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700 MHz Narrowband Omnibus R&O / NPRM

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Released: April 1, 2013

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 13-40

Before the

Federal Communications Commission

Washington, D.C. 20554

In the Matter of
)
)
Proposed Amendments to the Service Rules
)
PS Docket No. 13-87
Governing Public Safety Narrowband Operations in )
the 769-775/799-805 MHz Bands
)
)
The Development of Operational, Technical and
)
WT Docket No. 96-86
Spectrum Requirements for Meeting Federal, State )
and Local Public Safety Communications
)
Requirements Through the Year 2010
)
)
National Public Safety Telecommunications
)
RM-11433
Council Petition for Rulemaking on Aircraft Voice )
Operations at 700 MHz
)
)
National Public Safety Telecommunications
)
RM-11433
Council Petition for Rulemaking to Revise 700
)
MHz Narrowband Channel Plan
)
)
Region 24 700 MHz Regional Planning
)
WT Docket No. 96-86
Committee Petition for Rulemaking
)
PS Docket No. 06-229
)
State of Louisiana Petition for Rulemaking
)
RM-11577

SEVENTH REPORT AND ORDER

NOTICE OF PROPOSED RULEMAKING

Adopted: March 29, 2013

Released: April 1, 2013

Comment Date: 60 days after publication in the Federal Register

Reply Comment Date: 90 days after publication in the Federal Register

By the Commission:

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Heading
Paragraph #
I. INTRODUCTION AND EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ........................................................................... 1
II. BACKGROUND.................................................................................................................................... 3
III. SEVENTH REPORT AND ORDER ..................................................................................................... 9
A. 700 MHz Narrowband Spectrum ................................................................................................... 10
1. Technical Rules ....................................................................................................................... 10
a. Relaxing ACP Limits for Base Station Emissions into the Paired Receive Band ............ 10

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b. Secondary Fixed Operations............................................................................................. 16
c. Digital Base Station ID ..................................................................................................... 21
d. Offset Frequency Values................................................................................................... 25
e. Trunking Rule Clarification.............................................................................................. 29
2. NCC Recommendations.......................................................................................................... 32
a. 700 MHz System Design Parameters ............................................................................... 33
b. Encryption Standard ......................................................................................................... 37
c. Technical Standards Referenced in Section 90.548.......................................................... 41
d. Display Labeling (Nomenclature)..................................................................................... 45
e. State Interoperability Executive Committees (SIECs)...................................................... 49
(i) Committee Designation and Composition.................................................................. 49
(ii) Mandating Formation of SIECs ................................................................................. 53
f. Regional Planning............................................................................................................. 58
(i) Mandatory Use of Pre-Coordination Database........................................................... 58
(ii) Regional Planning Process ......................................................................................... 61
B. Guard Band Spectrum.................................................................................................................... 70
1. ACP Limits for Guard Band Base Station Transmitters.......................................................... 70
2. Access Spectrum Proposal ...................................................................................................... 74
IV. NOTICE OF PROPOSED RULEMAKING ........................................................................................ 76
A. December 31, 2016 Deadline for Narrowbanding Transition to 6.25 Kilohertz Bandwidth
Technology .................................................................................................................................... 77
B. 2010 NPSTC Petition – Air-Ground Communications on Secondary Trunking Channels ........... 92
C. 2008 NPSTC Petition – Proposed Revisions to 700 MHz Narrowband Channel Plan ............... 103
1. Nationwide Interoperability Travel Channel......................................................................... 105
2. Tactical Voice Communications on Data Interoperability Channels .................................... 109
3. Reserve Channels .................................................................................................................. 112
4. Power Limit for Low Power Channels.................................................................................. 121
D. Miscellaneous Issues.................................................................................................................... 126
1. Project 25 Compliance Assessment Program........................................................................ 126
2. ACP Requirements for Class B Signal Boosters................................................................... 129
3. Narrowband Power Limits .................................................................................................... 136
4. Interoperability Network Access Code ................................................................................. 142
5. User Access to Interoperability Channels ............................................................................. 144
6. Analog Operation on the Interoperability Channels.............................................................. 146
V. PROCEDURAL MATTERS.............................................................................................................. 148
A. Regulatory Flexibility Analysis ................................................................................................... 148
B. Paperwork Reduction Act Analysis ............................................................................................. 149
C. Comment Filing Procedures ........................................................................................................ 151
D. Ex Parte Rules – Permit-But-Disclose Proceeding ...................................................................... 155
VI. ORDERING CLAUSES..................................................................................................................... 156
APPENDIX A - Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis
APPENDIX B - Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis
APPENDIX C - Final Rules

I.

INTRODUCTION AND EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

1.
In this Seventh Report and Order and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, we implement and
propose certain changes to the rules governing the 700 MHz public safety narrowband spectrum (769-
775/799-805 MHz). In the Seventh Report and Order in WT Docket 96-86, we adopt minor changes to
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those rules based on proposals from the Seventh Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (Seventh NPRM).1
These rule changes eliminate or update outdated technical requirements and offer public safety licensees
additional flexibility to operate their 700 MHz narrowband land mobile radio systems. We also address
recommendations from the National Coordination Committee (NCC) for changes to the 700 MHz
narrowband rules, on which we solicited comment in the Seventh NPRM.2
2.
In the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in PS Docket 13-87, we initiate a new proceeding
to seek comment on more recent proposals to amend the Commission’s rules to promote spectrum
efficiency, interoperability, and flexibility in 700 MHz public safety narrowband operations. Specifically,
we seek comment on whether to extend or eliminate the December 31, 2016 narrowbanding deadline for
700 MHz public safety narrowband licensees to transition from 12.5 kilohertz to 6.25 kilohertz channel
bandwidth technology.3 We also seek comment on a proposal from the National Public Safety
Telecommunications Council (NPSTC) to authorize secondary use of certain channels in the 700 MHz
band for public safety aircraft voice operations.4 In addition, we seek comment on a number of other
NPSTC proposals and other issues, including signal boosters, harmonizing power limits, certification of
testing of and establishing a standardized Network Access Code (NAC) for operation on 700 MHz
interoperability channels.

II.

BACKGROUND

3.
In 1998, the Commission established the initial band plan and service rules for the 24
megahertz of public safety spectrum in the 700 MHz band, which it reallocated from TV channels 60-69
in accordance with the mandate expressed in the Balanced Budget Act of 1997.5 The Commission also
divided the 24 megahertz of spectrum into narrowband (6.25 kilohertz channel) and wideband (50
kilohertz channel) segments.6 In 2002, the Commission set forth a migration path to 6.25 kilohertz
channel requirements for narrowband use.7
4.
In 2005, the Commission adopted the Sixth Report and Order in this docket, which
revised the Commission’s rules regarding adjacent channel power (ACP) emission limits for the 700 MHz
public safety band.8 At the same time, in the Seventh NPRM, the Commission sought comment and

1 See Development of Operational, Technical and Spectrum Requirements for Meeting Federal State and Local
Public Safety Communication Requirements Through the Year 2010, WT Docket No. 96-86, Fifth Memorandum
Opinion and Order, Sixth Report and Order, and Seventh NPRM of Proposed Rulemaking
, 20 FCC Rcd 831 (2005)
(Sixth Report and Order and Seventh NPRM, respectively).
2 See Letter from Kathleen M.H. Wallman, Chair, NCC, to Michael K. Powell, Chairman, Federal Communications
Commission, WT Docket. No. 96-86 (July 25, 2003) (NCC Final Report); Letter from Kathleen M.H. Wallman,
Chair, NCC to Michael K. Powell, Chairman, Federal Communications Commission and Attachment, WT Docket
No. 96-86 (May 29, 2003) (NCC May 2003 Letter).
3 See infra Section IVA.
4 See infra Section IVB.
5 See Development of Operational, Technical and Spectrum Requirements for Meeting Federal, State and Local
Public Safety Agency Communications Requirements Through the Year 2010, WT Docket No. 96-86, First Report
and Order and Third Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
, 14 FCC Rcd 152, 155 ¶ 3 & n.5 (1998) (First Report and
Order
and Third Notice, respectively), citing Pub. L. No. 105-33, § 3004, 111 Stat. 251 (1997), codified at 47
U.S.C. § 337(a)(1).
6 See id. at 170 ¶ 33.
7 See Development of Operational, Technical and Spectrum Requirements for Meeting Federal, State and Local
Public Safety Agency Communication Requirements Through the Year 2010, WT Docket No. 96-86, Fifth Report
and Order,
17 FCC Rcd 14999 (2002) (Fifth Report and Order).
8 Sixth Report and Order, 20 FCC Rcd at 840-44 ¶¶ 19-34. ACP emission limits are transmitter performance
specifications designed to minimize interference to communications systems operating on other in-band channels or
(continued....)
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issued tentative conclusions regarding proposals filed by TIA-PRS, Access Spectrum, Nortel/EADS and
the NCC to revise various rules governing the 700 MHz public safety narrowband spectrum, including
additional proposed revisions to the ACP rules.
5.
In 2007, the Commission adopted the 700 MHz Second Report and Order, which revised
the band plan and service rules governing both the commercial and public safety portions of the 700 MHz
band.9 Among other things, the Commission redesignated 10 megahertz of public safety 700 MHz
spectrum (at 763-768/793-798 MHz) for broadband use and established a plan for development of a
nationwide, interoperable broadband public safety communications network.10 In order to accommodate
the new public safety broadband allocation, the Commission eliminated the public safety wideband
channels and consolidated the public safety narrowband channels into their current locations at 769-775
and 799-805 MHz.11 The Commission also revised the size and location of the 700 MHz Guard Bands.12
6.
In revising the band plan for the public safety 700 MHz band, the Commission required
the 55 regional planning committees (RPCs) to submit conforming plans for narrowband operations.13
Most of these amended plans were filed in 2008. In 2009, the Commission stayed the deadline for
relocating existing narrowband operations, in light of the absence of a D Block licensee responsible for
narrowband relocation financing.14 In 2010, the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau sought
comment on the feasibility of permitting use of public safety narrowband spectrum for broadband

(...continued from previous page)
in other bands by restricting the level of emissions that are transmitted into adjacent channels and other parts of the
spectrum. See First Report and Order, 14 FCC Rcd at 213 ¶ 136. When establishing these limits, the Commission
seeks to balance the need to provide acceptable adjacent channel protection with the need to maximize spectral
efficiency and information transfer. The Commission also strives to avoid creating burdensome regulations that
could hinder the development of new and innovative technologies. Id.
9 Service Rules for the 698-746, 747-762 and 777-792 MHz Bands, WT Docket No. 06-150; Revision of the
Commission’s Rules to Ensure Compatibility with Enhanced 911 Emergency Calling Systems, CC Docket No.
94-102; Section 68.4(a) of the Commission’s Rules Governing Hearing Aid-Compatible Telephones, WT Docket No.
01-309; Biennial Regulatory Review – Amendment of Parts 1, 22, 24, 27, and 90 to Streamline and Harmonize
Various Rules Affecting Wireless Radio Services, WT Docket No. 03-264; Former Nextel Communications, Inc.
Upper 700 MHz Guard Band Licenses and Revisions to Part 27 of the Commission’s Rules, WT Docket No. 06-
169; Implementing a Nationwide, Broadband, Interoperable Public Safety Network in the 700 MHz Band, PS
Docket No. 06-229; Development of Operational, Technical and Spectrum Requirements for Meeting Federal, State
and Local Public Safety Communications Requirements Through the Year 2010, WT Docket No. 96-86, Second
Report and Order
, 22 FCC Rcd 15289 (2007) (700 MHz Second Report and Order).
10 See id. at 15407-08 ¶¶ 325-326.
11 Id. at 15409 ¶ 329. In revising the 700 MHz band plan, the Commission spectrally shifted downward by one
megahertz both of the paired twelve megahertz public safety 700 MHz spectrum blocks that originally were
allocated at 764-776 MHz and 794-806 MHz in order to protect against certain interference concerns for public
safety operations within the U.S./Canada border region. See id. at 15407 ¶ 323.
12 The Commission relocated the Guard Band A Block from 746-747/776-777 MHz to 757-758/787-788 MHz, so
that it is now situated between the Upper 700 MHz Band C Block and D Block. The Commission reduced the
bandwidth of the Guard Band B Block from two megahertz to one megahertz and relocated it from 762-764/792-794
MHz to 775-776/805-806 MHz so that it is now located at the upper edge of the public safety narrowband
allocation. See id. at 15336-37 ¶ 111.
13 See id. at 15414 ¶ 346.
14 Service Rules for the 698-746, 747-762 and 777-792 Bands; Implementing a Nationwide, Broadband,
Interoperable Public Safety Network in the 700 MHz Band, WT Docket No. 06-150, PS Docket No. 06-229, Order,
24 FCC Rcd 1604 (2009).
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services.15 The Bureau also sought comment on current and anticipated use of 700 MHz narrowband
networks, and on potential interference and interoperability issues raised by the proposal. 16
7.
On February 22, 2012, the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (Public
Safety Spectrum Act) was signed into law.17 The Public Safety Spectrum Act directs the Commission to
reallocate the 700 MHz D Block (758-763/788-793 MHz) for public safety services18 and provides for
consolidation of this spectrum with the adjacent 10 megahertz of public safety broadband spectrum
designated by the Commission in 2007.19 The Public Safety Spectrum Act did not change the position or
status of the 700 MHz narrowband spectrum, but Section 6102 of the Act states that “[t]he Commission
may allow the [700 MHz] narrowband spectrum to be used in a flexible manner, including usage for
public safety broadband communications, subject to such technical and interference protection measures
as the Commission may require.”20
8.
The following figures depict the shift and consolidation of the 700 MHz public safety
narrowband spectrum since 2007:

15 See Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau Seeks Comment on the Technical and Operational Feasibility of
Enabling Flexible Use of the 700 MHz Public Safety Narrowband Allocation and Guard Band for Broadband
Services, Public Notice, 25 FCC Rcd 13634 (2010).
16 Id.
17 Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, Pub. L. No. 112-96, 126 Stat. 156 (2012) (Public Safety
Spectrum Act).
18 See id. § 6101. The Commission has reallocated the D Block as directed by the statute. See Implementing Public
Safety Broadband Provisions of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, PS Docket No. 12-94,
Report and Order, 27 FCC Rcd 10953, 10956-57 (PSHSB 2012).
19 See Public Safety Spectrum Act, §§ 6201(a), 6202 and 6204(a); see also id. § 6001(2) (defining “700 MHz D
Block spectrum”) and (14) (defining “existing public safety broadband spectrum”).
20 Public Safety Spectrum Act, § 6102.
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III.

SEVENTH REPORT AND ORDER

9.
In this Seventh Report and Order, we resolve the proposals considered in the Seventh
NPRM that affect the consolidated 700 MHz narrowband spectrum. We do not address the proposals in
the Seventh NPRM that related to the former 700 MHz wideband channels, because the elimination of
wideband channels as part of the reconfiguration of the 700 MHz band in the 700 MHz Second Report
and Order
renders these portions of the Seventh NPRM moot.

A.

700 MHz Narrowband Spectrum
1.

Technical Rules

a.

Relaxing ACP Limits for Base Station Emissions into the Paired
Receive Band

10.
Background. Section 90.543(a) of the Commission’s rules establishes adjacent channel
power (ACP) emission limits for 700 MHz narrowband base station transmitters.21 The ACP limits are

21 An ACP emission limit is based upon the absolute and relative levels of coupled power as a function of frequency
that ensures that the adjacent channel interference potential of transmitters at various bandwidths is consistent and
predictable. See Development of Operational, Technical and Spectrum Requirements For Meeting Federal, State
and Local Public Safety Agency Communication Requirements Through the Year 2010, WT Docket No. 96-86,
Sixth Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 17 FCC Rcd 19303, 19304 ¶ 3 (2002) (citing First Report and Order, 14 FCC
Rcd 214 ¶ 138) (Sixth Notice).
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designed to reduce unwanted emissions from base station transmitters operating in the 769-775 MHz
band into adjacent channels and other parts of the spectrum, including emissions into the 799-805 MHz
band in which 700 MHz narrowband mobile units transmit and base stations receive (paired receive
band).22 The ACP limit for 700 MHz narrowband base station emissions into the paired receive band
is -100 dBc.23 This measurement must be made at the transmitter’s output port,24 i.e., without regard to
whether the operator uses combiners and external filtering to further attenuate the signal.
11.
In comments filed prior to the Seventh NPRM, TIA-PRS advocated relaxing the ACP
limit for base station emissions into the paired receive band from -100 dBc to -85 dBc.25 TIA-PRS argued
that external filters could easily provide the additional attenuation beyond -100 dBc necessary for
satisfactory system performance.26 In the Seventh NPRM, the Commission tentatively concluded that it
would retain the -100 dBc ACP limit in the paired receive band.27 The Commission expressed concern
that the TIA-PRS proposal would force public safety licensees with limited resources to purchase
additional filtering equipment that otherwise might not be necessary, and that the proposal would allow
certification of equipment whose capability for interference protection depends upon the purchase of
additional equipment.28
12.
In response to the Seventh NPRM, commenters agree on the importance of maintaining
effective ACP limits but differ on whether the existing rule should be modified. The State of Arizona
Department of Public Safety (Arizona) opposes relaxing the ACP limits on the basis that reduced ACP
limits could create interference to public safety systems.29 Motorola, Inc. (Motorola), however, supports
reducing the ACP limit from -100 dBc to -85 dBc and urges the Commission to reconsider its tentative
conclusion.30 Motorola asserts that public safety licensees can control ACP more efficiently and cost-
effectively through use of combiners and external filters.31 Motorola observes, for example, that in a base
station where ten transmitters are routed to a single antenna through a combiner, the licensee could
achieve adequate ACP suppression through use of a single filter external to the transmitters, whereas
complying with the existing rule would require the licensee to provision each transmitter with an integral
filter and to add external filtering as well in many cases.32 Thus, Motorola contends that the ACP limit in

22 47 C.F. R. § 90.543(a).
23 The term “dBc” means decibel relative to a carrier level. See Harry Newton, Newton’s Telecom Dictionary
(2004).
24 See 47 C.F.R. § 90.543(b).
25 Seventh NPRM, 20 FCC Rcd at 848 ¶ 38 (citing Comments of the Private Radio Section of the Wireless
Communications Division of the Telecommunications Industry Association, WT Docket No. 96-86 (filed Dec. 9,
2002)).
26 See Letter from Wayne Leland, Chairman, Private Radio Section, Wireless Communications Division of the
Telecommunications Industry Association, to Ms. Magalie Roman Salas, Secretary, Federal Communications
Commission, WT Docket No. 96-86 (Jul. 10, 2002) (TIA-PRS July 2002 Ex Parte) at 2.
27 Seventh NPRM, 20 FCC Rcd at 849 ¶ 39.
28 Id.
29 See Comments of Department of Public Safety, State of Arizona, WT Docket No. 96-86 (filed on May 27, 2005)
at 1.
30 Comments of Motorola, Inc., WT Docket No. 96-86 (filed May 27, 2005) (Motorola Comments) at 4.
31 Id.
32 Id; see also Letter from Steve Sharkey, Director, Spectrum and Standards Strategy, Motorola to Marlene H.
Dortch, Secretary, FCC, WT Docket No. 96-86, (Mar. 31, 2006) and accompanying attachment (Motorola ACP
Presentation).
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the existing rule drives up system costs by requiring multiple filters and limiting system and site design
options.33
13.
Discussion. We share the concerns raised by Arizona regarding the potential impact of
relaxing ACP emissions requirements. No commenting party suggests that the -100 dBc level of
protection afforded by the existing rule is unnecessary. Nonetheless, more cost-effective methods exist
that will achieve the level of interference protection equivalent to that sought by Arizona. Both TIA-PRS
and Motorola describe how operators routinely apply external filters so as to minimize the impact of
transmitter sideband noise on co-sited and duplex receivers.34 Motorola observes that many licensees
employ external filtering because they need to attenuate emissions in the paired receive band below
the -100 dBc limit currently specified in the rules to provide adequate isolation between the transmitters
and the associated receivers.35 For instance, Motorola notes that at a ten transmitter site a licensee would
still need an external filter to avoid ACP emissions that can cause interference to the associated receivers
even if each of the ten transmitters were already equipped with an internal filter that met the -100 dBc
ACP limit in the rules.36
14.
Based on the record, we now believe that allowing licensees the option to satisfy
emissions limits into the paired receive at the output of an external filter provides public safety licensees
with the most flexibility to achieve the necessary -100 dBc level of interference protection.
15.
Accordingly, we revise Section 90.543 to relax the ACP requirement for base station
transmitters to -85 dBc in the paired receive band, provided that a maximum ACP of -100 dBc is achieved
at either the transmitting antenna input port or the output of the transmitter combining network. This rule
change will allow a licensee to use a single external filter, in lieu of integral filters for each transmitter, to
meet the overall -100 dBc ACP requirement. Relaxing the individual transmitter ACP limit to -85 dBc,
while maintaining -100 dBc at the transmitting antenna input port or the combiner output port, will reduce
the cost and complexity of transmitters, yielding savings to public safety agencies, while at the same time
maintaining the overall level of ACP protection necessary to guard against interference in the paired
receive band.
b.

Secondary Fixed Operations

16.
Background. Section 90.235 of the Commission’s rules permits private land mobile radio
licensees to conduct secondary fixed tone signaling and alarm operations in bands above 25 MHz, subject
to certain restrictions designed primarily to protect co-channel users from interference on shared
channels.37 Secondary fixed tone signaling and alarm operations traditionally have been used to verify
the status of equipment, indicating the existence of an equipment malfunction, and alerting licensees to
the presence of an intruder, fire or other hazardous conditions.
17.
In contrast, 800 MHz systems are afforded greater leeway to conduct secondary fixed
operations because they do not operate on shared channels.38 For example, Section 90.637(c) permits
these systems to conduct fixed ancillary signaling and data transmissions on a secondary basis without
emission designator or transmission duration limitations.

33 Motorola ACP Presentation at 3.
34 See TIA-PRS July 2002 Ex Parte at 2; Motorola ACP Presentation at 7-8.
35 Motorola ACP Presentation at 7-8.
36 Id. at 9.
37 See 47 C.F.R. § 90.235. Secondary operations must not cause interference to primary operations and must accept
interference from primary operations. See 47 C.F.R. § 90.7.
38 See 47 C.F.R. §§ 90.235(l), 90.637(c).
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18.
Prior to the Seventh NPRM, TIA-PRS suggested that the more permissive rules covering
secondary fixed operations in the 800 MHz band would also provide a suitable framework for 700 MHz
public safety systems.39 Accordingly, in the Seventh NPRM, the Commission sought comment on
whether to extend the rules governing secondary fixed operations in the 800 MHz band to 700 MHz
public safety operations.40
19.
NPSTC and Motorola support this rule change.41 NPSTC notes that “in the future many
700 MHz radios offered in the marketplace will also be capable of operating in the 800 MHz public safety
bands.”42 NPSTC contends that harmonizing the rules for these two bands with respect to secondary
fixed use will enhance the ability of manufacturers to develop and offer dual-band radios and will
promote interoperability.43 Motorola argues that “the regional planning process and the operational
restrictions currently codified in Section 90.637 provide adequate protections to address any concerns
over interference to the primary mobile services.”44 No other commenting parties addressed this issue.
20.
Discussion. We adopt the TIA-PRS proposal and adopt a new Section 90.557 that
permits secondary fixed operations on the 700 MHz narrowband General Use and State License channels,
subject to the same restrictions contained in Section 90.637(c) that apply to 800 MHz operations. We
find that it is in the public interest to permit 700 MHz public safety users to make greater use of
secondary fixed signaling and data transmission operations. Furthermore, we believe licensees will
benefit from our decision to harmonize the criteria for secondary fixed operations in the 700 MHz band
with the 800 MHz band because, as NPSTC notes, this harmonization will enhance a manufacturer’s
ability to develop and offer dual-band radios.45 We agree with Motorola that the regional planning
process has proven to be a reliable way of avoiding interference to co-channel users, while preserving
these benefits.46 In addition, State License channels are strictly governed by the relevant State licensee.
We find that these controls over the potential instances of shared use of 700 MHz General Use and State
license channels provide sufficient channel use exclusivity to justify application of the less stringent
restrictions on secondary fixed signaling and data transmission operations currently set forth in Section
90.637. Nonetheless, to reduce the possibility of interference to interoperability channels and low power
channels, we will permit secondary fixed signaling operations only on General Use channels subject to
the discretion of the regional planning committee, and on State License channels subject to the discretion
of the relevant State licensee.

