The Communicator

Regulatory News

A Publication of MotorolaSolutions Spectrum Strategy Team Bette Rinehart, Editor

June 30,2014

  • FCC Seeks Comment on AAR Waiver Request to Operate Signal Boosters at Higher Power on Certain Railroad Frequencies
  • State of Maine Request to Waive Concurrence Requirements Granted
  • Mobile Relay Associates and Others Granted Waiver to Use Spectrum Located Between Part 90 and Part 74
  • FCC Plans to Fine Chinese Company Nearly $35M For Marketing Signal Jammers to US Consumers
  • FCC Seeks Comment onLMCC Proposal to Extend Conditional Licensing to Bands Above 470 MHz
  • Comment Dates Established for Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the3.5-3.6GHz Proceeding

Narrowbanding News

  • Belington RescueSquad Given a 6 MonthExtension of Narrowband Deadline

800 MHzNews

  • State of Florida Inter category Sharing Waiver Request Denied
  • FCC Acts on Several Requests for Extension of TimetoProvide CostEstimatestoSprint
  • Financial True-Up Deadline Extended
  • Sprint Waiver Request to Begin Wideband Operationsin Portions of Northern California and Nevada Granted


  • Regional Planning Update



FCC Seeks Comment on AAR Request for Waiver to Operate Signal Boosters at Increased Power on Certain Railroad Frequencies

The FCC is seeking comment on a waiver request filed by the Association of American Railroads to operate signal boosters on certain UHF railroad frequencies at higher power than permitted underthecurrent rules.

Signal boosters are limitedtoamaximum ERP of5 watts. AARseeks awaivertooperate tracksidesignalboosterson twelve frequencies between 452/457.900-452/457.96875MHz at an ERPof30 wattsinareas wherecoverage is unsatisfactorydue to terrainordistance. AARalso seeks a waiverof90.261(f)whichprohibitssecondaryfixed operationson these frequencies.The frequencies identifiedin thewaiver request are railroad frequencies,coordinated by AAR.


In its request, AAR explains that it needs to operate on these frequencies at the higher ERP to provide communication between the fronts and rears of trains in order to monitor speed and brake pressure, operate brakes, and coordinate the front and rear engines on trains with distributed power. When the trains are operating in areas with challenging terrain, such as on steep inclines and declines,or sharp turns through mountain passes,trackside signal booster are required.


Comments are due July 28; Reply Comments are due August12.


The text of the Public Notice is available at:



State of Maine–MSCOMMNET Project Request to Waive Requirement to Obtain Concurrence


The State of Maine had filed an application to modify its existing license on frequency 153.1775 which it operated at Mt. Agamenticus,  ME. The modification was to raise the antenna height in order to counter act the shielding of its base station by the top of Mt. Agamenticus. One of the limitations on the licensed frequency is that it must be coordinated by the Commission’s designated petroleum frequency coordinator(EWA). Maine attempted to obtain concurrence for the license modification from EWA but that consent was denied because the application failed the FB8 analysis against an application filed by South Maine Community College (SMCC) on the same frequency in December 2013. While Maine’s interference contour intersects SMCC’s service contour, Maine did not need to obtain SMCC’s consent for its operations at Mt.Agamenticus because SMCC was not licensed at the time Maine applied. Maine offered to reduce its ERP to avoid expanding its existing coverage or interference contour. EWA responded that it would not be able to concur unlessMaine significantly reduced its ERP(from 25 watts to 5 watts). Maine also attempted to obtain a letter of concurrence from SMCC but was unsuccessful.

Maine then filed its application to raise its antenna height without EWA’s or SMCC’s concurrence and sought a waiver of the concurrence requirements. In support of its request, Maine provided an engineering study showing that the proposed modification would not expand its existing interfering contour.

The FCC itself plotted Maine’s contours at both its existing and proposed license parameters and found that the proposed modification had the exact same“spectral footprint” as the existing parameters.

