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Monterey County, California Narrowband Waiver

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Released: August 10, 2012

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1299

Before the

Federal Communications Commission

Washington, D.C. 20554

In the Matter of
)
)
Monterey County, California
)
WT Docket 99-87
)
Request for Waiver of Section 90.209(b) of the
)
Commission’s Rules
)
)

ORDER

Adopted: August 10, 2012

Released: August 10, 2012

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

I.

INTRODUCTION

1.
We have before us the request of Monterey County, California (the County),1 for a
waiver until July 1, 2013, of the Commission’s January 1, 2013 VHF/UHF narrowbanding deadline,
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 kHz or equivalent efficiency by January 1, 2013.2
The County seeks a waiver for itself and on behalf of all local agencies participating in the Next
Generation (NGEN) radio system.3 By this Order, we grant the Waiver Request.

II.

BACKGROUND

2.
The County and other members of the NGEN radio systems currently operate a number
of separate conventional radio channels.4 In 2006, the County Board of Supervisors approved a plan
recommending regionalization of all public radio systems.5 On May 22, 2007, the Board of Supervisors
approved a Request For Proposal (RFP) to develop a regional system.6 Developing the system
requirements, including getting a commitment from the member agencies to fund the system took over
two years and on June 1, 2009 the County released an RFP soliciting turnkey proposals for the design and


1 See Request for FCC Narrowband Deadline Waiver, filed December 20, 2011 (Waiver Request). 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 47 C.F.R § 90.209(b).
3 Members of the NGEN radio system include the County of Monterey, Cities of Carmel-by-the-Sea, Del Rey Oaks,
Gonzales, Greenfield, King City, Marina, Monterey, Pacific Grove, Salinas, Seaside, Sand City and Soledad,
Monterey Regional Fire Protection District, North County Fire Protection Districts, Spreckels Volunteer Fire
Company and Big Sur Volunteer Fire Brigade. Governance of the NGEN radio system is facilitated through the
Emergency Communications User Advisory Council (ECUAC). Waiver Request at 1.
4 See Table 1, Waiver Request at 4-9.
5 Waiver Request at 1.
6 Waiver Request at 1-2.

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1299

implementation of the NGEN radio system.7 The County awarded the contract to Harris Corporation in
2010.8 The NGEN system, as currently designed, will have a P25 VHF trunked subsystem, a P25 700
MHz trunked subsystem and analog VHF conventional paging and overlay subsystem. The NGEN
system is funded directly by member agencies with support from federal grants included the U.S.
Department of Justice Community Oriented Policing (COPS) Technology Grant Program and the
Assistance for Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program.9
3.
The original plan was to complete and cutover to the NGEN system prior to January 1,
2013; but two of the essential radio sites are experiencing an extended regulatory review process
including compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and National Historic
Preservation Act (NHPA).10 The current schedule has system cutover beginning in late May 2013 and a
final acceptance date of August 5, 2013.11 The County recognizes that it may need to seek an additional
extension, i.e., beyond August 5, 2013, of the waiver for some call signs.12
4.
On January 27, 2012, the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau (Bureau) issued a
Public Notice seeking comment on the Waiver Request.13 No party filed comments specifically in
support of or in opposition to the County’s request.

III.

DISCUSSION

5.
The County 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
present case, and that a grant of the waiver would be in the public interest;14 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.15 Applying
this standard to narrowbanding, we have 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.16 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


7 Id.
8 Id at 2.
9 Id.
10 Id.
11 Email, dated April 24, 2012 from Zack Sterngold, project manager NEGN to Roberto Mussenden, Federal
Communications Commission.
12 Id.
13 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 (rel. Jan. 27, 2012).
14 47 C.F.R. § 1.925(b)(3)(i).
15 47 C.F.R. § 1.925(b)(3)(ii).
16 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).
2

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DA 12-1299

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.”17
6.
Based on the record before us, we conclude that the County has presented sufficient facts
to meet the high standard for grant of the requested waiver. The record shows that the County has planned
since 2009 to upgrade its VHF system.18 Given the level of interference NGEN entities currently
experience due to spectral congestion,19 the 2011 decision to migrate to the NGEN system will increase
the reliability of public safety communications in the region20
7.
We recognize that narrowbanding a public safety radio system is not an insignificant
endeavor since it requires not only retuning or replacing all of a systems radios but also scheduling this
work to ensure that the system remains operational during the transition. Given the number of discrete
agencies, call signs, and frequencies that are the subject of this waiver,21 we recognize that strict
application of the narrowband deadline would require the County and the NGEN agencies to expend
significant financial and administrative resources to narrowband their existing VHF/UHF wideband
facilities by January 1, 2013, even though they plan migrate to the NGEN system no more than seven
months later. We conclude that strict enforcement of the narrowbanding deadline under these
circumstances would not serve the underlying purpose of the rule and that a waiver would be in the public
interest. In reaching this conclusion, we place significant weight on the showing that the County has
made with respect to the factors identified in our Narrowbanding Waiver Guidance Notice.22
8.
The County and the NGEN agencies have shown diligence in planning for and
implementing their transition to the 700 MHz band, which will enable them to decommission their
existing wideband facilities and vacate their VHF/UHF frequencies.23 Further, the system is fully
funded.24 Under these circumstances, we conclude that the eight-month waiver period requested by the
County is no more than is reasonably necessary.25
9.
Moreover, the record does not indicate that grant of the waiver will harm neighboring
systems or impair interoperability during the waiver period.26 No party opined that grant of the waiver
will have any negative impact on co-channel or adjacent channel VHF/UHF operations.


