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Travelers' Information Stations R&O and FNPRM

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Released: July 23, 2013

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 13-98

Before the

Federal Communications Commission

Washington, D.C. 20554

In the Matter of
)
)
Travelers' Information Stations;
)
PS Docket No. 09-19
)
American Association of Information Radio
)
Operators Petition for Ruling on Travelers'
)
Information Station Rules;
)
)
Highway Information Systems, Inc. Petition for
)
RM-11514
Rulemaking;
)
)
American Association of State Highway and
)
RM-11531
Transportation Officials Petition for Rulemaking
)

REPORT AND ORDER AND FURTHER NOTICE OF PROPOSED RULEMAKING

Adopted: July 18, 2013

Released: July 23, 2013

Comment Date:

[30 days after date of publication in the Federal Register]

Reply Comment Date:

[45 days after date of publication in the Federal Register]
By the Commission:

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Heading
Paragraph #
I.
INTRODUCTION .................................................................................................................................. 1
II. BACKGROUND .................................................................................................................................... 5
III. REPORT AND ORDER....................................................................................................................... 15
A. Permissible TIS Content ................................................................................................................ 16
B. Geographic and Operational Limitations....................................................................................... 32
IV. FURTHER NOTICE OF PROPOSED RULEMAKING ..................................................................... 42
V. PROCEDURAL MATTERS................................................................................................................ 44
A. Ex Parte Presentations ................................................................................................................... 44
B. Comment Filing Procedures .......................................................................................................... 45
C. Regulatory Flexibility Analysis ..................................................................................................... 46
D. Paperwork Reduction Act Analysis ............................................................................................... 47
VI. ORDERING CLAUSES....................................................................................................................... 48
APPENDIX A - List of Commenters
APPENDIX B - Final Rule
APPENDIX C - Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis
APPENDIX D - Proposed Final Rule
APPENDIX E - Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

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I.

INTRODUCTION

1.
Currently, the Commission authorizes Public Safety Pool-eligible entities to use
Travelers' Information Stations (TIS) to transmit noncommercial, travel-related information over AM
band frequencies to motorists on a localized basis.1 In this proceeding, we address the scope of
permissible operations under our TIS rules2 in response to petitions filed by Highway Information
Systems (HIS), the American Association of Information Radio Operators (AAIRO), and the American
Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO).3 The Commission invited
comment on the issues raised in these three petitions in a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking adopted in
2010.4
2.
In today's Report and Order, we both clarify and amend our TIS rules in order to
promote a more efficient and effective service. First, we clarify that permissible content under the TIS
rules must continue to have a nexus to travel, an emergency, or an imminent threat of danger. Second,
we amend Section 90.242 of our rules, which defines and authorizes TIS, to cross-reference Sections
90.405(a)(1) and 90.407 of the rules,5 which respectively allow the use of all Part 90 facilities, including
TIS, for the transmission of "any communications related directly to the imminent safety-of-life or
property," and for emergency communications "during a period of emergency in which the normal
communication facilities are disrupted as a result of hurricane, flood, earthquake or similar disaster."6
Third, we partially remove the present restriction on so-called "ribbon" networks of TIS transmitters (i.e.,
multiple simulcast transmitters), requiring only that simulcast TIS transmissions be relevant to travelers
in the vicinity of each transmitter in the network. Finally, we update the definition of TIS in Section 90.7
to replace the reference to the former Local Government Radio Service with a reference to the Public
Safety Pool.7
3.
The rule changes in the Report and Order serve either to clarify or to modestly expand
the operating parameters of the TIS service. The costs associated with these rule changes are negligible
because the changes impose no investment or expenditure requirements on any affected entities to


1 The Commission adopted the TIS rules in 1977. See Amendment of Parts 2 and 89 of the Rules to Provide for the
Use of Frequencies 530, 1606, and 1612 kHz by Stations in the Local Government Radio Services for the
Transmission of Certain Kinds of Information to the Traveling Public, Docket No. 20509, Report and Order, 67
F.C.C.2d 917 (1977) (TIS Report and Order). As discussed further below, TIS preceded the creation of the Public
Safety Pool; until then the Commission licensed TIS to one of the precursor components of this Pool i.e., entities in
the Local Government Radio Service.
2 See 47 C.F.R. 90.242.
3 See Petition for a Rulemaking to Revise and Update the Travelers Information Service Rules of Highway
Information Systems, Inc. (filed July 16, 2008) (HIS Petition); Travelers' Information Service Provision of
Localized Public Safety and Emergency Information Pursuant to 47 C.F.R. Sections 90.242 and 90.407, Petition for
Ruling (filed Sep. 9, 2008) (AAIRO Petition); Petition for Rule Making of the American Association of State
Highway and Transportation Officials (filed March 16, 2009) at 1 (AASHTO Petition).
4 See Travelers Information Stations, PS Docket No. 09-19, American Association of Information Radio Operators
Petition for Ruling on Travelers' Information Station Rules, Highway Information Systems, Inc. Petition for
Rulemaking, RM-11514, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials Petition for
Rulemaking, RM-11531, Order and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 25 FCC Rcd 18117 (2010) (NPRM).
5 See 47 C.F.R. 90.405(a)(1) and 90.407.
6 Id.
7 See 47 C.F.R. 90.7.
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FCC 13-98

achieve compliance. The rule changes will also remove confusion about what type of content is
permissible on the TIS, thus improving administrative efficiency for the both the Commission and TIS
licensees. Moreover, by permitting the simulcasting of TIS transmissions, the rule changes will lower
licensees' operating costs because licensees will no longer need to create individual TIS transmissions
for each transmitter in a network.
4.
In the attached Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM), we propose to delete
Section 90.242(b)(8) of the Commission's rules, which requires the filtering of TIS audio frequencies
above 3 kHz.8 The record indicates that the filtering requirement significantly decreases the audibility of
TIS broadcasts while adding little to the interference protection of commercial broadcasters. However,
because the Commission did not specifically address the filtering issue in the initial NPRM in this
docket,9 we request comment on this proposed rule change.

II.

BACKGROUND

5.
The Commission established TIS in 1977 in order to "establish an efficient means of
communicating certain kinds of information to travelers over low power radio transmitters licensed to
Local Government entities."10 The Commission specifically noted that such stations had been used to
reduce traffic congestion and to transmit "road conditions, travel restrictions, and weather forecasts to
motorists."11 Further, the Commission anticipated that TIS also would be used to "transmit travel related
emergency messages concerning natural disasters (e.g., forest fires, floods, etc.), traffic accidents and
hazards, and related bulletins affecting the immediate welfare of citizens."12
6.
Commercial broadcasters opposed the creation of TIS, claiming that it would duplicate
information provided by commercial broadcasts, including "comprehensive weather reports, reports of
traffic conditions, names of gasoline stations, restaurants, and lodging conveyed through advertising."13
Some broadcasters contended that this would siphon off advertising revenues,14 while others argued that
TIS operations would cause impermissible interference with their operations.15
7.
To address these concerns, the Commission prohibited TIS operators from transmitting
commercial messages and emphasized that strict limits would be placed on other operational aspects of


8 See 47 C.F.R. 90.242(b)(8).
9 See NPRM, supra.
10 See TIS Report and Order, 67 F.C.C. 2d at 917 1. As we explain in more detail in paragraph 30 below, when
the Commission consolidated a number of existing services (including the service under which the Travelers
Information Stations TIS operated) within the Public Safety Pool in 1997, it extended eligibility for each of those
services to any entity that had been eligible for any one of those services. Accordingly, TIS licenses could be held
by any entity eligible for a license within the Public Safety Pool, not just the Local Government entities referenced
by the Commission in the 1977 TIS Report and Order. See Replacement of Part 90 by Part 88 to Revise the Private
Land Mobile Radio Services and Modify the Policies Governing Them and Examination of Exclusivity and
Frequency Assignments Policies of the Private Land Mobile Services, PR Docket No. 92-235, Second Report and
Order
, 12 FCC Rcd 14307, 14323 29 (1997) (Refarming Second Report and Order).
11 See TIS Report and Order, 67 F.C.C. 2d at 921 15.
12 Id. at 922 16.
13 Id. at 918 5.
14 Id. at 919 9.
15 Id. at 924 24.
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TIS licenses, including limits on authorized power levels.16 The Commission also adopted power and
transmitter location limitations to ensure that TIS operations typically would be confined to the
immediate vicinity of specified, travel-related areas.17 The Commission imposed the transmitter location
restriction with the objective of limiting service to "the traveler in the immediate vicinity of the
station."18 Although the Commission did not preclude TIS operations from using multiple transmitters,
the Commission did not allow multiple TIS transmitters to operate as a network, but instead required
each TIS site to provide specifically targeted information restricted to the immediate vicinity of the area
served by that site.19
8.
The Commission authorizes TIS stations on a primary basis on 530 kHz and on a
secondary basis in the 535-1705 kHz band, all of which can be received on a conventional AM radio.20
TIS stations operate at low power: maximum output power is 50 watts with a cable antenna and 10 watts
with a traditional radiating antenna.21 TIS stations may only transmit "noncommercial voice information
pertaining to traffic and road conditions, traffic hazard and travel advisories, directions, availability of
lodging, rest stops and service stations, and descriptions of local points of interest."22 Finally, the rule
restricts TIS transmitting sites to "the immediate vicinity of ... [a]ir, train, and bus transportation
terminals, public parks and historical sites, bridges, tunnels, and any intersection of a Federal Interstate
Highway with any other Interstate, Federal, State, or local highway."23
9.
The Commission has not undertaken a major amendment of the TIS rules since their
inception in 1977. However, in an effort to address apparent operational limitations imposed by the
current TIS rules, a few TIS operators have acted on their own accord to expand the scope of TIS content
and operations. This has resulted in at least one Commission enforcement action.24 Other TIS operators
and their sponsors have sought to expand the scope of TIS operations through rule waiver requests.25