39 See Seventh NPRM, 20 FCC Rcd at 850 ¶ 41 (citing Letter from Wayne Leland, Chairman, Private Radio Section,
Wireless Communications Division of the Telecommunications Industry Association, to Ms. Marlene Dortch,
Secretary, Federal Communications Commission, WT Docket No. 96-86 (Oct. 6, 2004) (TIA-PRS October 2004 Ex
Parte
)). See also Letter, dated September 28, 2004, from Marilyn B. Ward, Chair, National Public Safety
Communications Council, to John Muleta, Chief, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, Federal Communications
Commission at 3 (NPSTC September 2004 Ex Parte).
40 See Seventh NPRM, 20 FCC Rcd at 850 ¶ 41.
41 See Comments of the National Public Safety Telecommunications Council, WT Docket No. 96-86 (filed May 27,
2005) (NPSTC Comments) at 8; Motorola Comments at 6-7.
42 NPSTC Comments at 8.
43 Id.
44 Motorola Comments at 7.
45 NPSTC Comments at 8.
46 We have twenty-five years of experience with the regional planning process which was originally applied in the
800 MHz band. See Development and Implementation of a Public Safety National Plan and Amendment of Part 90
to Establish Service Rules and Technical Standards for the Use of the 821-824/866-869 MHz Bands by Public
Safety Services, Report and Order, 3 FCC Rcd 905 (1987).
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c.

Digital Base Station ID

21.
Background. Section 90.425(a) of the Commission’s rules requires Public Safety Pool
licensees to transmit their call signs at least every thirty minutes by voice or International Morse Code on
an analog signal.47 Section 90.647(c) provides an exception to this rule for 800 MHz and 900 MHz band
licensees, who are permitted to transmit their call signs digitally, provided they “are licensed on an
exclusive basis, and normally employ digital signals.”48 This exception was adopted in 1993, before the
rules contemplated public safety operations in the 700 MHz band. Thus, the exception does not apply to
700 MHz narrowband licensees, who are thus not allowed to transmit their call signs digitally despite the
fact that Section 90.535(a) generally requires them to employ digital modulation.49 Since 2005, however,
they have been allowed to transmit call signs digitally pursuant to a waiver, if licensed on an exclusive
basis, and subject to the outcome of this proceeding.50
22.
In the Seventh NPRM, the Commission sought comment on whether the digital station
identification rules for the 800 MHz band should also apply to 700 MHz public safety operations.51 The
Commission noted that TIA-PRS had filed comments indicating “industry consensus” in favor of such a
rule change.52
23.
Commenters responding to the Seventh NPRM uniformly support allowing 700 MHz
narrowband licensees to provide digital station identification.53 NPSTC notes that it previously
recommended this rule change in another proceeding and “reaffirm[s] that support here.”54 Motorola
observes that the Commission has elsewhere supported digital station identification by licensees operating
primarily in the digital mode.55 Motorola also argues that requiring 700 MHz licensees to purchase and
operate equipment that includes an analog mode or Morse Code capability “would unnecessarily raise the
cost of equipment.”56
24.
Discussion. We agree with TIA-PRS and others that the Commission’s rules should
permit 700 MHz narrowband licensees to transmit their station identifications digitally when their
transmitters normally operate in a digital mode. Given that we require all public safety 700 MHz
narrowband transmitters, except for certain mobile and portable transmitters, to operate primarily using
digital modulation, we find no basis to maintain the analog identification requirement.57 We find that this
decision will lead to reduced equipment costs for licensees.58 Furthermore, licensees will benefit from

47 See 47 C.F.R. § 90.425.
48 See 47 C.F.R. § 90.647(c).
49 See 47 C.F.R. § 90.535(a). Mobile and portable transmitters may have analog modulation capability as a
secondary mode to the primary digital mode. Id.
50 See Motorola, Inc., Order, 20 FCC Rcd 16545 (WTB PSCID 2005).
51 See Seventh NPRM, 20 FCC Rcd at 850 ¶ 41.
52 See TIA-PRS October 2004 Ex Parte at 3.
53 See NPSTC Comments at 7-8, Motorola Comments at 6-8.
54 NPSTC Comments at 7-8 (citing NPSTC September 2004 Ex Parte).
55 Motorola Comments at 7 citing Amendment of Parts 2 and 90 of the Commission’s Rules to Provide for the Use
of 200 Channels Outside the Designated Filing Areas in the 896-901 MHz and 935-940 MHz Bands Allotted to the
Specialized Mobile Radio Pool, PR Docket No. 89-553, Report and Order, 8 FCC Rcd 1469, ¶¶ 48-49 (1993).
56 Motorola Comments at 7.
57 See 47 C.F.R. § 90.535(a).
58 See Motorola Comments at 7.
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our harmonizing the station identification requirements of the 700 MHz band with the 800 MHz band,
because doing so will enhance manufacturers’ ability to develop and offer dual-band radios.
d.

Offset Frequency Values

25.
Background. As noted previously, Section 90.543(a) of the Commission’s rules contains
the ACP tables indicating the maximum power a transmitter may radiate into adjacent bands.59 The
maximum permitted power decreases as spectral separation from the center frequency increases. The
rule’s tables also delineate the bandwidth over which the power limits must be measured at specific
offsets from the center frequency. For instance, the first ACP measurement for a transmitter operating
with a 12.5 kilohertz channel bandwidth is made at an offset of 9.375 kilohertz from the center frequency
using a measurement bandwidth of 6.25 kilohertz.60
26.
In comments filed in 2002, Nortel and EADS jointly proposed changing the offsets
specified in these ACP tables.61 Specifically, they proposed adjusting the first offset value for a 12.5
kilohertz bandwidth transmitter from 9.375 kilohertz to 9.55 kilohertz, and reducing the measurement
bandwidth for this first offset from 6.25 kilohertz to 5.9 kilohertz.62 Nortel/EADS asserted that these
changes would permit use of more spectrally efficient technologies in the 700 MHz band.63 They
proposed similar changes to the 6.25 kilohertz and 25 kilohertz bandwidth tables, but proposed no
specific values.64 The Commission sought comment on these proposals in the Seventh NPRM, asking
whether the change proposed by Nortel/EADS would promote the use of spectrally efficient technology
without increasing interference potential, and whether similar changes should be made to the first offset in
the 6.25 kilohertz and 25 kilohertz bandwidth tables.65
27.
Commenters are divided on this proposal. M/A-COM asserts that the adjustment
proposed by Nortel/EADS would result in a 1 dB improvement in link budget performance, thereby
increasing the radius of a service area by seven percent.66 EADS contends that the typical receiver filter
for a Project 25 receiver will provide “significant attenuation to the interfering signal,” implying that a
Project 25 receiver will not be hampered by the increase in adjacent channel interference resulting from
the recommended measurement changes.67 On the other hand, Motorola opposes Nortel/EADS’s
proposed changes on the grounds that the existing ACP values and measurement procedures were
developed within the TIA based on industry consensus.68 Motorola observes that the “relaxation sought
by Nortel/EADS … was considered by the TIA and rejected … because it reduces adjacent channel
protection.”69

59 47 C.F.R. § 90.543. See also supra ¶ 10.
60 See 47 C.F.R. § 90.543(a).
61 See Joint Comments of Nortel Networks Inc. and EADS Telecom North America to Sixth Notice of Proposed
Rule Making
, WT Docket No. 96-86 (filed Dec. 9, 2002) (Nortel/EADS Joint Comments).
62 Id. at 3.
63 Id. at 2-3.
64 Id. at 2 note 5.
65 See Seventh NPRM, 20 FCC Rcd at 851 ¶ 47.
66 See Comments of M/A-COM, Inc., WT Docket No. 96-86 (filed May 31, 2005) (M/A-COM Comments) at 4.
67 See Reply Comments of EADS Public Safety, Inc., WT Docket No. 96-86 (filed June 13, 2005) (EADS Reply
Comments) at 6.
68 Motorola Comments at 9.
69 Id.
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28.
Discussion. We do not believe that the record supports relaxing the ACP standards as
recommended by Nortel and EADS. In declining the Nortel/EADS recommendations, we give weight to
the fact that the current ACP measurement procedures in the Rules were developed through the TIA
standards setting process by consensus among industry experts,70and that the changes recommended by
Nortel and EADS were considered but not adopted during the standards setting process.71 Should a
similar industry consensus develop in the future, proposing changes in line with those proposed by
Nortel/EADS, we will consider revising the ACP measurement procedures.72 Until then, however, we
retain the ACP offset values and measurement procedures, because there is insufficient record evidence
(a) that Nortel/EADS proposed changes could be implemented without increasing the potential for
adjacent channel interference, and (b) that the changes are necessary to achieve greater spectrum
efficiency in the band.73
e.

Trunking Rule Clarification

29.
Background. The Commission established trunking requirements for narrowband
systems in the 700 MHz band in order to ensure efficient use of the spectrum.74 Section 90.537 of the
Commission’s rules codifies this requirement to specify that all systems using six or more narrowband
General Use channels must operate in the trunked mode.75
30.
In the Seventh NPRM, the Commission noted that the original version of Section 90.537
included the State Channels and specifically exempted the low power channels from the trunking
requirements, but that these provisions of the rule were removed in a subsequent update of the rule.76 The
Commission believed that these changes to Section 90.537 were unintentional.77 Therefore, it proposed to

70 We note that Nortel/EADS is a member of TIA “and a participant in the TIA TR8 Mobile and Personal Private
Radio Standard subcommittee.” Nortel/EADS Joint Comments at 2.
71 Motorola claims the change sought by Nortel/EADS “was considered by the TIA and rejected by a majority of the
participants.” Id. Nortel/EADS, however, states that “a majority of TIA members (7) voted in favor of adopting the
modified ACP requirement” but that the “TIA did not move the proposal forward.” Nortel/EADS Joint Comments
at note 8.
72 We note that Nortel “agrees with Motorola's suggestion that development of ACCP levels is an activity best
achieved in a standards setting body such as the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) rather than a
regulatory body such as the Commission.” Ex Parte Comments of Northern Telecom Inc., WT Docket No. 96-86
(filed Mar. 30, 1999).
73 Nortel/EADS Joint Comments at 2, citing “spectrally efficient,” but otherwise unidentified, two-slot TDMA
“technologies for deployment in the 700 MHz band” that could be accommodated with Nortel/EADS’ proposed
changes.
74 See First Report & Order, 14 FCC Rcd at 211 ¶ 131. A trunked system uses multiple channel pairs in
conjunction with a computer which automatically assigns a user the first available channel or places the user in a
queue to be served in turn. By permitting idle channels to be assigned on an as-needed basis, a trunked system can
increase the utilization of radio channels. Trunking ensures highly efficient use of available radio spectrum and
virtually eliminates the delay traditionally experienced when trying to obtain a clear radio channel using a non-
trunked system.
75 47 C.F.R. § 90.537(a).
76 See Seventh NPRM, 20 FCC Rcd at 861 ¶¶ 76-78. The deletions occurred in the Fourth Report and Order and
Fifth Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
in this docket, when the Commission updated Section 90.537 to permit
trunking on certain interoperability channels. See Development of Operational, Technical and Spectrum
Requirements for Meeting Federal, State and Local Public Safety Agency Communications Requirements Through
the Year 2010, WT Docket No. 96-86, Fourth Report and Order and Fifth Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 16 FCC
Rcd 2020, 2036-37 ¶ 45 and 2070 (2001).
77 See Seventh NPRM, 20 FCC Rcd at 861 ¶¶ 77-78.
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restore these provisions to clarify that: (1) State License channels are subject to the trunking requirements
and (2) low power channels are exempt from the trunking requirements.78 Commenters uniformly support
this proposal.79
31.
Discussion. We restore the original provisions in Section 90.537 to make clear that the
trunking requirements set forth therein apply to the State License channels and that low power channels
are exempt from the trunking requirements. Commenters agree the restoration of trunking requirements
for State License channels will promote efficient use of the radio spectrum while an exemption for the
low power channels is appropriate.80
2.

NCC Recommendations

32.
The National Coordination Committee (NCC) was established by the Commission
pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act for the purpose of addressing and advising the
Commission on the operational and technical parameters for use of the 700 MHz band. The NCC made a
set of recommendations to the Commission prior to and in its 2003 Final Report,81 and the Commission
sought comment on these recommendations in the Seventh NPRM.82 We act on these recommendations
as discussed below.83
a.
700 MHz System Design Parameters
33.
Background. In May 2003, prior to its Final Report, the National Coordination
Committee (NCC) recommended that system planners design 700 MHz public safety systems so that the
minimum signal at the edge of the operational area is no less than 40 dBµ/V (forty decibels above one
microvolt per meter).84 For systems operating in “unfavorable interference environments” or requiring in-
building coverage, the NCC recommended the minimum coverage design criterion be a signal ten times
stronger, i.e., 50 dBµ/V.85 The NCC also suggested that system designers follow the procedures set out in
TIA Technical Services Bulletin No. 88 (TSB-88) when considering co-channel and adjacent channel
assignments.86 The NCC did not recommend codification of the foregoing recommendations or standards
but instead sought only to make designers aware that systems designed to lesser criteria might be
vulnerable to harmful interference.87

78 Id.
79 M/A-COM supports a trunking requirement for narrowband State License channels because it “would further its
objective of promoting efficient use of the radio spectrum.” M/A-COM Comments at 9-10. M/A-COM also asserts
there was “no basis for removing the low-power channel trunking exemption in Section 90.537,” and therefore M/A-
COM “supports the Commission’s proposal to reinsert the exemption language into the rule.” Id. at 10. Motorola
supports the proposal to exempt low power channels available under Section 90.531(b)(4) from trunking
requirements. Motorola Comments at 13. Motorola argues that “the use of trunking will limit the flexibility and
utility of these channels.” Id.
80 Id.
81 See NCC Final Report. See also supra note 2.
82 See Seventh NPRM 851-860 at ¶¶ 48-75.
83 We delayed final action on the NCC recommendations because many of the NCC recommendations involved the
wideband channels which the Commission later removed from the band. See supra ¶¶ 5, 9.
84 NCC May 2003 Letter at 3. See also supra note 2. For the purposes of this recommendation, the operational area
is the jurisdictional area plus three miles in rural areas, and the jurisdictional area plus five miles in urban areas.
85 NCC May 2003 Letter at 3.
86 Id.
87 Id.
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34.
In the Seventh NPRM, the Commission indicated its view that specific design parameters
are best left to licensees, but agreed with the NCC that recognizing (without codifying) certain general
system design parameters might be beneficial.88 Accordingly, the Commission sought comment on
whether and to what extent it should promote use of NCC-recommended design parameters for the 700
MHz public safety band.89
35.
Motorola agrees with the Commission’s tentative conclusion not to codify the NCC
recommended design criteria but recommends that we cite the NCC recommended design parameters on
our web site.90 Region 8 contends that “it is not within the purview of the Commission to set
recommended practices regarding the deployment of public safety systems,” asserting that we should
instead “leave such recommendation to other bodies such as the frequency coordinators, and the
Telecommunication Industry Association (TIA).”91
36.
Discussion. We affirm the Commission’s earlier-stated position that specific system
design parameters for 700 MHz narrowband systems are best left to licensees, and we refrain from
mandating adherence to the NCC’s system design parameters. However, we find that Motorola’s
proposal to cite the NCC recommended design parameters on our web site has merit. Although many
system designers are already aware of these technical specifications, we instruct the Bureau to post the
NCC recommended design parameters on its website as convenient reference tools for public safety
system designers.
b.

Encryption Standard

37.
Background. Section 90.553 of the Commission’s rules permits licensees in the 700
MHz band to encrypt communications on any narrowband channel in the band except the two nationwide
calling channels.92 The rule further states that if licensees employ encryption they should use the Project
25 Digital Encryption Standard (DES) protocol as the encryption standard.93
38.
In its Report, the NCC contended that the DES standard “has been compromised and no
longer is suitable for encrypting sensitive public safety communications.”94 Accordingly, the NCC
recommended that the Commission update its rules to reference the Annex C-Advanced Encryption
Standard (AES) approved by TIA in June 2002.95 In the Seventh NPRM, the Commission “agree[d] with
the NCC that our rules should reflect the latest standard.”96 Consequently, it tentatively concluded that it
would update Section 90.553 to incorporate the AES standard by reference, as proposed by the NCC, and
sought comment on this tentative conclusion.97

88 Seventh NPRM, 20 FCC Rcd at 856 ¶ 63.
89 Id.
90 Motorola Comments at 12.
91 Comments of the FCC Region 8 700 and 800 MHz Regional Planning Committees, WT Docket No. 96-86 (filed
May 27, 2005) (Region 8 Comments) at 6.
92 47 C.F.R. § 90.553(a).
93 47 C.F.R. § 90.553(b).
94 NCC Final Report at 6.
95 Telecommunications Industry Association, ANSI/TIA/EIA-102.AAAD-2002, Annex C-Advanced Encryption
Standard. TIA-PRS also recommends updating the encryption rule to reference the AES standard. See TIA-PRS
October 2004 Ex Parte at 2.
96 See Seventh NPRM, 20 FCC Rcd at 854 ¶ 56.
97 Id.
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39.
Motorola and New York State support updating the 700 MHz rules to incorporate the
most current encryption standard.98 Motorola observes that an industry consensus has adopted the AES
standard and that it has been tested successfully in the field.99 No commenting party presented an
alternative standard that could be implemented into existing equipment designs.
40.
Discussion. We agree with the NCC, Motorola, and New York State that Section 90.553
should reference the latest encryption standard for secure communications of sensitive information on 700
MHz narrowband channels. Our decision to update Section 90.553 will benefit licensees because the
current rule section references an outdated encryption standard.100 Moreover, because radio
manufacturers have already adopted AES as an encryption standard and have successfully tested it in the
field,101 we conclude that our decision to update Section 90.553(b) to reflect this standard for radios
manufactured after the effective date of this order should not cause manufacturers or licensees to incur
additional costs. Accordingly, we amend Section 90.553(b) to incorporate the AES standard by reference.
Until 2030, we permit new radios to include DES, in addition to but not in place of AES. Continuing to
include DES during this transitional period will promote compatibility with legacy radios that lack AES
capability, until all such legacy radios reach the end of their useful life.102 Also, to accommodate future
updates of the encryption standard, we delegate rulemaking authority to the Chief of the Bureau to
address such future updates in Section 90.553 of the rules, to the extent the Bureau considers appropriate.
c.

Technical Standards Referenced in Section 90.548

41.
Background. The Commission’s rules require transmitters designed to operate on the
narrowband spectrum in the 700 MHz band to meet certain technical standards established by TIA when
operating on the interoperability channels and to satisfy certain frequency stability requirements when
operating on any narrowband channel in the band.103 Section 90.548 codifies the interoperability
standards,104 and Section 90.539 sets forth the frequency stability requirements.105
42.
The NCC stated that the 1998 standard for automatic frequency control currently
referenced in Section 90.548 (ANSI/TIA/EIA-102.BAAA-1998) fails to meet the frequency stability
requirements set forth in Section 90.539.106 Consequently, the NCC recommended that Section 90.548

98 See Motorola Comments at 12; Comments of the New York State Office for Technology Statewide Wireless
Network, WT Docket No. 96-86 (filed May 20, 2005) (New York State Comments) at 3.
99 See Motorola Comments at 12.
100 NCC Final Report at 6.
101 See Motorola Comments at 12.
102 Both of these algorithms are now published in ANSI/TIA/EIA-102.AAAD-A – Project 25 Digital Land Mobile
Radio – Block Encryption Protocol (August 2009). We will make copies of this document available to the public
consistent with Section 90.553(c) of our rules. 47 C.F.R. § 90.553(c). The 2009 version of the AES algorithm is
unchanged from the 2002 version. We note that this 2009 document also includes the Triple Data Encryption
Algorithm (TDEA), which applies the DES algorithm currently codified in our rules three times, thereby increasing
the encryption key size (and resulting security) without inventing a new algorithm. Our new rule will also permit
(but not require) new radios to use this updated version of DES during the foregoing transitional period (in addition
to and not in place of AES), for the same purposes of compatibility with legacy radios.
103 See Fourth Report and Order, 16 FCC Rcd 2020, 2070 Appendix C ¶ 8; First Report and Order, 14 FCC Rcd at
214-15 ¶ 139.
104 47 C.F.R. § 90.548.
105 47 C.F.R. § 90.539. Frequency stability is an equipment design parameter that affects adjacent channel
interference, and can thus impact efficient use of the spectrum. See First Report and Order, 14 FCC Rcd at 214-15
¶ 139.
106 NCC Final Report at 5.
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should instead reference the 2003 revised TIA standard (ANSI/TIA/EIA-102.BAAA-A-2003,107 which
now specifies a frequency stability that comports with our rules.108 TIA-PRS also states that it has revised
or updated several additional standards referenced in Section 90.548 and that the Commission should
update these references as well.109
43.
In the Seventh NPRM, the Commission tentatively concluded that it would amend Section
90.548 to incorporate by reference several revised technical standards for transmitters operating on 700
MHz narrowband interoperability channels, and it sought comment on this tentative conclusion.110
Motorola, NPSTC, and New York State support modification of Section 90.548 to adopt the most current
TIA standards.111 Motorola and NPSTC also urge the Commission to grandfather existing equipment,
given that these standards are backward compatible.112
44.
Discussion. We agree with the NCC and others that Section 90.548 should reference the
latest TIA standards in order to keep our rules up to date and to maintain internal consistency between the
technical standards listed in Section 90.548 and the frequency stability requirements detailed in Section
90.539. Therefore, we amend Section 90.548 accordingly. Moreover, the updated TIA standards are
backward compatible,113 so equipment certified under the new standards will be compatible with devices
built according to the old standards. Consequently, we grandfather existing equipment certified under the
old standards, thus obviating the need for manufacturers to recertify equipment previously approved.
Nonetheless, we will require new equipment to comply with the updated standards upon the effective date
of the revisions we adopt to Section 90.548.
d.

Display Labeling (Nomenclature)

45.
Background. The NCC recommended that the Commission require mobile units certified
for use under Part 90 to be capable of displaying standardized interoperability channel labels
alphanumerically if the radios are equipped with alphanumeric displays.114 Specifically, the NCC
proposed a list of channel names for interoperability spectrum in the public safety bands below 900 MHz.
The NCC asserted that adoption of these rules would allow for the establishment of a nationally
standardized format for identifying interoperability channels.115

107 Project 25 FDMA Common Air Interface—New Technology Standards Project—Digital Radio Technology
Standards, Telecommunications Industry Association, ANSI/TIA/EIA-102.BAAA-A-2003, Project 25 Vocoder
Description.
108 NCC Final Report at 5.
109 See TIA-PRS October 2004 Ex Parte at 1-2, referencing (1) Project 25 FDMA Common Air Interface,
ANSI/TIA/EIA-102.BAAA-A-2003 (Revision A published September 2003); (2) Project 25 Vocoder Description
ANSI/TIA/EIA-102.BABA-2003 (reaffirmed December 2003); (3) Project 25 Data Overview-New Technology
Standards Project-Digital Radio Technical Standards ANSI/TIA/EIA-102.BAEA-A-2004 (revised June 2004); and
(4) Project 25 Radio Management Protocol ANSI/TIA/EIA-102.BAEE-A-2004 (renamed and revised June 2004
replacing Radio Control Protocol (RCP) - New Technology Standards Project – Digital Radio Technical Standards
ANSI/TIA/EIA-102.BAEE-2000). Additionally, TIA-PRS updated the following standard after their comments
were filed: Project 25 Packet Data Specification, ANSI/TIA/EIA-102.BAEB-A (adopted March 2005).
110 See Seventh NPRM, 20 FCC Rcd at 854 ¶ 55.
111 Motorola Comments at 11; NPSTC Comments at 7; New York State Comments at 5.
112 Motorola Comments at 11; NPSTC Comments at 7.
113 See TIA website at http://www.tiaonline.org/standards/technology/project_25/.
114 NCC Final Report at 4 and Attachment. The Attachment is a chart designating a unique name for each public
safety interoperability frequency.
115 Id.
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46.
In the Seventh NPRM, the Commission noted that it had previously declined to codify
requirements for channel labeling and tentatively concluded that it should not overturn its earlier
decision.116 While acknowledging the importance of common nomenclature, the Commission stated that
it did not have the expertise to tell public safety licensees what radio channel nomenclature to use,
particularly in critical tactical situations.117
47.
NPSTC argues that while this issue “may appear to be an operational issue outside the
responsibility of the Commission, it is an issue that the Commission can address through the type
certification process.”118 Other commenters also urge the Commission to mandate standardized channel
nomenclature.119
48.
Discussion. We decline to mandate a channel nomenclature listing for interoperability
channels largely for the same reasons the Commission has declined to do so in the past.120 We observe
that after it submitted comments on this matter, NPSTC produced a Channel Naming Report which “is
currently in the process of becoming a standard within the American National Standards Institute (ANSI)
process.”121 Given this development and after carefully considering the record, we find no need to adopt
a separate standard channel nomenclature. Nonetheless, we do recommend that the public safety
community follow the latest ANSI-approved channel nomenclature standard wherever possible, and as
made publicly available on the Internet.122
e.