Because Maine’s modification maintains the status quo, the FCC found that a waiver of the concurrence requirements was warranted. EWA had agreed to Maine’s original request to license the frequency and the modification posed no increased interference threat to other licensees.

The text of the decision is available at:

Mobile Relay Associates and Others Granted Waiver to Use Spectrum Located Between

Part 90 and Part 74

Mobile Relay Associates (MRA) had sought a waiver to operate on three UHF frequency pairs located between Part 90 and Part 74 (Broadcast AuxiliaryRadioService) at several locations in California, Nevada andFlorida. The frequency pairs identified by MRA are designated for land mobile operationsbut are not listed for primary use in Part 90 or any other radio service. MRA sought to operate on these frequencies with a 4 kHz bandwidth which it contended would pose no risk for harmful interference since it would not over lap any designated frequencies on either side. While MRA’s applications were pending, other entities filed similar applications for operations on one or more of the identified frequencies at various locations through the country. Applicants seeking to operate on a fourth frequency (451/456.009375) proposed to operate at8 kHz bandwidth.

The FCC placed MRA’s waiver on Public Notice in February. Most comments received were supportive but one commenter expressed concerns about potential interference to Broadcast Auxiliary (BAS) operations.

MRA, Fisher Wireless Services, Day Management Corporation, Specialized Mobile Radio, P&R Communications Service, Self Radio, Wiztronics and Comtronics Corporation were granted waivers to operate on 451/456.00 625, 451/456.00 9375 and 451/456.0125 but not 451/456.0000 because of overlap into the BAS radio service.

The text of the decision is available at:


FCC Plans to Fine a Chinese Company in Excess of $34M For Marketing Signal Jammers to US Consumers


The FCC issued a NewsRelease indicating its plan to fine a Chinese company– C.T.S. Technology –almost $35M for allegedly marketing nearly 300 different models of signal jammers toUS consumers for

nearly two years. C.T.S. operates website marketing consumer electronics to US consumers. On that  website, C.T.S. falsely claimed that certain signal jammers were approved by the FCC. In addition to the fine, C.T.S. must cease marketing the devices to US consumers and provide the FCC with information about any persons or entities in the US who bought the jammers.

Signal jammers intentionally block, interfere with, or jam authorized communications including GPS systems, Wi-Fi networks, cell phones and firstresponder communications. The use of any signal jammer is illegal under any circumstances.


The text of the News Release is availableat:



FCC Seeks Comment on LMCC Petition for Rulemaking to

Extend Conditional Licensing to Bands Above 470 MHz

The Land Mobile Communications Council (LMCC) has filed a Petition for Rulemaking asking that conditional licensing authority be extended to applications above 470 MHz.


Currently, conditional licensing is available only to applicants seeking authorizations on frequencies below 470 MHz. Conditional licensing permits an applicant to operate its system for a period of up to 180 days while the application remains pending. To be eligible for conditional licensing, the application must:

  • Have received frequency coordination
  • Been pending atthe FCCfor 10business days
  • Be below Line A
  • Not be seeking awaiver
  • Be located outside the quiet zone
  • Have no significant environmental impact
  • Be on an FAA approved tower or operating at 20’(orless) above ground or man-made structure

In 2013, while the application speed of service for Industrial/Business licensees was much longer than  usual due to a surge of applications filed in advance of the January 1,2013 narrowbanding deadline, LMCC successfully sought a waiver to permit conditional licensing for applications above 470MHz. That waiver was extended untilJune 30,2014.In addition to its Petition for Rulemaking, LMCCasked that the conditional licensing waiver be extended in definitely during the pendency of the rule making proceeding and also apply to PS pool applicants. Because I/B application processing time shave returned to normal, the FCC denied that request.

Comment is sought on the proposal to amend the conditional licensing rules.Comments are due July23; Reply Comments are due August7.

The textofthePublic Notice is available at:

Comment Dates Established for the Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the 3.5-3.6 GHz Proceeding

The FCC has announced the comment and reply dates for the proceeding seeking input on proposals to establish a Citizen’s Broadband Radio Service in the 3550-3650 MHz band.Formore details seetheApril2014issueof“TheCommunicator.”