16 Id. at 917 1.
17 See 47 C.F.R. 90.242(a)(5). See also 47 C.F.R. 90.242(b)(4) (limiting output power and the field strength of
the emission on the operating frequency).
18 TIS Report and Order, 67 F.C.C. 2d at 923 23.
19 Id. at 923 20. See also id. at 923-24 23 ("[I]n instituting this rule we are specifically precluding an applicant
from setting up a `network,' or `ribbon' of transmitting stations along a highway for the purpose of continuously
attracting a motorist with what could be superfluous information.").
20 47 C.F.R. 90.242(a)(3).
21 47 C.F.R. 90.242(b)(3)(ii); 47 C.F.R. 90.242(b)(4)(iii).
22 47 C.F.R. 90.242(a)(7).
23 47 C.F.R. 90.242(a)(5).
24 See, e.g., City of Santa Monica Licensee of Radio Station WQGR42, File No. EB-07-LA-216, Notice of Violation
(Jul. 12, 2007) (Santa Monica Violation Notice) (retransmission of NOAA weather broadcasts).
25 See, e.g., Howard County, Maryland, File No. 0003163756, Order, 24 FCC Rcd 1566 (PSHSB PD 2009)
(granting waiver to add two sites with expanded coverage contours) (Howard County Order); Letter, Dana Shaffer,
Chief, Policy Division, to Thomas Hall, Engineering Manager, Highway Information Systems, 22 FCC Rcd 12816
(PSHSB PD 2007) (denying waiver to Edgecombe County Emergency Management, North Carolina to increase
authorized power); County of Arlington, Virginia, File Nos. 0002108062, 0002822293, Order, 22 FCC Rcd 4192
(PSHSB PD 2007) (Arlington County 2007 Order) (granting waiver to communicate over expanded area during
emergencies); California Department of Transportation Request for Waiver of Section 90.242(a)(7) of the
Commission's Rules, Order, 22 FCC Rcd 1824 (PSHSB PD 2007) (denying waiver to use TIS to broadcast energy
conservation information); County of Arlington, Virginia, File No. 0002108062, Order, 20 FCC Rcd 14785 (WTB
(continued....)
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10.
On July 16, 2008, HIS filed a petition for rulemaking (HIS Petition) to amend the TIS
rules. The HIS Petition requested that the Commission: (1) re-title TIS as the "Local Government Radio
Service;"26 (2) expand the permissible use rule in Section 90.242(a)(7) to "provide that stations in the
local government radio service may be used to broadcast information of a non-commercial nature as
determined by the government entity licensed to operate the station and other government entities with
which the licensee cooperates;"27 and (3) "eliminate the limitation on the sites for local government radio
stations that confines such stations to areas near roads, highways and public transportation terminals."28
11.
On September 9, 2008, AAIRO filed a petition for declaratory ruling (AAIRO Petition).
The AAIRO Petition asked for (1) a "[r]uling that any message concerning the safety of life or protection
of property that may affect any traveler or any individual in transit or soon to be in transit, may be
transmitted on Travelers' Information Stations, at the sole discretion of officials authorized to operate
such stations;" and (2) "a clear directive that such messages, by definition, are expressly included in the
permissible content categories defined by 47 C.F.R. Sec. 90.242(a)(7)."29 In its petition, AAIRO stated
that such a declaration would allow the broadcast of a wide range of information over TIS, including
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio retransmissions, AMBER
Alerts,30 alternate phone numbers when local 911 systems fail, terror threat alert levels,31 public health
warnings "and all manner of civil defense announcements."32 AAIRO, however, did not seek any
expansion of TIS operational limitations currently imposed by the Commission's rules.
12.
On March 16, 2009, AASHTO filed a petition for rulemaking seeking revision of the TIS
rules to permit the transmission of AMBER Alerts and information regarding the availability of 511
traffic and transportation information services.33
13.
On February 13, 2009, the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau (Bureau)
released a public notice seeking comment on the HIS and AAIRO Petitions, and received 61 comments.34
(Continued from previous page)


PSCID 2005) (denying waiver to increase authorized power); Los Angeles World Airports, File No. 0001187565,
Order, 19 FCC Rcd 4117 (WTB PSCID 2004) (granting waiver to increase authorized power).
26 HIS Petition at 9.
27 Id. at 10.
28Id.
29 Id. at 1.
30 The AMBER AlertTM Program is a voluntary partnership between law-enforcement agencies, broadcasters,
transportation agencies, and the wireless industry, to activate an urgent bulletin in the most serious child-abduction
cases. See U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, "Amber Alert," available at
http://www.amberalert.gov/
.
31 Id. at 3.
32 Id. at 4.
33 "511" is a nationwide telephone number for traveler information. See U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal
Highway Administration, "America's Traveler Information Telephone Number - What Is It?" available at
http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/trafficinfo/511what.htm.

34 Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau Seeks Comment on the Petition for Rulemaking of Highway
Information Systems, Inc. to Revise and Update the Traveler's Information Station Rules and on the Petition of the
American Association of Information Radio Operators for Ruling on Travelers' Information Station Rules, RM-
11514, PS Docket No. 09-19, Public Notice, 24 FCC Rcd 1562 (PSHSB PD 2009).
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On April 23, 2009, the Bureau released a public notice seeking comment on the AASHTO Petition, and
received 11 comments.35
14.
On December 30, 2010, the Commission released its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in
this proceeding consolidating the substantive and operational issues raised in the three petitions and
related records.36 The NPRM received ten comments and 28 reply comments (five late-filed).37 On
December 18, 2012 and December 28, 2012, AAIRO made supplemental ex parte filings, which included
further correspondence in support of its petition from public safety entities and others.38

III.

REPORT AND ORDER

15.
We now consider the record in this proceeding with respect to two major categories: (1)
what constitutes permissible information that may be transmitted over TIS stations, and (2) what
geographic and operational limitations apply to TIS.

A.

Permissible TIS Content

16.
NPRM. The NPRM sought comment on a variety of issues related to expansion of
permissible TIS content. It asked whether the Commission should expand the scope of the TIS rules to
allow a broader array of government information and alerts; whether the Commission should identify
specific services, such as AMBER Alerts and NOAA weather broadcasts, as permissible under the TIS
services rules; what limits, if any, the Commission should place on information allowed to be transmitted
over TIS; and whether expansion of the TIS rules as proposed by HIS, AAIRO, and AASHTO would
have any adverse effect on commercial broadcasting.39 The NPRM also sought specific comment on
whether continuing to require a traveler-related nexus served the public interest; and if the travel-related
nexus were retained, the extent, if any, to which the type of information broadcast over the TIS service
might be broadened without "diluting" the value of the service to travelers.40 The NPRM also sought
comment on AASHTO's position and the distinction it made between the rebroadcast over TIS of routine
versus non-routine NOAA weather reports.41 Finally, the NPRM sought comment on whether the name
of the service should be changed.42
17.
As a threshold matter, we note that the current TIS rules already permit transmission of
much of the information cited by AAIRO and other commenters. Section 90.242 expressly allows TIS
transmission of, inter alia, "noncommercial voice information pertaining to traffic and road conditions,


35 Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau Seeks Comment on the Petition for Rulemaking of the American
Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, RM-11531, Public Notice, 24 FCC Rcd 4870 (PSHSB
PD 2009).
36 See NPRM. There was also an attached Order which dismissed AAIRO's petition for ruling as administratively
inappropriate. However, the NPRM incorporated AAIRO's substantive arguments.
37 See Appendix A for a list of commenters.
38 See Ex Parte Filing of Correspondence Pursuant to Section 1.1206 of the Rules (filed Dec. 18, 2012)(AAIRO Dec.
18 Ex Parte); Supplemental Ex Parte Filing of Correspondence Pursuant to Section 1.1206 of the Rules (filed Dec.
28, 2012) (AAIRO Dec. 28 Ex Parte).
39 NPRM, 25 FCC Rcd at 18122-23 15, 16.
40 Id. at 18126-27 27.
41 Id. at 18124 19.
42 Id. at 18125 23.
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traffic hazards and travel advisories, directions [and] rest stops."43 Thus, under this provision of the rule,
TIS operators may transmit weather alerts regarding difficult or hazardous conditions (whether or not
"tone alerted"), as well as information regarding motor vehicle crashes, emergency points of assembly,
road closures and construction, parking, current driving travel times, air flight status, truck weigh
stations, driver rest areas, locations of truck services, and road closures.44
18.
511 Service. The NPRM sought comment on AASHTO's request to allow TIS stations
to provide information about the availability of 511 service.45 All commenters support this request,46
although San Francisco opposes as duplicative allowing TIS stations to repeat the same information that
is available on 511.47 AAIRO, however, advises that "TIS and 5-1-1 systems can co-exist and
complement each other."48 We agree with AAIRO and therefore clarify that information on the
availability of 511 service is already allowed under our TIS rules, because such information directly
relates to the provision of travel-related information.
19.
Non-Commercial Content. In its petition, HIS asked the Commission to revise the TIS
rules to allow the broadcast of any non-commercial content.49 Although this proposal garnered some
support in the initial comment cycle related to the HIS Petition, most NPRM commenters oppose the
proposal, reasoning that allowing TIS to broadcast any type of non-commercial content would dilute the
public safety value of the TIS service.50 APCO retains a "neutral" position, but remains concerned about
dilution of "the emergency purposes of TIS and [the possibility to] potentially confuse travelers
accustomed to finding time-sensitive safety and traffic information on TIS."51 We agree with the
majority of commenters who believe that TIS should retain its historical focus on serving the needs of the
traveling public. The record indicates that such a dedicated service continues to serve the public interest
in that it contributes both to public safety and convenience.52 Accordingly we decline to implement this
change to the TIS content rules.