State Interoperability Executive Committees (SIECs)

(i)

Committee Designation and Composition

49.
Background. The NCC suggested that the Commission refer to the committees that
administer 700 MHz interoperability channels in certain states as “Statewide Interoperability Executive
Committees” rather than “State Interoperability Executive Committees.”123 According to the NCC, use of
the term “State” incorrectly implies that there is no role for county and local governments in the process
of administering the interoperability channels.124 The NCC also recommended that the Commission
clarify that such committees must be broadly representative of all potential users within the state.125

116 See Seventh NPRM, 20 FCC Rcd at 856 ¶ 60.
117 Id.
118 NPSTC Comments at 9.
119 See New York State Comments at 5; Comments of the FCC Region 8 700 and 800 MHz Regional Planning
Committees, WT Docket No. 96-86 (filed May 27, 2005) (Region 8 Comments) at 6; Comments of the Missouri
State Highway Patrol, WT Docket No. 96-86 (filed May 27, 2005) (Missouri State Highway Patrol Comments) at 9.
120 See supra note 116.
121 http://www.npstc.org/channelNaming.jsp (last revised Jun 15, 2009). See also
http://apcointl.org/new/commcenter911/documents/APCO-NPSTC-ANS1-104-1web.pdf (approved Jun 9, 2010 by
ANSI).
122 Id.
123 NCC Final Report at 4. When the NCC first proposed the SIEC concept, it envisioned that all levels of
government would participate in the development and administration of the interoperability channels, including both
the technical and operational parameters. See Public Safety National Coordination Committee, Recommendations to
the Federal Communications Commission for Technical and Operational Standards for Use of the 764-776 MHz and
794-806 MHz Public Safety Band Pending Development of Final Rules, dated Feb. 25, 2000, Appendix E at 1
(NCC February 2000 Report).
124 NCC Final Report at 4.
125 Id.
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50.
In the Seventh NPRM, the Commission tentatively concluded that no action is required on
this issue because the term “State Interoperability Executive Committee” (SIEC) does not appear in the
Commission’s rules.126 On the broader issue of committee composition, the Commission noted that it had
empowered states to administer the interoperability channels “given the central role they play in
managing large-scale emergencies and their enhanced ability to coordinate with the Federal
Government.”127 However, the Commission observed that while the rules provide for state-level
administration of the interoperability channels,128 the Commission “would expect states to look favorably,
whenever possible, on applications for Interoperability channels from any eligible public safety user (e.g.,
county and local government entities) within the state.”129
51.
Some commenters urge the Commission to reverse its tentative conclusion on this issue.
New York State argues that SIECs “should have a statewide all-inclusive nature.”130 Region 8 contends
“[d]ue to the increased need to marshal resources in times of emergency to large geographic or urban
areas, . . . there is indeed a statewide character to the SIEC.”131 The Missouri State Highway Patrol
asserts that the revision in terminology “was intended to address an issue where in several states, SIEC’s
have become a body that is controlled by state government, rather than administered by the state, which
was the Commission[’]s original intent.” 132
52.
Discussion. We see no reason to alter the role of states or state committees in
administering 700 MHz interoperability channels as provided under our current rules. We have no
evidence that county or local governments have been hampered by the existing process. We reiterate,
however, our expectation that states look favorably, whenever possible, on applications for
interoperability channels from all eligible public safety users, including county and local government
entities, within the state. We likewise encourage states to include the pertinent Regional Planning
Committee (RPC) in forming interoperability plans.133 The rules require RPCs to represent all eligible
public safety licensees in order to ensure that each agency’s future spectrum needs are considered in the
allocation process.134 We note that many SIECs and RPCs are already participating in each other’s
meetings to increase the effectiveness of interoperability planning.135
(ii)

Mandating Formation of SIECs

53.
Background. The NCC recommended that, for homeland security purposes, the
Commission should require each state to: (1) have an identified point of contact for information on the
state’s interoperability capabilities, (2) be given jurisdiction over all interoperability channels regardless

126 See Seventh NPRM, 20 FCC Rcd at 857 ¶ 64.
127 Id. at 857 ¶ 65.
128 See 47 C.F.R. § 90.525.
129 See Seventh NPRM, 20 FCC Rcd at 857 ¶ 65.
130 New York State Comments at 6.
131 Region 8 Comments at 7.
132 See Missouri State Highway Patrol Comments at 11.
133 See Fourth Report and Order, FCC Rcd 2027 ¶ 16.
134 See 47 C.F.R. § 90.527.
135 See, e.g., http://www.siec.id.gov/meetings/agenda.htm (Idaho SIEC March 23, 2006 agenda includes update of
700 MHz Regional Planning efforts); Region 8 (New York – Metropolitan Area) Public Safety Planning
Committees to Hold 700 MHz Regional Public Safety Planning Meeting and NPSPAC 800 MHz Regional Public
Safety Planning Meeting, Gen. Docket. No. 88-476, Public Notice, 20 FCC Rcd 20567 (WTB PSCID 2005) (agenda
including review of SIEC Report).
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of band (i.e., 150, 450, 700 and 800 MHz), and (3) have an interoperability plan that is available to
adjacent states and the Federal Government, and updated at least every three years.136 The NCC
recommended that the Commission require each state to create an interoperability plan and file it with the
Commission, update the plan whenever substantive changes are made or, in any event, at least every three
years, and store the plan in an electronic database accessible by authorized officials.137
54.
In the Seventh NPRM, the Commission tentatively concluded that it would not require
states to create SIECs, and by extension, would not grant these entities jurisdiction over all public safety
bands.138 In arriving at this tentative conclusion, the Commission reiterated its earlier-stated position that
states, rather than the Commission, are best suited to determine how to manage their resources in the most
efficient, effective and expeditious manner.139 While the Commission agreed with the NCC that states
should have a periodically updated interoperability plan that is available to other entities, including
adjacent states and the Federal Government, it concluded that a Commission-mandated plan could be
repetitive or potentially counterproductive relative to other ongoing Federal efforts concerning
interoperability and Homeland Security initiatives.140
55.
Wisconsin asserts that each state should have an SIEC and a state interoperability plan.141
Wisconsin supports “an extension of the SIEC’s authority to include administration of all interoperability
channels.”142 Wisconsin also contends that “a certain amount of control is necessary in order to minimize
interference and facilitate a seamless, coordinated interoperability communications capability.”143 Region
8 argues that the jurisdictional reach of SIECs should be considered due to the increased roles that SIECs
play in Homeland Security.144 Region 8 asserts that its “ability to respond to crisis requires the SIEC to
have an expanded role and therefore necessitates their jurisdiction over interoperability channels.”145
56.
Discussion. We adopt our tentative conclusion on this matter and retain our existing
rules. Although we encourage use of SIECs, we will not require states to establish SIECs, nor will we
extend SIEC jurisdiction to interoperability channels in all public safety bands. Our rules afford each
state the flexibility to determine how best to administer the 700 MHz interoperability channels. In this
regard, states have established various mechanisms for administering the interoperability spectrum within
their jurisdictions. Many states have established SIECs,146 while some states have established alternative
mechanisms or have designated the relevant 700 MHz RPC to perform these functions.147 Absent any
evidence that the current system of administering interoperability channels is deficient, we conclude there
is no benefit to mandating that every state form a SIEC. Moreover, adding new requirements in this area

136 NCC Final Report at 5.
137 Id.
138 See Seventh NPRM, 20 FCC Rcd at 858 ¶ 68.
139 Id. at 858 ¶ 67.
140 See id. at 858 ¶ 68.
141 State of Wisconsin Brief Comment, WT Docket No. 96-86 (filed May 19, 2005) (Wisconsin Comments) at 1.
142 Id.
143 Id.
144 Region 8 Comments at 7.
145 Id.
146 See Public Safety 700 MHz Band - Interoperability Spectrum Announcement of Administration Decisions, WT
Docket No. 96-86, Public Notice, 17 FCC Rcd at 15694 (WTB 2002) (SIEC PN). An updated list of SIEC contacts
is maintained at: http://transition.fcc.gov/pshs/public-safety-spectrum/700-MHz/interoperability.html.
147 Id.
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would be counterproductive, duplicative of other interoperability and Homeland Security initiatives,148
and overly burdensome to states.149
57.
We also decline to require the creation of an electronic database of interoperability plans.
We encourage SIECs and similar state entities, as well as RPCs, to provide periodic updates to adjacent
states, the Federal Government, and other entities regarding changes to their interoperability plans.150
These entities may also explore the possibility of creating an electronic database as a means to access
interoperability plans. Access to interoperability plans can be obtained from existing 700 MHz
interoperability spectrum administration points of contact, a list of whom is available on the Bureau’s web
site.151 Finally, we note that the Clearinghouse section of the Bureau’s website contains links to several
state interoperability plans, and other states are free to make their interoperability plans available.152
f.

Regional Planning

(i)

Mandatory Use of Pre-Coordination Database

58.
Background. In its 2003 Final Report, the NCC urged the Commission to require RPCs
to use the Computer Assisted Pre-Coordination Resource and Database System (CAPRAD)153 in the
regional planning process.154 In the Seventh NPRM, the Commission agreed that a pre-coordination
database can be a very valuable planning tool, but noted that neither the States nor the RPCs had endorsed
such a mandate and that it was unclear how such a database would be used in connection with
Interoperability and State Channels. The Commission also questioned the need for a mandate, since the
four coordinators certified to coordinate 700 MHz public safety spectrum had already committed to use
the CAPRAD database.155 Nonetheless, the Commission sought comment on the NCC’s
recommendation.156

148 We observe that the Office of Emergency Communications within the Department of Homeland Security is
authorized to “review, in consultation with the Assistant Secretary for Grants and Training, all interoperable
emergency communications plans of Federal, State, local, and tribal governments, including Statewide and tactical
interoperability plans, developed pursuant to homeland security assistance administered by the Department, but
excluding spectrum allocation and management related to such plans.” 6 U.S.C. § 571(c)(12). DHS may prohibit
any State, local, or tribal government from using homeland security assistance administered by the DHS “to achieve,
maintain, or enhance emergency communications capabilities, if such government has not complied with the
requirement to submit a Statewide Interoperable Communications Plan” as required by the Intelligence Reform Act
of 2004. 6 U.S.C. § 574 (b)(1); 6 U.S.C. § 194(f).
149 See Seventh NPRM, 20 FCC Rcd at 858 ¶ 68.
150 We observe that NPSTC has developed a National Interoperability Information eXchange (NIIX) database,
which is a free, secure online tool available to public safety agencies for sharing, posting, and reviewing Statewide
Communications Interoperability Plan (SCIP) plans and other valuable documents. See
http://www.npstc.org/documents/NIIXBrochureFINAL.pdf.
151 See http://www.fcc.gov/pshs/public-safety-spectrum/700-MHz/interoperability.html.
152 See http://publicsafety.fcc.gov/pshs/clearinghouse/index.htm?section=Interoperability%20Plans. Parties may
submit documents (such as state interoperability plans) to the Bureau’s Clearinghouse for inclusion on the website
by following the instructions at http://publicsafety.fcc.gov/pshs/clearinghouse/index.htm.
153 Computer-Assisted Pre-coordination Resource and Database System (CAPRAD) is administered by the National
Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center-Rocky Mountain Region (NLECTC-RM). The NLECTC-
RM is a program of the National Institute of Justice, a division of the U.S. Department of Justice, and is sponsored
by the University of Denver through the Denver Research Institute. The CAPRAD system is available at
http://caprad.nlectc.du.edu/cp/index.jsp.
154 See NCC Final Report at 6.
155 See Seventh NPRM, 20 FCC Rcd at 858-59 ¶ 70 & n.164. See Letter from the Public Safety Communications
Council (PSCC), Al Mello, Chairman, to Marilyn Ward, Chairperson, National Public Safety Telecommunications
(continued....)
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59.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol supports mandatory use of CAPRAD on the grounds
that such use “is essential to the continuation and development of the regional planning resources and
conclusions that resulted from the NCC process.”157 It argues that “[t]he requirement for a region to post
their current plans on CAPRAD is no real burden to a region and will make a region’s plans available to a
wider audience than exists currently.”158 Wisconsin also supports the required use of a national pre-
coordination database and contends that CAPRAD is “useful to track the use of state and interoperability
channels.”159
60.
Discussion. When the Commission established the 700 MHz regional planning process,
it stated that the Commission’s role relative to the RPCs would be limited.160 In the PLMR bands below
512 MHz, the Commission left it to the coordinators to select a database to make frequency selections
rather than mandate a particular database.161 We see no reason to depart from the Commission’s
established practice of permitting RPCs to adopt their own approaches to such operational questions and
decline to mandate use of a pre-coordination database, such as CAPRAD. Although we encourage use of
CAPRAD, and note that many RPCs are already using it,162 we believe that decisions regarding database
use for regional planning purposes should be left to the RPCs.
(ii)

Regional Planning Process

61.
Background. Currently, the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau (Bureau)
reviews and approves all proposed 700 MHz Regional Plans and plan amendments. As part of the review
process, the Bureau places proposed plans and amendments on public notice for comment. The Bureau
also notifies the public following the approval process by issuing a public notice announcing approval of
plans and amendments.163
62.
In its 2003 Final Report, the NCC recommended streamlining the process for approval of
amendments to 700 MHz Regional Plans.164 It suggested that 700 MHz RPCs be permitted to make

(...continued from previous page)
Council (dated May 24, 2001). The PSCC letter states that the four FCC-certified public safety frequency
coordinators (American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), APCO, Forestry
Conservation Communications Association (FCCA) and the International Municipal Signal Association (IMSA)/
International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC)) are committed to using the CAPRAD pre-coordination database.
156 See Seventh NPRM, 20 FCC Rcd at 859 ¶ 70.
157 Missouri State Highway Patrol Comments at 12.
158 Id.
159 Wisconsin Comments at 1.
160 The Commission’s role in relation to the RPCs is limited to (1) defining the regional boundaries; (2) requiring
fair and open procedures, i.e., requiring notice, opportunity for comment, and reasonable consideration; (3)
specifying the elements that all regional plans must include; and (4) reviewing and accepting proposed plans (or
amendments to approved plans) or rejecting them with an explanation. See First Report & Order, 14 FCC Rcd at
193-95 ¶ 87.
161 See Frequency Coordination in the Private Land Mobile Radio Services, Report and Order, 103 FCC 2d 1093
(1986).
162 For example, the Region 3 channel allocation plan, which we approved in November 2006 was developed using
CAPRAD. Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau Action Approval of Region 3 (Arizona) 700 MHz
Regional Plan, Public Notice, DA 06-2364 n. 11 (PSHSB 2006).
163 Modification to Regional Plans must be submitted in writing to Commission staff. See 47 C.F.R. § 90.527(b).
164 NCC Final Report at 6-7. See also 47 C.F.R. § 90.527 (detailing the requirements for each regional plan).
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minor changes to Regional Plans without prior approval.165 For major amendments, the NCC suggested
that such changes be deemed automatically approved if no comment is received within thirty days of a
public notice announcing the proposed amendments.166 Finally, the NCC proposed permitting RPCs to
change committee members without prior approval, provided such changes are served on adjacent
regions.167 The Commission sought comment on these recommendations in the Seventh NPRM.168
63.
Region 8 generally supports streamlining the procedures for minor plan amendments
although it also urges the Commission to solicit input from the regional planning community on what
type of changes require “involvement from the FCC or adjacent Regions.” 169 Wisconsin also supports
the NCC recommendation that minor plan amendments be made without prior Commission approval.170
No other commenting parties address regional planning issues.
64.
Discussion. We modify our internal process for staff review of amendments to Regional
Plans as suggested by the NCC and supported by the commenters. We agree with the NCC and
commenters that the changes suggested by the NCC will streamline the regional plan approval process.
Additionally, these changes should reduce delays in licensing public safety systems as well as burdens on
Commission staff.
65.
First, Bureau staff will no longer place minor amendments to Regional Plans on public
notice for comment. Staff will simply acknowledge receipt of the amendment by email. Amendments
will be considered minor if, as suggested by the NCC, the amendment only involves changes to the
channel allotments and (a) the proposed channel change or channel addition involves a facility that is
located more than seventy miles from the adjacent region border, (b) the co-channel or adjacent channel
interference contour of the facility changing or adding the channel does not intersect the border of an
adjacent region, or (c) the proposed channel change or channel addition has been coordinated in writing
with any affected adjacent region.
66.
Second, we agree with the NCC that Bureau staff should continue to provide advance
notice via public notice of major amendments involving changes in the way channels are allocated,
allotted or coordinated. Consistent with the NCC proposal, however, Bureau staff will now approve any
major amendment without further action if no party raises any objection during a short commenting
period.
67.
Third, Bureau staff has always considered changes in RPC membership or leadership
positions as administrative in nature and will continue to accept these changes without placing them on
Public Notice for comment.171
68.
Consequently, we amend Section 90.527(b) of our rules to define major and minor
modifications and note that staff will only place major modifications on public notice unless otherwise

165 NCC Final Report at 7. The NCC considers a change minor if: (a) the proposed channel change or channel
addition involves a facility that would be more than seventy miles from the adjacent region border; (b) the co-
channel or adjacent channel interference contour of the changed or added channel does not intersect the border of an
adjacent region; or, (c) any adjacent region affected by the proposed channel change or channel addition has
concurred in writing.
166 Id. The NCC considers a change major if it impacts the way frequencies are allocated, allotted or coordinated.
167 Id.
168 See Seventh NPRM, 20 FCC Rcd at 860 ¶¶ 72-75.
169 Region 8 Comments at 7-8.
170 Wisconsin Comments at 1.
171 Section 90.527(a)(1) requires RPCs to identify chairpersons and members in regional plans submitted for
Commission approval. 47 C.F.R. § 90.527(a)(1).
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requested by the RPC. Nonetheless, we emphasize that, although we adopt the NCC’s proposals to
streamline our process for internal review of regional plan modifications, RPCs shall continue to notify
the Bureau and adjacent regions of any proposed modification to their Commission-approved regional
plan as required under Section 90.527(b) of our rules.172 This requirement ensures transparency and
integrity in the regional planning process.173
69.
Finally, on our own motion, we update Section 90.527(b) of the rules to replace the
phrase “Wireless Telecommunications Bureau” with “Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau.”
This amendment (1) comports with the purpose and functions of the Bureau,174 (2) more accurately
reflects that the Bureau, not WTB, approves regional plans and plan modifications consistent with its
delegated authority under Sections 0.191(f) and 0.392 of the rules,175 and (3) is otherwise ministerial in
nature.176

B.

Guard Band Spectrum

1.

ACP Limits for Guard Band Base Station Transmitters

70.
Background. Section 27.53(e) of the Commission’s rules requires commercial
transmitters operating in the Guard Band B Block spectrum (775-776/805-806 MHz bands) to satisfy
emission limits identical to those set forth in Section 90.543(a), which governs public safety transmitters
in the 700 MHz band.177 In establishing these limits, the Commission indicated that its primary goal was
to ensure that 700 MHz public safety operations are protected from harmful interference from commercial
systems operating in adjacent bands.178
71.
In the Seventh NPRM, the Commission sought comment on conforming the emission
limits in Section 27.53(e) to the narrowband and wideband changes proposed by TIA-PRS for Section

172 Section 90.527(b) requires RPCs to submit written modification requests to the Bureau along with a certification
that the proposed change was successfully coordinated with adjacent regions. 47 C.F.R. § 90.527(b).
173 The Commission determined that its role in relation to the RPCs was limited to, among other things: “requiring
fair and open procedures” and “reviewing and accepting requests for modification of the plans, or rejecting them
with an explanation.” See Development of Operational, Technical and Spectrum Requirements For Meeting
Federal, State and Local Public Safety Agency Communications Requirements Through the Year 2010;
Establishment of Rules and Requirements of Priority Access Service, WT Docket No. 96-86, First Report and
Order and Third Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
, 14 FCC Rcd 152, 196 ¶ 87 (1998). The Commission emphasized
that “‘fair and open procedures’ require notice, opportunity for comment, and reasonable consideration.” Id.
174 See Establishment of the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau and Other Organizational Changes,
Public Notice, 21 FCC Rcd 10867 (2006) amended in part by Amendment of Part 0 of the Commission’s Rules to
Delegate Administration of Part 4 of the Commission’s Rules to the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau,
Order, 23 FCC Rcd 1611 (2008).
175 See 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.191(f) (the PSHSB administers all authority previously delegated to the Wireless
Telecommunications Bureau relating to RPCs) and 0.392.
176 Because this rule change pertains to agency organization, procedure and practice, the notice and comment
provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act contained in 5 U.S.C. § 553 are inapplicable.
177 See 47 C.F.R. § 27.53(e). Prior to October 23, 2007 (the effective date of the rules adopted in the 700 MHz
Second Report and Order
), the guard band emission limits were listed in 47 C.F.R. § 27.53(d) and applied to the old
700 MHz Guard Bands at 746-747 MHz, 762-764 MHz, 776-777 MHz, and 792-794 MHz. See 47 C.F.R. §
27.53(d) (2007). In 2007, the Commission redesignated 47 C.F.R. § 27.53(d) as 47 C.F.R. § 27.53(e). See 700 MHz
Second Report and Order
, 22 FCC Rcd at 15523 Appendix B ¶ 21. Guard Band B block licensees are permitted the
option of complying with the ACP limits listed in paragraphs (e)(6) to (e)(9) or the out-of-band emission limits
listed in paragraphs (e)(1) to (e)(5) of Section 27.53.
178 See Service Rules for the 746-764 and 776-794 MHz Bands, and Revisions to Part 27 of the Commission’s
Rules, WT Docket No. 99-168, First Report and Order, 15 FCC Rcd 476, 490 ¶ 33 (2000).
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90.543(a) (i.e., to relax the ACP limits for base station emissions in the paired receive band), which we
have adopted herein for narrowband channels.179
72.
Motorola supports the Commission’s tentative conclusion to conform Section 27.53(e) to
Section 90.543(a),180 stating that “the additional flexibility and clarity that TIA’s recommendations offer
will be equally applicable in the 700 MHz Guard Band Service.”181 No other commenting party addresses
this issue.
73.
Discussion. We will harmonize the ACP limits listed in Section 27.53(e) for Guard Band
B Block transmitters with the limits listed in Section 90.543(a) for public safety transmitters. The
Commission has previously harmonized the 700 MHz Guard Band emission limits to the emission limits
for public safety transmitters,182 and we note support for maintaining this approach.183 Our decision to
harmonize the ACP limits should reduce the cost and complexity of Guard Band B Block transmitters,
yielding savings for Guard Band B Block licensees, while at the same time maintaining the overall level
of ACP protection necessary to guard against interference in the paired receive band.184 Accordingly, we
make the same revisions to Section 27.53(e) that we made to Section 90.543 concerning the ACP limit in
the paired receive band for base station transmitters.185
2.