17 Id. at 9649.
18 Waiver Request at 1.
19 Waiver Request at 2.
20 Id. at 1, 3.
21 See Table 1, Waiver Request at 4-9.
22 Waiver Request at 1-3.
23 See Waiver Request at 1. See also Narrowbanding Waiver Guidance Notice, 26 FCC Rcd 9647, 9649.
24 Waiver Request at 2.
25 See Narrowbanding Waiver Guidance Notice, 26 FCC Rcd at 9649 (waiver applicant should show that “the
amount of time for which a waiver is requested is no more than is reasonably necessary to complete the
narrowbanding process”).
26 See id (waiver applicant should show “[p]lans to minimize the negative impact of extended wideband operations
on co-channel and adjacent channel operations”). The County contends that grant will have no impact on
neighboring jurisdictions. Waiver Request at 4.
3

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1299

IV.

CONCLUSION

10.
Based on the foregoing, we conclude that grant of the waiver is in the public interest.
Accordingly, we grant Monterey County a waiver of the Commission’s January 1, 2013 VHF/UHF
narrowbanding deadline until July 31, 2013. We list the entities and call signs that are subject to this
waiver in a table attached to this order.

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) of the Commission’s rules, 47 C.F.R.
§ 1.925(b)(3), that the Request for Waiver filed by Monterey County, California 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
Thomas J. Beers
Chief, Policy and Licensing Division
Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau
4

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1299

Table 1: Licenses Subject to Waiver

Licensee

FRN

Call Sign

Frequency (MHz)

154.725
154.785
154.815
155.190
155.490
155.535
155.595
155.730
Monterey, County of
0004120390
KA5117
155.910
155.970
156.015
158.805
158.850
158.910
159.090
159.180
159.210
KAQ361
KDK98
KHQ52
KJN825
KKO50
KMA600
KMH974
KNIS913
155.730
Monterey, County of
0004120390
WAG42
159.090
WHL62
WNUA302
WQNJ481
WQNJ482
WQNJ484
WQNL864
WQNL866
155.730
159.090
Monterey, County of
0004120390
KMA393
453.5875
458.5875
155.595
155.670
Monterey, County of
0004120390
KMA809
155.730
158.850
159.090
Monterey, County of
0004120390
KNIS912
155.730
155.595
155.730
Monterey, County of
0004120390
WBF95
158.910
159.090
5

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1299

Licensee

FRN

Call Sign

Frequency (MHz)

154.725
154.785
154.815
Monterey, County of
0004120390
WNKV646
155.595
155.730
158.910
159.090
154.755
155.730
King, City of
0004514824
WBM79
156.015
158.805
159.090
452.225
Monterey, County of
0004120390
WNCH891
457.225
KIJ495
155.595
Monterey, County of
0004120390
WCM521
158.910
WGP788
154.725
154.785
Monterey, County of
0004120390
WGC325
154.815
155.595
155.190
Monterey, County of
0004120390
KIB393
155.970
159.210
153.965
Monterey, County of
0004120390
WQBB989
155.085
Monterey, County of -
0004513792
WNMC399
153.965
DRO
453.750
Monterey, County of
0004120390
WPGT646
458.750
Monterey, County of
0004120390
KVP571
155.535
KVP572
155.490
Monterey, County of
0004120390
KVR941
155.535
WSZ35
154.785
Monterey, City of
0001541234
WSZ29
154.815
WSZ31
Monterey, City of
0001541234
WPBS270
154.860
155.160
Monterey, City of
0001541234
WPJZ458
155.235
155.280
453.2750
453.4500
453.4750
Monterey, City of
0001541234
WPWY867
458.2750
458.4500
458.4750
154.725
Monterey, County of
0004120390
WAH323
154.785
154.815
6

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1299

Licensee

FRN

Call Sign

Frequency (MHz)