Comments are due July14;Reply Comments are due August 1.The text of the Public Notice is available at:

Narrowbanding News

FCC Gives Belington Emergency Squad a 6 Month Extension of the Narrowband Deadline

The Belington Emergency Squad had filed an application in January of 2013 to narrowband its licensed frequencies from 25 to 12.5 kHz. The application was dismissed April 13, 2013 because it lacked Quiet Zone approval from the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) in Green Bank, WV.


Belington filed a second application to narrowband its frequencies on April 22, 2013 which was returned on April 23 for additional information specifically the date of the Quiet Zone notification and whether or not written Quiet Zone consent had been obtained.Belington did not resubmit the application with the additional information within the 60 days allowed and the application was dismissed on July 13,2013.

On July 22, Business Radio Licensing (BRL) filed a Petition for Reconsideration of the dismissal citing the lack of response from the Quiet Zone administrator as the reason the applications were dismissed. BRL included an email from the Quiet Zone administrator asking that Belington reduce itsERP to 17 watts.Such a reduction in power would cause a significant reduction in the area of operation that Belington enjoys under its widen and operations.BRL argues that Belington is attempting to comply with the requirement to narrowband its system but cannot due to circumstances outside its control.


Given the email requesting the reduction in power, the FCC could not agree that the Quiet Zone administrator had been “non-active.” However, the FCC questioned how Belington’s operation at 12.5 kHz posed a greater potential for interference than operation at 25 kHz and under what basis the administrator determined that the system’s ERP should be reduced to 17 watts.

Because of Belington’s unique circumstance (needing Quiet Zone approval),the FCC granted the agency a limited waiver (until December 17, 2014) of the narrowband deadline so that it can continue to work with the Quiet Zone administrator on mutually agreeable technical parameters. Belington must contact the Quiet Zone administrator by July 1.

The text of the decision is available at:

800 MHz News

State of Florida’s Request to Waive Inter category Sharing Freeze Denied

The FCC has denied the State of Florida’s request to waive the freeze on inter category sharing filed in August 2013 to license two Industrial/Business pool frequencies in the Eustis, Florida area. In its waiver request, Florida stated that it needed touseI/Bpool frequencies becausetherewere noPSpoolfrequencies available at that site.The State had “frozen” its 800 MHz channel plan in February 2013 and stated that, due to the size and complexity of its system it could not modify that channel plan without significantly delaying its rebanding schedule. The FCC maintained that Florida knew that 800 MHzP Spool frequencies were available in Eustisat the time it filed its application. In addition, a frequency search done in February 2014 revealed several “Nextel-Vacated” frequencies were available in that location. Florida said it could not use those frequencies because it would have to spend 1-2 years reprogramming over 20,000 subscriber units.

A recent decision by the PSHSB stated that it would not grant applications seeking a waiver of the inter category rules if the premise upon which the waiver request was filed (lack of availablePS pool spectrum) is no longer valid when the application is being processed.

In the decision,the FCC said that it“was clear at the time Florida filed its waiver request…. It knew the premise that no public safety channels were available was no longer correct.”

The text of the decision is available at:


Sprint Waiver Request to Permit Wideband Operations in Portions of Nevada and Northern California NPSPAC Regions Granted

In February, Sprint had filed a waiver seeking authority to deploy wideband (1.25MHz CDMA) operations in certain portions of Nevada (Region 27) and Northern California (Region 6) while rebanding is still underway. All incumbents on the “old NPSPAC” frequencies (866-869 MHz) have been retuned in Nevada and Northern California except for two sites operated by a San Bernardino County (SBC). Sprint argued that it could deploy wideband operations in most of Nevada and Northern California without risk of interference to San Bernardino County. Sprint stated that its operations in Northern California and Nevada would beat least 80 miles distant from SBC’s operations.The company also indicated that it had advised SBC of its intentions and the County did not object. When Sprint’s waiver was put on Public Notice in February, SBC filed comments indicating that it did not oppose the request.