Access Spectrum Proposal

74.
Background. In the Seventh NPRM, the Commission sought comment on a proposal by
Access Spectrum to clarify that ACP limits for 700 MHz Guard Band licensees apply only at the
boundaries of the Guard Band licensee’s authorized allocation.186 Access Spectrum argued that if a
Guard Band licensee uses contiguous, narrow channels over the entire Guard Band, ACP limits should
not apply for each individual channel within its block, but rather only at the upper and lower band edges
of the Guard Band where it has the potential to interfere with adjacent allocations. The Commission also
sought comment on an Access Spectrum proposal to make the ACP requirements for Guard Band
licensees scalable to “any authorized bandwidth.”187
75.
Discussion. The reconfiguration of the 700 MHz band since 2007 has rendered the
Access Spectrum proposals moot. Guard Band licensees in the upper A Block (757-758/787-788 MHz)
are now subject to the commercial 700 MHz out-of-band emissions limits and are no longer required to
comply with ACP limits.188 Guard Band B Block licensees (775-776/805-806 MHz) now have the choice

179 See Seventh NPRM, 20 FCC Rcd at 849 ¶ 40. See also supra note 25. At the time the Seventh NPRM was
released, prior to the elimination of wideband channels in the Second Report and Order, Section 90.543 included
150 kHz transmitters. See Seventh NPRM, 20 FCC Rcd at 880-85. Also at that time, the emission limits for Guard
Band licensees were codified in § 27.53(d). These limits are now codified in Section 27.53(e) as a result of the 2007
reconfiguration of the 700 MHz band. See supra note 177.
180 Motorola Comments at 6. At the time of Motorola’s comments, the emission limits were codified in Section
27.53(d).
181 Id.
182 See Sixth Report and Order, 20 FCC Rcd at 845 ¶ 34.
183 See, e.g., Motorola Comments at 6.
184 See supra ¶ 15.
185 As suggested by TIA, we adopt the same rule change for wideband as well as narrowband base transmitters in the
Guard Band.
186 See Seventh NPRM, 20 FCC Rcd at 850 ¶ 43. See also Comments of Access Spectrum, LLC, WT Docket 96-86
(filed Dec. 9, 2002) (Access Spectrum Comments) at 2 (referring to the ACP tables of 47 C.F.R. § 27.53 (2002)).
187 Access Spectrum Comments at 2.
188 See Second Report and Order, 22 FCC Rcd at 15386 ¶ 262. See also 47 C.F.R. § 27.53(c).
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of using either the ACP limits (which are the same as the Part 90 public safety narrowband limits) or the
commercial out-of-band emissions limits.189 The latter limits apply only outside of the Guard Bands190
(i.e., only where emissions have the potential to affect systems operating in adjacent allocations) and are
applicable to any bandwidth.

IV.

NOTICE OF PROPOSED RULEMAKING

76.
In this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, we initiate a new proceeding to seek comment on
further proposals to amend the Commission’s rules governing 700 MHz public safety narrowband
operations. First, we seek comment on whether to extend or eliminate the December 31, 2016
narrowbanding deadline for 700 MHz public safety narrowband licensees. Next, we seek comment on a
proposal from NPSTC to authorize secondary use of certain 700 MHz narrowband channels for public
safety aircraft voice operations. Finally, we seek comment on other proposals made by NPSTC in an
earlier petition and issues raised on our own motion.

A.

December 31, 2016 Deadline for Narrowbanding Transition to 6.25 Kilohertz
Bandwidth Technology

77.
Background. In 2002, the Commission adopted narrowbanding rules requiring 700 MHz
public safety narrowband licensees to migrate from a 12.5 kilohertz voice efficiency standard to a 6.25
kilohertz voice efficiency standard.191 The Commission set December 31, 2016, as the deadline for 700
MHz narrowband licensees to complete the narrowbanding process.192 The Commission established this
timetable based upon its assessment at the time of the future availability of 6.25 kilohertz-capable
equipment, and specifically noted that several equipment manufacturers indicated in the record that they
would be able to manufacture 6.25 kilohertz-capable equipment for the 700 MHz band by the end of
2006.193 The ten-year transition reflected comments supporting “a reasonable equipment life of ten
years.”194
78.
The Commission also established December 31, 2014 as an interim deadline for
manufacturers to cease marketing, manufacture, or import of 700 MHz narrowband equipment not
capable of operating at 6.25 kilohertz efficiency.195 The interim date also serves as the deadline after
which applicants will no longer be allowed to apply for new 12.5 kilohertz bandwidth systems. After this
date, applications for new systems proposing to operate on the General Use or State License channels will
only be accepted if the applicant proposes to employ 6.25 kilohertz bandwidth technology.196
79.
In 2009, the 700 MHz Region 24 Planning Committee (Region 24) and the State of
Louisiana (Louisiana) each submitted a petition for rulemaking seeking to delay the December 31, 2016
deadline for transition to 6.25 kilohertz-capable equipment.197 Region 24 requested that the Commission

189 47 C.F.R. § 27.53(e).
190 47 C.F.R. § 27.53(e)(1)-(3).
191 Fifth Report and Order at 15000-01 ¶¶ 1-2.
192 47 C.F.R. § 90.535(d)(2).
193 Fifth Report and Order at 15004-05 ¶ 11.
194 Id. at 15007 ¶ 16 & n.54.
195 47 C.F.R. §§ 90.203(m)-(n).
196 47 C.F.R. § 90.535(d)(1).
197 Petition for Rulemaking of the Region 24 700 MHz Regional Planning Committee, WT Docket 96-86 (filed May
15, 2009) (Region 24 Petition); Petition for Rulemaking of the State of Louisiana, RM-11577 (filed Oct. 5, 2009)
(Louisiana Petition). In its petition, Region 24 also sought to update the five- and ten-year substantial service
deadlines applicable to state-licensed 700 MHz public safety narrowband channels. We previously resolved this
(continued....)
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extend the December 31, 2016 narrowbanding deadline to June 12, 2019, in order to provide a 10-year
interval following the June 12, 2009 DTV transition.198 According to Region 24, “while some radios are
being marketed that can operate in the 700 MHz band today and can be upgraded to operate with a
channel efficiency of 6.25 [kilohertz], none are ready for delivery.”199 Region 24 further asserted that the
lack of available 6.25 kilohertz equipment has caused public safety agencies to purchase equipment that
cannot be upgraded to operate at efficiencies equating to 6.25 kilohertz per voice channel.200
Consequently, such equipment “may have to be replaced before its intended life cycle will be met.”201
80.
Louisiana requested that the Commission extend the December 31, 2016, narrowbanding
deadline to December 31, 2024.202 In support of its request, Louisiana similarly asserted that 6.25
kilohertz equipment is currently unavailable and that while some manufacturers are marketing
upgradeable radios, “none are currently available for delivery.”203 Consequently, Louisiana argued that
any equipment purchase “will be obsolete on December 31, 2016, thus shortening its lifecycle.”204
Louisiana also contended that “[d]ue to difficulties in identifying funding mechanisms, it is not unusual
for Public Safety agencies to plan on utilizing [their] equipment for more than 10 years.”205 Louisiana
argued that the “cost associated with purchasing soon-to-be obsolete equipment is not fiscally prudent and
does not allow us to be good stewards of government funds.”206
81.
The Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau placed both the Region 24 and the
Louisiana petitions on public notice.207 Most commenting parties support extension of the 6.25 kilohertz
narrowbanding deadline as advocated by Region 24 and Louisiana. The Ohio Fire Chiefs Association,
Ohio State Firefighters Association, and Ohio Association of Professional Firefighters (Ohio Fire
Alliance Leadership or OFAL), for example, contend that “the Commission[’]s estimation of the lifespan
of public safety equipment to be only 10 years is unrealistic in today’s fiscal and technological
environment.”208 OFAL states that its agencies expect to use their equipment for “12 to 15 years or

(...continued from previous page)
issue in a separate order. See Service Rules Governing Public Safety Narrowband Operations in the 769-775/799-
805 MHz Bands, Declaratory Ruling, 26 FCC Rcd 10895 (FCC 2011).
198 Region 24 Petition at 5.
199 Id.
200 Id.
201 Id.
202 Louisiana Petition at 1. In July 2012, Louisiana filed a separate waiver request for extension of the 700 MHz
narrowbanding deadline until December 31, 2024 for the state’s 700 MHz narrowband network. After seeking
public comment on the Louisiana waiver request, the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau granted this
request on October 15, 2012. State of Louisiana Request for Waiver of the December 31, 2016 700 MHz
Narrowbanding Deadline, Order, 27 FCC Rcd 12952 (PSHSB 2012). The Bureau expressly stated that the waiver is
subject to the outcome of any broader proceeding that the Commission may undertake with respect to Louisiana’s
rulemaking petition. Id. at 12952 n.1.
203 Region 24 Petition at 3.
204 Id.
205 Id.
206 Id.
207 See Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau Reference Information Center Petition for Rulemakings Filed,
Public Notice, Report No. 2893 – Corrected (rel. Jul. 31, 2009) (CGB 2009); Consumer & Governmental Affairs
Bureau, Reference Information Center, Petition for Rulemakings Filed, Public Notice, Report No. 2902 (rel. Oct. 19,
2009) (CGB 2009).
208 Comments of the Ohio Fire Alliance Leadership, RM-11577 (filed Nov. 19, 2009) at 2.
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more,” and assert that the 2016 narrowbanding deadline will force them to discard equipment prematurely
and impose potentially “devastating” replacement costs.209 Other public safety commenters express
similar concerns.210
82.
The Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials-International, Inc. (APCO)
contends that “[d]ue to the digital television transition, the 700 MHz public safety spectrum was
unavailable in much of the nation until June 12, 2009, much later than originally contemplated when the
FCC adopted Section 90.535.”211 APCO further states that “[o]ur understanding is that 6.25 kHz
equipment is not currently available for the 700 MHz narrowband channels.”212 Accordingly, APCO
argues that unless the current December 31, 2016 deadline is extended, “licensees will be forced to deploy
soon-to-be obsolete equipment, wasting scarce public funds.”213
83.
Motorola also supports extending the narrowbanding deadline. Motorola asserts that
manufacturers have deferred development of 6.25 kilohertz-capable equipment due to “legislative and
regulatory uncertainty” regarding the DTV transition and a lack of customers for 700 MHz equipment.214
Motorola further suggests that 6.25 kilohertz equipment availability has been hampered because
manufacturers are waiting for completion of the Project 25 “Phase 2” 6.25 kilohertz equipment efficiency
standard.215 Motorola does indicate, however, that it is shipping 700 MHz dual mode equipment capable
of operating at both 12.5 kilohertz and 6.25 kilohertz efficiency. This equipment uses proprietary
technology, but Motorola indicates that it can be modified through a software upgrade once the Phase 2
standard is finalized.216
84.
On the other hand, Harris Corporation (Harris) opposes extending the narrowbanding
deadline.217 Responding to the Louisiana Petition, Harris states that it “recognizes the inherent difficulties
that jurisdictions, such as Louisiana, face when they are required to meet new efficiency mandates and

209 Id. at 3.
210 See, e.g., Comments of the State of Colorado, Office of Information Technology, Communication Services, RM-
11577 (filed Nov. 19, 2009) at 1 (“State of Colorado has similar issues: Equipment is not yet available, equipment
recently purchased would be obsolete before end of life and current budget environment makes replacement an
unrealistic possibility.”); Comments of Delaware County, Ohio, RM-11577 (filed Nov. 19, 2009) at 1 (“Delaware
County has a fleet of more than 1,000 radios which range in age from one day to six years old in which none of the
radios [sic] are able to operate on 700MHz at 6.25[k]Hz spacing, and [] would have to replace all our radios and not
be able to utilize the radios [sic] for their full life cycle expectancy, and [] it would cost the taxpayers of Delaware
County more than 5 million dollars to replace all of our radios.”); Comments of the Region 33 Planning Committee,
RM-11577 (filed Nov. 18, 2009) 2-3; Comments of Region 49, RM-11577 (filed Nov. 17, 2009) at 1.
211 Comments of APCO, RM-11577 (filed Nov 18, 2009) (APCO Louisiana Comments) at 2.
212 Id.
213 Id.
214 Comments of Motorola, Inc., WT Docket 96-86 (filed Aug 31, 2009) (Motorola Region 24 Comments) at 4. See
also
APCO Louisiana Comments at 2.
215 Motorola Region 24 Comments at 4. The Project 25, Phase II standard is a 2-slot TDMA signal that fits inside a
12.5 kilohertz wide channel. See http://www.tiaonline.org/standards/technology/project_25/. Motorola asserts that,
“[w]ithout completion of this 6.25 kHz equivalent efficiency standard, system and radio manufacturers would be
required to develop public safety equipment that is proprietary and will require subsequent modification to meet the
standard upon completion. Most manufacturers have been unwilling to take that risk, not knowing [the] final
standard.” Motorola Region 24 Comments at 4..
216 Motorola Region 24 Comments at 5.
217 Comments of Harris Corporation, WT Docket No. 96-86 (filed Nov 18, 2009) (Harris Louisiana Comments).
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migrate to new technology.”218 Harris, however, asserts that the Commission should take a case-by-case
approach to individual licensees that believe they will be unable to meet the 2016 deadline.219 Harris also
challenges Louisiana’s contention that 6.25 kilohertz equipment is unavailable commercially, asserting
that “over the past four . . . years 6.25 kHz equipment has continued to be developed, tested, and
deployed.”220
85.
In March 2012, the Regional Wireless Cooperative (RWC), which includes the 700 MHz
Region 3 Planning Committee (Arizona) as well as numerous public safety agencies in Arizona, filed a
petition for rulemaking seeking to extend the December 31, 2016 narrowbanding deadline to December
31, 2020, or a yet to be determined date.221 RWC states that work remains on the “complete suite of
testing and compliance documents” for the Project 25 “Phase 2” 6.25 kilohertz standard.222 Although
these documents may be complete by 2012, RWC argues that “beginning the financial planning process
for an upgrade with unfinished standards requires system planners and technologists to take a risk.”223
Because RWC believes the current deadline is “simply an unreachable goal for a majority of the public
safety agencies within [Region 3],”224 it supports delaying the narrowbanding deadline to either
December 31, 2020 or a date determined by the Regional Planning Committee in Region 3.225
86.
Discussion. Based on the record before us, we find that further examination of the 700
MHz narrowbanding deadline for transition to 6.25 kilohertz technology is warranted. Consequently, we
seek comment on whether to extend the December 31, 2016 deadline as proposed by Region 24,
Louisiana, RWC, and the majority of commenting parties. If so, and in light of the various proposals,
what is the most appropriate deadline for licensees operating on 700 MHz narrowband channels to
transition to 6.25 kilohertz technology? What factors should we consider in setting a new deadline? We
previously concluded that the deadline should be driven by equipment availability, and not by the DTV
transition.226 Does that conclusion warrant revisiting, and if so, why? Should we revisit our
determination in 2002, based on the comments of APCO and others, that “[t]en years is currently the
generally accepted life span for many elements of a radio system”?227 Should present or anticipated
future funding limitations be relevant, or would it be more appropriate to address such cases through a
waiver process? If we extend the December 31, 2016 deadline, should we also extend the interim
December 31, 2014 deadline, and if so, should the interim deadline again be set to two years prior to the
final deadline?
87.
To better evaluate these alternatives, we encourage public safety agencies and
manufacturers to update the record with respect to the current status of the development of the Phase 2
standard and the commercial availability of dual-mode and 6.25 kilohertz equipment that is fully tested
and ready for deployment in the 700 MHz band. Is such equipment, as Motorola suggests, subject to

218 Id. at 3-4.
219 Id. at 2.
220 Id. at 11.
221 See Petition for Rulemaking of Region 3 Public Safety Regional Planning Committee, PS Docket No. 06-229
(filed Mar. 21, 2012) (Region 3 Petition) at 1; Petition for Waiver and Expedited Action of Region 3 Public Safety
Regional Planning Committee, PS Docket No. 06-229 (filed Feb. 21, 2012).
222 Region 3 Petition at 5.
223 Id.
224 Id. at 4.
225 Id. at 6.
226 Fifth Report and Order at 15004-05 ¶ 11.
227 Id. at 15006 n. 48.
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future modification to render it compliant with the Project 25 Phase 2 standard? We also seek comment
on whether other factors, aside from the commercial availability of 6.25 kilohertz or dual-mode
equipment, may have caused licensees to continue purchasing and deploying equipment that is limited to
utilizing 12.5 kilohertz bandwidth. For example, has the extended DTV transition period and/or the
timing of available Federal grant monies caused public safety entities to purchase and deploy 12.5
kilohertz equipment in lieu of waiting for 6.25 kilohertz equipment to become available?
88.
Finally, we seek comment on whether in lieu of extending the narrowbanding deadline,
we should eliminate it and no longer require 6.25 kilohertz kilohertz narrowbanding in the 700 MHz
narrowband spectrum. As noted above, in 2010 the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau issued a
Public Notice seeking comment on whether public safety should have the option of using 700 MHz
narrowband spectrum for broadband services.228 Although the Public Notice did not propose any change
to the current 700 MHz narrowband rules, the Bureau sought information on the feasibility of opening the
band to flexible use, both in the short term and the long term, and on potential conditions or restrictions
that would be needed to prevent broadband operations in the band from causing harmful interference to
narrowband operations.229 In seeking comment on these issues, the Bureau specifically asked whether the
Commission should reconsider the 700 MHz narrowbanding requirement and whether public safety
resources would be better spent transitioning 700 MHz narrowband operations onto a broadband
platform.230
89.
While many commenters responding to the 700 MHz Flexibility PN expressed strong
opposition to opening up the 700 MHz narrowband spectrum to flexible broadband use,231 one commenter
stated that if the Commission were to allow flexible use of the band, it should eliminate the
narrowbanding requirement.232 Other commenters advocated extending or eliminating the narrowbanding
requirement regardless of whether the band is opened to flexible use.233 Some commenters supported
retaining the current narrowbanding deadline.234
90.
More recently, Congress has passed the Public Safety Spectrum Act, which expands the
portion of the 700 MHz band dedicated for public safety broadband use and lays the foundation for
establishment of a nationwide interoperable public safety broadband network in that spectrum.235
Moreover, the Public Safety Spectrum Act provides that the Commission may allow the 700 MHz

228 See Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau Seeks Comment on the Technical and Operational Feasibility
of Enabling Flexible Use of the 700 MHz Public Safety Narrowband Allocation and Guard Band for Broadband
Services, Public Notice, 25 FCC Rcd 13634, 13637 (700 MHz Flexibility PN).
229 Id. at 13634.
230 Id. at 13637.
231 See e.g., Comments of Arkansas Wireless Information Network, PS Docket No. 06-229 (filed Dec 3, 2010);
Comments of Region 8 – 700 MHz Regional Planning Committee, PS Docket No. 06-229 (filed Dec 3, 2010).
232 Comments of the Consolidated Communications Network of Colorado, PS Docket No. 06-229 (filed Dec 1,
2010) at 5.
233 Comments of California Statewide Interoperability Executive Committee, PS Docket No. 06-229 (filed Dec. 9,
2010) at 4; Comments of the Commonwealth of Virginia, PS Docket No. 06-229 (filed Dec. 3, 2010) at 7;
Comments of Region 6 700 MHz Regional Planning Committee, PS Docket No. 06-229 (filed Dec. 3, 2010) at 6;
Comments by the State of Colorado, Governor’s Office of Information Technology, PS Docket No. 06-229 (filed
Nov. 30, 2010) at 6.
234 Comments of Riverside / IT Dept, PS Docket No. 06-229 (filed Nov. 30, 2010) at 4; Comments by the Region 43
700 MHz Planning Committee, PS Docket No. 06-229 (filed Dec 3, 2010) at 5. Comments of State of Delaware, PS
Docket No. 06-229 (filed Dec 3, 2010) at 24.
235 See Public Safety Spectrum Act, § 6102.
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narrowband spectrum “to be used in a flexible manner, including usage for public safety broadband
communications.”236 While the future development path for the 700 MHz public safety broadband
network is not fully known, it is likely that public safety broadband use will increase over the next few
years, and many observers believe that broadband technology eventually could evolve to support mission-
critical voice services that currently are provided by narrowband systems.237 If and when this occurs, it
could spur greater demand for migration of 700 MHz narrowband spectrum to broadband use.
91.
In light of these developments, we seek comment on whether the long-term future of the
700 MHz narrowband spectrum band would be best served by suspending or eliminating mandatory
migration to 6.25 kilohertz technology. Could the spectral efficiency benefits of narrowbanding be
outweighed by the potential inefficiency of requiring public safety agencies to devote resources in this
band to a technological path that may not meet their long-term needs? Conversely, do the benefits
derived from enhanced efficiencies of narrowband technology outweigh the costs of maintaining the
current framework in the interim? If we were to eliminate mandatory narrowbanding, would there be
sufficient channel capacity using 12.5 kilohertz channels to meet the needs of public safety entities? For
instance, what effect would suspending or eliminating the mandatory migration to 6.25 kilohertz have on
T-Band licensees (470-512 MHz) who may seek to move to the 700 MHz band as a result of the
relocation required by Section 6103 of the Public Safety Spectrum Act?238 Furthermore, could licensees’
needs be addressed by encouraging narrowbanding to 6.25 kilohertz on a voluntary basis without
requiring it? How would interoperability in the band be affected by such an approach? Are there other
potential costs and benefits that we should consider?

B.

2010 NPSTC Petition – Air-Ground Communications on Secondary Trunking
Channels

92.
Background. The 700 MHz narrowband channel plan designates sixteen 6.25 kilohertz
bandwidth channel pairs for “secondary trunking operations” (secondary trunking channels).239 Each of
these secondary trunking channel pairs is immediately adjacent to one of the corresponding sixteen 6.25
kilohertz interoperability channel pairs in the band plan. This configuration allows the interoperability
and trunking channel pairs to be aggregated to form 25 kilohertz bandwidth channels,240 which can be
used for secondary trunking operations when the interoperability channels are not needed for
interoperability purposes.241 Under our current rules, the secondary trunking channels are only to be used
in aggregation with the adjacent interoperability channels for 25 kilohertz bandwidth trunking operations,
i.e., the rules do not allow them to be used separately for any other purpose.242
93.
In 2010, NPSTC submitted a petition for rulemaking to allow 700 MHz public safety
narrowband licensees to use the secondary trunking channels for low-altitude, low power, air-ground

236 Id.
237 See Public Safety Communications Evolution, brochure developed by Department of Homeland Security’s
Office of Emergency Communications (rel. Nov. 2011).
238 Public Safety Spectrum Act, § 6103. See infra ¶ 117.
239 47 C.F.R. § 90.531(b)(7). The channel pairs reserved for secondary trunking are: 21/981, 22/982, 101/1061,
102/1062, 181/1141, 182/1142, 261/1221, 262/1222, 659/1619, 660/1620, 739/1699, 740/1700, 819/1779,
820/1780, 899/1859, and 900/1860.
240 A 25 kilohertz bandwidth channel is formed by combining two contiguous 6.25 kilohertz secondary trunking
channels with the two adjacent 6.25 kilohertz interoperability channels.
241 47 C.F.R. § 90.537(b).
242 47 C.F.R. § 90.531(b)(7).
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voice communications.243 NPSTC recommended that the Commission limit air-ground transmissions on
these channels to two watts effective radiated power, which is consistent with the power limit for 700
MHz narrowband channels reserved for low power use.244 NPSTC based its petition on a proposal from
the State of Maryland to use 700 MHz narrowband channels for air-ground communications so that it can
incorporate public safety aircraft into its existing and planned 700 MHz network.245
94.
As a general matter, Part 90 land mobile radio licensees are permitted to operate mobile
transmitters aboard aircraft on any of their licensed frequencies for air-ground communications, provided
such operations are limited to aircraft flying at altitudes below 1.6 kilometers (1 mile) and transmit with
an output power of ten watts or less.246 However, NPSTC stated that 700 MHz narrowband licensees
cannot conduct air-ground communications under this general rule because of the risk that they will cause
co-channel interference to ground-based 700 MHz narrowband communications over a wide geographic
radius.247 Further, NPSTC notes that the wide-area propagation of airborne signals means that air-ground
transmissions on channels designated for state use will likely violate Commission limits on signal
strength at state borders.248
95.
To enable 700 MHz narrowband licensees to incorporate air-ground communications into
their operations, NPSTC requested that the Commission specifically designate the secondary trunking
channels to be available for air-ground use.249 NPSTC asserted that designating these channels for
airborne use would not create a risk of interference to ground-based operations because the channels are
seldom used for their originally intended purpose of enabling 25 kilohertz bandwidth trunking operations.
NPSTC also noted that these channels are increasingly unlikely to be used for 25 kilohertz trunking
because “most future 700 MHz interoperability systems will use P25 technology and not require a 25 kHz
wide channel.”250
96.
In June 2011, the Bureau issued a public notice in this docket seeking comment on the
NPSTC petition.251 A number of commenters support the proposal NPSTC puts forth its petition.252