154.785
Monterey, County of
0004513735
WSZ34
154.815
Monterey, County of -
154.785
0004513792
WSZ32
DRO
154.815
154.785
Pacific Grove, City of
0004514766
WSZ33
154.815
Monterey, County of
0004120390
WRA487
155.490
Monterey, County of
0004513735
KEC559
155.685
154.025
Monterey, County of
0004120390
WQND440
155.775
155.775
Marina, City of
0004518023
WPWX347
158.835
Marina, City of
0004518023
WZT829
153.785
Monterey, County of
0004120390
KN2803
156.015
154.755
156.015
Monterey, County of
0004120390
KRJ837
158.805
453.6375
458.6375
154.755
Monterey, County of
0004120390
WPYH272
156.015
158.805
154.755
Soledad, City of
0004514576
WQG805
155.805
156.015
155.100
King, City of
0004514824
KDZ478
156.015
158.805
154.755
Gonzales, City of
0004514865
WBM78
156.015
158.805
153.920
Monterey, County of
0004120390
WNPO492
155.805
Monterey, County of
0004120390
KNJE473
460.1750
460.1750
460.3000
460.3500
Monterey, County of
0004120390
WPIH733
460.3750
460.5000
465.1750
KCT69
Monterey, County of
0004120390
155.835
KF2934
Monterey, County of
0004120390
KBJ220
153.815
City of Carmel-by-the-Sea
154.710
0001541945
KMA766
Police Department
155.430
City of Carmel-by-the-Sea
0001541945
KJN869
154.025
Police Department
453.6750
Monterey, County of
0004120390
WCT336
458.6750
7

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DA 12-1299

Licensee

FRN

Call Sign

Frequency (MHz)

KCI996
154.175
Monterey, County of
0004120390
KNEY537
154.370
WNHG584
154.175
Monterey, County of
0004120390
KQR351
154.370
156.105
WQGS653
WQNK516
154.370
Monterey, County of
0004120390
WQNK517
156.105
WQNL863
WQNL867
154.175
154.205
Monterey, County of
0004120390
KDZ443
154.370
156.105
153.890
154.175
154.205
154.235
Monterey, County of
0004120390
KE3779
154.370
154.430
154.995
156.105
156.240
KML267
Monterey, County of
0004120390
WNLC257
154.370
WQJZ626
154.175
Carmel Valley Fire
0004513818
KMJ275
154.370
Protection District
156.195
154.370
Monterey Regional Fire
0004514212
KJD923
156.105
Salinas Rural Fire
KNGE591
154.370
0004514212
Protection District
KNIK410
156.105
154.370
Soledad, City of
0004514576
KWV456
156.105
154.370
Gonzales, City of
0004514865
KWE532
156.105
154.175
Monterey, County of
0004513735
KMA696
154.235
154.370
154.175
Monterey, County of
0004514683
KL3141
154.205
154.370
154.205
KLG552
Monterey, County of
0004514683
154.370
KNBR747
154.995
8

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1299

Licensee

FRN

Call Sign

Frequency (MHz)

154.175
154.205
Monterey, County of
0004514683
WRE365
154.370
154.995
154.175
Pacific Grove, City of
0004514766
KMM520
154.370
Pacific Grove, City of
0004514766
KET302
155.100
King, City of
0004514824
KNBF423
154.370
154.175
Marina, City of
0004518023
KCT203
154.370
Spreckels Volunteer Fire
0004537288
KNEC873
154.370
Company
153.890
154.205
155.205
Monterey, County of
0004120390
WPRJ595
155.325
155.895
158.895
Monterey, County of
0004120390
KNIK580
153.890
Monterey, County of
0004120390
KEC844
154.175
Monterey, County of
0004120390
KNIK576
154.175
154.175
Monterey, County of
0004120390
WPAU487
156.240
153.785
155.580
Monterey, County of
0004120390
WPMK447
156.000
158.775
156.160
154.100
Monterey, County of
0004120390
WPRH533
155.955
156.000
153.860
Monterey, County of
0004120390
KJ3939
155.865
158.745
155.205
Monterey, County of
0004120390
KLU418
155.325
Monterey, County of
0004120390
KQU301
155.325
KFX278
KJZ979
KTO75
155.865
Monterey, County of
0004120390
WAG41
158.745
WCG530
WNHI627
151.160
151.340
Monterey, County of
0004120390
KLU411
154.085
155.955
KGR280
Monterey, County of
0004120390
KGR281
151.160
KGR283
9

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1299

Licensee

FRN

Call Sign

Frequency (MHz)

151.160
Monterey, County of
0004120390
KJ7114
151.340
151.160
Monterey, County of
0004120390
KNDJ454
453.000
458.000
150.995
Monterey, County of
0004120390
KD9322
156.060
156.195
KEQ78
KMZ69
KND41
KNHW909
Monterey, County of
0004120390
KXZ61
156.060
WAU778
WNFD393
WNFD394
WSY83
KMK328
Monterey, County of
0004120390
KMK329
150.995
KMK330
KCI552
KLG554
Monterey, County of
0004514683
154.040
KNBU647
WRE532
Monterey, County of
0004514683
WNUS414
156.165
Monterey, County of
0004120390
KMK354
158.880
Monterey, City of
0001541234
WPPB873
158.880
Monterey, County of
0004513735
KCP542
158.940
Greenfield, City of
0010985125
WRE271
155.895
10

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