Sprint’swaiverwas granted with thefollowingconditions:

  • In the 46 Northern California counties and the 14 Nevada counties where the waiver is valid (listed in Appendix A of the decision), Sprint must maintain an 80-mile buffer zone from the closest still-operational San Bernardino County site.
  • Sprint must provide SBC with 30 days prior notice before beginning sideband operations in Region 6 or Region 27
  • Sprint may not deploy LTE in the California and Nevada counties listed in Appendix B until rebanding is 100% complete in the applicable Region


The text of the decision is available at:


FCC Responded to Several Requests for Extension of Time to Provide Cost Estimates to Sprint

This month the FCC responded to several requests for extension of time to provide cost estimates toSprint.The following are the details:

City of SanDiego,California:SanDiego had originally sought and been granted an extension until June 1 to submit its cost estimate.That date was predicated on receiving a Statement of Work from its vendor between May 11 and June 11. The vendor advised the City that a delivery date of July 15 was more realistic given the large subscriber base which expanded from 600 to over 3,000 units.The City said that it would need a month to review the SOW, there placement frequencies,co-and adjacent channel interference potential and establish testing protocols making the date on which it could provide a cost estimate August 15. The request was granted because, although the FCC thought that some of the work could be done prior to receiving the SOW, San Diego’ss ystem is large and complex. The Commission noted that it would not contemplate further extensions of time unless there were compelling and unforeseeable circumstances.

The text of the decision is available at:

City of Los Angeles Fire Department: The LAFD sought a short extension (until June 30) to submit its cost estimate noting that it had already made significant progress and needed only a little more time to finalize internal costs. LAFD blamed the delay on a very large number of emergency response calls handled by the agency due to unseasonable heat and a drought. The request was granted.

The text ofthe decision is available at:

Henry K. Zappia: Zappia sought an extension of time until July 21 to provide a cost estimate to Sprint. Zappia had previously been granted an extension of May 30 but was unable to meet that deadline because the vendor had been unable to provide a statement of work by the date originally established.The vendor now estimates delivery of a first draftSOW by July 15. Zappia asked for five days to review the SOW and calculate final cost estimates for associated vendors and internal staff. The request was granted.

The textofthe decision is available at:

City of ElPaso,Texas: El Paso sought an extension of until November 8, 2014 to provide a cost estimate. Rather than reconfigure its existing system, El Paso chose to upgrade to a digital system. That systems “98%constructed” but has not yet been accepted by the City. El Paso has received a Statement of Work and proposed planning agreement from its vendor and anticipates that the SOW will be finalized and approved by City officials by July 8. However, El Paso states that it will take an additional four months for the vendor to complete the work needed for the City and the City’s consultant to develop a final cost estimate. El Paso did not include a statement or a justification from the vendor as to why it would take so much additional time. The request was denied. El Paso must provide a cost estimate by July 31.If  it cannot provide the cost estimate by that date, it must seek another extension with specific details explaining the work completed to date,the work remaining to be done,the individuals involved and an explanation of the efforts taken by El Paso to accelerate the vendor’s timeline. If it fails to meet the July 31 cost estimate deadline, El Paso must also file a weekly report with the TA showing the work completed and providing a firm schedule for completing the remaining work.

The text of the decision is available at:

City of Los Angeles Police Department: LAPD sought a short extension until June30to complete its cost estimate.LAPD stated that its IT Department was preparing the cost estimate and would need more time than originally expected. Because the amount of additional time requested was short,the request was granted with the understanding that theFCC does not contemplate granting another extension.