243 Petition for Rulemaking of the National Public Safety Telecommunications Council, RM-11433 (filed Mar. 19,
2010) (NPSTC Air-to-Ground Petition).
244 Id.
245 Id. at 7.
246 47 C.F.R. § 90.423.
247 NPSTC Air-to-Ground Petition at 4-5. NPSTC cites a consultant’s report indicating that a signal transmitted in
the 700 MHz band from an aircraft operating at 1,500 feet with an output power of 1.5 watts will propagate up to
approximately 100 miles. Id. at 7-8.
248 Id. The signal strength limit at the edge of the state for operation on the state channels is 40 dBu/m, unless
adjoining states agree to alternate field strengths at their common border. See also Development of Operational,
Technical and Spectrum Requirements for Meeting Federal, State and Local Public Safety Agency Communication
Requirements Through the Year 2010, WT Docket No. 96-86, Third Memorandum Opinion and Order and Third
Report and Order
(Third MO&O and Third R&O), 15 FCC Rcd 19844, 19873 ¶ 67 & n.207 (WTB 2000).
249 NPSTC Air-to-Ground Petition at 2.
250 Id.
251 Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau Seeks Comment on National Public Safety Telecommunications
Council’s Petition for Rulemaking to Allow Aircraft Voice Operations on Secondary Trunking Channels in the 700
MHz Band, Public Notice, 26 FCC Rcd 9405 (PSHSB 2011).
252 See Comments of State of Maryland, RM-11433 (filed Jul 12, 2011) (Maryland Air-to-Ground Comments);
Comments of National Regional Planning Council, RM-11433 (filed Jul 15, 2011) (NRPC Air-to-Ground
Comments); Comments of Region 39, RM-11433 (filed Jul 15, 2011) (Region 39 Air-to-Ground Comments);
Comments of National Public Safety Telecommunications Officials, RM-11433 (filed Jul 15, 2011) (NPSTC Air-to-
(continued....)
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Maryland affirms that it is moving forward with plans for a statewide 700 MHz narrowband system that
will support air-ground as well as ground-based communications.253 Maryland states that it must have
access to dedicated aircraft channels at 700 MHz in order to avoid interference with other states using
their state-licensed 700 MHz channels.254 It notes that it recently executed a contract for a dozen public
safety helicopters that will be used to support emergency medical services involving trauma and which
require access to 700 MHz narrowband channels.255 Ohio SIEC also expresses interest in using dedicated
700 MHz channels for air-ground communications, noting that the obstacles to deploying aircraft
operations under the existing rules are not unique to Maryland.256 In this regard, Ohio SIEC indicates it
“has a very active air service” but notes “there has never been a clear, concise and uniform nationwide
manner in which to conduct these operations.”257
97.
Some commenters support NPSTC’s air-ground proposal but emphasize the importance
of advanced planning and coordination to ensure that airborne operations in neighboring jurisdictions do
not interfere with one another or with ground-based communications. TIA suggests that the Commission
“conduct an analysis on the interference impact of the proposed aircraft operations on other 700 MHz
narrowband operations as well as on broadband operations in adjacent blocks in the band.”258 Region 39
suggests that “use of these channels in a region needs to be published on the CAPRAD database for
review by neighboring regions and states to ensure [air-to-ground operation] remains effective.”259
98.
Discussion. We seek comment on permitting public safety air-ground voice
communications on the secondary trunking channels as proposed by NPSTC. Maryland and other
commenters on the NPSTC petition have indicated a strong interest in airborne use of these channels so
that they can incorporate air-ground communications into their 700 MHz narrowband systems.260 The
record also indicates that the secondary trunking channels are rarely used for terrestrial communications,
suggesting that they could be made available for air-ground use as proposed by NPSTC. We seek
comment on this view. Should we dedicate channels in the 700 MHz band for air-ground use? If so, are
the secondary trunking channels the most appropriate channels for this purpose? Are any licensees using

(...continued from previous page)
Ground Comments); Comments of Motorola, Inc., RM-11433 (filed Jul 15, 2011) (Motorola Air-to-Ground
Comments); Comments of Ohio Statewide Interoperability Executive Committee, RM-11433 (filed Jul 15, 2011)
(Ohio SIEC Air-to-Ground Comments); Reply Comments of State of Maryland, RM-11433 (filed Jul 25, 2011)
(Maryland Air-to-Ground Reply Comments); Reply Comments of Telecommunications Industry Association, RM-
11433 (TIA Air-to-Ground Reply Comments).
253 Maryland Air-to-Ground Comments at 3-4. In February 2012, Maryland filed a separate request for waiver to
allow it to proceed with air-ground use of the 700 MHz secondary trunking channels. After seeking public comment
on the Maryland waiver request, the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau granted a waiver to Maryland.
State of Maryland Request for Waiver of 47 CFR §90.531(b)(7) to Permit Operation of Air-to-Ground Radio
Equipment on 700 MHz Secondary Trunking Channels, Order, 27 FCC Rcd 10065 (PSHSB 2012). The Bureau
expressly stated that the waiver is subject to the outcome of any broader proceeding that the Commission may
undertake with respect to the NPSTC petition. Id. at 10065 n.1.
254 Maryland Air-to-Ground Comments at 4.
255 Id.
256 Ohio SIEC Air-to-Ground Comments at 1.
257 Id.
258 TIA Air-to-Ground Reply Comments at 1-2.
259 Region 39 Air-to-Ground Comments at 2.
260 Maryland Air-to-Ground Comments at 2-3; Ohio SIEC Air-to-Ground Comments at 2; Motorola Air-to-Ground
at 4; NPSTC Air-to-Ground Comments at 3; Region 39 Air-to-Ground Comments at 2; NRPC Air-to-Ground
Comments at 4.
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secondary trunking channels terrestrially, and if so, are protection criteria necessary to ensure that
airborne operations do not interfere with such terrestrial uses?
99.
Assuming we were to allow air-ground use of the secondary trunking channels, we seek
comment on what impact such use would have on terrestrial users operating on other 700 MHz
narrowband channels and in adjacent bands. For example, to what extent, if any, would licensees using
the adjacent interoperability channels be subject to potential interference? More generally, is there
potential for interference to other 700 MHz narrowband operations or broadband use in the adjacent
public safety broadband spectrum block? Could airborne transmissions on the secondary trunking
channels affect licensees operating in the 800 MHz band?261
100.
To address interference concerns, NPSTC proposes to limit airborne transmissions to two
watts effective radiated power.262 Is this sufficient to limit the interference potential, or should the power
limit be lower given the wide area of propagation? What is the minimum effective radiated power
necessary to provide adequate communication service from aircraft flying at altitudes of 1500 feet or less
above ground level? We seek comment on this and other potential technical rules to mitigate potential
interference. Is there any potential for interference to or from licensees operating on spectrum allocated
for broadband systems, and if so, should we consider other channels in the band for air-to-ground
communications that are more removed from the spectrum allocated for broadband systems? Should we
also impose altitude restrictions on airborne use, and if so, at what altitude? Should we limit aircraft to
transmitting on the base transmit side of the channel pair in the direct (simplex) mode so as to
communicate directly with mobile and portable units without going through base station infrastructure?263
Are there situations where base station repeaters would be needed to enable communication between
aircraft and ground-based mobile and portable units?
101.
As a number of commenters note, licensees using secondary trunked channels for air-
ground communications will need to coordinate their channel use with geographically adjacent users. We
seek comment on appropriate coordination procedures and on technical criteria for determining who
should be considered “geographically adjacent” for coordination purposes. We also seek comment on
who within each state should bear responsibility for coordination. NPSTC suggests that the State
Interoperability Executive Committees (SIECs) for geographically adjacent states could develop sharing
arrangements to minimize interference.”264 Are the SIECs – which are responsible for the administration
of the interoperability channels265 – the appropriate entities to perform such coordination? Should the
Regional Planning Committees or other entities play a coordination role? Should selection of channels
for airborne use in each state be incorporated into 700 MHz Regional Plans?
102.
Finally, we remind commenting parties that our current agreements with Canada and
Mexico for the 700 MHz band cover only terrestrial use of these frequencies.266 Consequently, airborne

261 Mobile stations transmit (and base stations receive) in the 806-824 MHz segment of the 800 MHz band. This
band segment is immediately above the 700 MHz public safety mobile transmit band segment at 799-805 MHz and
separated by a guard band at 805-806 MHz.
262 NPSTC Air-to-Ground Petition at 1.
263 See 47 C.F.R. § 90.531(a).
264 NPSTC Air-to-Ground Petition at 5.
265 47 C.F.R. § 90.525.
266 See Sharing Arrangement Between the Department of Industry of Canada and the Federal Communications
Commission of the United States of America Concerning the Use of the Frequency Bands 764 To 776 MHz and 794
to 806 MHz by the Land Mobile Service Along the Canada-United States Border (June 2005); Protocol Between the
Department of State of the United States of America and the Secretariat of Communications and Transportation of
the United Mexican States Concerning the Allotment and Use of the 698-806 MHz Band for Terrestrial Non-
Broadcasting Radiocommunication Services Along the Common Border (November 2006).
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operations along the borders would need to be coordinated through either special coordination procedures
(SCPs) or a separate agreement with each country.

C.

2008 NPSTC Petition – Proposed Revisions to 700 MHz Narrowband Channel Plan
103.
In 2008, NPSTC filed a petition for rulemaking proposing certain changes to the 700
MHz narrowband channel plan following the Commission’s consolidation of the public safety
narrowband spectrum.267 NPSTC stated that the consolidation of the narrowband spectrum afforded an
“opportunity to reexamine how the segment’s channel alignment and a channel’s designated purpose can
best promote effective public safety communications.”268 Specifically, NPSTC proposed to modify the
rules governing use of the designated nationwide interoperability channels, data-only interoperability
channels, reserve channels, and low power channels.269
104.
The Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau placed the 2008 NPSTC Petition on
public notice.270 Commenting parties generally were supportive of the proposals NPSTC puts forth in its
petition.271 Accordingly, we incorporate the petition and associated comments into this proceeding, and
seek comment on NPSTC’s proposals below.
1.

Nationwide Interoperability Travel Channel

105.
Background. Section 90.531(b)(1)(ii) of the Commission’s rules establishes four 6.25
kilohertz channel pairs (specifically, 39/999, 40/1000, 681/1641, and 682/1642) as nationwide calling
interoperability channels.272 Licensees may generally combine adjacent channel pairs for wider
bandwidth operation, resulting in two 12.5 kilohertz bandwidth channel pairs reserved for nationwide
calling.273 The Commission reserved these channel pairs for activities such as coordination of multiple
public safety entities at the scene of an incident or for requests by entities “outside the system” for help or
information.274 The rules do not permit routine administrative or day-to-day communications on these
channels.275

267 Petition for Rulemaking of the National Public Safety Telecommunications Council, RM-11433 (filed Feb. 8,
2008) (2008 NPSTC Petition).
268 Id. at 5.
269 The 2008 NPSTC petition included two charts depicting the 700 MHz narrowband channel plan and identifying
the channel designations NPSTC proposed to modify See Figures 1 and 2 attached to 2008 NPSTC Petition.
270 Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau Seeks Comment on Petition for Rulemaking of the National Public
Safety Telecommunications Council Concerning the 700 MHz Public Safety Narrowband Channels, RM-11433,
Public Notice, 23 FCC Rcd 9395 (PSHSB 2008).
271 See Comments of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, RM-11433 (filed
June 30, 2008) (AASHTO Comments); Comments of Region 49, RM-11433 (filed July 16, 2008) (Region 49
Comments); Comments of the Commonwealth of Virginia, RM-11433 (filed July 16, 2008) (Virginia Comments);
Comments of the International Municipal Signal Association and International Association of Fire Chiefs, Inc., RM-
11433 (filed July 16, 2008) (IMSA/IAFC Comments); Comments of Motorola, Inc., RM-11433 (filed July 16, 2008)
(Motorola NPSTC Petition Comments); Comments of Region 39, Tennessee, RM-11433 (filed July 16, 2008)
(Region 39 Comments); Comments of State of California, RM-11433 (filed July 16, 2008) (California Comments);
Comments of National Regional Planning Council, RM-11433 (filed July 16, 2008) (NRPC Comments); Reply
Comments of the National Public Safety Telecommunications Council, RM-11433 (filed July 31, 2008) (NPSTC
Reply Comments).
272 47 C.F.R. § 90.531(b)(1)(ii).
273 See 47 C.F.R. § 90.531(d).
274 See Fourth Report and Order, 16 FCC Rcd at 2043 ¶ 66.
275 47 C.F.R. § 90.531(b)(1)(ii).
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106.
In its 2008 petition, NPSTC proposed that the Commission redesignate the two upper
6.25 kilohertz channel pairs (681/1641 and 682/1642) as “Nationwide Interoperability Travel Channels,”
while retaining the lower channel pairs (39/999 and 40/1000) for nationwide calling.276 NPSTC
contended that “travel channels” would facilitate coordination of vehicle convoys transporting resources,
assets, and personnel to major incidents, allowing “first responders and equipment to be deployed to an
area directly instead of having to first travel to a staging area.”277 In addition, according to NPSTC, the
travel channels would “provide Incident Commanders advanced notice of the resources arriving at a
particular time so that areas most in need of assistance can receive relief immediately,” and would thereby
“enhance flexibility, efficiency and speed in deploying resources.”278 NPSTC argued that retaining both
upper and lower sets of nationwide calling channels was no longer necessary because of the consolidation
of the narrowband channels.279 Furthermore, NPSTC asserted that retaining both sets of channels for
nationwide interoperability could cause confusion and undermine interoperability “because local/state
agencies would not know which channel to monitor and/or use in any particular area of the country.”280
107.
Discussion. We seek comment on NPSTC’s proposal. Should the Commission designate
two 6.25 kilohertz bandwidth channel pairs to be used exclusively for coordinating disaster response
transportation activities? Would the potential benefits of such designation outweigh the potential adverse
impact of reducing the overall channel capacity devoted to interoperability generally? We note that in the
aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the mutual aid channels in the 800 MHz band were significantly
overloaded. The Panel Report observed that “[w]hen the existing infrastructure for the New Orleans
system was incapacitated by flooding, communications were almost completely thwarted as too many
users attempted to use the three mutual aid channels in the 800 MHz band.”281 Would reducing the
number of channel pairs in the 700 MHz public safety band devoted to nationwide calling interoperability
to just two adjacent 6.25 kilohertz bandwidth channel pairs – or one 12.5 kilohertz bandwidth channel
pair – similarly hamper interoperability voice communications needs?
108.
We also seek comment on what impact NPSTC’s proposal would have on cross-border
interoperability. For example, both Canada and the U.S. have designated the 6.25 kilohertz bandwidth
channel pairs identified by NPSTC (681/1641 and 682/1642) for public safety interoperability within the
border region.282 Consequently, these channels are well-suited under the current arrangement governing
the U.S-Canada border region to serve cross-border coordination needs. Would these channels still be

276 2008 NPSTC Petition at 6.
277 Id.
278 Id. at 6-7.
279 Id. at 5-6. Motorola also voices its support for re-designation of one of the national calling channels. See
Motorola NPSTC Petition Comments at 2.
280 2008 NPSTC Petition at 5-6.
281 Independent Panel Reviewing the Impact of Hurricane Katrina on Communications Networks, Report and
Recommendations to the Federal Communications Commission,
June 12, 2006, at 25 (citation omitted) (Katrina
Panel Report), available at http://www.fcc.gov/pshs/docs/advisory/hkip/karrp.pdf. Although the report refers to
three mutual aid channels there are actually five mutual aid channels in the 800 MHz band. See 47 C.F.R.
§ 90.617(a)(1).
282 See Sharing Arrangement Between the Dept. of Industry of Canada and the Federal Communications
Commission of the United States of America Concerning the Use of the Frequency Bands 764 to 776 MHz and 794
to 806 MHz by the Land Mobile Service Along the Canada-United States Border (Jun. 2005) at ¶ 3.2.3(a)
(Arrangement G). This document is available on the Commission’s web site at
http://www.fcc.gov/ib/sand/agree/files/can-nb/764_806.pdf. Note, however, that Arrangement G is based upon the
pre-consolidation band plan. The United States and Canada are currently working a replacement arrangement which
will maintain the sharing principles detailed in Arrangement G but reflect the current U.S. domestic channel plan.
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useful for cross-border coordination purposes if the U.S. re-designates these channels as proposed by
NPSTC, but Canada does not do so?283
2.

Tactical Voice Communications on Data Interoperability Channels

109.
Background. Section 90.531(b)(1)(i) of the Commission’s rules reserves four 6.25
kilohertz channel pairs (279/1239, 280/1240, 921/1881, and 922/1882) for data-only interoperability
communications.284 As with the nationwide interoperability calling channels noted above, licensees may
generally combine adjacent channels for 12.5 kilohertz bandwidth operation. The Commission did not
specify the types of data to be used on these channels but rather elected to permit any data applications
that could support a data throughput of 9.6 kilobits per second (kbps) for a 12.5 kilohertz bandwidth
channel.285
110.
In its 2008 petition, NPSTC proposed that the Commission allow tactical voice
communications on a secondary basis on the two upper channel pairs (921/1881 and 922/1882).286
NPSTC argued that such action would help meet expanding demand for communications supporting
tactical operations and would “promote more effective and extensive use of the channels while preserving
their prime purpose when required for data use.”287 As with the narrowband calling interoperability
channels, NPSTC contended that consolidation of the 700 MHz narrowband spectrum has made it
unnecessary to maintain two separate channel sets dedicated solely to data communications.288
111.
Discussion. We seek comment on NPSTC’s proposal. Would such a secondary
designation for tactical voice communications have any adverse impact on primary data-only
interoperability communications? Is it technically feasible and/or practical to implement tactical voice
communications on a secondary basis to primary data-only communications? Would adoption of this
proposal have any impact on the existing base of mobile, portable, and base stations currently in use by
public safety entities, such as requiring reprogramming or retrofits? Also, would secondary voice
communications on these channels affect the ability of licensees in the border regions to exchange data
with counterpart operators in Canada?289
3.

Reserve Channels

112.
Background. Section 90.531(b)(2) of the Commission’s rules reserves forty-eight 6.25
kilohertz bandwidth channel pairs for future designation.290 The Commission held these channels in
reserve for designation in accordance with developing needs.291
113.
In its 2008 petition, NPSTC proposed that all 48 reserve channel pairs be designated for
use by temporary deployable mobile trunked infrastructure that could be transported into an incident area

283 We note that we have designated no cross-border interoperability channels with Mexico in the 700 MHz band at
this time.
284 47 C.F.R. § 90.531(b)(1)(i).
285 See Fourth Report & Order, 16 FCC Rcd at 2050 ¶ 85.
286 2008 NPSTC Petition at 7.
287 Id.
288 Id. Motorola also voices its support for permitting “secondary use” of narrowband data interoperability channels.
See Motorola NPSTC Petition Comments at 2.
289 The existing agreement with Canada designates channels 921/1881 and 922/1882 for interoperable data
communications in the sharing zone. See Arrangement G at ¶ 3.2.3(a).
290 47 C.F.R. § 90.531(b)(2).
291 See First Report and Order, 14 FCC Rcd at 170 ¶ 32.
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to assist with emergency response and recovery.292 NPSTC observed that deployable infrastructure has
become increasingly available and noted that “[s]everal federally supported state and local emergency
response plans now envision transporting wireless infrastructure with trunking capability to the incident
area with other emergency equipment and supplies.”293 According to NPSTC, designating channels for
deployable trunked use would allow 700 MHz licensees to pre-program these channels into their
subscriber radios, negating the need during a disaster to reprogram radios in the field or distribute cached
radios, “both of which are time consuming and may be impossible depending upon the nature of the
emergency.”294
114.
Accordingly, NPSTC proposed that the narrowband reserve channels be grouped into six
sets of four 12.5 kilohertz bandwidth channel pairs, allowing for nationwide pre-designation of
deployable trunking groups.295 NPSTC further proposed that (i) equipment operated under this channel
designation should comply with ANSI/TIA-102 (Project 25) standards to promote interoperability across
agencies, (ii) mobiles and portables should be licensed by rule,296 and (iii) transportable “fixed” (base and
relay) stations should be individually licensed as “temporary” with the owner of the infrastructure
designating an area of operation, up to and including “nationwide.”297
115.
NPSTC acknowledged that “[t]echnical coordination of these systems on a nationwide
basis presents a challenge.”298 NPSTC indicated it “has already presented this concept to the Project 25
Steering Committee and the Private Radio Section of the Telecommunications Industry Association
(TIA), both of whom are involved in developing the ANSI/TIA-102 standards series with significant
public safety user input and review.”299 NPSTC further indicated that “[i]f this deployable system
concept is approved by the Commission, NPSTC will work expeditiously with these organizations to
address issues and standards related to unique system IDs, identification of subscriber radios, and related
technical requirements.”300 NPSTC recommended that the Commission seek input from these technical
groups before making the specific designation of which sets of channels are associated with which of the
trunking groups, as well as other technical parameters that must be established before finalizing the rules
for these deployable systems.301

292 2008 NPSTC Petition at 7.
293 Id. at 8.
294 Id.
295 2008 NPSTC Petition at 9. Although NPSTC indicates that the reserve channels should be grouped into “four
sets of 6 channels each,” the channel chart attached to its Petition indicates that the channels actually would be
grouped into six sets of channels, with each set being composed of 8 paired 6.25 kilohertz channels (or 4 paired 12.5
kilohertz channels if adjacent 6.25 kilohertz channels are combined), as follows: (Set 1) 37/997, 38/998, 117/1077,
118/1078, 197/1157, 198/1158, 217/1237, 218/1238; (Set 2) 61/1021, 62/1022, 141/1101, 142/1102, 221/1181,
222/1182, 301/1261, 302/1262; (Set 3) 77/1037, 78/1038, 157/1117, 158/1118, 237/1197, 238/1198, 317/1277,
318/1278; (Set 4) 643/1603, 644/1604, 723/1683, 724/1684, 803/1763, 804/1764, 883/1843, 884/1844; (Set 5)
683/1643, 684/1644, 763/1723, 764/1724, 843/1803, 844/1804, 923/1883, 924/1884; and (Set 6) 699/1659,
700/1660, 779/1739, 780/1740, 859/1819, 860/1820, 939/1899, 940/1900.
296 Any public safety entity meeting the requirements of § 90.523 may operate mobile or portable units on
interoperability channels in the 700 MHz band without specific authorization from the Commission, provided it
holds a Part 90 license. See 47 C.F.R. § 90.525(a).
297 2008 NPSTC Petition at 9.
298 Id.
299 Id.
300 Id.
301 See id. at 10.
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116.
In response to the 2008 NPSTC Petition, Motorola recommends that we seek comment
on how to ensure that temporary facilities adequately protect co-channel and adjacent channel
incumbents.302 Virginia agrees that the NPSTC proposal may be desirable in principle, but argues that
any available 700 MHz reserve narrowband channels should be made available “solely for statewide radio
systems with an ERP cap of 20 watts.”303
117.
In December 2012, the Los Angeles Regional Interoperable Communications System
Joint Powers Authority (LA-RICS) filed a request for waiver to permit LA-RICS and its member public
safety entities to apply for the 700 MHz reserve channels in the Los Angeles metropolitan area and
integrate those frequencies into the LA-RICS system.304 LA-RICS previously planned to use the T-Band
(470-512 MHz) for voice communications.305 However, Section 6103 of the Public Safety Spectrum Act
requires public safety T-Band incumbents such as LA-RICS to eventually vacate the T-Band.306 In light
of the legislation, LA-RICS submits that the only viable approach to meet its immediate and long term
communications needs is to deploy a “hybrid” system that operates on both 700 MHz and T-Band and
that will facilitate eventual T-Band migration.307 LA-RICS further states that the hybrid system will
require more 700 MHz narrowband channels than are currently available and therefore requests access to
all of the 700 MHz reserve channels.308 On January 11, 2013, the Public Safety and Homeland Security
Bureau sought public comment on the LA-RICS waiver request.309
118.
Discussion. We invite comment on potential uses of the 700 MHz narrowband reserve
channels in light of both NPSTC’s petition and the LA-RICS waiver request. Would designating the
narrowband reserve channels for deployable mobile trunked infrastructure be a practical and efficient
utilization of these channels, as NPSTC proposes? The Katrina Panel Report found that few of the public
safety agencies directly responding to Hurricane Katrina had mobile trunked infrastructure that could be
transported into the incident areas.310 Is this the case for most public safety agencies across the country
currently and for the foreseeable future, and if so, would it be an efficient use of scarce spectrum
resources to designate all of the reserve narrowband channels for a function that only a small percentage
of public safety entities could perform? Could the same benefits be achieved by simply requiring
deployable equipment to operate on the narrowband channels already designated for general and/or state
use in the affected area (i.e., using the same channels as the permanent communications facilities that
were damaged and/or incapacitated by an emergency event).
119.
If we were to authorize temporary use of deployable infrastructure on reserve channels,
we seek comment, as requested by Motorola, on how we would ensure that these temporary facilities

302 Motorola NPSTC Petition Comments at 3.
303 Virginia Comments at 3.
304 Request for Waiver of Section 90.531(b)(2) filed by Los Angeles Regional Interoperable Communications
System Joint Powers Authority (Dec. 7, 2012) (LA-RICS Waiver Request).
305 Id. at 3.
306 Public Safety Spectrum Act, § 6103.
307 LA-RICS Waiver Request at 5.
308 Id. at 7.
309 Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau Seeks Comment on Request for Waiver By Los Angeles Regional
Interoperable Communications System Joint Powers Authority to Apply for 700 MHz “Narrowband Reserve
Channels,” Public Notice, RM 11433, DA 13-39 (PSHSB rel. Jan. 11, 2013).
310 The Katrina Panel observed that commercial cellular operators successfully deployed “cellular base stations on
wheels” (COWs) throughout the affected region but very few public safety agencies had deployable equipment on
hand when their primary systems failed. Katrina Panel Report at ii. See also id. at 23.
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adequately protect co-channel and adjacent channel incumbents. We also seek comment on NPSTC’s
proposal that the Commission seek input from the Project 25 Steering Committee and the Private Radio
Section of the Telecommunications Industry Association prior to adopting specific channel
designations.311 Finally, we seek comment on how licensees deploying temporary stations along the
Mexican and Canadian borders would ensure compliance with our international obligations. For
example, only some of the reserve channels are primary to the U.S. along the U.S.-Canada and U.S.-
Mexico borders.312 Thus, the actual number of channels available to the U.S. for transportable fixed
stations under NPSTC’s proposal would vary depending upon which border or where along the border the
transportable fixed station is located.313
120.
As an alternative to the NPSTC proposal, we seek comment on whether some or all of
the reserve channels should be made available for permanent as opposed to temporary use. In light of LA-
RIC’s waiver request and the eventual T-Band relocation required by the Public Safety Spectrum Act,
would opening the reserve channels for licensing facilitate migration in T-Band metropolitan markets
other than Los Angeles? Would it help address public safety capacity needs in non-T-Band areas?
Should we designate a percentage of the 48 reserve channel pairs, e.g., one half, for deployable
infrastructure, and designate the remainder as State channels, as suggested by Virginia?314
4.

