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FCC Public Notice: WTB & PSHSB Announce they will begin Accepting Applications for the Operation of Mobile Repeaters on Six Remote Control and Telemetry Channels in the VHF Band

FCC Public Notice

DA 16-119
February 3, 2016

WIRELESS TELECOMMUNICATIONS BUREAU AND PUBLIC SAFETY AND HOMELAND SECURITY BUREAU ANNOUNCE THEY WILL BEGIN ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR THE OPERATION OF MOBILE REPEATERS ON SIX REMOTE CONTROL AND TELEMETRY CHANNELS IN THE VHF BAND ON MARCH 15, 2016.

PS Docket No. 13-229

On March 15, 2016, the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (WTB) and the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau (PSHSB) (together, the Bureaus) will begin accepting applications for the operation of mobile repeaters on the following six VHF frequencies: 173.2375, 173.2625, 173.2875, 173.3125, 173.3375, and 173.3625 MHz. On August 6, 2015, the Commission adopted a Report and Order that amended its rules to allow the operations of vehicular repeater systems (VRS) and other mobile repeaters on these channels.1

The Commission found that the only way to accommodate both telemetry and VRS on these frequencies is through frequency coordination to both ensure geographic separation as well as minimizing the risk of commingling voice and data operations.2 Since no party provided the Commission with a specific coordination protocol, the Commission directed the coordinator community to develop a consensus protocol for VRS coordination.3 The protocol was to conform to the existing Part 90 technical requirements so as to minimize the possibility of harmful interference, eliminate mutual exclusive applications, and reflect the restrictions the Commission imposed to ensure the efficient use of this spectrum.4

The Commission directed the coordinators to send the consensus protocol to the Bureaus for approval and directed the Bureaus to evaluate and, if it is satisfactory, approve the protocol.5 The Commission noted that until the protocol is approved, it would not accept applications for mobile repeaters on these frequencies.6

On September 30, 2015, the Land Mobile Communications Council filed a consensus protocol with the Bureaus.7 This Public Notice serves as the Bureaus’ approval of the protocol as well as announcing that we will begin accepting applications on March 15, 2016.

Coordinators must include their analysis with the application so staff can understand which method the coordinators are using to coordinate the application.

We note that we will accept applications where the separation between co-channel systems may be less than the separations defined under the consensus protocol or overlap of the interference contours if an applicant submits with its application letters of concurrence indicating that the applicant and each affected co-channel telemetry system license agree to accept any interference resulting from the reduced separation between their systems. Each letter from a co-channel licensee must certify that the system of the concurring affected co-channel telemetry system is constructed and fully operational.

For further information, please contact Roberto Mussenden, PSHSB at (202) 418-1428 or
Rodney Conway, WTB at (202) 418-2904.

FCC Public Notice- DA 16-119

– FCC –

1 Amendment of Sections 90.20(d) and 90.265 of the Commission’s Rules to Facilitate the Use of Vehicular Repeater
Units, Report and Order, 30 FCC Rcd 8864 (2015) (VRS Order). The rule changes take effect on March 15, 2016.
See 81 Fed. Reg. 2106, 2106 (2016).
2 Id., 30 FCC Rcd 8875, para. 27.
3 Id.
4 Id.
5 Id., 30 FCC Rcd 8875, para. 28.
6 Id.
7 Letter from Greg Kunkle, President, Land Mobile Communications Council, to Admiral David G. Simpson, (Ret.),
Chief, Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau and Roger Sherman, Chief, Wireless Telecommunications
Bureau (filed September 30, 2015)(available at http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view.action?id=60001325630

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