Federal Communications CommissionNews Media Information 202 / 418-0500
Fax-On-Demand 202 / 418-2830
445 12th St., S.W.
TTY 202 / 418-2555
Washington, D.C. 20554Internet: http://www.fcc.gov
Released: December 10, 2012
WIRELESS TELECOMMUNICATIONS BUREAU AND PUBLIC SAFETY AND HOMELAND
SECURITY BUREAU SEEK COMMENT ON THE CITY OF PHILADELPHIA’S OFFICE OF
INNOVATION AND TECHNOLOGY’S REQUEST FOR WAIVER OF THE JANUARY 1, 2013
VHF-UHF NARROWBANDING DEADLINE
WT Docket 99-87
Comment Date: December 17, 2012
Reply Comment Date: December 21, 2012
By this Public Notice, we seek comment on a request for waiver of the Commission’s January 1,
2013 VHF-UHF narrowbanding deadline, filed on September 21, 2012,1 by the City of Philadelphia’s
Office of Innovation and Technology (Philadelphia). Section 90.209(b)(5) of the Commission’s rules
requires private land mobile radio (PLMR) licensees in the 150 – 174 MHz and 450 – 470 MHz bands to
operate using channel bandwidth of no more than 12.5 kHz, or equivalent efficiency, by January 1, 2013.2
Specifically, Philadelphia is seeking an eighteen-month extension of time to complete the rebanding and
narrowbanding of its VHF/UHF facilities by July 1, 2014.3
Philadelphia is the fifth largest city in the United States, with 1.5 million inhabitants.4 The
Philadelphia metropolitan area extends approximately 143 square miles, and includes both urban and
suburban areas.5 Its communications system supports activities for law enforcement, fire and rescue,
federal law enforcement, homeland security, highway, rail, subway, two airports, a school district, and
multiple harbors.6 Additionally, Philadelphia is also a participant in the Southeast Pennsylvania Urban
1 See Request for Waiver of Commission Rules Regarding the Spectral Efficiency of Private Land Mobile Radio
Services in the 150-174 and 450-470 MHz bands, Requiring 12.5 kHz Channel Bandwitdh or Equivalent
Technology By January 1, 2013 (filed September 21, 2012) (Waiver Request).
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, 27 FCC Rcd 4213 (WTB/PSHSB/OET 2012).
3 Waiver Request at 2.
Areas Security Initiative Region, which promotes and coordinates emergency response across multiple
Philadelphia contends it has made extensive planning efforts to comply with the Commission’s
narrowbanding deadline. Philadelphia plans to upgrade to a more efficient P25 based trunking system
and has secured adequate funding for the project.8 This transition includes new infrastructure, rebanded
channels, new subscriber units, and reconfigured subscriber units.9 Philadelphia argues that it lacks the
personnel resources to meet the narrowbanding deadline, and that various interdependencies with its 800
MHz (National Public Safety Planning Advisory Committee) rebanding and upgrade effort, while also
assuring uninterrupted public safety communications, have made full compliance impossible,.10
Philadelphia claims that, in simultaneously rebanding, narrowbanding, and maintaining its current
systems at their highest performance levels, it has experienced a shortage of man-power.11 Philadelphia
also argues that, because agencies currently using VHF/UHF must continue to do so until the 800 MHz
Trunked system is rebanded and subscriber units become available, it will be unable to meet the
narrowbanding deadline.12 Philadelphia claims that operations of a local nature will require continued
operation on frequencies in the 150 – 470 MHz range until rebanding is complete.13 Philadelphia also
claims that operations that require wide area coverage have to be transitioned to the 800 MHz NPSPAC
Trunked radio system, and this is impossible until rebanding is complete.14
Philadelphia expects to complete its rebanding process by March 29, 2013, at which time it will
test and certify this rebanded system until June 30, 2013.15 From July 1, 2013 to December 31, 2013, the
City will initiate bidding and purchase order issues to fund the transition of lower frequency operations
and/or the cost associated with modifying lower band operations to narrowband. 16 Between January 1,
2014 and July 1, 2014, the City will complete its narrowbanding transition.17
Philadelphia anticipates no negative impact to any existing licensees as a result of granting this
Waiver Request.18 Philadelphia admits that there will be an “undetermined impact” on the ability of new
licensees to license channels at 12.5 kHz, but that it knows of no licensees waiting to obtain licenses
within this coverage area which would be impacted by granting this Waiver Request.19