43 See 47 C.F.R. 90.242(a)(7).
44 See AAIRO Comments at 13; AAIRO Dec. 28 Ex Parte at 2.
45 NPRM, 25 FCC Rcd at 18129 36.
46 See Alaska Comments at 1; AAIRO Comments at 5, 22; AASHTO Comments at 6; Gropper Comments at 7;
SHA Comments at 12; NAB Comments at 3, 4, 9; NPR Comments at 4; San Francisco Comments at 2; George
Reply Comments at 1. "511" is a nationwide telephone number for traveler information. See U.S. Department of
Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, "America's Traveler Information Telephone Number - What Is
It?" available at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/trafficinfo/511what.htm.
47 San Francisco Comments at 2.
48 AAIRO Reply Comments at 8. See also Gropper Comments at 13 (TIS and 511 systems are not in competition).
49 HIS Petition at 10.
50 See SHA Comments at 6; NAB Comments at 6, 9; NPR Comments at 2; George Reply Comments at 1; NAB
Reply Comments at 2.
51 APCO Reply Comments at 2.
52 See, e.g. AAIRO Comments at 6 ("TIS service [is] irreplaceable by other media ... TIS can provide full
descriptions and elaborations to the driver which can be `heads-up' and `hands-free' while he or she is listening");
AASHTO Comments at 8 ("the traveling public has ... a need for non-routine information that may uniquely affect
them as they travel through an area."); NAB Reply Comments at 2 ("TIS operations [have a] unique value ... as a
source for emergency and other travel-related information."); Cook Comments ("I have found these stations to be
quite useful when traveling"); Bartlett Comments ("When traffic is backed up for what appears to be miles ahead, I
(continued....)
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20.
Non-Travel Related Emergency and Imminent Threat Information. In the NPRM, the
Commission sought comment on whether TIS stations should be allowed to transmit emergency
information and information related to imminent threats to safety and property, even if such information
is not directly travel-related.53 Most commenters support allowing TIS to transmit emergency and
imminent threat information, e.g., AMBER and Silver Alerts.54 Several commenters note that TIS serves
as a platform of last resort with regard to the broadcast of emergency information. For example, during
Hurricane Sandy, the town of North Plainfield, New Jersey's TIS transmitter made it possible for the
town to provide updates of local emergency information both at the height of the storm and throughout
the power outage that followed.55 However, AASHTO contends that transmission of such information by
TIS stations is already permitted under rules that allow all Part 90 licensees, including TIS operators, to
transmit emergency information."56
21.
We agree with AASHTO that TIS broadcasting of emergency information and
information related to imminent threats to safety and property, whether travel-related or not, is already
allowed under our Part 90 rules. Section 90.405(a)(1) allows all Part 90 licensees, which includes TIS
licensees, to transmit "any communications related directly to the imminent safety-of-life or property." 57
For example, this allows use of TIS for AMBER and Silver Alerts, as well as transmission of information
about other imminent threats. Similarly, Section 90.407 allows Part 90 licensees to transmit emergency
communications "during a period of emergency in which the normal communication facilities are
disrupted as a result of hurricane, flood, earthquake or similar disaster."58 In an emergency context, this
clearly could include transmission by TIS stations of information regarding evacuation routes and the
location of shelters, health care, and other emergency facilities. To further clarify that TIS transmitters
may be used to transmit non-travel related emergency information in accordance with those rules, we add
the following sentence at the end of Section 90.242(a)(7): "Travelers Information Stations may also
transmit information in accordance with the provisions of 90.405(a)(1) and 90.407."
(Continued from previous page)


want to be able to tune in to the designated radio station to know 1) what, 2) why, 3) how long the anticipated wait,
and 4) alternate travel routes."; AAIRO Dec. 28 Ex Parte, Lyndhurst Letter at 2 ("The TIS station is essential to our
community and emergency operations procedures."), Burlington Letter ("TIS stations can fill a need that commercial
broadcasters can only perform on a much broader, generalized scale.").
53 See NPRM, 25 FCC Rcd at 18122-23 15.
54 Modeled after the Amber Alert, the Silver Alert is an emergency system in which law enforcement can broadcast
regional or statewide alerts for missing seniors and/or other adults with Alzheimer's or other cognitive disorders.
See "National Silver Alert Program," available at http://nationalsilveralert.org/silveralert.htm. AASHTO, however,
opposes inclusion of Silver Alerts as permissible content, arguing that they lack "a firm set of standards regarding the
message content and the authority to issue the alert." AASHTO Ex Parte at 1.
55 See, "Radio Comes to the Rescue in North Plainfield," New Jersey Municipalities (February 2013), at 30-31. See,
also, e.g., Gropper Comments at 10 (TIS connected to commercial grade NWR provided warning to university
campus about tornado); Reynolds Reply Comments at 1 (following city-wide flood, only TIS worked initially). See,
also
AAIRO Dec. 18 Ex Parte, Manasquan Letter, Monmouth Beach Letter, North Plainfield Letter (radio station
continued to operate after Hurricane Sandy); AAIRO Dec. 28 Ex Parte, Lyndhurst Letter at 2 (post Hurricane Sandy
information initially only available to public on AM radio); Reynolds Letter (TIS station only tool available to
provide information to residents during flood).
56 AASHTO Comments at 5 (footnotes omitted).
57 47 C.F.R. 90.405(a)(1).
58 47 C.F.R. 90.407.
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22.
Non-Emergency Non-Travel-Related Public Health and Safety Information. A number
of commenters propose allowing TIS operators to transmit "public health" and/or "public safety"
messages even if they do not have a travel-related nexus, are not emergency-related, or do not relate
directly to an imminent threat.59 NAB, on the other hand, opposes TIS broadcast of "routine, non-
emergency information"60 and argues that TIS operators should be limited to providing information that
will promote "situational awareness."61 NPR endorses the broadcast of "highly localized travel- and
public safety-related information that is largely unavailable elsewhere" but supports "maintaining the
existing travel and public safety nexus."62 AASHTO similarly states there is no need for TIS to transmit
any non-commercial information beyond "non-routine information that may uniquely affect [travelers] as
they travel through an area."63 SHA agrees that any expansion should be "limited to travel-related
messages."64 San Francisco takes the most restrictive view, stating that "TIS should be confined to
emergency alerts only, especially in areas without cellular coverage."65
23.
Commenters differ on whether TIS stations should be allowed to broadcast weather
information originated by NOAA. While no commenter disputes that TIS may broadcast emergency
NOAA weather announcements, AAIRO contends that TIS rules should also allow broadcast of "routine,
detailed weather announcements."66 AAIRO reasons that "only a fraction of the population" has NOAA
weather receivers, that routine NOAA weather broadcasts give information about road surface
conditions, and that extended forecasts help travelers to plan their routes.67 AAIRO also states that
"NOAA Radio `All-Hazard' information ... provide[s] pertinent lifesaving information to travelers."68
AAIRO contends that broadcast of routine NOAA weather information would not "dilute TIS content or
prove superfluous to its mission." AAIRO considers it "likely that NOAA broadcasts will be excerpted
by TIS, not run in their entirety, thus not replicating all NOAA content or duplicating broadcast news
reports.69 Many other commenters support this proposal.70


