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State of Maine Railroad Frequency Waiver Request

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Released: January 23, 2012

Federal Communications Commission

News Media Information 202 / 418-0500
445 12th Street, S.W.
Fax-On-Demand 202 / 418-2830

Washington, D.C. 20554

TTY 202 / 418-2555

DA 12-74

Released: January 23, 2012




File Numbers Listed in Appendix

Comment Date: February 13, 2012
Reply Comment Date: February 23, 2012

The State of Maine (Maine) has filed eighteen applications seeking authority to operate trunked
private land mobile radio facilities on VHF frequencies in the 160 MHz band,1 which are exclusively
coordinated by the Association of American Railroads (AAR).2 On December 2, 2011, Maine filed a
waiver request in connection with these applications seeking a waiver of Sections 90.33 (eligibility
requirements) and 90.35(b)(2)(iv) (coordinator requirements) of the Commission’s rules in order to
operate on these channels.3
In its waiver request, Maine states that its existing two-way mobile radio systems are “outdated,
difficult to maintain, and no longer adequate to serve respective departments’ critical needs.”4
Consequently, Maine plans to consolidate all of its agency radio systems into a new narrowband (12.5
kHz channel bandwidth) VHF trunked Project 25 radio system.5 Maine contends that the VHF band
(150-170 MHz) is the only viable frequency band for its statewide radio network because of radio
engineering considerations, geography, cost and interoperability needs.6 Maine also notes that most local
public safety agencies in the state rely primarily on VHF band radio communications.7

1 The file numbers for these applications are listed in the attached Appendix.
2 Id. The frequencies subject to exclusive coordination by AAR are denoted with an “LR” in the Coordinator
Column of the Industrial/Business Pool Frequency Table. See 47 C.F.R. §§ 90.35(b)(2)(iv) and 90.35(b)(3).
3 See Request for Waiver, dated Dec 2, 2011, attached to the applications listed in the attached Appendix (Maine
Waiver Request).
4 Maine Waiver Request at 2.
5 Id. at 3.
6 Id. at 4.
7 Id. at 5.

Maine states that the new consolidated radio system will require 342 VHF frequencies
distributed across 40 sites, including 151 trunked pairs (302 frequencies) and 40 simplex channels.8
Maine states it has sought to maximize the use of Public Safety pool frequencies to meet these
requirements, but that even taking extensive frequency reuse into account, it will need access to non-
public safety frequencies, including the identified railroad frequencies.9
Maine states that it has engaged AAR regarding proposed use of the railroad frequencies, but that
AAR has indicated it would oppose any request to coordinate these frequencies for public safety use.”10
Maine argues that AAR’s rejection of its request “is grossly inadequate” and alleges that AAR made no
effort to coordinate Maine’s applications or verify the interference potential of Maine’s proposed use of
the frequencies.11
Maine contends that its proposed use of railroad frequencies would have no significant impact on
future frequency availability for railroads in or near Maine because the state currently has “very limited
railroad service within its borders and none of the large (Class I) railroads currently operate track within
the State.”12 Maine accordingly requests that the Commission grant its waiver request and the associated
applications, “notwithstanding AAR’s lack of support to date.”13
We seek comment on Maine’s waiver request to incorporate railroad frequencies into its new
statewide public safety radio system. In particular, we seek comment from any parties who would be
impacted by Maine’s use of these frequencies. To what extent are these frequencies currently used by
railroads within or near the State of Maine? If not used today, are there railroad lines within the state
that may seek access to these frequencies in the future?
We seek comment on whether there are alternative VHF frequencies available to Maine. We
note that Maine is seeking to license all of the identified railroad frequencies on an exclusive basis.14
Would Maine be able to use other VHF frequencies by operating its statewide system on a shared

8 Id.
9 Id. at 6. Maine states that the manufacturer of the statewide radio system has purchased twelve Part 22 licenses
held by a VHF paging company and that those frequencies will be incorporated into the new system. Id. at 7.
Maine has also identified 26 general frequencies from the Industrial Business Pool and is applying for these
frequencies through separate applications so that they may be incorporated into the statewide system. Id.
10 Id.
11 Id. at 9.
12 Maine Waiver Request at 8.
13 Id. at 10.
14 Maine’s applications use the station codes FB8 and MO8. The FB8 station code is used for centralized trunk
relays while the MO8 code is used for centralized trunked mobile units. These codes may only be licensed to an
applicant that satisfies the requirements for exclusivity listed in Sections 90.187(b)(1) or (2). See 47 C.F.R. §§
90.187(b)(1) and (2).
15 See Private Land Mobile Radio – Monitoring Levels for Non-Exempt Trunked Systems on Channels Between
150-512 MHz, Public Notice, 16 FCC Rcd 21421 (WTB 2001). A licensee that is unable to obtain exclusive use