8 Id. at 3.
11 Id. at 3, 9.
12 Id. at 3-4.
13 Id. at 6.
15 Id. at 7, Appendix C.
18 Id. at 7.
Philadelphia claims that it has been working diligently and in good faith towards meeting the
Commission’s narrowbanding deadline by securing funding, developing a Narrowbanding Time
Schedule, and developing a comprehensive plan for rebanding and narrowbanding its communications
systems.20 However, Philadelphia argues that, because of interdependencies with its 800 MHz NPSPAC
rebanding and upgrade effort and a lack of personnel resources, it is unable to complete narrowbanding
by the January 1, 2013 deadline. Therefore, given its considerable efforts towards narrowbanding to date,
Philadelphia contends that it is entitled to a waiver and extension of the deadline.21
We seek comments on the waiver request in light of the July 13, 2011 Public Notice providing
guidance on the submission of requests for waiver of the narrowband deadline.22 In particular, we seek
comment from parties whose operations could be impacted by grant of the waiver.
Waiver Request: Extending the narrowbanding deadline by eighteen months, to July 1, 2014, for the
following frequencies and call signs:
453.0500, 453.1500, 453.2000, 453.2500, 453.3000,
453.3500, 453.4000, 453.5000, 453.5500, 453.6000,
453.6500, 453.7500, 453.8000, 453.9500, 460.1500,
453.7250, 453.7750, 453.9250
453.4500, 453.8500, 458.4500, 458.8500
153.8900, 154.0100, 154.4150, 166.2500
20 See Waiver Request.
21 Id. at 3.
22 See Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, and Office of
Engineering and Technology Provide Reminders of the 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 (WTB/PSHSB/OET 2011); see also Wireless Telecommunications
Bureau and Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau Provide Supplemental Guidance for Licensees in the 150-
174 MHz and 421-512 MHz Bands Seeking Waivers of the January 1, 2013 Narrowbanding Deadline, Public
Notice, 27 FCC Rcd 1936 (WTB/PSHSB 2012).
458.2500, 458.4000, 458.5500, 458.7500
458.2500, 458.4000, 458.5500, 458.7500
460.0250, 460.0500, 460.1000, 460.1750, 460.2250,
460.3000, 460.5000, 465.0250, 465.0500, 465.1000,
465.1750, 465.2250, 465.3000, 465.5000
453.2500, 453.4000, 458.2500, 458.4000, 460.1500,
458.0500, 458.1500, 458.2000, 458.2500, 458.3000,
458.3500, 458.4000, 458.5000, 458.5500, 458.6000,
458.6500, 458.7500, 458.8000, 458.9500, 465.1500,
153.8300, 153.8900, 153.9500, 154.0100, 154.1450,
458.7250, 458.7750, 458.9250
458.7250, 458.7750, 458.9250
Procedural MattersInterested parties may file comments and reply comments in response to the waiver request on or
before the dates listed on the first page of this Public Notice. All pleadings must reference WT Docket
No. 99-87. Parties may file comments using (1) the Commission’s Electronic Comment Filing System
(ECFS), (2) the Federal Government’s eRulemaking Portal, or (3) by filing paper copies.23
Electronic Filers: File comments electronically using the Internet by accessing the ECFS:
http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/ecfs/ or the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov.
Filers should follow the instructions provided on the website for submitting comments.
If multiple docket or rulemaking numbers appear in the caption of this proceeding, ECFS filers
must transmit one electronic copy of the comments for each docket or rulemaking number
referenced in the caption. In completing the transmittal screen, filers should include their full
name, U.S. Postal Service mailing address, and the applicable docket or rulemaking number.
Parties may also submit an electronic comment by Internet e-mail. To get filing instructions, filers
should send an e-mail to email@example.com, and include the following words in the body of the
message, “get form.” A sample form and directions will be sent in response.