59 See, e.g., SHA Comments at 12 ("inclusion of [DHS] and public safety messages."); Alaska Comments at 1 ("TIS
should be limited to information related to travel advisories, public health and/or safety, and emergencies.");
Huizenga Letter at 1 (urging expansion of current TIS content beyond that "which pertains to traffic and travel-
related activities" in order "to better adapt to the overall safety needs of our citizens."); APCO Reply Comments at 1
(supporting broadcasting of "public health messages, homeland security alerts, and civil defense notices."); George
Reply Comments at 1 (suggesting allowance of "public health alerts, civil defense alerts, and terror alerts."); Fort
Hood Reply Comments at 16 (allow broadcast of information on "power outages, pandemics"); AAIRO Dec. 28 Ex
Parte at 2 (procedures a motorist should follow should a school shooting incident occur, how to report suspicious
activity of campus).
60 NAB Comments at 6.
61 Id. at 8.
62 Id. at 2-3.
63 AASHTO Comments at 8.
64 SHA Comments at 2.
65 San Francisco Comments at 1.
66 AAIRO Comments at 5-6.
67 Id. at 5-6.
68 Id. at 8. NOAA Weather Radio All-Hazards broadcasts National Weather Service warnings, watches, forecasts
and other non-weather related hazard information 24 hours a day. See NOAA Weather Radio All-Hazards, available
at http://www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr/allhazard.htm
.
69 Id. at 10.
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24.
AASHTO, on the other hand, argues that other options exist for accessing routine NOAA
weather information and that "TIS transmissions should continue to be reserved for location and time-
limited weather related and other emergency information." AASHTO suggests that "expansion of
information beyond this basic core will dilute the value of TIS transmissions and travelers will be
dissuaded from tuning to TIS transmissions unless they know that important emergency information is
being transmitted."71 Several other commenters agree.72 Gropper notes that "[t]ravelers now have many
sources of up to the minute weather and traffic information beyond traditional AM and FM broadcast
sources, including cell phone, mobile internet, automobile based information systems, and satellite radio.
Therefore, due to technological advances, TIS is no longer the primary alternative to AM/FM broadcasts
for this information."73 Nevertheless, Gropper supports integrating NOAA Weather Radio into TIS,
short of continuous rebroadcast, arguing that this will allow for full automation of such broadcasts during
an emergency and that not all information regarding dangerous weather conditions is "tone alerted" (e.g.
severe weather statements, dense fog and snow advisories).74
25.
We find that expanding the TIS rules to allow the transmission of non-emergency, non-
travel-related information would dilute the effectiveness of TIS in assisting travelers and providing
geographically focused emergency information. Routine weather information is widely available on
commercial radio stations and increasingly available over cell phone, mobile internet, automobile based
information systems, and satellite radio. While motorists should not access weather information from
cell phones and the mobile internet while driving, they may safely do so through the other foregoing
means. By limiting TIS weather information to potentially hazardous conditions, drivers and other
travelers will know immediately that they are receiving non-routine weather information that could
negatively impact driving conditions. Moreover, prohibiting the routine retransmission of NOAA
weather radio broadcasts does not thereby prohibit the "integration" of NOAA weather radio or NOAA
radio all-hazards information into TIS during times of hazardous or potentially hazardous conditions.
TIS stations may transmit NOAA broadcasts, whether "tone alerted" or not, so long as they relate to an
existing or potential hazard. Similarly, we find that allowing routine TIS broadcast during non-
emergency periods of terrorist threat levels, public health alerts, emergency preparedness messages,
conservation messages, and the like, is not in the public interest, as such routine broadcasts also would
dilute situational awareness pertinent to the traveling motorist. The primary purpose of the TIS is to
assist motorists in the process of traveling and to provide emergency and imminent threat information in
covered areas. Therefore, we will continue to disallow messages that do not have a travel nexus, are not
emergency-related, or do not relate directly to an imminent threat because such messages would dilute
the convenience and efficacy of TIS.
(Continued from previous page)


70 Auburn Reply Comments at 2; Avalon Reply Comments at 1; Fort Bend Reply Comments at 1; George Reply
Comments at 1, Fairfield Reply Comments at 1; Aurora Reply Comments at 1; Flaherty Reply Comments at 1;
Hennes Reply Comments at 1; Los Alamos Reply Comments at 1; Manville Reply Comments at 1; Mentor Reply
Comments at 1; North Wildwood Reply Comments at 1; Peabody Reply Comments at 1; Wildland Reply Comments
at 1; Pavlica Reply Comments at 1. Other Commenters simply support the AAIRO petition generically. See
Effingham County Reply Comments at 1; Montecito Reply Comments at 1; Ocean City Reply Comments at 1;
Lexington-Fayette Reply Comments at 2; Dickey County Reply Comments at 1.
71 AASHTO Comments at 4-5.
72 See SHA Comments at 2 (allow non-routine weather reports); NAB Comments at 7 (allow "NOAA weather
warnings during certain emergency conditions."); APCO Reply Comments at 1 (use TIS for "severe weather alerts").
73 Gropper Comments at 2.
74 Id. at 2, 3, 10, 12, 17. Gropper also suggests interfacing TIS with EAS. Id. at 3.
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26.
Determination of what constitutes allowable information. Beyond the issue of defining
the allowable scope of TIS content, commenters also express divergent views on who should determine
whether any particular content complies with the applicable definition. Some commenters argue for
detailed rule-based definitions of what is permissible. AASHTO argues that "TIS licensees would be
better served with rule-based criteria that specify the information that may be transmitted over TIS
facilities and the mechanism by which a TIS operator may determine when the transmission of
emergency information should begin and end."75 AASHTO suggests allowable emergency information is
that which is "officially recognized by the Federal government."76 SHA agrees that there should be
"nationwide consistency" in messaging in order to meet "the expectations of the traveling public."77
However, SHA suggests that 47 C.F.R. 90.405(a)(1) and 90.407 "provide sufficient guidance related
to the broadcast of routine and non-routine information during emergency situations."78
27.
Other commenters argue for giving discretion to TIS licensees to determine what is and
is not permissible under the applicable rules. AAIRO suggests that the Commission "defer to TIS
operators on a general basis" on which content to air.79 Similarly, Gropper advises the Commission to
"NOT choose the permitted content on TIS, but instead ... set broad areas of permitted activities and
leave it to the licensees to implement the FCC's policy."80 George states that local governments are best
"qualified to make the decision on what information should be distributed."81 Auburn similarly states
that TIS operators should be allowed to use TIS "regardless of the exact nature of the life safety message
that we choose to broadcast."82 AAIRO states that the Commission must achieve a balance between "too
strict definitional criteria [which] would be impractical," and sufficient clarity "to avoid the chilling
effect of uncertainty in the current rule."83
28.
We are persuaded by those commenters that argue that the Part 90 rules should allow for
discretion on the part of TIS licensees regarding use of the TIS service. Given their intimate knowledge
of local conditions and considering the limited area of operation of TIS base stations, TIS licensees are
in the best position to determine what constitutes an "imminent [threat to] safety-of-life or property," as
well as when emergency conditions reach the level of a "hurricane, flood, earthquake or similar disaster."
Again, permissible use of the TIS in such conditions could include the transmission of evacuation routes
and the location of shelters, health care and other emergency facilities, as well as weather or other
conditions that may negatively impact driving conditions. These clarifications are consistent with the
Commission's longstanding recognition of the public interest in ensuring that TIS stations timely inform
traveling motorists about emergency events and situations that may have a bearing on the immediate


75 AASHTO Comments at 5.
76 Id. at 6 (footnote omitted).
77 SHA Comments at 3, 4.
78 Id. at 3.
79 AAIRO Reply Comments at 12.
80 Gropper Comments at 3 (emphasis in original).
81 George Comments at 2. See also Fairfield Reply Comments at 1 (local operators should have discretion.");
Hennes Reply Comments at 1 (announce TIS operators have discretion to broadcast "public safety information for
the protection of life and property"); Vashon Reply Comments at 1 (local officials must be able to use when they
deem necessary).
82 Auburn Reply Comments at 1.
83 AAIRO Reply Comments at 7.
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welfare and safety of the public. Nevertheless, we also emphasize that local authorities only have
discretion within the scope of the Part 90 rules, and that with that discretion comes responsibility for
compliance. The discretion afforded to local authorities therefore does not in any way limit our authority
to take enforcement action to the extent a TIS station operates in violation of this Report and Order or
the Part 90 rules.
29.
Service Name Change. Commenters are divided on whether to adopt a new name for
TIS. AASHTO suggests changing the name to "Highway Advisory Service."84 Gropper suggests
"Transportation and Government Information AM Radio Service," which he contends would "reflect the
new potential scope of the service."85 Snyder supports a name change along with the lifting of
restrictions to use by government agencies only.86 SHA opposes the name "Local Government Radio
Service," proposed in the HIS Petition, on the grounds that many TIS operators are not local government
organizations and that such a name change could promote broadcasting of information "already covered
by commercial radio stations."87 AAIRO opposes a name change as it does not favor changing the
fundamental nature of the service.88
30.
We will retain the present name of the service. Given our determination above that the
primary purpose of TIS is to assist motorists in the process of traveling and to provide emergency and
imminent threat information in covered areas,89 we see no reason to adopt a new service name.
31.
We also take this opportunity to update the definition of TIS in Section 90.790 by
replacing the reference to the former Local Government Radio Service with a reference to the Public
Safety Pool. This change recognizes that the Local Governmental Radio Service is an anachronism
(since that Service was folded into the Public Safety Pool) and conforms the definition of TIS to the
relevant substantive authorizing rules, which assign to the Public Safety Pool the operation of TIS.91
While we did not specifically request comment on updating the definition of TIS, under Section
553(b)(B) of the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), notice and comment procedures do
not apply "when the agency for good cause finds (and incorporates the finding and a brief statement for
reasons therefore in the rules issued) that notice and public procedures thereon are . . . unnecessary."
The "unnecessary" exception to the notice requirement is "confined to those situations in which the
administrative rule is a routine determination, insignificant in nature and impact, and inconsequential to
the industry and to the public."92 "`Unnecessary' refers to the issuance of a minor rule or amendment in
which the public is not particularly interested."93 We find that updating the definition of "Travelers'


84 AASHTO Comments at ii.
85 Gropper Comments at 3, 25.
86 Snyder Comments at 1.
87 SHA Comments at 6.
88 AAIRO Comments at 17; AAIRO Reply Comments at 8.
89 See para. 25, supra.
90 47 C.F.R. 90.7.
91 See, e.g., 47 C.F.R. 90.242(a).
92 Utility Solid Waste Activities Group v. EPA, 236 F.3d 749, 755 (D.C. Cir., 2001), citing Texaco v. FPC, 412 F.2d
740, 743 (3d Cir., 1969); Sections 2.925 and 2.926 of the Rules Regarding Grantee Codes for Certified
Radiofrequency Equipment
, Order, 27 FCC Rcd 6565, 6567 8 (2012) (Grantee Code Order).
93 Texaco, 412 F.2d at 743 n.3; Grantee Code Order, 27 FCC Rcd at 6567 n.11.
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information station" in Section 90.7 meets the requirements for the good cause exception because notice
and comment are "unnecessary" in these respects; the amendment of the rule defining TIS constitutes an
editorial change that simply reflects Commission action taken in 1997.94 In that action, the Commission
eliminated the Local Governmental Radio Service as a stand-alone service by folding it into the broader
Public Safety Pool, and extended eligibility for each of the Pool's component services to any entity that
had been eligible for any one of those services.95 Accordingly, since 1997, TIS licenses could be held by
any entity eligible for a license within the Public Safety Pool, not just entities that had been eligible for
the superseded Local Government Radio Service referenced by the definition of TIS in Section 90.7.

