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Arkansas Requests Waiver of 700 MHz Narrowband Deadline

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Released: November 9, 2012


Federal Communications Commission

News Media Information 202 / 418-0500

445 12th St., S.W.


Washington, D.C. 20554

TTY: 1-888-835-5322

DA 12-1811

Released: November 9, 2012




PS DOCKET 06-229

COMMENTS DUE: November 30, 2012

By this Public Notice, the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau (PSHSB) seeks comment
on a petition for waiver1 filed by the State of Arkansas (Arkansas) to operate the Arkansas Wireless
Information Network (AWIN) in the 700 MHz narrowband spectrum utilizing the current 12.5 kHz
channel efficiency through December 31, 2024.2
Arkansas developed AWIN to provide a single system for first responders to coordinate
emergency response within the state.3 AWIN is a multiple site, trunked communications system based on
a digital 700/800 MHz system.4 Arkansas states that AWIN consists of “[o]ver 21,400 subscribers
representing 900 public safety agencies.”5 Arkansas states that AWIN is the key element in its statewide
emergency communications plan, and that first responders have come to rely on AWIN.6 Arkansas
claims AWIN provides 99.86 percent reliability for mobile radios across the state, covering 93 percent of
the state’s population.7
In support of its Petition for Waiver, Arkansas claims the $70 million AWIN system was fully
installed and went operational in June, 2007.8 Arkansas argues that the AWIN system can be expected to
last close to 15 years, so the December 31, 2016 deadline “prematurely and artificially shortens the life-

1 Petition for Waiver of Rules, State of Arkansas, WT Docket 96-86 (filed Sep. 21, 2012) (Waiver Request) attached
to letter from Mike Beebe, Governor of Arkansas, to Julius Genachowski, Chairman, Federal Communications
Commission (Sep 5, 2012) (Beebe Letter).
2 Previously, the State of Louisiana sought broader consideration of a change in the narrowbanding through a
Petition for Rulemaking. See Petition for Rulemaking of the State of Louisiana, RM-11577 (filed Oct. 5, 2009).
3 Waiver Request at 1.
4 Id.
5 Id.
6 Id. at 2.
7 Id.
8 Id. at 1.

cycle of the statewide system.”9 Arkansas also claims that much of the equipment needed to comply with
the Commission’s deadline has only recently become available, so a waiver of the December 31, 2016
deadline will help to ensure that equipment which will comply with the Commission’s rules will be
Arkansas further argues that, because a significant portion of AWIN infrastructure and 90% of
current subscriber units do not support the 6.25 kHz channel efficiency, the majority of AWIN’s
infrastructure and handheld units will have to be replaced to comply with the December 31, 2016
deadline.11 Arkansas claims that, due to budgetary challenges, the cost of these upgrades, totaling $136
million dollars, will be overly burdensome and prohibitive for the state and local jurisdictions that rely on
AWIN.12 Arkansas also asserts that no channel contention exists at this time which would necessitate
costly upgrades by the December 31, 2016 deadline.13
By this Public Notice, we seek comment on Arkansas’s petition and announce the pleading cycle
during which comments and replies may be filed.
This proceeding will be treated as “permit but disclose” for purposes of the Commission’s ex
parte rules. See generally 47 C.F.R. §§ 1.1200-1.1216. As a result of the permit-but-disclose status of
this proceeding, ex parte presentations will be governed by the procedures set forth in Section 1.1206 of
the Commission’s rules applicable to non-restricted proceedings.14 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
presentation was made, and (2) summarize all data presented and arguments made during the
presentation. If the presentation consisted in whole or in part of the presentation of data or arguments
already reflected in the presenter’s written comments, memoranda or other filings in the proceeding, the
presenter may provide citations to such data or arguments in his or her prior comments, memoranda, or
other filings (specifying the relevant page and/or paragraph numbers where such data or arguments can be
found) in lieu of summarizing them in the memorandum. Documents shown or given to Commission
staff during ex parte meetings are deemed to be written ex parte presentations and must be filed
consistent with rule 1.1206(b). 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.
Parties may file comments on the Petition on or before

November 30, 2012

. Please place the
docket number,

PS DOCKET 06-229

, on all filings. Comments may be filed using the Commission’s
Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS). See Electronic Filing of Documents in Rulemaking
, 63 FR 24121 (1998).
Electronic Filers: Comments may be filed electronically using the Internet by accessing the

9 Beebe Letter; Waiver Request at 4.
10 Waiver Request at 4.
11 Beebe Letter; Waiver Request at 4.
12 Waiver Request at 4.
13 Id. at 3.
14 47 C.F.R. § 1.1206.

Paper Filers: Parties who choose to file by paper must file an original and one copy of each
filing. If more than one docket or rulemaking number appears in the caption of this proceeding,
filers must submit two additional copies for each additional docket or rulemaking number.
Filings can be sent by hand or messenger delivery, by commercial overnight courier, or by first-
class or overnight U.S. Postal Service mail. All filings must be addressed to the Commission’s
Secretary, Office of the Secretary, Federal Communications Commission.
All hand-delivered or messenger-delivered paper filings for the Commission’s Secretary
must be delivered to FCC Headquarters at 445 12th St., SW, Room TW-A325,
Washington, DC 20554. The filing hours are 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. All hand deliveries
must be held together with rubber bands or fasteners. Any envelopes and boxes must be
disposed of before entering the building.
Commercial overnight mail (other than U.S. Postal Service Express Mail and Priority
Mail) must be sent to 9300 East Hampton Drive, Capitol Heights, MD 20743.
U.S. Postal Service first-class, Express, and Priority mail must be addressed to 445 12th
Street, SW, Washington DC 20554.
People with Disabilities: To request materials in accessible formats for people with disabilities
(braille, large print, electronic files, audio format), send an e-mail to or call the
Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau at 202-418-0530 (voice), 202-418-0432 (tty).
Copies of the Petition and any subsequently filed documents in this matter are also available for
inspection in the Commission’s Reference Information Center:
445 12th Street, S.W., CY-Level
Washington, D.C. 20554
(202) 418-0270
For further information, contact: Brian Marenco, Policy and Licensing Division, Public Safety
and Homeland Security Bureau, at (202) 418-0838 or
Action by the Chief, Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau.
– FCC –

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