Paper Filers: Parties who choose to file by paper must file an original and four copies of each
filing. If more than one docket or rulemaking number appears in the caption of this proceeding,
filers must submit two additional copies for each additional docket or rulemaking number.
Send filings by hand or messenger delivery, by commercial overnight courier, or by first-class or
overnight U.S. Postal Service mail (although we continue to experience delays in receiving U.S. Postal
Service mail). Address filings to the Commission’s Secretary, Office of the Secretary, Federal
Deliver hand-delivered or messenger-delivered paper filings to FCC Headquarters at 445
12th St., SW, Room TW-A325, Washington, DC 20554 between 8:00 AM and 7:00 PM.
Use rubber bands or fasteners to hold deliveries together. Dispose of all envelopes before
entering the building.
Send commercial overnight mail (other than U.S. Postal Service Express Mail and
Priority Mail) to 9300 East Hampton Drive, Capitol Heights, MD 20743.
Send U.S. Postal Service first-class, Express, and Priority mail to 445 12th Street, SW,
Washington DC 20554.
Parties are requested to send one copy of their comments and reply comments to Best Copy and
Printing, Inc., Portals II, 445 12th Street, S.W., Room CY-B402, Washington, D.C. 20554, (800) 378-
3160, e-mail FCC@BCPIWEB.com.
Documents in WT Docket No. 99-87 available for viewing on ECFS,
http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/ecfs, by entering the docket number, WT 99-87. These documents are available
for public inspection and copying during business hours at the FCC Reference Information Center, Portals
II, 445 12th St. SW, Room CY-A257, Washington, D.C. 20554. The documents are also available for
purchase from Best Copy and Printing, Inc., telephone (800) 378-3160, facsimile (301) 816-0169, e-mail
FCC@BCPIWEB.com, telephone (202) 488-5300, facsimile (202) 488-5563, TTY (202) 488-5562, e-
23 See Electronic Filing of Documents in Rulemaking Proceedings, Report and Order, GC Docket No. 97-113, 13
FCC Rcd 11322 (1998).
Alternate formats of this Public Notice (computer diskette, large print, audio recording, and
Braille) are available to persons with disabilities by contacting the Consumer & Governmental Affairs
Bureau at (202) 418-0530 (voice), (202) 418-0432 (TTY), or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This proceeding has been designated as a “permit-but-disclose” proceeding in accordance with
the Commission's ex parte rules.24 Persons making ex parte presentations must file a copy of any written
presentation or a memorandum summarizing any oral presentation within two business days after the
presentation (unless a different deadline applicable to the Sunshine period applies). Persons making oral
ex parte presentations are reminded that memoranda summarizing the presentation must (1) list all
persons attending or otherwise participating in the meeting at which the ex parte presentation was made,
and (2) summarize all data presented and arguments made during the presentation. If the presentation
consisted in whole or in part of the presentation of data or arguments already reflected in the presenter’s
written comments, memoranda or other filings in the proceeding, the presenter may provide citations to
such data or arguments in his or her prior comments, memoranda, or other filings (specifying the relevant
page and/or paragraph numbers where such data or arguments can be found) in lieu of summarizing them
in the memorandum. Documents shown or given to Commission staff during ex parte meetings are
deemed to be written ex parte presentations and must be filed consistent with rule 1.1206(b). In
proceedings governed by rule 1.49(f) or for which the Commission has made available a method of
electronic filing, written ex parte presentations and memoranda summarizing oral ex parte presentations,
and all attachments thereto, must be filed through the electronic comment filing system available for that
proceeding, and must be filed in their native format (e.g., .doc, .xml, .ppt, searchable .pdf). Participants in
this proceeding should familiarize themselves with the Commission’s ex parte rules.
For further information, contact Mr. Melvin Spann of the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau
at (202) 418-1333, or via e-mail at Melvin.Spann@fcc.gov or Mr. Roberto Mussenden of the Public
Safety and Homeland Security Bureau at (202) 418-1428, or via e-mail at Roberto.Mussenden@fcc.gov.
Action by the Deputy Chief, Mobility Division, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau and the
Deputy Chief, Policy and Licensing Division, Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau.
- FCC -
24 See 47 C.F.R. §§ 1.1200(a), 1.1206.
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