B.

Geographic and Operational Limitations

32.
NPRM. With regard to TIS operational limitations, the NPRM asked a series of technical
questions: whether the Section 90.242 interference protection standards adequately protect AM stations;
whether the Commission should adopt specific second and third-adjacent channel protection standards to
ensure lack of interference to AM stations; to what extent TIS broadcast locations could be expanded
without resulting in harmful interference to other licensees; to what extent those changes would be of any
practical usefulness given the limitations on power output presently established in the TIS rules; whether
those power output limitations would also need to be relaxed in order to provide local governments with
any benefits; if power output limitations were relaxed, what rule changes would be necessary to ensure
that AM stations are adequately protected; and whether there any other technical rules that would need to
be changed.96
33.
In general, AAIRO argues that no revision to the technical or siting provisions of the
rules is necessary aside from lifting the filtering restriction in Section 90.242(b)(8) (discussed in the
Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking below).97 HIS proposed elimination of all TIS site transmitter
locations, but its successor entity, Vaisala, merely states that it supports "more operational flexibility"
without requesting specific changes.98 AASHTO calls for adjustment of "power levels and other
technical criteria to improve the service while ensuring that TIS facilities will not cause harmful
interference to AM broadcast stations."99 Several comments were directed to particular technical issues.
34.
Field Strength. Section 90.242(b)(4)(iv) of the Commission's rules specifies that the
field strength of TIS stations may "not exceed 2 mV/m when measured with a standard strength meter at
a distance of 1.50 km (0.93 miles) from the transmitting antenna system."100 The NPRM asked whether
the existing TIS field strength limit was necessary to protect AM broadcast stations and other TIS
stations from interference when other technical limitations exist in the rules; whether the field strength
limit was only needed because of the present requirement to provide specific information to the
"immediate vicinity" of areas listed in Section 90.242(a)(5); whether this limit would be unnecessary if
TIS stations were to be permitted to provide more general information that is applicable to broader areas;
what, if the Commission allows TIS stations to serve broader areas, the new field strength limit should
be, if any; whether a relaxed field strength limit frustrates the purpose of the Commission's spacing


94 Refarming Second Report and Order, 12 FCC Rcd at 14309 3.
95 Id. at 14323 29.
96 NPRM, 25 FCC Rcd at 18127 29.
97 AAIRO Comments at 20-21.
98 Vaisala Comments at 3. HIS requested elimination of all TIS transmitter site limitations. See 10, supra.
99 AASHTO Comments at ii.
100 47 C.F.R. 90.242(b)(4)(iv).
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requirements between co-channel TIS stations as set forth in Section 90.242(b)(5) of the Commission's
rules; and whether additional technical or operational changes would be necessary if the field strength
limits were amended.101
35.
There was limited comment on these issues. SHA opposes increasing the maximum field
strength of TIS, arguing that if it is increased, "risks of interference will be present and the FCC will then
have to adopt specific second and third level channel protection standards" necessitating "a research
project to determine the effects on AM stations, under a variety of scenarios (power output, spacing, field
strength, etc.)" prior to any rule change.102 We find that the record provides no substantial support for
changing the field strength limit. We encourage licensees to continue to work together to resolve
interference issues that occur under our existing technical rules. We also note that the Commission may
modify a TIS authorization if a legally-operating TIS station causes interference.103
36.
Site Location Restrictions. Our rules restrict TIS transmitting sites to "the immediate
vicinity of ... [a]ir, train, and bus transportation terminals, public parks and historical sites, bridges,
tunnels, and any intersection of a Federal Interstate Highway with any other Interstate, Federal, State, or
local highway."104 The NPRM sought comment on HIS's request that we remove these siting
restrictions.105 Gropper supports "[r]elaxed siting of AM transmitters ... to provide for maximum
utilization of the TIS system."106 AASHTO, however, suggests only minimal expansion of location
requirements, if any, and a reevaluation of appropriate power levels and other technical criteria for TIS
stations due to the long passage of time since the regulations were promulgated.107 Both AAIRO and
SHA oppose eliminating site restrictions due to interference concerns.108 NAB adds that eliminating such
restrictions "would delink TIS operations from its intended purpose."109
37.
We believe the record provides insufficient support for any modification of present TIS
site restrictions since it does not establish whether elimination or even expansion of these restrictions
would lead to harmful interference with non-TIS stations. Accordingly, we find that retaining these
restrictions is in the public interest, and thus we leave them in place as well.
38.
Other Rule Changes to Protect Other AM Stations. Pavlica states that in order to protect
other AM stations from interference at night, TIS transmitters must "be prepared to change [their]
frequency +/- 30 KHz in the event of night time skywave interference reported by the public."110 While
we appreciate this concern, we encourage licensees to continue to work together to resolve interference
issues that occur under our existing technical rules. We note that the Commission may modify a TIS
authorization if a legally-operating TIS station causes interference. The Commission will also take


101 NPRM at 18128-29 33.
102 SHA Comments at 10-11.
103 See 47 C.F.R. 90.242(a)(4).
104 47 C.F.R. 90.242(a)(5).
105 NPRM, 25 FCC Rcd at 18127 29.
106 Gropper Comments at 3.
107 AASHTO Comments at 8-9.
108 AAIRO Comments at 21; SHA Comments at 9.
109 NAB Comments at 8.
110 Pavlica Reply Comments at 3.
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enforcement action, as appropriate, where there are violations of the Commission's rules. Accordingly,
we do not believe the record indicates the need for further action on our part on this issue at present.
39.
Ribbon Systems. The 1997 TIS Report and Order prohibited "setting up a `network,' or
`ribbon' of transmitting stations along a highway for the purpose of continuously attracting a motorist
with what could be superfluous information."111 In response to a proposal from AASHTO to relax this
restriction, the NPRM asked for commenters' views on either (1) allowing ribbon systems but requiring
them to transmit unique information applicable to each transmitter's immediate area, or (2) allowing
ribboned stations to transmit in a synchronized mode, where all TIS stations transmit the same message
in unison.112 With respect to the latter scenario, the NPRM further asked if synchronized use of ribbon
systems could provide benefits that would outweigh the Commission's original intent to prevent use of
TIS to transmit superfluous information.113
40.
AAIRO supports allowing synchronized ribboning of TIS stations, contending that it
would be "useful in alleviating congestion along a route and to manage the flow of traffic during
widespread emergencies."114 AASHTO says such ribboning would "allow travelers to receive updated
information before reaching the location of a traffic condition or other incident."115 Several other
commenters support lifting the restriction for the same reasons.116 However, San Francisco opposes
ribboning as "duplicative of a 511 service."117
41.
We disagree that ribbon systems are duplicative of 511 service. TIS and 511 systems can
coexist and complement each other by providing information about other means of obtaining traffic
information.118 We also find that the public interest lies in allowing simulcast systems of transmitters,
which commenters indicate can help to manage traffic flow or provide a means of broadcasting relevant
information over complex geographic terrain. Our actions today will also lower operational costs for TIS
licensees without diminishing benefits to the traveling public. However, we will permit ribbon systems
to be used only for transmission of travel and emergency information that is relevant to travelers in the
vicinity of each transmitter in the network. While we leave it to the discretion of the TIS license holders
to determine relevancy, licensees should not view this relaxation of the ribboning restriction as carte
blanche for the simulcasting of irrelevant content over a large geographic area.


111 TIS Report and Order, 67 F.C.C.2d at 923-24 23.
112 NPRM, 25 FCC Rcd at 18128 31. In 2009, the Commission allowed Howard County, Maryland to operate three
simulcast TIS transmitters in order "to cover major commuter and evacuation routes in the County." See Howard
County Order
, 24 FCC Rcd at 1569 10.
113 NPRM at 18128 31.
114 AAIRO Comments at 5, 18.
115 AASHTO Comments at ii. See also AASHTO Comments at 9.
116 See Gropper Comments at 3, 26-27; SHA Comments at 9; Auburn Reply Comments at 1 ("Our complex terrain
decreases the efficacy of our station ... This could be easily remedied with a network of transmitters."); Vashon
Reply Comments at 1 ("current restriction on `ribboning' ... do not allow us to easily reach portions of our [island]
populations"); Lexington-Fayette Reply Comments at 2 ("rolling hills and geographic depressions" decrease
efficacy); Pavlica Reply Comments at 1.
117 San Francisco Comments at 2.
118 See 18, supra.
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IV.