Finally, we note that some of the applications submitted by Maine seek authorization for sites
located above Line A.16 These applications can only be granted upon successful coordination with
Canada, regardless of our decision on the Maine waiver request.
Interested parties may file comments on or before February 13, 2012.17 Parties may file replies
on or before February 23, 2012.18 Parties may file statements and replies electronically19 or by paper.
All comments and reply comments should reference the subject Maine Waiver Request and the
DA number indicated on this Public Notice. Comments may be filed: (1) electronically by accessing the
applicant’s file number(s) in the Commission’s Universal Service Licensing System (ULS),20 or (2) by
filing paper copies.
Electronic Filers: Pleadings may be submitted electronically as follows:
From the ULS website at, begin the process of submitting a
pleading by clicking on the “ULS Pleadings” link in the menu on the lower left side of the
ULS web page. The link will take you to the “Pleading Information” screen for “Non-
docketed Pleadings” where you select “Reply” in the drop-down window for the type of
pleading and then enter the pleadings filer information. Completion of the contact
information is optional. Upon completion of this screen, please note the instructions for the
filing: “Pleadings must be dated and must include a signature, in this instance an electronic
signature, and the address and phone number of the signing party
.”21 Click on
The second step is to complete the File Numbers/Call Signs screen. Click if the pleading
pertains to a File Number or Call Sign and enter the File Number or Call Sign. Please note
that you must enter a File Number or Call Sign to continue. If the pleading pertains to
multiple applications or licenses, you must enter each File Number or Call Sign as
appropriate. After clicking the “SUBMIT” button, the screen will update to show all the File
Numbers/Call Signs associated with the pleading. At this time, you may delete selected File
Numbers/Call Signs from the page before continuing.

of a channel may operate on a shared basis provided that it employs monitoring equipment that prevents it from
transmitting on the channel if another system is using that channel.
16 Applications requiring coordination with Canada are denoted with an asterisk in the attached appendix.
17 47 C.F.R. § 1.405.
18 Id.
19 See Electronic Filing of Documents in Rulemaking Proceedings, 63 FR 24121 (1998)
20 See “Wireless Telecommunications Bureau Enhances the Commission’s Universal Licensing System to
Implement Electronic Filing for Pleadings,” Public Notice, 21 FCC Rcd 424 (WTB 2006). See
21 See 47 C.F.R. Part 1.

The third step is to complete the Attach File screen to attach the pleading document. Use the
drop down box to select Pleading or Confidential Pleading. The “BROWSE” button opens a
file upload window where you will locate and select your pleading file. The Description
field allows you to enter a brief description for the pleading. Click the “ADD
ATTACHMENT” button to upload your pleading. You may submit up to thirty files for
each pleading but each file must be smaller than 10 MB in size. You also have the
opportunity to delete any selected file from the pleading.
Finally, to complete your electronic pleading submission, click on the “SUBMIT
PLEADING” button and the Confirmation screen will be displayed. The Confirmation
screen will display your Confirmation Number as well as your entered pleadings information.
You may print this page for your records by selecting the Print Page link at the top of the
page and have the option of submitting another pleading or returning to the ULS website by
selecting a link at the bottom of the page.
The ULS Application and License Search results will display pleadings under the ADMIN tab
when a comment or reply comment has been filed. Users can view the pleading by clicking on the link
for the specific comment or reply comment in the Description field. The general public will not be able
to view confidential pleadings.
For additional information or assistance on how to file a comment or reply comment or other
relevant pleading, you may visit the Web at You may also call the FCC ULS
Customer Support Center at (877) 480-3201 and select option 2, or (888) 225-5322 and select Option 2,
or (717) 338-2888. For TTY, please call (717) 338-2824. Assistance from the FCC ULS Customer
Support Center is available between the hours of 8 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through
Friday (except Federal holidays). To provide quality service and ensure security, all telephone calls to
FCC ULS Customer Support Center are recorded.
Paper Filers: Parties who choose to file by paper must submit an original and four copies of each
Send hand-delivered or messenger-delivered paper filings for the Commission’s Secretary 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
Send commercial overnight mail (other than U.S. Postal Service Express Mail and Priority
Mail) to 9300 East Hampton Drive, Capitol Heights, M.D. 20743.
Send U.S. Postal Service first-class, Express, and Priority to 445 12th Street, SW,
Washington, D.C. 20554.
The application(s), waiver request, and comments and reply comments can be accessed
electronically via the Commission’s Universal Licensing System, The full
text of the Maine Waiver Request, comments and reply comments will be available for inspection and
copying during business hours at the FCC Reference Information Center, Portals II, 445 12th St. SW,

Room CY-A257, Washington, D.C. 20554. The documents may also be purchased from BCPI. Email or call the Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau, (voice) (202) 418-0530, (TTY)
(202)-418-0432 to request materials in formats accessible to people with disabilities, e.g. Braille, large
print, electronic files, audio format.
For further information regarding this proceeding contact Brian Marenco, Policy and Licensing
Division, Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, (voice) (202) 418-0838 or
-- FCC --


State of Main Applications Seeking Frequencies Coordinated by Railroad Coordinator

ULS Application Numbers
* Denotes applications seeking to license a location above Line A.

22 47 C.F.R. § 90.35(b)(2)(iv).

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