The textofthedecision is available at:

City of Harlingen,Texas:Harlingen had filed its cost estimate on May2, but sought to amend it because the initial estimate did not include possible plans for an upgrade. Sprint had toldHarlingen that if it did not intend to reband as described in the initial cost estimate it needed to withdraw that estimate and submit a new one; the TA explained that Harlingen could not file a new cost estimate without FCC approval. Harlingen asked to be able to file an amended cost estimate which would include the upgrade by June 20.While FCC pointed out that it would be“amply justified”in denying the request since untimely upgrade requests unjustly burden Sprint, theTA and the FCC, the request was granted. The FCC’s rationale in granting the request was that Sprint was willing to accept the amended cost estimate and the upgrade might actually accelerate Harlingen’s rebanding. In the decision the FCC warned other licensees that such untimely upgrade requests would face“an exceptionally heavy burden.”

The textofthe decision is available at:

Pima County Community College District: PCC sought a waiver of the requirement to submit requests to upgrade their communications system no later than the deadline to provide cost estimates. PCC asserted that while its current system performed adequately it was “a communications island” without interoperability with other PS agencies in the greater Tucson area.To mitigate this problem, it proposed to join the Pima County Wireless Integrated Network (PCWIN). PCC argued that it met the first prong of the waiver standard because the underlying purpose of requiring system upgrade requests on or before the cost estimate deadline was to avoid delays in there banding process. A grant of PCC’s request would not delay but actually accelerate PCC’s clearing of its existing frequencies because it has already joined PCWIN, purchased the equipment and is operating on the system.The FCC noted that the waiver request did not address why PCC could not have made this decision prior to submitting its cost estimate but granted the waiver request nevertheless.

The textofthe decision is available at:

City of Brownsville, Texas: Brownsville provided a timely cost estimate but did not notify Sprint of its intent to upgrade its system until 3 days later (rather than concurrently). Brownsville is in negotiations with Sprint and FCC grant of its request to amend its cost estimate to include the upgrades would allow it to continue negotiations using the amended estimate rather than the original one. The FCC found that the three day delay in providing the upgrade request was“deminimus,” did not prejudice any party and granted the request even though FCC approval to amend the cost estimate was not required.

The text of the decision is available at:

Financial True-Up Deadline Postponed

Sprint’s financial true-up deadline has been extended from July 1, 2014 until December 31, 2014.The TA must filea report by November 15, 2014 indicating whether the deadline should be further extended.

The text of the Order is available at:

700 MHz News


Until the Regions have developed their plans and had those plans approved by the FCC, no licenses (otherthanstate-ide licenses on the 2.4MHz state allocation at 700 MHz) can be granted at 700 MHz. The NCC  Implementation Subcommittee Regional Planning documents can be found on the NPSTC website at Fifty-four of the fifty-five Regions have either held or set the date for their first meeting. The last Region to form has set a date for the first planning meeting. Forty-seven Regional Plans have been approved.

Each month, “The Communicator” will list the status of the 700 MHz Regional planning process. Regions in italics and highlighted in pink have a Plan pending with the FCC. Regions high lighted in green have Plans approved by the FCC.


Region                                         Status                                          Next Meeting                           Chair/Convener

1(Alabama)            PlanApproved1/14/2009 TBD EricLinsley,Chair  
2(Alaska)                PlanApprovedOctober20,2008 TBD DeanStrid,Chair
3(Arizona)               PlanApprovedNovember7,2008 TBD RandyThompson,Chair
4(Arkansas)           PlanApproved12/10/2010 TBD JMRowe,ActingChair  
5(SouthernCalifornia)PlanApprovedJune6,2008 TBD DaveBuchanan,Chair  


6   (N.California)

7   (Colorado)





8(MetroNewYork)PlanApproved5/4/09 TBD AnthonyMelia,Chair
9(Florida) PlanApproved4/20/09 May21,2014 RayCarlson,Chair  
10(Georgia) PlanApproved8/25/2009 TBD JimMollohan,Chair  







