Commission Reminds on Narrowbanding Enforcement (8/23/12)
With less than five months to meet the FCC’s VHF and UHF narrowbanding deadline, two reminders came from the FCC this week. The commission’s Enforcement Bureau issued an enforcement advisory and an FCC official reminded conference attendees that the deadline won’t change.
The enforcement advisory reminded all private land mobile radio (PLMR) licensees operating in the 150 – 174 MHz and 421 – 470 MHz frequency bands that they must migrate their systems to narrowband technology by Jan. 1, 2013. The bureau also reminded manufacturers that they must cease manufacturing and importing equipment that is capable of 25-kilohertz mode operation in the VHF/UHF bands by the narrowbanding transition deadline.
“PLMR licensees are not required, at this time, to modify their licenses to remove wideband emission designators,” the advisory said. “However, the presence of a wideband emission designator on a license does not authorize operation after Jan. 1, 2013, that does not comply with the narrowbanding standards.”
The Enforcement Bureau said it is “committed to aggressively enforcing the narrowbanding transition deadline, and violators may be subject to enforcement action.” Penalties for noncompliance may include license revocation, and/or monetary forfeitures of up to $16,000 for each such violation or each day of a continuing violation, and up to $112,500 for any single act or failure to act.
The full advisory is available here.
At the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) International conference Aug. 20, David Furth, deputy bureau chief of the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau (PSHSB), said progress has been made in the past year, but there is still a long way to go before the deadline.
“We are not moving the deadline,” Furth said. “To receive a waiver, you need to file a timely request, which means now. Requests that are filed at the 11th hour will likely not be granted.”
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