FURTHER NOTICE OF PROPOSED RULEMAKING

42.
Although the NPRM did not raise the issue, numerous commenters argue for removal of
the filtering provision of Section 90.242(b)(8), which requires the filtering of TIS audio frequencies
above 3 kHz. Commenters contend that the required filtering decreases the audibility of TIS broadcasts
in general, and especially at night and over difficult terrain.119 Burden suggests this restriction could be
removed with little or no increased interference with adjacent channel broadcasters.120 No commenter
has opposed such removal.121
43.
Accordingly, we propose to remove this requirement from the rules. Because this
particular issue was not previously proposed in the NPRM but rather was introduced by commenters in
the record, we seek comment in this Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in order to establish a
record and consider any issues that may not have been raised in docket prior to this time. Accordingly,
we ask whether there is any reason this restriction should not be removed. Is there a potential for
increased interference with broadcasters? If not, are there any other reasons why we should not remove
the filtering restriction? We ask that all comments for or against the lifting of this restriction provide
empirical evidence for the position taken.

V.

PROCEDURAL MATTERS

A.

Ex Parte Presentations

44.
The proceeding this Notice initiates shall be treated as a "permit-but-disclose"
proceeding in accordance with the Commission's ex parte rules.122 Persons making ex parte


119 See AAIRO Comments at 5, 20; Auburn Reply Comments at 1 ("current requirements to filter our TIS signal
renders it useless in areas that would otherwise be easily served by the station."); Avalon Reply Comments at 1;
Cook Reply Comments at 1; Effingham Reply Comments at 1; Fairfield Reply Comments at 1 (filtering "tends to
severely limit the effectiveness of the system during evening and overnight hours"); Flaherty Reply Comments at 1
("generally renders our TIS station inaudible in the evening and over-night hours"); Hennes Reply Comments at 1
("generally renders our TIS station inaudible in the evening and over-night hours"); Los Alamos Reply Comments at
1 ("given our challenging terrain ... we ardently support the elimination of filtering requirements"); Manville Reply
Comments at 1 ("renders our TIS inaudible in the evening and over night"); Montecito Reply Comments at 1 (our
topographic features "renders our signal inaudible in various areas of the community"); North Wildwood Reply
Comments at 1 (eliminate the filtering requirements); Peabody Reply Comments at 1 ("renders many TIS stations
inaudible"); Lexington-Fayette Reply Comments at 2 (gives broadcast an "odd" nature); Dickey County Reply
Comments at 1 ("can't wait until the 7AM news to advise motorists" of a bridge failure).
120 Burden states he conducted an experiment removing the "3 kHz filter opening the transmitted response to that of
the 8 kHz program line" resulting in considerable improvement of the transmitted signal "with no audible
interference presented to the reception of the first adjacent." See, Burden Reply Comments at 2. Burden further
notes that "AM broadcast bandwidth specified by the NRSC-2 Spectrum Mask adopted by the FCC some time ago to
resolve interference issues, limits the audio frequency response of AM broadcast transmission to 10 kHz. Limiting
the bandwidth of TIS transmission to the same bandwidth as the NRSC mask should be logical. A recent study into
acceptable audio bandwidths conducted by NPR Labs in an AM-DAB study for the NRSC, concluded that
limitations to an audio bandwidth less than 7 kHz was not advisable for AM broadcast facilities." Id. Burden notes
that with "use of TIS facilities as a means of communication in emergencies, intelligibility becomes important" and
"it only follows that the audio quality of the emergency message needs to be offered with the same intelligibility as
that from AM radio broadcast facilities." Id.
121 We also note that when the Commission adopted the filtering requirement in 1977, it provided no explanation for
the requirement in the TIS Report and Order but merely included it in the rules appendix. See TIS Report and
Order,
67 F.C.C.2d at Appendix C.
122 47 C.F.R. 1.1200 et seq.
(continued....)
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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.

B.

Comment Filing Procedures

45.
Pursuant to sections 1.415 and 1.419 of the Commission's rules, 47 CFR 1.415,
1.419, interested parties may file comments and reply comments on or before the dates indicated on the
first page of this document. Comments may be filed using: (1) the Commission's Electronic Comment
Filing System (ECFS), or (2) by filing paper copies. See Electronic Filing of Documents in Rulemaking
Proceedings
, 63 FR 24121 (1998).

All filings related to this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking should
refer to RM-11514, PS Docket No. 09-19, and RM-11531.



Electronic Filers: Comments may be filed electronically using the Internet by accessing the
ECFS: http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs2/.

Paper Filers: Parties who choose to file by paper must file an original and one copy 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.
Filings can be sent by hand or messenger delivery, by commercial overnight courier, or by first-
class or overnight U.S. Postal Service mail. All filings must be addressed to the Commission's
Secretary, Office of the Secretary, Federal Communications Commission.

All hand-delivered or messenger-delivered paper filings for the Commission's Secretary
must be delivered to FCC Headquarters at 445 12th St., SW, Room TW-A325,
Washington, DC 20554. The filing hours are 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. All hand deliveries
must be held together with rubber bands or fasteners. Any envelopes and boxes must be
disposed of before entering the building.

Commercial overnight mail (other than U.S. Postal Service Express Mail and Priority
Mail) must be sent to 9300 East Hampton Drive, Capitol Heights, MD 20743.
(Continued from previous page)


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U.S. Postal Service first-class, Express, and Priority mail must be addressed to 445 12th
Street, SW, Washington DC 20554.
People with Disabilities: To request materials in accessible formats for people with disabilities (braille,
large print, electronic files, audio format), send an e-mail to fcc504@fcc.gov or call the Consumer &
Governmental Affairs Bureau at 202-418-0530 (voice), 202-418-0432 (tty).

C.

Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

46.
As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, see 5 U.S.C. 603, the
Commission has prepared a Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (FRFA) and Initial Regulatory
Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) of the possible significant economic impact on small entities of the policies
and rules addressed in this document. The FRFA is set forth in Appendix C and the IRFA is set forth in
Appendix E. Written public comments are requested on the IRFA. These comments must be filed in
accordance with the same filing deadlines as comments filed in response to this Further Notice of
Proposed Rulemaking as set forth in paragraph 37, and have a separate and distinct heading designating
them as responses to the IRFA.

D.

Paperwork Reduction Act Analysis

47.
This document contains no proposed or modified information collection requirements
within the meaning of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13.

VI.

ORDERING CLAUSES

48.
Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that pursuant to sections 4(i) and 303 of the
Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 154(i) and 303, this Report and Order and
Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking IS ADOPTED.
49.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Commission's Consumer and Governmental
Affairs Bureau, Reference Information Center, SHALL SEND a copy of this Report and Order and
Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, including the Initial and Final Regulatory Flexibility Analyses,
to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration.
50.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Commission SHALL SEND a copy of this Report
and Order in a report to be sent to Congress and the General Accounting Office pursuant to the
Congressional Review Act, see 5 U.S.C. 801(a)(1)(A).
51.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that pursuant to applicable procedures set forth in Sections
1.415 and 1.419 of the Commission's rules, 47 C.F.R. 1.415, 1.419, interested parties may file
comments on this Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on or before 30 days after publication in the
Federal Register, and interested parties may file reply comments on or before 45 days after publication in
the Federal Register.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Marlene H. Dortch
Secretary
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APPENDIX A

List of Commenters

Comments

Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities
Alaska
American Association of Information Radio Operators
AAIRO
American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials
AASHTO
Daniel R. Gropper
Gropper
Metropolitan Transportation Commission (San Francisco)
MTC
National Association of Broadcasters
NAB
National Public Radio, Inc.
NPR
Ricardo Snyder
Snyder
Maryland State Highway Administration
SHA
Michael George, et al.
George
Vaisala
Vaisala

Reply Comments

American Association of Information Radio Operators
AAIRO
Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials-International, Inc.
APCO
City of Auburn
Auburn
City of Aurora, Illinois
Aurora
Borough of Avalon, New Jersey
Avalon
Richard W. Burden Associates
Burden
Ronald P. Cook
Cook
Effingham County, Illinois
Effingham
Fairfield, Texas
Fairfield
Mark Flaherty
Flaherty
Fort Bend County, Texas
Fort Bend
Hennes Paynter Communications
Hennes
Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government
Lexington-Fayette
Los Alamos County, New Mexico
Los Alamos
Borough of Manville, New Jersey
Manville
Mentor Fire Department
Mentor
Montecito Fire Protection District
Montecito
National Association of Broadcasters
NAB
North Wildwood Police Department
North Wildwood
Town of Ocean City, Maryland
Ocean City
Peabody, Massachusetts
Peabody
William Reynolds
Reynolds
Voice of Vashon
Vashon
Wildland Residents Association, San Marcos Pass Volunteer Fire Department
Wildland

Late-Filed Comments

Cohen, Dippel and Everist, P.C.
Cohen
Dickey County, North Dakota
Dickey County
Daniel R. Gropper
Gropper
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FCC 13-98