11(Hawaii) FirstMeeting9/18/02 TBD RobertHlivak,Chair
12(Idaho) PlanApproved8/25/2009 TBD ToddHerrera,Chair
13(Illinois) PlanApproved9/22/2009 May14,2014 BillyCarter,Chair
14(Indiana) PlanApproved11/12/2009 TBD AlexWhitaker,Chair
15(Iowa) PlanApproved8/4/2011 June18,2014 LesFish,Chair
16(Kansas) PlanApproved4/21/09 TBD ScottEkberg,Chair
17(Kentucky) PlanApproved8/29/13 TBD CharlesO’Neal,Chair
18(Louisiana) PlanApproved4/21/09 TBD KenHughes,Chair
19(NewEngland)PlanApproved4/21/09 September9,2014 JerryZarwanski,Chair
20(Maryland/N.VA)PlanApproved7/24/08 TBD WayneMcBride,Chair
21(Michigan) PlanApproved10/10/08 July17,2014 KeithBradshaw,Chair
22(Minnesota) PlanApprovedJune2,2008 TBD BrandonAbley,Chair
23(Mississippi) PlanApproved1/12/2011 TBD TomLariviere,Chair
24(Missouri) PlanApprovedNovember7,2008 TBD SteveDevine,Chair
25(Montana) PlanApprovedApril17,2012 TBD ScottBradford,Chair
26(Nebraska) FirstMeeting8/8/02 TBD MikeJeffres,Chair
27(Nevada) PlanApprovedJune2,2009 TBD ScottTayler,Chair

28    (E.PA/DE/S.NJ)Plan Approved 9/22/2009                   TBD                                              MarkGrubb,Chair

29    (New Mexico)                     FirstMeeting3/21/05          TBD                                              LauraPhillips,Chair30(Eastern NY)   Plan Approved 8/6/2009               June4, 2014                             LeeShurtleff,Chair

31    (North Carolina)Plan Approved6/28/2011                    TBD                                              MichaelHodgson,Chair

32    (North Dakota)                   First Meeting 12/17/2009TBD                                               MikeLynk,Chair

33(Ohio) PlanApproved9/11/2009 TBD PaulMayer,Chair  
34(Oklahoma) PlanApproved5/17/2010 TBD StephenWilliamson,Chair
35(Oregon) PlanApproved8/25/2010 TBD JoeKuran,Chair  
36(W.PA) PlanApproved1/5/2010 TBD RandyBrozenick,Chair  
37(SC) PlanApproved2/14/2011 TBD BuddyJordan,Chair  

38(South Dakota)                  FirstMeeting1/15/09          May15, 2014                          ToddDravlund,Chair

39(Tennessee) PlanApprovedJune6,2008 TBD JohnJohnson,Chair  
40(Central& NE TX)              PlanApproved6/3/09 TBD WandaMcCarley,Chair
41(Utah) PlanApproved10/2/2009 TBD SteveProctor,Chair  
42(Virginia) PlanApproved6/19/2010 October2014 RobertDeLauney,Chair
43(Washington) PlanApprovedJune2,2008 TBD JonWiswell,Chair  
44(WestVirginia)PlanApproved8/7/2012 TBD DaveSaffel,Chair
45(Wisconsin) PlanApprovedOctober20,2008        June12,2014 RussellSchreiner,Chair





46(Wyoming) FirstMeeting2/15/01 TBD WilliamWalter,Chair
47(PuertoRico) PlanApproved12/26/2012 June27,2014 FerdinandCedeno,Chair
48VirginIslands AppointedConvener July18,2014 ReubenMolloy,Convener


(CentralTX)PlanApproved2/7/2011                     TBD                                     Ron Mayworm, Chair

50    (W. Texas)     Plan Approved 11/15/2013             TBD                                     Frank Mendez, Chair

51    (Houston)       PlanApproved 1/14/2009               TBD                                     DougFrankhouser, Chair

52    (NW Texas)                   First Meeting7/30/03       TBD                                       John Kiehl, Chair

53    (SouthTexas) Plan Approved December 28,2012TBD                                     Richard Morales, Chair54(Chicago)       Plan Approved 9/30/2009               October, 2014                 ChrisKindlespire,Chair55(New York-Buffalo)Plan Approved6/2/2009         June12,2014                     Steven Sharpe, Chair