Power Limit for Low Power Channels

121.
Background. Sections 90.531(b)(3) and (4) of the Commission’s rules designate twenty-
four 6.25 kilohertz bandwidth channel pairs for low power mobile-only operations, which serve various
on-scene incident response applications.315 The low power channels fall into two categories: (1) low
power channels subject to regional planning (comprised of channels 1-8 paired with 961-968 and 949-958
paired with 1909-1918);316 and (2) low power channels available for nationwide itinerant operations
(comprised of channels 9-12 paired with 969-972 and 959-960 paired with 1919-1920).317 The rules
exempt transmitters designed to operate only on the low power channels from the digital modulation

311 2008 NPSTC Petition at 9-10.
312 See Arrangement G, Annex A. See also Protocol Between the Department of State of the United States of
America and the Secretariat of Communications and Transportation of the United Mexican States Concerning the
Allotment and Use of the 698-806 MHz Band for Terrestrial Non-Broadcasting Radiocommunication Services
Along the Common Border, Appendix II (Nov. 2006) (Mexico 700 MHz Protocol).
313 Along the U.S.-Canada border, the availability of U.S. primary channels varies depending upon region. See
Arrangement G, Annex A.
314 The Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau has permitted, on a waiver basis, the use of deployable trunked
systems on the 700 MHz interoperability spectrum subject to the outcome of the NPSTC petition (i.e., should the
Commission authorize the use of deployable trunked systems on the reserve spectrum those waiver recipients shall
relocate to the reserve spectrum). See, e.g., State of Colorado, Order, 27 FCC Rcd 6051 (PSHSB 2012); State of
Florida, Order, 26 FCC Rcd 7730 (PSHSB 2011); City of Mesa, Police Department, Order, 26 FCC Rcd 8466
(PSHSB 2011).
315 47 C.F.R. §§ 90.531(b)(3) and (4).
316 See 47 C.F.R. § 90.531(b)(3). The Commission made the Regional Planning Committees responsible for
determining the most appropriate low power application(s) on these channels and made the frequency coordinators
responsible for providing appropriate interference protection. See Third Memorandum Opinion and Order, 15 FCC
Rcd 19859 ¶ 38.
317 See 47 C.F.R. § 90.531(b)(4). See § 90.7 for a definition of itinerant operations.
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requirement; thus, these transmitters may operate exclusively in an analog mode.318 The rules specify a
maximum permitted power on these channels of two watts effective radiated power (ERP).319
122.
In its 2008 Petition, NPSTC argued that the two watt power limit for low power channels
should be increased to 20 watts to make these channels more functional.320 NPSTC argued that such an
increase would allow for more effective on-scene communications in critical life-safety situations,
particularly for fire department radios operating in high ambient noise environments.321 Although
licensees may operate in analog mode on the low power channels, NPSTC contends that “current power
levels are inadequate to provide effective communications in several on scene environments, fire ground
operations being one of those.”322
123.
Motorola supports raising the power limit to 20 watts ERP for the low power channels
that are subject to regional planning, but recommends an antenna height limit of 20 feet above ground for
these channels.323 Motorola has concerns, however, about increasing the power limit for the nationwide
itinerant low power channels, contending that “there is a higher potential for interference between
uncoordinated 20 watt ERP operations.”324 Motorola suggests the issue of increasing power on the
itinerant channels “be further explored in the rulemaking proceeding to ensure the best balance between
obtaining coverage for itinerant users and minimizing interference.”325
124.
Discussion. We seek comment on NPSTC’s proposal. Would an increase to 20 watts
ERP overcome the problem of communicating in high ambient noise environments described by
NPSTC?326 Are there alternative solutions to the problem? For instance, could vehicular repeater system
(VRS) units operating on General Use or State channels be used to overcome the problem of
communicating in noisy environments?327 How would increasing the power limit, as proposed by
NPSTC, impact the potential for interference between users of low power devices operating at or near the
same incident? Is there an interference concern only for the nationwide itinerant channels, as Motorola
suggests, or would this be an issue for all of the low power channels if the power limit were raised?
125.
Furthermore, our existing international coordination agreement with Canada limits the
maximum power on all narrowband low power channels to 2 watts ERP for operations within 140
kilometers of the U.S.-Canada border.328 Thus, NPSTC’s proposal cannot be implemented in the U.S.-
Canada border region unless the U.S. and Canada negotiate an increased power limit for these channels.

318 See 47 C.F.R. § 90.535(a).
319 See 47 C.F.R. §§ 90.531(b)(3) and (b)(4).
320 2008 NPSTC Petition at 10-11.
321 Id. at 10.
322 Id.
323 Motorola NPSTC Petition Comments at 4.
324 Id.
325 Id.
326 2008 NPSTC Petition at10.
327 A VRS is a portable repeater that extends the coverage of radio systems by receiving signals from a base station
and retransmitting them, on a different frequency, for reception by nearby mobile or portable radios, and receiving
signals from nearby mobile or portable radios and retransmitting them to the base station. VRS units are typically
used to extend coverage into buildings.
328 See Arrangement G at ¶ 3.2.3(b). There is no similar limitation for operations on these narrowband low power
channels along the U.S.-Mexico border.
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We seek comment on whether it is practical or desirable to implement a power limit applicable to mobile
devices that would only apply outside the U.S.-Canada border region.

D.

Miscellaneous Issues

1.

Project 25 Compliance Assessment Program

126.
Background. Section 90.548 of the Commission’s rules requires any radio unit designed
to operate on the 700 MHz narrowband interoperability channels to conform to the TIA Project 25 (P25)
technical standards.329 However, until recently, no independent testing program existed to verify that
radios represented by equipment vendors to be P25-compliant in fact meet all of the P25 requirements.
Instead, individual vendors self-certified their equipment using their own internal testing criteria, resulting
in instances where equipment that was ostensibly P25-compliant was not interoperable across vendors. 330
To remedy this problem, Congress appropriated funds intended for the creation of an independent
assessment program to test compliance of all P25 equipment.331 In 2008, the Department of Homeland
Security’s Office for Interoperability and Compatibility (OIC) and the National Institute of Standards and
Technology (NIST), in partnership with industry and the emergency response community, launched the
P25 Compliance Assessment Program (P25 CAP).332 P25 CAP is a voluntary program that establishes an
independent compliance assessment process to ensure that communications equipment conforms to P25
standards and is interoperable across vendors.333 The program provides emergency response agencies
with a means of verifying that the equipment they buy, regardless of vendor, is compliant with the P25
standards.
127.
Discussion. Although Section 90.548 requires 700 MHz radios to conform to P25
standards with respect to operation on the narrowband interoperability channels, the rule does not
currently reference P25 CAP or require that such equipment be P25 CAP-certified. Consequently, some
700 MHz narrowband licensees may be using equipment that is nominally P25-compliant but has not
been independently tested and is not interoperable with equipment from other vendors used by other
licensees. We believe that requiring all 700 MHz narrowband equipment to be P25 CAP-certified would
enhance interoperability in the band and would provide assurance to licensees in the band that their
equipment will be interoperable across vendors regardless of which vendor they choose. We therefore
propose to require all vendors of 700 MHz narrowband equipment designed to operate on the
interoperability channels to obtain P25 CAP certification prior to marketing or sale of such equipment to
700 MHz narrowband licensees. We seek comment on this proposal. To what degree are vendors already
submitting their 700 MHz narrowband equipment for P25 CAP testing and certification? We note that
while P25 CAP is a voluntary program, some federal agencies have made P25 CAP certification a

329 47 C.F.R. § 90.548.
330 See Motorola Report entitled “P25 Compliance and Motorola” (Feb. 11, 2008) at 1 (stating “P25 marketplace
experience has shown that even with many P25/TIA-102 Standard documents, manufacturers can interpret the
written standards differently. This led to early interoperability issues between some of the P25 manufacturers.”).
This Motorola document is available at http://ocics.ongov.net/documents/P25_Compliance_and_Motorola.pdf. See
also
Tait Radio Communications White Paper entitled “Genuine P25 Interoperability for Public Safety Agencies”
(2011) at 4 (stating “[t]he reality is that not all P25 radios work on all P25 networks as the standards allow room for
interpretation.”). This Tait Radio Communications document is available at
http://www.alaskalandmobileradio.org/pdf/TaitWhitePaperInteroperabilityV1-Apr11.pdf.
331 See Science, State, Justice, Commerce and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2006, Pub. L. No. 109-108, §
605, 119 Stat. 2290, 2302; see H. R. Rep. No. 109-241,at 81(2005); S. Rep. No. 109-088, at 45 (2005).
332 See Public Safety Communications Research program website at
http://www.pscr.gov/projects/lmr/p25_cap/p25_cap.php.
333 Id.
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required condition for use of federal grant funds to purchase P25 equipment.334 Would requiring P25
CAP certification in our rules for 700 MHz narrowband equipment enhance interoperability? Would it
enhance competition in the equipment market by giving licensees more flexibility to choose among
competing vendors? Would it impose any costs on vendors or licensees that should be taken into
account?
128.
We also seek comment on the appropriate timeline for implementing our proposal. We do
not propose to require P25 CAP certification for equipment that 700 MHz narrowband licensees have
already purchased or that is already in use. We also believe that equipment vendors should be afforded
sufficient time to complete the P25 CAP testing and certification process for new or newly marketed
equipment. At the same time, to the extent that vendors are already submitting their equipment for P25
CAP certification voluntarily, or may have incentive to do so in light of our proposal in this Notice, a
prolonged transition may not be necessary. We therefore seek comment on whether we should require
CAP P25 certification for all 700 MHz narrowband equipment marketed or sold as of the effective date of
rules adopted in this proceeding, or whether we should adopt a different transition period.
2.

ACP Requirements for Class B Signal Boosters

129.
Background. As explained previously, Section 90.543(a) of the Commission’s rules
establishes adjacent channel power (ACP) limits335 for transmitting devices operating on 700 MHz public
safety narrowband frequencies.336 These ACP limits establish in-band emission limits applicable to all
700 MHz narrowband devices, including Class A and Class B signal boosters.337 Section 90.543(c) also
specifies less restrictive out-of-band emission limits for emissions outside the 700 MHz public safety
narrowband spectrum.338 The Commission designed the ACP limits to minimize adjacent channel
interference while accommodating a “continuously evolving equipment market in ways that favor
competition without favoring any particular technology.”339
130.
Discussion. Dekolink, a manufacturer of 700 MHz public safety narrowband equipment,
has raised concerns with Commission staff that certain signal boosters on the market today may operate
out of compliance with the ACP requirements under certain conditions.340 Specifically, Dekolink
suggests that Class B signal boosters currently authorized to operate in the 700 MHz public safety
narrowband spectrum typically produce intermodulation products in excess of ACP limits when
simultaneously retransmitting two or more signals.341 Dekolink indicates that it discovered this
phenomenon when it sought to obtain equipment authorization for one of its own products and was
denied certification because of such effects.

334 See US Dept. of Homeland Security, Office for Interoperability and Compatibility, Project 25 Compliance
Assessment Program at ¶ 1.1 (Mar. 2010).
335 See supra ¶ 10.
336 47 C.F.R. § 90.543(a).
337 Signal boosters are devices installed at a fixed location to improve communications by automatically receiving,
amplifying and retransmitting signals received from base, fixed or portable stations. 47 C.F.R. § 90.7. Signal
boosters are designed to boost signals without changing the frequency of the transmitted signal or exceeding the
bandwidth authorized for its transmission. Id. These devices are often used in public safety communications to
improve radio coverage inside buildings. See Dekolink slide presentation, submitted June 18, 2008) (Dekolink
Presentation) at 3 (on file in PS Docket 13-87).
338 See 47 C.F.R. § 90.543(c).
339 See supra note 8. First Report and Order, 14 FCC Rcd at 214 ¶ 138.
340 Dekolink Presentation at 7-12.
341 See id.
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131.
In its presentation to Commission staff, Dekolink provided spectrum analyzer plots of its
product, showing the fundamental and intermodulation peaks when retransmitting two and three signals,
to delineate this phenomenon graphically.342 Figure 3 below is a reprint of the spectrum analyzer plot
provided by Dekolink for its product when retransmitting two signals (the two, higher peaks in the center
of the plot are the fundamental signals, while the two lower peaks on either side of the fundamental peaks
are the peaks of the intermodulation products).

FIGURE 3: DEKOLINK GRAPH

132.
Dekolink requests that the Commission exempt Class B signal boosters from the ACP
requirements of Section 90.543(a), but only when multiple signals are retransmitted.343 Dekolink further

342 Commission rules require RF emitters to be tested for spurious emissions during the equipment authorization
process. 47 C.F.R. § 2.1051. Consequently, it is Commission staff policy to instruct laboratories to test Part 90
Class B signal boosters with multiple carriers for intermodulation products before an equipment authorization is
granted. See Federal Communications Commission, Office of Engineering and Technology, Licensed Devices
General Technical Requirements at 32-33 (2005), available at
http://www.fcc.gov/oet/ea/presentations/files/oct05/Licensed_Devices_SD.pdf (setting forth intermodulation
testing guidelines, which state that “[t]ransmitters and amplifiers designed to handle multiple channels must be
tested with multiple carriers for each emission type to show intermodulation products”) and KDB 935210 at
http://www.fcc.gov/labhelp.
343 Dekolink Presentation at 8, 13-14.
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suggests, however, that the Commission continue to apply the less restrictive out-of-band emission limits
of Section 90.543(c) in such situations.344
133.
We seek comment on Dekolink’s proposal. Does operation of Class B signal boosters in
excess of ACP limits when transmitting multiple signals present an unacceptably high potential for
harmful interference to adjacent channel users? Is there any evidence that these devices are creating
interference problems today? Are there any technical limitations that prevent these devices from being
designed and manufactured to meet the current ACP limits? Assuming harmful interference can be
avoided through filters and/or other technical remedies, to what extent would the incorporation of such
remedies adversely impact the cost and/or other performance characteristics of these devices?
134.
More generally, given the relatively low power limits of Class B signal boosters345 and
the prohibition on their mobile use,346 would exempting this class of devices from the ACP requirements
of Section 90.543(a) when multiple signals are retransmitted unreasonably elevate the potential for
harmful interference to adjacent channel users? If we were to exempt Class B signal boosters from the
ACP limits when retransmitting multiple signals, would the less restrictive out-of-band emission limits set
forth in Section 90.543(c) represent a suitable alternative standard for limiting the interference potential
of these devices?347 Alternatively, rather than exempt Class B signal boosters entirely from ACP limits
when they retransmit multiple signals, should the Commission instead impose less stringent limitations on
these devices under such circumstances or more generally?
135.
As Dekolink notes in its presentation, many local jurisdictions have adopted ordinances
requiring new and renovated buildings to provide coverage for first responders, which typically requires
the installation of signal boosters to overcome signal loss from building walls and other attenuating
factors.348 Would requiring compliance with the existing rule adversely impact the ability of building
owners to meet their obligations in this regard?
3.

Narrowband Power Limits

136.
Background. Two sets of rules governing power limits and, by extension, antenna
heights, for transmitters operating on the 700 MHz public safety narrowband channels appear to be in
conflict. Specifically, Section 90.541 of the Commission’s rules provides power limits for several
categories of transmitters using a combination of effective radiated power (ERP) and transmitter output
power (TPO) limits.349 Section 90.545(b) of the Commission’s rules, however, overlaps and conflicts in
some respects with Section 90.541 by providing maximum ERP and antenna height above average terrain
(HAAT) limits for mostly the same categories of transmitters.350

344 See id.
345 47 C.F.R. § 90.219(d)(3) (limiting signal boosters to an effective radiated power of 5 watts). This rule becomes
effective 30 days after publication in the Federal Register of the Commission’s most recent order on signal boosters.
See Amendment of Parts 1, 2, 22, 24, 27, 90 and 95 of the Commission’s Rules to Improve Wireless Coverage
Through the Use of Signal Boosters, WT Docket No. 10-4, Report and Order, 28 FCC Rcd 1663 (2013).
346 See id. at 47 C.F.R. § 90.219(d)(4).
347 We note that any change in rules to exempt Class B signal boosters from the ACP requirements would occur
without prejudice to any future enforcement action taken by the Commission with regard to manufacturers who
manufactured and marketed devices out of compliance with our rules.
348 Dekolink Presentation at 4-6. See, e.g., Burbank, Cal., Code § 7-616.1, available at
http://www.rfsolutions.com/Burbank_CA.pdf.
349 47 C.F.R. § 90.541.
350 47 C.F.R. § 90.545(b). The mobile station antenna height is not HAAT, but rather antenna height above ground
level.
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137.
Section 90.541 deals strictly with power limits, whereas Section 90.545 establishes
criteria for public safety licensees to protect co-channel and adjacent-channel full power TV and DTV
broadcast stations from interference. We summarize each rule’s limits and the categories of transmitters
in the table below:

Parameter

§ 90.541
§ 90.545(b)
Base station power
§ 90.635(a), (b), and (c)
1000 watts ERP
(limits are in ERP)
Base HAAT
N/A, but § 90.635 has
Refers to Figure B in § 90.309
HAAT limits
for HAAT > 152 meters
Control station power
30 watts TPO
200 watts ERP
Control station HAAT
N/A
61 meters
Mobile station power
30 watts TPO
30 watts ERP
Mobile station ant. height
N/A
6.1 meters
Portable station power
3 watts TPO
3 watts ERP
Low power channels
2 watts ERP
N/A
138.
Discussion. In accordance with our goal of harmonizing and eliminating redundant,
conflicting, or unnecessary rules, we propose to consolidate Sections 90.541 and 90.545(b) into a more
comprehensive Section 90.541. We seek comment on augmenting Section 90.541 to include the antenna
height and HAAT limits that exist in Section 90.545(b). We tentatively conclude that we should use ERP
limits from Section 90.545(b) in lieu of the TPO limits listed in Section 90.541. The Commission
generally favors ERP limits over TPO limits because “ERP more accurately defines the actual operating
power of the radio.”351 TPO simply describes the transmitter power without factoring other components
of a radio system, such as the antenna and any cables used to connect the transmitter thereto. In contrast,
ERP describes the power of the entire radio system by measuring the TPO plus the antenna gain minus
any loss factors.352 We seek comment on our tentative conclusion. Would a change in the policy from
TPO to ERP for certain operations render incumbent users or previously certified equipment non-
compliant?
139.
In response to a NPSTC proposal, Motorola requests that we consider establishing a 3
watt TPO limit for devices designed to operate on the low power channels.353 We tentatively conclude,
however, that we should retain an ERP-only limit for these devices. As noted above, we are seeking
comment on raising the ERP limit for low power devices.354 Furthermore, the Commission has

351 See Amendment of Part 90 of the Commission’s Rules and Policies for Applications and Licensing of
Low Power Operations in the Private Land Mobile Radio 450-470 MHz Band, WT Docket No. 01-146, RM-9966,
Report and Order, 18 FCC Rcd 3948, 3954 ¶ 13 (2003) (Low Power R&O) citing 1998 Biennial Review-47 C.F.R.
Part 90-Private Land Mobile Radio Services, WT Docket No. 98-182, Memorandum Opinion and Order and Second
Report and Order,
17 FCC Rcd 9830, 9840 ¶ 23 (2002).
352 Low Power R&O, 18 FCC Rcd 3954 ¶ 12.
353 Motorola NPSTC Petition Comments at 4.
354 See supra ¶¶ 124-125.
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previously concluded that an additional TPO limit “serves no meaningful purpose” if power limits are
already set in terms of ERP.355
140.
We also seek comment on correcting a cross reference in Section 90.541(a). Section
90.541(a) erroneously refers to paragraphs (b) and (c) of Section 90.635 for power limits of base station
transmitters. Paragraph (b) in Section 90.635, however, applies to mobile units, not base stations, and
paragraph (c) does not exist. Consequently, we propose to correct the cross-reference in Section
90.541(a) to refer to paragraph (a) and the associated Table in Section 90.635 for power limits and
antenna heights of base station transmitters.
141.
More broadly, by consolidating all power limits into Section 90.541(a), we seek comment
on deleting Section 90.545 in its entirety, including criteria for land mobile stations to protect full power
TV and DTV stations. Now that the DTV transition has concluded in the U.S. and full power TV and
DTV stations have vacated the 700 MHz band, we tentatively conclude that the TV/DTV protection
requirements of Section 90.545 are no longer necessary. While low power TV and TV translator stations
still operate in the 700 MHz band, Section 90.545 offers no protection criteria specific to such stations.356
We seek comment on our tentative conclusion.
4.

Interoperability Network Access Code

142.
Background. Section 90.548 of the Commission’s rules requires any radio unit designed
to operate on the interoperability channels at 700 MHz to conform to the TIA Project 25 technical
standards.357 Radio units employing the Project 25 standard use a pre-programmed digital address, called
a Network Access Code (NAC), to “hear” only communications directed to that address from another
radio. Neither the Commission’s rules nor the Project 25 standard requires a user to pre-program a
particular NAC when operating on the interoperability channels. Many users employ the code “$293”
because it is the default code pre-programmed into Project 25-enabled radios manufactured by Motorola.
Some public safety organizations, however, have attempted to standardize the NAC used on
interoperability channels using an alternative designation.358
143.
Discussion. We seek comment on whether the Commission should specify a
standardized NAC by rule for operation on the 700 MHz interoperability channels.359 Do users
employing different NACs pose an obstacle to interoperability? If we were to specify a NAC in our rules,
what code should be used? Should users employ the “$F7E” code, which enables them to hear all
communications on a channel?360 If not, what code would be most appropriate? Furthermore, we seek
comment on whether multiple NACs are ever needed at the site of an incident to allow users to

355 Low Power R&O, 18 FCC Rcd 3954 ¶ 12.
356 We note that 47 C.F.R. § 74.703(f) and (g) effectively render digital low power TV and TV translator stations
secondary to existing and future commercial and public safety wireless licensees in the 700 MHz band, subject to
procedures specified therein.
357 47 C.F.R. § 90.548.
358 For example, the Texas Statewide Interoperability Executive Committee specifies a NAC of “$61F.” See
http://siec.wa.gov/projects/files/Standard_Channel_Nomenclature_for_the_Public_Safety_Interoperability_Channel
s.pdf.
359 See letter from John S. Powell, Chair National Public Safety Telecommunications Council (NPSTC)
Interoperability Committee to David L. Furth, Deputy Chief, Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau,Sept. 11,
2011) (NPSTC Sept. 2011 Letter) at 3 (on file in PS Docket No. 13-87).
360 Setting the NAC to “$F7E” will “unsquelch” the receiver allowing it to hear all incoming signals. See U.S.
Department of Homeland Security, Office of Emergency Communications National Interoperability Field
Operations Guide Version 1.4 (Jan. 2011) at 56.
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communicate in smaller talk groups on the interoperability channels. If so, should the NACs be left to an
industry standard, which would be more flexible than codifying a single code into our rules?
5.