John Pavlica, Jr.
Pavlica
Merlyn Bartlett
Bartlett

Ex Parte Comments

American Association of Information Radio Operators (12/18/12)
AAIRO
Borough of Manasquan, New Jersey
Manasquan
Monmouth Beach, New Jersey Police Dept.
Monmouth
North Plainfield, New Jersey
North Plainfield
American Association of Information Radio Operators (12/28/12)
AAIRO
Burlington County, New Jersey Public Safety
Burlington
Irvine Police Dept.
Irvine
Lyndhurst, New Jersey Dept. of Public Safety
Lyndhurst
Peabody Massachusetts Police Dept.
Peabody
San Marcos Pass Volunteer Fire Dept.
San Marcos
William Reynolds
Reynolds
Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials
AASHTO
North Tahoe Fire Protection District
North Tahoe
Richard Phoenix
Phoenix
20

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APPENDIX B

Final Rules

Part 90 of Chapter 1 of Title 47 of the Code of Federal Regulations is amended as follows:
1.
The authority citation for Part 90 continues to read as follows:

Authority: Sections 4(i), 11, 303(g), 303(r), and 332(c)(7) of the Communications Act of

1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 154(i), 161, 303(g), 303(r), 332(c)(7).
2.
Section 90.7 is amended by revising the definition of "Travelers' information station" to
read as follows:
Travelers' information station. A base station in the Public Safety Pool used to transmit
non-commercial, voice information pertaining to traffic and road conditions, traffic
hazard and traveler advisories, directions, availability of lodging, rest stops, and service
stations, and descriptions of local points of interest.
3.
Section 90.242 is amended by revising paragraph (a)(7) to read as follows:
90.242 Travelers' information stations.
(a)
* * *
(7) Travelers' Information Stations shall transmit only noncommercial voice information
pertaining to traffic and road conditions, traffic hazard and travel advisories, directions,
availability of lodging, rest stops and service stations, and descriptions of local points of
interest. It is not permissible to identify the commercial name of any business
establishment whose service may be available within or outside the coverage area of a
Travelers' Information Station. However, to facilitate announcements concerning
departures/arrivals and parking areas at air, train, and bus terminals, the trade name
identification of carriers is permitted. Travelers' Information Stations may also transmit
information in accordance with the provisions of 90.405 and 90.407.
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APPENDIX C

Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

1.
As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, as amended (RFA),1 and Initial
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) was incorporated into the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in PS
Docket 09-19 (NPRM). The Commission sought written comment on the proposals in the NPRM,
including comments on the IRFA. This Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (FRFA) conforms to the
RFA.

A.

Need for, and Objectives of, the Report and Order

2.
This Report and Order seeks to ensure that the Commission's Travelers Information
Station (TIS) rules better serve all Americans. To that end, it amends the TIS rules to directly reference
sections 90.405(a)(1) and 90.407 of the Commission's rules.2 These two sections allow, respectively, the
use of TIS facilities for the transmission of "any communications related directly to the imminent safety-
of-life or property," and for emergency communications "during a period of emergency in which the
normal communication facilities are disrupted as a result of hurricane, flood, earthquake or similar
disaster." This Report and Order also further clarifies the permissible content under the TIS rules,
indicating that such content must either continue to have a travel-related nexus, be emergency-related, or
relate directly to an imminent threat. Next, this Report and Order partially removes the present
restriction on so-called ribbon (i.e., simulcast) networks of TIS transmitters, requiring only that simulcast
transmissions be relevant to travelers in the vicinity of each transmitter in the network. Finally, this
Report and Order updates the definition of TIS in Section 90.7 to replace the reference to the former
Local Government Radio Service with a reference to the Public Safety Pool.

B.

Summary of Significant Issues Raised by Public Comments in Response to the

IRFA.

3.
There were no comments that specifically addressed the IRFA.

C.

Description and Estimate of the Number of Small Entities to Which Rules Will

Apply

4.
The RFA directs agencies to provide a description of, and, where feasible, an estimate of,
the number of small entities that may be affected by the rules adopted herein.3 The RFA generally
defines the term "small entity" as having the same meaning as the terms "small business," "small
organization," and "small governmental jurisdiction."4 In addition, the term "small business" has the
same meaning as the term "small business concern" under the Small Business Act.5 A "small business


1 See 5 U.S.C. 603. The RFA, see 5 U.S.C. 601-612, has been amended by the Small Business Regulatory
Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (SBREFA), Pub. L. No. 104-121, Title II, 110 Stat. 857 (1996).
2 See 47 C.F.R. 90. 90.405(a)(1) and 90.407.
3 5 U.S.C. 604(a)(3).
4 5 U.S.C. 601(6).
5 5 U.S.C. 601(3) (incorporating by reference the definition of "small-business concern" in the Small Business Act,
15 U.S.C. 632). Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 601(3), the statutory definition of a small business applies "unless an
agency, after consultation with the Office of Advocacy of the Small Business Administration and after opportunity
for public comment, establishes one or more definitions of such term which are appropriate to the activities of the
agency and publishes such definition(s) in the Federal Register." 5 U.S.C. 601(3).
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concern" is one which: (1) is independently owned and operated; (2) is not dominant in its field of
operation; and (3) satisfies any additional criteria established by the Small Business Administration
("SBA").6
5.
Our action may, over time, affect small entities that are not easily categorized at present.
We therefore describe here, at the outset, three comprehensive, statutory small entity size standards that
encompass entities that could be directly affected by the proposals under consideration.7 As of 2009,
small businesses represented 99.9% of the 27.5 million businesses in the United States, according to the
SBA.8 Additionally, a "small organization" is generally "any not-for-profit enterprise which is
independently owned and operated and is not dominant in its field."9 Nationwide, as of 2007, there were
approximately 1,621,315 small organizations.10 Finally, the term "small governmental jurisdiction" is
defined generally as "governments of cities, counties, towns, townships, villages, school districts, or
special districts, with a population of less than fifty thousand."11 Census Bureau data for 2007 indicate
that there were 89,527 governmental jurisdictions in the United States.12 We estimate that, of this total,
as many as 88,761 entities may qualify as "small governmental jurisdictions."13 Thus, we estimate that
most governmental jurisdictions are small. However, we estimate that approximately 1,445
governmental entities hold TIS licenses, and only a subset of these entities constitute small governmental
jurisdictions.14

D.

Description of Projected Reporting, Recordkeeping, and Other Compliance

Requirements



6 15 U.S.C. 632.
7 See 5 U.S.C. 601(3)(6).
8 See SBA, Office of Advocacy, "Frequently Asked Questions," available at
http://web.sba.gov/faqs/faqindex.cfm?areaID=24 (last visited Aug. 31, 2012).
9 5 U.S.C. 601(4).
10 INDEPENDENT SECTOR, THE NEW NONPROFIT ALMANAC & DESK REFERENCE (2010).
11 5 U.S.C. 601(5).
12 U.S. CENSUS BUREAU, STATISTICAL ABSTRACT OF THE UNITED STATES: 2011, Table 427 (2007).
13 The 2007 U.S Census data for small governmental organizations are not presented based on the size of the
population in each such organization. There were 89,476 local governmental organizations in 2007. If we assume
that county, municipal, township, and school district organizations are more likely than larger governmental
organizations to have populations of 50,000 or less, the total of these organizations is 52,095. If we make the same
population assumption about special districts, specifically that they are likely to have a population of 50,000 or less,
and also assume that special districts are different from county, municipal, township, and school districts, in 2007
there were 37,381 such special districts. Therefore, there are a total of 89,476 local government organizations. As a
basis of estimating how many of these 89,476 local government organizations were small, in 2011, we note that there
were a total of 715 cities and towns (incorporated places and minor civil divisions) with populations over 50,000.
CITY AND TOWNS TOTALS: VINTAGE 2011 U.S. Census Bureau, available at
http://www.census.gov/popest/data/cities/totals/2011/index.html. If we subtract the 715 cities and towns that meet or
exceed the 50,000 population threshold, we conclude that approximately 88,761 are small. U.S. CENSUS
BUREAU, STATISTICAL ABSTRACT OF THE UNITED STATES 2011, Tables 427, 426 (Data cited therein are
from 2007).
14 Based on an FCC Universal Licensing System search of July 10, 2013. Search parameters: Radio Service = PW;
Authorization Type = Regular; Status = Active; Frequency Upper Band >= 0.53; Frequency Assigned <= 1.7.
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6.
This Report and Order contains no reporting or recordkeeping requirements.

E.

Steps Taken to Minimize the Significant Economic Impact on Small Entities, and

Significant Alternatives Considered

7.
The RFA requires an agency to describe any significant alternatives that it has
considered in developing its approach, which may include the following four alternatives (among others):
"(1) the establishment of differing compliance or reporting requirements or timetables that take into
account the resources available to small entities; (2) the clarification, consolidation, or simplification of
compliance and reporting requirements under the rule for such small entities; (3) the use of performance
rather than design standards; and (4) an exemption from coverage of the rule, or any part thereof, for
such small entities."15
8.
The proposed rules are designed to minimally impact all TIS participants, including
small entities, while at the same time protecting the lives and property of all Americans, which confers a
direct benefit on small entities. None of the rules is likely to have a significant economic impact on
small entities as they either clarify or remove restrictions on the present TIS rules. As an alternative to
the rule changes, the Commission considered granting an exemption from coverage of the rules to small
entities. However, exemption could result in a small entity TIS licensee transmitting any content it
chooses over TIS, which would dilute the public safety value of the TIS service. The Report and Order
requires that permissible content under the TIS rules must continue to have a nexus to travel, an
emergency, or an imminent threat of danger. Therefore, the Commission rejected this alternative.
9.

