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau (Bureau) issued a
Public Notice seeking comment on the Waiver Request.15 No party filed comments in support or
opposition.

III.

DISCUSSION

7.
The Iowa DPS seeks relief pursuant to Section 1.925 of the Commission’s rules, which
provides that 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


4 Id. at 1-2.
5 Id. at 1-2. See also email, dated September 11, 2012 from Sergeant Thomas Lampe, Interoperability Office, Iowa
State Patrol to Roberto Mussenden, FCC.
6 Waiver Request at 1.
7 Id.
8 Id.
9 Id.
10 Id. at 2.
11 Id.
12 Id.
13 Id.
14 See email, dated September 19, 2012 from Sergeant Thomas Lampe, Interoperability Office, Iowa State Patrol to
Roberto Mussenden, FCC.
15 See Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau Seeks Comment on Requests for Waiver of the January 1, 2013
VHF-UHF Narrowbanding Deadline, Public Notice, DA 12-90 (PSHSB 2012).
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Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1981

present case, and that a grant of the waiver would be in the public interest;16 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.17
8.
Applying this standard to narrowbanding, we stated in the Narrowbanding Waiver
Guidance Notice, jointly issued by the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, the Public Safety and
Homeland Security Bureau, and the Office of Engineering and Technology, that narrowbanding waiver
requests “will be subject to a high level of scrutiny” under the waiver standard.18 We have also provided
recommended guidance on the factors that licensees should address in their requests and have
recommended that in addressing these factors, licensees should seek to demonstrate that “(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.”19
9.
Based on the record before us, we conclude that the Iowa DPS has presented sufficient
facts to meet the standard for grant of the requested waiver. The record shows that the DPS has been
diligently working to complete narrowbanding of its system since 2008.20 While it has completed the
majority of the work, we recognize Iowa DPS’s need for additional time to purchase and install
narrowband VRS equipment. We believe a denial of this temporary waiver of the narrowband deadline
would not be in the public interest as it would prevent DPS officers from using their VRS equipment,
which would drastically curtail their ability to operate away from their vehicles, endangering bother their
safety and that of the general public. In addition, we find that strict enforcement of the narrowbanding
deadline, given that the Iowa DPS has narrowbanded the majority of its equipment, including its
infrastructure, would only server to delay the full implementation of a state-wide interoperable system,
which would not be in the public interest.

IV.

CONCLUSION

10.
Based on the foregoing, we conclude that grant of the waiver is in the public interest.
Accordingly, we grant a waiver of the Commission’s January 1, 2013 VHF/UHF narrowbanding deadline
for the agencies and call signs listed in Appendix A, until November 14, 2014.


16 47 C.F.R. § 1.925(b)(3)(i).
17 47 C.F.R. § 1.925(b)(3)(ii).
18 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 (2011) (Narrowbanding Waiver Guidance Notice).
19 Id. at 9649.
20 See Waiver Request at 1-2.
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Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1981

V.

ORDERING CLAUSES

11.
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 filed by the Iowa Department of Public Safety IS
GRANTED.
12.
This action is taken under delegated authority pursuant to Sections 0.191 and 0.392 of the
Commission’s rules, 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.191, 0.392.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Zenji Nakazawa
Deputy Chief, Policy and Licensing Division
Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau
Scot Stone
Deputy Chief, Mobility Division
Wireless Telecommunications Bureau
4

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1981

Appendix A: List of Affected Call Signs

Iowa DPS

KTD386
WPJW450
KUV804
WPCB710
WQPK449
KB79675 WXF810
KUV805
WPGB661
KKW287 WZN406
KUV806
WPHB834
KNAB310 KA48199
KUV807
WPJQ575
KNDX339 KAR788
KUV808
WSL657
KNFF623 KBC886
KUV809
WSL658
KNFH917 KBR494
KUV810
WXB982
KNHM284 KBR495
KUV811
WZT865
KQT919
KBR496
KUV812
WNLW767
KTM994 KBR497
KUV813
KLX898
KU2221
KBR498
KUV814
KIT886
KVN739
KCL345
KUV815
KNEC924
KVN740
KFQ895
KUX297
KQ7633
KVS221
KNCJ905
KVJ952
WNND396
KW6940
KNED336
KYN902
WNXS958
KWE492 KRJ719
KYU883
WPNV369
KYG600
KUV795
WBE366
WPNW779
KYO306
KUV796
WGP694
WPQB829
WNED230 KUV797
WNCJ786
WRL641
WNKU889 KUV798
WNKE604
WPVS847
WNQH554 KUV799
WNKN422
WPXI490
WNQN259 KUV800
WNXR506
WPXI491
WPAV481 KUV801
WNXS930
WPXI696
WPGW547KUV802
WNXS931
WQEW364*
WPGX506 KUV803
WNXS932
WQMC788*
*IG License

Iowa DNR

KNAQ899

KNJL374

KNJR712

KQ7730

KX6370
KZB323
WPEH830
WPFF986
WPIY575
WXR326
5

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