User Access to Interoperability Channels

144.
Background. Section 90.547(a) of the Commission’s rules specifies that 700 MHz public
safety narrowband mobile and portable transmitters “must be capable of operating on all of the designated
nationwide narrowband Interoperability channels.”361 The rule does not specify whether it suffices if
radios have the capability of being programmed to operate on any interoperability channel, or whether all
interoperability channels must be simultaneously accessible to the user.
145.
Discussion. We seek comment on amending Section 90.547(a) to require only that radios
be capable of being programmed to operate on all sixty-four of the 6.25 kilohertz bandwidth
interoperability channels in the 700 MHz band.362 A similar rule applicable to radios in the 800 MHz
band states that public safety 800 MHz radios “must have the capability to be programmed for operation
on the [five] 800 MHz mutual aid channels.”363 Is it sufficient to allow the radio to be capable of being
programmed to operate on any of the interoperability channels or should radios allow the user to access
any of the interoperability channels at any time?
6.

Analog Operation on the Interoperability Channels

146.
Background. Section 90.548(a)(1) of the Commission’s rules states that transmitters
designed to operate on 700 MHz narrowband interoperability channels “shall include” a mode of
operation conforming to the Project 25 standard.364 Furthermore, Section 90.535(a) states that mobile and
portable transmitters may be capable of operating using analog modulation as a secondary mode of
operation.365 Considered together, these two rules imply that analog operation is permitted on the
interoperability channels on a secondary basis.
147.
Discussion. We seek comment on whether we should permit users to operate their
mobile and portable equipment in analog mode on the interoperability channels. We are concerned that
allowing two modes of operation on these channels will impede interoperability. 366 Commenting parties
in favor of allowing both modes of operation should address what benefits may accrue from allowing
analog operation on the interoperability channels and whether such benefits outweigh the impairment to
interoperability resulting from allowing both modes of operation. Commenting parties in favor of
permitting only operations conforming to the Project 25 standard should address how the lack of analog
FM capability would affect the sometimes-perceived benefits of analog FM operations, e.g., intelligibility
under weak signal conditions or in high ambient acoustic noise situations.367

V.

PROCEDURAL MATTERS

A.

Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

148.
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) with respect to the Seventh

361 47 C.F.R. § 90.547(a). Mobile and portable transmitters designed to operate exclusively on the low power or
data interoperability channels are exempt from this requirement. See 47 C.F.R. §§ 90.547(a)(1) and (2).
362 Contiguous interoperability channels may be combined for wider band operation. See 47 C.F.R. § 90.531(d).
363 47 C.F.R. § 90.203(i).
364 See 47 C.F.R. § 90.548(a)(1).
365 See 47 C.F.R. § 90.535(a).
366 See NPSTC Sept. 2011 Letter at 2-3.
367 See supra ¶ 122.
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Report and Order and Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) with respect to the Notice of
Proposed Rulemaking
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 A and the IRFA is set forth in
Appendix B. 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 Notice of Proposed
Rulemaking
as set forth herein, and they should have a separate and distinct heading designating them as
responses to the IRFA. The Commission’s Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, Reference
Information Center, will send a copy of the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, including this IRFA, to the
Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration (SBA).368

B.

Paperwork Reduction Act Analysis

149.
The actions taken in the Seventh Report and Order in WT Docket 96-86 have been
analyzed with respect to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Pub. L. No. 104-13, and found to impose
no new or modified recordkeeping requirements or burdens on the public.
150.
The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in PS Docket 13-87 solicits possible proposed
information collection requirements by seeking comment on requiring manufacturers to certify 700 MHz
narrowband equipment under the Project 25 Compliance Assessment Program (P25 CAP).369 The
Commission, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, invites the general public and
the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to comment on the possible proposed information
collection requirements contained in this document, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995,
Public Law 104-13. In addition, pursuant to the Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002, Public
Law 107-198, see 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(4), we seek specific comment on how we might further reduce the
information collection burden for small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees.

C.

Comment Filing Procedures

151.
Pursuant to Sections 1.415 and 1.419 of the Commission’s rules, 47 C.F.R. §§ 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. All filings related to the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking should refer to

PS
Docket 13-87

. Comments may be filed using: (1) the Commission’s Electronic Comment Filing System
(ECFS), (2) the Federal Government’s eRulemaking Portal, or (3) by filing paper copies. See Electronic
Filing of Documents in Rulemaking Proceedings, 63 Fed. Reg. 24,121 (1998).
 Electronic Filers: Comments may be filed electronically using the Internet by accessing the
ECFS: http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/ecfs. Filers should follow the instructions provided on the
website for submitting comments.
 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.
o 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

368 See 5 U.S.C. § 603(a).
369 See ¶¶ 126-128.
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deliveries must be held together with rubber bands or fasteners. Any envelopes and
boxes must be disposed of before entering the building.
o 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.
o U.S. Postal Service first-class, Express, and Priority mail must be addressed to 445
12th Street, SW, Washington DC 20554.
152.
Interested parties may view documents filed in this proceeding on the Commission’s
Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS) using the following steps: (1) Access ECFS at
http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/ecfs. (2) In the introductory screen, click on “Search for Filed Comments.” (3) In
the “Proceeding” box, enter the numerals in the docket number. (4) Click on the box marked “Retrieve
Document List.” A link to each document is provided in the document list. The public may inspect and
copy filings and comments during regular business hours at the FCC Reference Information Center, 445
12th Street, SW, Room CY-A257, Washington, DC 20554. The public may also purchase filings and
comments from the Commission’s duplicating contractor, Best Copy and Printing, Inc., Portals II, 445
12th Street, SW, Room CY-B402, Washington, DC 20554, telephone 1-800-378-3160, or via e-mail to
fcc@bcpiweb.com. The public may also download this Fourth Report and Order and Fifth Further Notice
of Proposed Rulemaking from the Commission’s web site at http://www.fcc.gov/.
153.
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).
154.
Commenters who file information that they believe should be withheld from public
inspection may request confidential treatment pursuant to Section 0.459 of the Commission’s rules.
Commenters should file both their original comments for which they request confidentiality and redacted
comments, along with their request for confidential treatment. Commenters should not file proprietary
information electronically. See Examination of Current Policy Concerning the Treatment of Confidential
Information Submitted to the Commission, Report and Order, 13 FCC Rcd 24816 (1998), Order on
Reconsideration
, 14 FCC Rcd 20128 (1999). Even if the Commission grants confidential treatment,
information that does not fall within a specific exemption pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act
(FOIA) must be publicly disclosed pursuant to an appropriate request. See 47 C.F.R. § 0.461; 5 U.S.C.
§ 552. We note that the Commission may grant requests for confidential treatment either conditionally or
unconditionally. As such, we note that the Commission has the discretion to release information on
public interest grounds that does fall within the scope of a FOIA exemption.

D.

Ex Parte Rules – Permit-But-Disclose Proceeding

155.
This proceeding shall be treated as a “permit-but-disclose” proceeding in accordance with
the Commission’s ex parte rules.370 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

370 47 C.F.R. § 1.1200 et seq.
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deemed to be written ex parte presentations and must be filed consistent with 47 C.F.R. § 1.1206(b). In
proceedings governed by 47 C.F.R. § 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.

VI.

ORDERING CLAUSES

156.
Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to Sections 1, 4(i), 303, 316, 332 and 337
of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. §§ 151, 154(i), 303, 316, 332 and 337, this
Seventh Report and Order and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking IS HEREBY ADOPTED.
157.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the amendments of the Commission’s Rules as set
forth in Appendix C ARE ADOPTED, effective thirty days from the date of publication in the Federal
Register.
158.
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 the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on or before 60 days after publication in the Federal
Register, and reply comments on or before 90 days after publication in the Federal Register.
159.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Commission SHALL SEND a copy of this Seventh
Report and Order and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in a report to be sent to Congress and the General
Accounting Office pursuant to the Congressional Review Act, 5 U.S.C. § 801(a)(1)(A).
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Marlene H. Dortch
Secretary
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APPENDIX A

Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

(Seventh Report and Order)
160.
As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), an Initial Regulatory Flexibility
Analysis (IRFA) was incorporated into the Seventh Notice of Proposed Rule Making (Seventh Notice) of
this proceeding. The Commission sought written public comment on the IRFA. The RFA371 requires that
an agency prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis for notice-and-comment rulemaking proceedings,
unless the agency certifies that “the rule will not, if promulgated, have a significant economic impact on a
substantial number of small entities.”372 The RFA generally defines “small entity” as having the same
meaning as the terms “small business,” “small organization,” and “small governmental jurisdiction.”373
In addition, the term “small business” has the same meaning as the term “small business concern” under
the Small Business Act.374 A “small business 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).375 The present Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis
(FRFA) conforms to the RFA.

A.

Need for, and Objectives of, the Seventh Report and Order

161.
In the Seventh Report and Order, we adopt changes to our rules covering public safety
narrowband spectrum at 769-775 MHz and 799-805 MHz in order to ensure that the technical standards in
our rules remain up to date so public safety users can benefit from the latest narrowband technology. The
changes we adopt include updating our Adjacent Channel Power (ACP) limits, clarifying our trunking
rules and incorporating by reference the most current industry encryption and interoperability standards.

B.

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

162.
There were no comments filed that specifically addressed the rules and policies proposed
in the IRFA.

C.

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

163.
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 proposed rules, if adopted.376 The RFA generally
defines the term "small entity" as having the same meaning as the terms "small business," "small
organization," and "small governmental jurisdiction."377 In addition, the term "small business" has the

371 See 5 U.S.C. § 603. The RFA, see 5 U.S.C. § 601 et seq., has been amended by the Contract With America
Advancement Act of 1996, Pub. L. No. 104-121, 110 Stat. 847 (1996) (CWAAA). Title II of the CWAAA is the
Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (SBREFA).
372 See 5 U.S.C. § 605(b).
373 5 U.S.C. § 601(6).
374 5 U.S.C § 601(3) (incorporating by reference the definition of “small business concern” in 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.”
375 15 U.S.C. § 632.
376 5 U.S.C. § 603(b)(3).
377 5 U.S.C. § 601(6).
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same meaning as the term "small business concern" under the Small Business Act.378 A small business
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 SBA.379
164.
Public Safety Radio Licensees. As a general matter, Public Safety Radio Licensees
include police, fire, local government, forestry conservation, highway maintenance, and emergency
medical services.380 For the purpose of determining whether a Public Safety Radio Licensee is a small
business as defined by the SBA, we use the broad census category, Wireless Telecommunications
Carriers (except Satellite). This definition provides that a small entity is any such entity employing no
more than 1,500 persons.381 The Commission does not require Public Safety Radio Licensees to disclose
information about number of employees, so the Commission does not have information that could be used
to determine how many Public Safety Radio licensees constitute small entities under this definition.
165.
700 MHz Guard Band Licenses. In the 700 MHz Guard Band Order, the Commission
adopted size standards for “small businesses” and “very small businesses” for purposes of determining
their eligibility for special provisions such as bidding credits and installment payments.382 A small
business in this service is an entity that, together with its affiliates and controlling principals, has average
gross revenues not exceeding $40 million for the preceding three years.383 Additionally, a “very small
business” is an entity that, together with its affiliates and controlling principals, has average gross
revenues that are not more than $15 million for the preceding three years.384 SBA approval of these
definitions is not required.385 An auction of 52 Major Economic Area (MEA) licenses commenced on
September 6, 2000, and closed on September 21, 2000.386 Of the 104 licenses auctioned, 96 licenses were
sold to nine bidders. Five of these bidders were small businesses that won a total of 26 licenses. A second
auction of 700 MHz Guard Band licenses commenced on February 13, 2001, and closed on February 21,
2001. All eight of the licenses auctioned were sold to three bidders. One of these bidders was a small
business that won a total of two licenses.387
166.
Radio and Television Broadcasting and Wireless Communications Equipment
Manufacturing. The Census Bureau defines this category as follows: “This industry comprises

378 5 U.S.C. § 601(3) (incorporating by reference the definition of “small business concern” in 15 U.S.C. § 632).
Pursuant to the RFA, 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).
379 Small Business Act, 15 U.S.C. § 632 (1996).
380 See subparts A and B of Part 90 of the Commission’s Rules, 47 C.F.R. §§ 90.1-90.22.
381 See 13 C.F.R. §121.201, NAICS code 517210.
382 See Service Rules for the 746-764 MHz Bands, and Revisions to Part 27 of the Commission’s Rules, Second
Report and Order
, 15 FCC Rcd 5299 (2000).
383 Id. at 5343 ¶ 108.
384 Id.
385 Id. At 5343 ¶ 108 n.246 (for the 746-764 MHz and 776-704 MHz bands, the Commission is exempt from 15
U.S.C. § 632, which requires Federal agencies to obtain Small Business Administration approval before adopting
small business size standards).
386 See “700 MHz Guard Bands Auction Closes: Winning Bidders Announced,” Public Notice, 15 FCC Rcd 18026
(2000).
387 See “700 MHz Guard Bands Auctions Closes: Winning Bidders Announced,” Public Notice, 16 FCC Rcd 4590
(WTB 2001).
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establishments primarily engaged in manufacturing radio and television broadcast and wireless
communications equipment. Examples of products made by these establishments are: transmitting and
receiving antennas, cable television equipment, GPS equipment, pagers, cellular phones, mobile
communications equipment, and radio and television studio and broadcasting equipment.”388 The SBA
has developed a small business size standard for Radio and Television Broadcasting and Wireless
Communications Equipment Manufacturing, which is: all such firms having 750 or fewer employees.
According to Census Bureau data for 2007, there were a total of 939 establishments in this category that
operated for part or all of the entire year. According to Census bureau data for 2007, there were a total of
919 firms in this category that operated for the entire year. Of this total, 771 had less than 100 employees
and 148 had more than 100 employees.389 Thus, under that size standard, the majority of firms can be
considered small.

D.

Description of Projected Reporting, Recordkeeping and Other Compliance
Requirements

167.
This Seventh Report and Order does not adopt a rule that will entail reporting,
recordkeeping, and/or third-party consultation.

E.

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

168.
The RFA requires an agency to describe any significant alternatives that it has considered
in reaching 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 or
reporting requirements under the rule for 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 small entities.390
169.
In formulating rule changes in the Seventh Report and Order, we strived to ensure Public
Safety Radio Licensees benefit from innovative new services. In each case cited below, we considered
the alternative of leaving the rule unchanged but concluded the rule changes we adopt would reduce
economic burdens and benefit Public Safety Radio Licensees, 700 MHz Guard Band Licenses, and/or
Wireless Communications Equipment Manufacturers.
170.
Adjacent Channel Power. The rule changes we adopt regarding Adjacent Channel Power
(ACP) will result in cost savings to manufacturers by reducing the complexity of transmitters with a
consequent savings to Public Safety Radio Licensees and 700 MHz Guard Band Licenses while at the
same time maintaining the overall level of ACP protection necessary to guard against interference.
171.
Secondary Fixed Operations and Digital Station Identification. The rule changes we
adopt regarding secondary fixed operations and digital station identification will provide Public Safety
Radio Licensees increased capability to meet their communications needs. Absent these rule changes,
Public Safety Radio Licensees would endure increased regulatory burdens for no practical purpose.
172.
Trunking Requirement. We clarify our trunking requirements to eliminate ambiguity in
order to ensure Public Safety Radio Licensees benefit from the increased efficiency resulting from
trunked operations. Absent this rule clarification, Public Safety Radio Licensees would be unable to reap
the benefits of trunking on State License channels.

388 The NAICS Code for this service is 334220. See 13 C.F.R 121/201. See also
http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/IBQTable?_bm=y&-fds_name=EC0700A1&-geo_id=&-_skip=300&;-
ds_name=EC0731SG2&-_lang=en
389 See http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/IBQTable?_bm=y&-geo_id=&-fds_name=EC0700A1&-_skip=4500&;-
ds_name=EC0731SG3&-_lang=en
390 See 5 U.S.C. § 603(c).
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173.
Encryption and Narrowband Interoperability Standards. We update our rules to reflect
the most current industry standards for encryption and interoperability. To ensure a minimum impact on
Public Safety Radio Licensees and Wireless Communications Equipment Manufacturers we grandfather
equipment certified under the old standards, thus obviating the need for previously approved equipment to
be recertified.

F.

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

174.
None.

G.

Report to Congress

175.
The Commission will send a copy of this Seventh Report and Order, including this
FRFA, in a report to be sent to Congress pursuant to the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness
Act of 1996.391 In addition, the Commission will send a copy of the Seventh Report and Order, including
this FRFA, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration. A copy of the
Seventh Report and Order and FRFA (or summaries thereof) will also be published in the Federal
Register.392

391 See 5 U.S.C. § 801(a)(1)(A).
392 See 5 U.S.C. § 604(b).
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APPENDIX B

Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

(Notice of Proposed Rulemaking)
176.
As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, as amended (“RFA”),393 the
Commission has prepared this present Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (“IRFA”) of the possible
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities that might result from adoption of
the rules proposed in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. Written public comments are requested on this
IRFA. Comments must be identified as responses to the IRFA and must be filed by the applicable
deadlines for initial comments, or reply comments, as specified in the Further Notice. The Commission
will send a copy of the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, including this IRFA, to the Chief Counsel for
Advocacy of the Small Business Administration (“SBA”).394 In addition, the Notice of Proposed
Rulemaking
and this IRFA (or summaries thereof) will be published in the Federal Register.395

A.

Need for, and Objectives of, the Proposed Rules

177.
In the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, we seek comment on further proposals to amend
the Commission’s rules governing 700 MHz public safety narrowband spectrum at 769-775 MHz and
799-805 MHz. The rule changes we seek comment on are intended to promote flexible and efficient use of
public safety narrowband spectrum in the 700 MHz band while reducing the regulatory burdens on
licensees wherever possible. In order to achieve these objectives, we seek comment in the Notice of
Proposed Rulemaking
on:
 extending or eliminating the December 31, 2016 narrowbanding deadline for 700 MHz public
safety narrowband licensees;
 allowing 700 MHz public safety narrowband licensees to use the secondary trunking
channels for low-altitude, low power air-ground voice communications;
 redesignating two 6.25 kilohertz bandwidth nationwide calling channels as Nationwide
Interoperability Travel Channels;
 allowing tactical voice communications on a secondary basis on the two 6.25 kilohertz
bandwidth data-only interoperability channels;
 designating the forty-eight 6.25 kilohertz bandwidth reserve channel pairs for use by
temporary deployable mobile trunked infrastructure that could be transported into an incident
area to assist with emergency response and recovery;
 increasing the two-watt power limit for low power channels to 20 watts effective radiated
power (ERP);
 requiring all 700 MHz narrowband equipment to be certified under the TIA Project 25
Compliance Assessment Program (P25 CAP);
 exempting Class B signal boosters from the Adjacent Channel Power (ACP) limits when
retransmitting multiple signals;

393 See 5 U.S.C. § 603. The RFA, see 5 U.S.C. §§ 601-12, has been amended by the Small Business Regulatory
Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (SBREFA), Pub. L. No. 104-121, 110 Stat. 857 (1996).
394 See 5 U.S.C. § 603(a).
395 Id.
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 harmonizing and eliminating redundant or conflicting power limits for transmitters operating
on the 700 MHz public safety narrowband channels;
 specifying by rule a standardized Network Access Code (NAC) for operation on the 700
MHz interoperability channels;
 clarifying that our rules require radios to be capable of being programmed to operate on all
sixty-four of the 6.25 kilohertz bandwidth interoperability channels in the 700 MHz band;
 permitting users to operate their mobile and portable equipment in analog mode on the
interoperability channels.

H.

Legal Basis

178.
The legal basis for any action that may be taken pursuant to this Notice of Proposed
Rulemaking is contained in Sections 1, 4(i), 303, 316, 332, and 337 of the Communications Act of 1934,
as amended, 47 U.S.C. §§ 1, 154(i), 303, 316, 332, and 337.

I.

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

179.
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 proposed rules.396 The RFA generally defines the
term “small entity” as having the same meaning as the terms “small business,” “small organization,” and
“small governmental jurisdiction.”397 In addition, the term “small business” has the same meaning as the
term “small business concern” under the Small Business Act.398 A small business 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).399
180.
Public Safety Radio Licensees. As a general matter, Public Safety Radio licensees
include police, fire, local government, forestry conservation, highway maintenance, and emergency
medical services.400 For the purpose of determining whether a Public Safety Radio licensee is a small
business as defined by the SBA, we use the broad census category, Wireless Telecommunications
Carriers (except Satellite). This definition provides that a small entity is any such entity employing no
more than 1,500 persons.401 The Commission does not require Public Safety Radio licensees to disclose
information about number of employees, so the Commission does not have information that could be used
to determine how many Public Safety Radio licensees constitute small entities under this definition.
181.
Radio and Television Broadcasting and Wireless Communications Equipment
Manufacturing. The Census Bureau defines this category as follows: “This industry comprises
establishments primarily engaged in manufacturing radio and television broadcast and wireless
communications equipment. Examples of products made by these establishments are: transmitting and
receiving antennas, cable television equipment, GPS equipment, pagers, cellular phones, mobile

396 5 U.S.C. §§ 603(b)(3), 604(a)(3).
397 5 U.S.C. § 601(6).
398 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 terms which are appropriate to the activities of the
agency and publishes such definitions(s) in the Federal Register.”
399 15 U.S.C. § 632.
400 See subparts A and B of Part 90 of the Commission’s Rules, 47 C.F.R. §§ 90.1-90.22.
401 See 13 C.F.R. §121.201, NAICS code 517210.
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communications equipment, and radio and television studio and broadcasting equipment.”402 The SBA
has developed a small business size standard for Radio and Television Broadcasting and Wireless
Communications Equipment Manufacturing, which is: all such firms having 750 or fewer employees.
According to Census Bureau data for 2007, there were a total of 939 establishments in this category that
operated for part or all of the entire year. According to Census bureau data for 2007, there were a total of
919 firms in this category that operated for the entire year. Of this total, 771 had less than 100 employees
and 148 had more than 100 employees.403 Thus, under that size standard, the majority of firms can be
considered small.

J.

Description of Projected Reporting, Recordkeeping, and Other Compliance
Requirements

182.
No rule proposed in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking will entail additional reporting,
recordkeeping, and/or third-party consultation. Two proposed rules in the Notice of Proposed
Rulemaking
, however, would entail additional compliance efforts as described below.
183.
Project 25 Compliance Assessment Program. We propose to require all vendors of 700
MHz narrowband equipment designed to operate on the interoperability channels to demonstrate
compliance with the Project 25 Compliance Assessment Program (CAP). CAP is a voluntary program
that establishes an independent compliance assessment process to ensure that communications equipment
conforms to Project 25 standards and is interoperable across vendors. The purpose of this proposal is to
enhance interoperability and provide assurance to licensees that their equipment is interoperable across
vendors regardless of which vendor they choose.
184.
Interoperability Network Access Code. We seek comment on whether to specify a
standardized Network Access Code (NAC) by rule for operation on the 700 MHz interoperability
channels. A NAC is a pre-programmed digital address used by radio units employing the Project 25
standard to “hear” only communications directed to that address from another radio. We seek comment
on whether a standardized NAC is necessary to ensure all radio users can communicate with each other
on the interoperability channels.

K.