Report to Congress:

The Commission will send a copy of the Report and Order,
including this FRFA, in a report to be sent to Congress and the Government Accountability Office
pursuant to the Congressional Review Act.16 In addition, the Commission will send a copy of the Report
and Order, including this FRFA, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the SBA. A copy of the Report
and Order and FRFA (or summaries thereof) will also be published in the Federal Register.17


15 5 U.S.C. 603(c)(1) (c)(4).
16 See 5 U.S.C. 801(a)(1)(A).
17 See 5 U.S.C. 604(b).
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APPENDIX D

Proposed Rules

1.
The authority citation for Part 90 continues to read as follows:

Authority: Sections 4(i), 11, 303(g), 303(r), and 332(c)(7) of the Communications Act of

1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 154(i), 161, 303(g), 303(r), and 332(c)(7).
2.
Section 90.242 is amended by revising paragraph (b)(8) to read as follows:
90.242 Travelers' information stations.
* * * * *
(b)
* * *
(8)
[Reserved]
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APPENDIX E

Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

1.
As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, as amended (RFA),18 the
Commission has prepared this present Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) of the possible
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities by the policies and rules proposed
in this Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM). Written public comments are requested on
this IRFA. Comments must be identified as responses to the IRFA and must be filed by the deadlines for
comments on the FNPRM provided in Section IV of the item. The Commission will send a copy of the
FNPRM, including this IRFA, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration
(SBA).19 In addition, the FNPRM and IRFA (or summaries thereof) will be published in the Federal
Register.20

A.

Need for, and Objectives of, the Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

2.
Today's FNPRM seeks to ensure that the Commission's Travelers Information Station
(TIS) rules better serve all Americans. It seeks comment on a change to the TIS rules proposed by a
petitioner and supported by several commenters. Specifically, the Commission seeks comment on
removing Section 90.242(b)(8) of the Commission's rules, which requires the filtering of audio
frequencies above 3 kHz. The record indicates that this requirement seriously decreases the audibility of
TIS broadcasts while adding little to the protection of commercial broadcasters. However, because the
filtering issue was not specifically noticed in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in this docket, we will
request further comment on this proposed rule change.21

B.

Legal Basis

3.
Authority for the actions proposed in this FNPRM may be found in sections 4(i) and 303
of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 154(i) and 303.

C.

Description and Estimate of the Number of Small Entities to Which Rules Will
Apply

4.
The RFA directs agencies to provide a description of, and, where feasible, an estimate of,
the number of small entities that may be affected by the rules adopted herein.22 The RFA generally
defines the term "small entity" as having the same meaning as the terms "small business," "small
organization," and "small governmental jurisdiction."23 In addition, the term "small business" has the
same meaning as the term "small business concern" under the Small Business Act.24 A "small business


18 See 5 U.S.C. 603. The RFA, see 5 U.S.C. 601-612, has been amended by the Small Business Regulatory
Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (SBREFA), Pub. L. No. 104-121, Title II, 110 Stat. 857 (1996).
19 See 5 U.S.C. 603(a).
20 Id.
21 See FNPRM at 39 for a more detailed discussion of this subject.
22 5 U.S.C. 604(a)(3).
23 5 U.S.C. 601(6).
24 5 U.S.C. 601(3) (incorporating by reference the definition of "small-business concern" in the Small Business
Act, 15 U.S.C. 632). Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 601(3), the statutory definition of a small business applies "unless an
agency, after consultation with the Office of Advocacy of the Small Business Administration and after opportunity
(continued....)
26

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FCC 13-98

concern" is one which: (1) is independently owned and operated; (2) is not dominant in its field of
operation; and (3) satisfies any additional criteria established by the Small Business Administration
("SBA").25
5.
Our action may, over time, affect small entities that are not easily categorized at present.
We therefore describe here, at the outset, three comprehensive, statutory small entity size standards that
encompass entities that could be directly affected by the proposals under consideration.26 As of 2009,
small businesses represented 99.9% of the 27.5 million businesses in the United States, according to the
SBA.27 Additionally, a "small organization" is generally "any not-for-profit enterprise which is
independently owned and operated and is not dominant in its field."28 Nationwide, as of 2007, there were
approximately 1,621,315 small organizations.29 Finally, the term "small governmental jurisdiction" is
defined generally as "governments of cities, counties, towns, townships, villages, school districts, or
special districts, with a population of less than fifty thousand."30 Census Bureau data for 2007 indicate
that there were 89,527 governmental jurisdictions in the United States.31 We estimate that, of this total,
as many as 88,761 entities may qualify as "small governmental jurisdictions."32 Thus, we estimate that
most governmental jurisdictions are small. However, we estimate that approximately 1,445
governmental entities hold TIS licenses, and only a subset of these entities constitute small governmental
jurisdictions.33

D.

Description of Projected Reporting, Recordkeeping, and Other Compliance

(Continued from previous page)


for public comment, establishes one or more definitions of such term which are appropriate to the activities of the
agency and publishes such definition(s) in the Federal Register." 5 U.S.C. 601(3).
25 15 U.S.C. 632.
26 See 5 U.S.C. 601(3)(6).
27 See SBA, Office of Advocacy, "Frequently Asked Questions," available at
http://web.sba.gov/faqs/faqindex.cfm?areaID=24 (last visited Aug. 31, 2012).
28 5 U.S.C. 601(4).
29 INDEPENDENT SECTOR, THE NEW NONPROFIT ALMANAC & DESK REFERENCE (2010).
30 5 U.S.C. 601(5).
31 U.S. CENSUS BUREAU, STATISTICAL ABSTRACT OF THE UNITED STATES: 2011, Table 427 (2007).
32 The 2007 U.S Census data for small governmental organizations are not presented based on the size of the
population in each such organization. There were 89,476 local governmental organizations in 2007. If we assume
that county, municipal, township, and school district organizations are more likely than larger governmental
organizations to have populations of 50,000 or less, the total of these organizations is 52,095. If we make the same
population assumption about special districts, specifically that they are likely to have a population of 50,000 or less,
and also assume that special districts are different from county, municipal, township, and school districts, in 2007
there were 37,381 such special districts. Therefore, there are a total of 89,476 local government organizations. As a
basis of estimating how many of these 89,476 local government organizations were small, in 2011, we note that there
were a total of 715 cities and towns (incorporated places and minor civil divisions) with populations over 50,000.
CITY AND TOWNS TOTALS: VINTAGE 2011 U.S. Census Bureau, available at
http://www.census.gov/popest/data/cities/totals/2011/index.html. If we subtract the 715 cities and towns that meet or
exceed the 50,000 population threshold, we conclude that approximately 88,761 are small. U.S. CENSUS
BUREAU, STATISTICAL ABSTRACT OF THE UNITED STATES 2011, Tables 427, 426 (Data cited therein are
from 2007).
33 Based on an FCC Universal Licensing System search of July 10, 2013. Search parameters: Radio Service = PW;
Authorization Type = Regular; Status = Active; Frequency Upper Band >= 0.53; Frequency Assigned <= 1.7.
27

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Requirements

6.
There are no potential reporting or recordkeeping requirements proposed in this FNPRM.
The proposals set forth in this FNPRM are intended to advance our public safety mission and enhance
the performance of the TIS while reducing regulatory burdens wherever possible.

E.

Steps Taken to Minimize the Significant Economic Impact on Small Entities, and
Significant Alternatives Considered

7.
The RFA requires an agency to describe any significant alternatives that it has
considered in developing its approach, which may include the following four alternatives (among others):
"(1) the establishment of differing compliance or reporting requirements or timetables that take into
account the resources available to small entities; (2) the clarification, consolidation, or simplification of
compliance and reporting requirements under the rule for such small entities; (3) the use of performance
rather than design standards; and (4) an exemption from coverage of the rule, or any part thereof, for
such small entities."34
8.
The proposed rule is designed to minimally impact all TIS participants, including small
entities, while at the same time protecting the lives and property of all Americans, which confers a direct
benefit on small entities. The proposed rule is unlikely to have a significant economic impact on small
entities as it would simply loosen a present operational restriction on the TIS rules to allow broadcast
without the filtering requirement, if that small entity so chose. As an alternative to this proposed rule
change, the Commission considered the alternative of allowing TIS licensees, including small entity
licensees, to file waivers of the existing rule that requires audio filtering. However, we find that our
proposal to lift the filtering requirement rule is more efficient than case-by-case waivers as an
administrative matter. Moreover, our proposal would allow all TIS licensees nationwide, rather than just
the entities who file waivers, to provide clearer audio quality for the benefit of public safety and the
traveling public. As noted in paragraph 2 above, the FNPRM seeks comment on how the Commission
may better protect the lives and property of Americans. In commenting on this goal, commenters are
invited to propose steps that the Commission may take to further minimize any significant economic
impact on small entities. When considering proposals made by other parties, commenters are invited to
propose significant alternatives that serve the goals of these proposals. We expect that the record will
develop to demonstrate any significant alternatives.

F.

Federal Rules that May Duplicate, Overlap, or Conflict with the Proposed Rules

9.
None.


34 5 U.S.C. 603(c)(1) (c)(4).
28

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