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

185.
The RFA requires an agency to describe any significant, specifically small business
alternatives that it has considered in reaching its proposed 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 or reporting requirements under the rule for
small entities; (3) the use of performance, rather than design, standards; and (4) and exemption from
coverage of the rule, or any part thereof, for small entities.”404
186.
The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeks comment on a number of proposed changes to
the rules covering operation of public safety systems on narrowband spectrum in the 700 MHz band. The
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeks comment on whether the proposed rule changes will promote
efficient use of public safety narrowband spectrum in the band while reducing economic burdens on
licensees. In order to strike the proper balance between these two objectives, the Notice of Proposed
Rulemaking
seeks comment on a wide range of alternatives to the proposals put forth.

402 The NAICS Code for this service is 334220. See 13 C.F.R 121/201. See also
http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/IBQTable?_bm=y&-fds_name=EC0700A1&-geo_id=&-_skip=300&;-
ds_name=EC0731SG2&-_lang=en
403 See http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/IBQTable?_bm=y&-geo_id=&-fds_name=EC0700A1&-_skip=4500&;-
ds_name=EC0731SG3&-_lang=en
404 5 U.S.C. §§ 603(c)(1)-(c)(4).
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187.
Deadline for Narrowbanding Transition to 6.25 Kilohertz Technology. The Notice of
Proposed Rulemaking seeks comment on petitions filed separately by the 700 MHz Region 24 Planning
Committee, the State of Louisiana, and the Regional Wireless Cooperative seeking to delay the December
31, 2016 deadline for transition to 6.25 kilohertz-capable equipment. Public safety licensees operating on
narrowband spectrum in the 700 MHz band have until December 31, 2016 to complete a mandatory
migration from a 12.5 kilohertz voice efficiency standard to a 6.25 kilohertz voice efficiency standard.
These parties seek an extension of the deadline in order to ensure that equipment purchased by public
safety licensees for operation in the band need not be replaced before its intended life cycle is met. The
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeks comment on extending the December 31, 2016 deadline and factors
to be considered if a new deadline is selected. Alternatively, the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeks
comment on whether the long-term future of the 700 MHz narrowband spectrum would be best served by
suspending or eliminating the mandatory migration to a 6.25 kilohertz voice efficiency standard.
188.
Air-Ground Communications on Secondary Trunking Channels. The Notice of Proposed
Rulemaking seeks comment on a proposal by the National Public Safety Telecommunications Council
(NPSTC) to allow 700 MHz public safety narrowband licensees to use the secondary trunking channels
for low-altitude, low power air-ground voice communications. NPSTC asserts that designating these
channels for airborne use would allow licensees to incorporate air-ground communications into their
operations while creating little risk of interference to ground-based operations. The Notice of Proposed
Rulemaking
seeks comment on whether to dedicate channels in the 700 MHz band for air-ground use, if
the secondary trunking channels are the most appropriate channels for this purpose and if protection
criteria is needed to ensure that airborne operations create no interfere to terrestrial users which could
potentially increase costs and cause disruption to users in the band.
189.
Nationwide Interoperability Travel Channel. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeks
comment on a NPSTC proposal to redesignate two nationwide calling interoperability channels as
Nationwide Interoperability Travel Channels. NPSTC contends the travel channels would facilitate
coordination of vehicle convoys transporting resources, assets, and personnel to major incidents, allowing
first responders and equipment to be deployed to an area directly instead of having to first travel to a
staging area. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeks comment on NPSTC’s proposal and whether the
potential benefits of such a designation outweigh the potential adverse impact of reducing the overall
channel capacity devoted to nationwide calling interoperability.
190.
Tactical Voice Communications on Data Interoperability Channels. The Notice of
Proposed Rulemaking seeks comment on a NPSTC proposal to allow tactical voice communications on a
secondary basis on data-only interoperability channels. NPSTC argues such action would help meet the
expanding demand for communications supporting tactical operations. The Notice of Proposed
Rulemaking
seeks comment on NPSTC’s proposal and whether such a designation would have any
adverse impact on primary data-only interoperability. In this regard, the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
seeks comment on whether this proposal would have any impact on the existing base of mobile, portable,
and base stations currently in use by public safety entities, such as requiring reprogramming or retrofits.
191.
Temporary Deployable Mobile Trunked Infrastructure. The Notice of Proposed
Rulemaking seeks comment on a NPSTC proposal to designate all 48 reserve channel pairs for use by
temporary deployable mobile trunked infrastructure that could be transported into an incident area to
assist with emergency response and recovery. According to NPSTC, designating channels for deployable
trunked use would allow 700 MHz licensees to pre-program these channels into their subscriber radios,
negating the need during a disaster to reprogram radios in the field or distribute cached radios. The
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeks comment on whether designating some or all of the narrowband
reserve channels for deployable mobile trunked infrastructure would be a practical and efficient
utilization of these channels. Alternatively, the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeks comment on
whether the same benefits could be achieved by simply requiring deployable equipment to operate on the
narrowband channels already designated for general and/or state use in the affected area.
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192.
Power Limit for Low Power Channels. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeks
comment on a NPSTC proposal to increase the power limit on the low power channels from two watts to
20 watts effective radiated power (ERP). NPSTC argues that such an increase would allow for more
effective on-scene communications in critical life-safety situations, particularly for fire department radios
operating in high ambient noise environments. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeks comment on
whether NPSTC’s proposal to increase the power limit to 20 watts ERP would overcome the problem of
communicating in high ambient noise environments but also seeks comment on alternative solutions such
as using vehicular repeater system (VRS) units to overcome the problem of communicating in noisy
environments.
193.
Project 25 Compliance Assessment Program. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeks
comment on requiring all 700 MHz narrowband equipment to be certified under the Project 25
Compliance Assessment Program (P25 CAP). The Commission states in the Notice of Proposed
Rulemaking
that it believes requiring all 700 MHz narrowband equipment to be P25 CAP-certified would
enhance interoperability in the band and would provide assurance to licensees that their equipment will be
interoperable across vendors regardless of which vendor they choose. Nonetheless, the Notice of Proposed
Rulemaking
seeks comment on what costs, if any, P25 CAP certification would impose on vendors.
194.
ACP Requirements for Class B Signal Boosters. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
seeks comment on a proposal by Dekolink to exempt Class B signal boosters from the Adjacent Channel
Power (ACP) requirements when multiple signals are retransmitted. Dekolink suggests that Class B
signal boosters currently authorized to operate in the 700 MHz public safety narrowband spectrum
typically produce intermodulation products in excess of ACP limits when simultaneously retransmitting
two or more signals. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeks comment whether exempting this class of
devices from the ACP requirements when multiple signals are retransmitted would unreasonably elevate
the potential for harmful interference to adjacent channel users. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking also
seeks comment on any technical limitations that prevent these devices from being designed and
manufactured to meet the current ACP limits and whether compliance can be achieved through filters
and/or other technical remedies.
195.
Narrowband Power Limits. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeks comment on
harmonizing and consolidating power limits in Sections 90.541 and 90.545(b) of the Commission’s rules.
In this regard, the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking tentatively concludes to base power limits on effective
radiated power (ERP) rather then transmitter power output (TPO) but seeks comment on whether a
change in policy from TPO to ERP would render certain incumbent users or previously certified
equipment non-compliant. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking also seeks comment on antenna height
limits.
196.
Interoperability Network Access Code. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeks
comment on whether the Commission should specify a standardized Network Access Code (NAC) by
rule for operation on the 700 MHz interoperability channels. The NAC is a pre-programmed digital
address in a Project 25 radio which allows the radio to “hear” only communications directed to that
address from another radio. If the NAC is to be set by rule, the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeks
comment what code would be most appropriate. Alternatively, the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeks
comment on whether NACs should be left to an industry standard, which would be more flexible then
codifying a single code into the Commission’s rules.
197.
User Access to Interoperability Channels. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking proposes
to clarify that transmitters designed to operate on the narrowband channels in the 700 MHz band be
capable of being programmed to operate on all sixty-four of the 6.25 kilohertz bandwidth interoperability
channels. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeks comment on its proposal.
198.
Analog Operation on the Interoperability Channels. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
seeks comment on whether to permit users to operate their mobile and portable equipment in analog mode
on the interoperability channels. In particular, the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking asks parties addressing
this issue to describe what benefits may accrue from allowing analog operation on the interoperability
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channels and whether such benefits outweigh the impairment to interoperability resulting from allowing
both analog and digital modes of operation on these channels.

L.

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

199.
None.
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APPENDIX C

Final Rules

(Seventh Report and Order)
Part 27 of Title 47 of the Code of Federal Regulations is amended as follows:

PART 27—MISCELLANEOUS WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS SERVICES

The authority citation for Part 27 continues to read as follows:

AUTHORITY: 47 U.S.C. 154, 301, 302, 303, 307, 309, 332, 336, and 337 unless otherwise
noted.

Section 27.53 is amended by modifying paragraph (e)(6) to read as follows:
§ 27.53 Emission limits.
(e) * * *
(6) The adjacent channel power (ACP) requirements for transmitters designed for various channel
sizes are shown in the following tables. Mobile station requirements apply to handheld, car mounted
and control station units. The tables specify a value for the ACP as a function of the displacement
from the channel center frequency and measurement bandwidth. In the following tables, “(s)”
indicates a swept measurement may be used.
6.25 kHz Mobile Transmitter ACP Requirements
Offset from
Measurement
Maximum
Center Frequency
Bandwidth
ACP
(kHz)
(kHz)
(dBc)
6.25
6.25
-40
12.5
6.25
-60
18.75
6.25
-60
25.00
6.25
-65
37.50
25.00
-65
62.50
25.00
-65
87.50
25.00
-65
150.00
100.00
-65
250.00
100.00
-65
350.00
100.00
-65
>400 kHz to 12 MHz
30 (s)
-75
12 MHz to paired
30 (s)
-75
receive band
In the paired
30 (s)
-100
receive band
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12.5 kHz Mobile Transmitter ACP Requirements
Offset from
Measurement
Maximum
Center Frequency
Bandwidth
ACP
(kHz)
(kHz)
(dBc)
9.375
6.25
-40
15.625
6.25
-60
21.875
6.25
-60
37.50
25.00
-60
62.50
25.00
-65
87.50
25.00
-65
150.00
100
-65
250.00
100
-65
350.00
100
-65
>400 to 12 MHz
30 (s)
-75
12 MHz to paired
30 (s)
-75
receive band
In the paired
30 (s)
-100
receive band
25 kHz Mobile Transmitter ACP Requirements
Offset from
Measurement
Maximum ACP
Center Frequency
Bandwidth
(dBc)
(kHz)
(kHz)
15.625
6.25
-40
21.875
6.25
-60
37.50
25
-60
62.50
25
-65
87.50
25
-65
150.00
100
-65
250.00
100
-65
350.00
100
-65
>400kHz to 12 MHz
30 (s)
-75
12 MHz to paired
30 (s)
-75
receive band
In the paired
30 (s)
-100
receive band
150 kHz Mobile Transmitter ACP Requirements
Offset from
Measurement
Maximum ACP
Center Frequency
Bandwidth
Relative (dBc)
(kHz)
(kHz)
100
50
-40
200
50
-50
300
50
-50
400
50
-50
600-1000
30(s)
-60
1000 to receive band
30(s)
-70
In the receive band
30(s)
-100
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6.25 kHz Base Transmitter ACP Requirements
Offset from
Measurement
Maximum ACP
center frequency
bandwidth
(dBc)
(kHz)
(kHz)
6.25
6.25
-40
12.50
6.25
-60
18.75
6.25
-60
25.00
6.25
-65
37.50
25
-65
62.50
25
-65
87.50
25
-65
150.00
100
-65
250.00
100
-65
350.00
100
-65
>400 to 12 MHz
30 (s)
-80
12 MHz to paired
30(s)
-80
receive band
In the paired
30 (s)
-851
receive band
12.5 kHz Base Transmitter ACP Requirements
Offset from
Measurement Maximum ACP
center frequency
bandwidth
(dBc)
(kHz)
(kHz)
9.375
6.25
-40
15.625
6.25
-60
21.875
6.25
-60
37.5
25
-60
62.5
25
-65
87.5
25
-65
150
100
-65
250
100
-65
350.00
100
-65
>400 kHz to 12 MHz
30 (s)
-80
12 MHz to paired
30 (s)
-80
receive band
In the paired
30 (s)
-851
receive band
25 kHz Base Transmitter ACP Requirements
Offset from
Measurement
Maximum ACP
center frequency
bandwidth
(dBc)
(kHz)
(kHz)
15.625
6.25
-40
21.875
6.25
-60
37.5
25
-60
62.5
25
-65
87.5
25
-65
150
100
-65
250
100
-65
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350
100.00
-65
>400 kHz to12 MHz
30(s)
-80
12 MHz to paired
30 (s)
-80
receive band
In the paired
30 (s)
-851
receive band
150 kHz Base Transmitter ACP Requirements
Offset from
Measurement
Maximum ACP
center frequency
bandwidth
(dBc)
(kHz)
(kHz)
100
50
-40
200
50
-50
300
50
-55
400
50
-60
600-1000
30(s)
-65
1000 to receive band
30(s)
-75 (continues at
-6dB/oct)
In the receive band
30(s)
-851
1 Although we permit individual base transmitters to radiate a maximum ACP of -85 dBc in the
paired receive band, licensees deploying these transmitters may not exceed an ACP of -100 dBc in the
paired receive band when measured at either the transmitting antenna input port or the output of the
transmitter combining network. Consequently, licensees deploying these transmitters may need to use
external filters to comply with the more restrictive ACP limit.
* * * * *
Part 90 of Title 47 of the Code of Federal Regulations is amended as follows:

PART 90—PRIVATE LAND MOBILE RADIO SERVICES

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).

Section 90.235 is amended by modifying paragraph (l) to read as follows:
§ 90.235 Secondary fixed signaling operations.
* * * * *
(l) Secondary fixed signaling operations conducted in accordance with the provisions of
§§90.317(a), 90.557 and 90.637 are exempt from the foregoing provisions of this section.
* * * * *
Section 90.527 is amended by modifying paragraph (b) to read as follows:
§ 90.527 Regional Plan Requirements.
* * * * *
(b) Modification of regional plans. Regional plans may be modified by submitting a written
request, signed by the regional planning committee, to the Chief, Public Safety and Homeland
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Security Bureau. The request must contain the full text of the modification. Modifications are
considered either major or minor. Regional planning committees must certify that successful
coordination with all adjacent regions has occurred for major modifications and that all such regions
concur with the major modification. Unless requested otherwise by the regional planning committee,
the Bureau will only place major modifications on public notice for comment.

(1) Except as noted below, modifications changing the way channels are allocated, allotted or
coordinated are considered major modifications.
(2) Modifications changing how channels are allotted are considered minor modifications only if:
(i) the proposed channel change or channel addition involves a facility located more than seventy
miles from the adjacent region border;
(ii) the co-channel or adjacent channel interference contour of the facility changing or adding the
channel does not intersect the border of an adjacent region, or
(iii) the proposed channel change or channel addition has been coordinated in writing with any
affected adjacent region.
(3) Changes in membership or leadership of regional planning committees are considered minor
modifications.
Section 90.537 is amended by modifying paragraphs (a) and (b) to read as follows:
§ 90.537 Trunking requirement.
(a) General use and State License channels. All systems using six or more narrowband channels
in the 769-775 MHz and 799-805 MHz frequency bands must be trunked systems, except for those
described in paragraph (b) of this section.
(b) Interoperability and low power channels. Trunking is permitted only on Interoperability
channels specified in § 90.531(b)(1)(iii). Trunked use must be strictly on a secondary, non-
interference basis to conventional operations. The licensee must monitor and immediately release
these channels when they are needed for interoperability purposes. All systems using narrowband
low power channels listed in §§ 90.531(b)(3) and (b)(4) are exempt from the trunking requirements
described in paragraph (a) of this Section.
* * * * *
Section 90.543 is amended by modifying paragraph (a) to read as follows:
§ 90.543 Emission Limitations.
* * * * *
(a) The adjacent channel power (ACP) requirements for transmitters designed for various channel
sizes are shown in the following tables. Mobile station requirements apply to handheld, car mounted
and control station units. The tables specify a value for the ACP as a function of the displacement
from the channel center frequency and measurement bandwidth. In the following tables, “(s)”
indicates a swept measurement may be used.
6.25 kHz Mobile Transmitter ACP Requirements
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Offset from
Measurement
Maximum
center frequency
bandwidth
ACP relative
(kHz)
(kHz)
(dBc)
6.25
6.25
-40
12.5
6.25
-60
18.75
6.25
-60
25.00
6.25
-65
37.50
25.00
-65
62.50
25.00
-65
87.50
25.00
-65
150.00
100.00
-65
250.00
100.00
-65
350.00
100.00
-65
>400 kHz to 12 MHz
30 (s)
-75
12 MHz to paired
30 (s)
-75
receive band
In the paired
30 (s)
-100
receive band
12.5 kHz Mobile Transmitter ACP Requirements
Offset from
Measurement
Maximum
center frequency
bandwidth
ACP relative
(kHz)
(kHz)
(dBc)
9.375
6.25
-40
15.625
6.25
-60
21.875
6.25
-60
37.50
25.00
-60
62.50
25.00
-65
87.50
25.00
-65
150.00
100
-65
250.00
100
-65
350.00
100
-65
>400 to 12 MHz
30 (s)
-75
12 MHz to paired
30 (s)
-75
receive band
In the paired
30 (s)
-100
receive band
25 kHz Mobile Transmitter ACP Requirements
Offset from
Measurement
Maximum
center frequency
bandwidth
ACP relative
(kHz)
(kHz)
(dBc)
15.625
6.25
-40
21.875
6.25
-60
37.50
25
-60
62.50
25
-65
87.50
25
-65
150.00
100
-65
250.00
100
-65
350.00
100
-65
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>400kHz to 12 MHz
30 (s)
-75
12 MHz to paired
30 (s)
-75
receive band
In the paired
30 (s)
-100
receive band
6.25 kHz Base Transmitter ACP Requirements
Offset from
Measurement
Maximum ACP
center frequency
bandwidth
(dBc)
(kHz)
(kHz)
6.25
6.25
-40
12.50
6.25
-60
18.75
6.25
-60
25.00
6.25
-65
37.50
25
-65
62.50
25
-65
87.50
25
-65
150.00
100
-65
250.00
100
-65
350.00
100
-65
>400 to 12 MHz
30 (s)
-80
12 MHz to paired
30(s)
-80
receive band
In the paired
30 (s)
-851
receive band
12.5 kHz Base Transmitter ACP Requirements
Offset from
Measurement Maximum ACP
center frequency
bandwidth
(dBc)
(kHz)
(kHz)
9.375
6.25
-40
15.625
6.25
-60
21.875
6.25
-60
37.5
25
-60
62.5
25
-65
87.5
25
-65
150
100
-65
250
100
-65
350.00
100
-65
>400 kHz to 12 MHz
30 (s)
-80
12 MHz to paired
30 (s)
-80
receive band
In the paired
30 (s)
-851
receive band
25 kHz Base Transmitter ACP Requirements
Offset from
Measurement
Maximum ACP
center frequency
bandwidth
(dBc)
(kHz)
(kHz)
15.625
6.25
-40
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21.875
6.25
-60
37.5
25
-60
62.5
25
-65
87.5
25
-65
150
100
-65
250
100
-65
350
100.00
-65
>400 kHz to12 MHz
30(s)
-80
12 MHz to paired
30 (s)
-80
receive band
In the paired
30 (s)
-851
receive band
1 Although we permit individual base transmitters to radiate a maximum ACP of -85 dBc in the paired
receive band, licensees deploying these transmitters may not exceed an ACP of -100 dBc in the paired
receive band when measured at either the transmitting antenna input port or the output of the transmitter
combining network. Consequently, licensees deploying these transmitters may need to use external filters
to comply with the more restrictive ACP limit.
* * * * *
Section 90.548 is amended by modifying paragraphs (a), (a)(1) and (a)(2), to read as follows:
§ 90.548 Interoperability Technical Standards.
(a) Transmitters designed after [insert date that is 30 days after publication in the Federal
Register] to operate on the narrowband interoperability channels in the 769-775 and 799-805 MHz
band (see § 90.531) shall conform to the following technical standards (transmitters certified prior to
this date are grandfathered):
(1) Transmitters designed for voice operation shall include a 12.5 kilohertz bandwidth mode of
operation conforming to the following standards, which are incorporated by reference: Project 25
FDMA Common Air Interface, approved September 2003, Telecommunications Industry
Association, ANSI/TIA/EIA-102.BAAA-A-2003; Project 25 Vocoder Description, approved
December 2003, Telecommunications Industry Association, ANSI/TIA/EIA-102.BABA-2003.
(2) Transmitters designed for data transmission shall include a 12.5 kilohertz bandwidth mode of
operation conforming to the following standards, which are incorporated by reference: Project 25
Data Overview—New Technology Standards Project—Digital Radio Technical Standards, approved
June, 2004, Telecommunications Industry Association, ANSI/TIA/EIA-102.BAEA-A-2004; Project
25 Packet Data Specification—New Technology Standards Project—Digital Radio Technical
Standards, approved March 2005, Telecommunications Industry Association, ANSI/TIA/EIA-
102.BAEB-A-2005; Project 25 Radio Management Protocols—New Technology Standards Project—
Digital Radio Technical Standards, approved June 2004, Telecommunications Industry Association,
ANSI/TIA/EIA-102.BAEE-A-2004; Project 25 FDMA—Common Air Interface, approved September
2003, Telecommunications Industry Association, ANSI/TIA/EIA-102.BAAA-A-2003.
* * * * *
Section 90.553 is amended by modifying paragraph (b), to read as follows:
§ 90.553 Encryption.
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* * * * *
(b) If encryption is employed, then transmitters manufactured after [insert date that is 30 days
after publication in the Federal Register] must use the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES)
specified in Project 25 Block Encryption Protocol, approved August 2009, Telecommunications
Industry Association, ANSI/TIA/EIA-102.AAAD-A – Project 25 Digital Land Mobile Radio – Block
Encryption Protocol. Until 2030, manufacturers may also include the Digital Encryption Standard
(DES) or Triple Data Encryption Algorithm (TDEA), in addition to but not in place of AES, for
compatibility with legacy radios that lack AES capability.
* * * * *
New Section 90.557 is added as follows:
§ 90.557 Secondary fixed signaling operations.

Trunked and conventional 700 MHz narrowband systems may conduct fixed ancillary signaling
and data transmissions subject to the following requirements:
(a) Operations are permitted only on:
(1) narrowband State License channels specified in § 90.531(b)(5), subject to the discretion of the
relevant State licensee; and
(2) narrowband General Use channels specified in § 90.531(b)(6), subject to the discretion of the
regional planning committee.
(b) All operations must be on a secondary, non-interference basis to the primary mobile operation
of any other licensee.
(c) The output power at the remote site must not exceed 30 watts.
(d) Automatic means must be provided to deactivate the remote transmitter in the event the
carrier remains on for a period in excess of three minutes.
(e) Operational fixed stations authorized pursuant to this section are exempt from the
requirements of §§ 90.425, 90.429, and 90.559.
(f) Any operations undertaken in a shared use environment must be conducted pursuant to an
agreement between the licensee and each participant, as set forth in Section 90.179.
* * * * *
New Section 90.559 is added as follows:
§ 90.559 Station Identification.
(a) Conventional systems of communication shall be identified in accordance with existing
regulations governing such matters.
(b) Trunked systems of communication, except as noted in paragraph (c) of this section, shall be
identified through the use of an automatic device which transmits the call sign of the base station
facility at 30 minute intervals. Such station identification shall be made on the lowest frequency in the
base station trunk group assigned the licensee. Should this frequency be in use at the time station
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identification is required, such identification may be made at the termination of the communication in
progress on this frequency. Identification may be made by voice or International Morse Code. When
the call sign is transmitted in International Morse Code, it must be at a rate of between 15 to 20 words
per minute and by means of tone modulation of the transmitter, the tone frequency being between 800
and 1000 hertz.
(c) Stations operating in the 769-775/799-805 MHz band that are licensed on an exclusive basis,
and normally employ digital signals for the transmission of data, text, control codes, or digitized
voice may also be identified by digital transmission of the call sign. A licensee that identifies its
station in this manner must provide the Commission, upon its request, information sufficient to
decode the digital transmission and ascertain the call sign transmitted.
* * * * *
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