Fri, 07/08/16
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is poised to raise its filing and waiver fees for Part 90 Land Mobile and a host of other services. Currently the FCC filing and regulatory fees for a ten year license are $165. Those fees will go up $5 to $170. Likewise, waiver fees will increase from $195 to $200. The rate change has not occurred as of yet. The public notice indicates the change will become effective 30 days from its publication in the Federal Register

Link to story here

The FCC COmmission REgistration System (CORES) and FCC Registration Number (FRN) will get a face lift this year. Proposed changes will add additional layers to license management. This will allow FRN numbers to have multiple logins with varying levels of administrative control. The plan is to start a pilot program to test upgrades until the end of August. The start date for the new system is slated for September 1st, 2016.

To link to the story click here

The Land Mobile Communications Council (LMCC) elected its Board of Directors at its annual meeting in Washington D.C. The new officers are:

  • President—Farokh Latif (Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials International),
  • Vice President—Michele Farquhar, Esq. (Association of American Railroads), and
  • Secretary/Treasurer—Mark Crosby (Enterprise Wireless Alliance).

Also elected to the Board of Directors as At-Large members were:

  • Jim Goldstein (International Association of Fire Chiefs),
  • Ralph A. Haller (Forestry Conservation Communications Association), and
  • David Smith (Forest Industries Telecommunications).

To find out more about the LMCC visit their website at lmcc.org

On February 29th, 2016 scores of licensees recieved an email from the FCC urging action regarding the status of their license. For many this may mean a simple modification to remove outlawed wideband emission designators. For others a chance to become compliant with the current FCC narrowband mandate. Since January 1st, 2013 all VHF/UHF Business and Public Safety pool licensees were required to operate with a maximum bandwidth not to exceed 12.5 kilohertz (occupied bandwidth of 11.25 kHz or less). FIT can audit your license and let you know what steps you can take to ensure compliance. Current members of FIT will recieve the standard narrowbanding conversion free of charge. Email us at license@landmobile.com or call FIT toll-free at 888-583-2-WAY

The United Kingdom introduced lifetime amateur radio licenses back in 2006. Now the FCC is looking into that possibility for U.S. Ham radio operators. The Commission is seeking comment on the proposed rule change (see PRM 11760). This will involve a revision of CFR 47 97.25.  The ARRL is reporting that Mark F. Krotz, N7MK, of Mesa, Arizona, filed a request with the FCC for the rule change last November. General Radiotelephone Operator Licenses are already issued on a lifetime basis.

Individuals may submit comments via the FCC’s Electronic Comment Filing System
http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/proceeding/view?name=RM-11760

Petition for Rule Making (RM 11760)
http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=60001333714

See ARRL
http://www.arrl.org/news/fcc-seeks-comments-on-petition-to-grant-lifetime-amateur-radio-licenses

Scores of licensees are receiving very official looking solicitations in the mail warning that their licenses are in peril. One notice even states, “After 2/16/16 all two-way radio licenses that have not updated/modified to comply with the narrowbanding mandate will be dismissed.” Nothing could be further from the truth. The FCC did release a public notice that clarified radio licensee’s responsibility to comply with the narrowbanding mandate, which became effective January 1st, 2013. Let’s separate fact from fantasy:

FACT: Applications filed for updates, license transfers, renewals or general modifications (frequencies that are 150-174 MHz / 421-470 MHz) that contain only wideband emissions, without a waiver, will be dismissed.

FACT: The FCC has no master plan to summarily dismiss, in bulk, active Licenses on 2/16/16

FACT: The Commission has added tools to assist licensees with modifying their authorizations.

FACT: Operating with an occupied bandwidth in excess of 11.25 kHz is prohibited.

FACT: Applications filed to remove wideband designators do not require frequency coordination or payment of FCC fees.

FACT: For more information call FIT at 888-583-2-WAY or visit the FCC’s overview here https://www.fcc.gov/general/narrowbanding-overview

There are numerous agencies that endlessly track license data through the FCC’s publicly available database. This information is then tendered into massive mail merge lists and licensees are hammered mercilessly with solicitations for every service imaginable. The Commission does not sanction these agencies. In fact, it’s important to note, that the Federal Communications Commission rarely solicits money.  Do not be fooled, if it looks like “spam mail” it probably is. Make sure that any correspondence originates from the FCC and bares its seal.

For the official narrowbanding release click here: http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2016/db0113/DA-16-36A1.pdf

Cybersecurity is a key topic that will be highlighted at International Wireless Communication Expo (IWCE), the premier annual event for communications technology professionals, scheduled to take place March 21-25, 2016 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. As more critical systems become connected it also means that communications technology infrastructures are more vulnerable to hacking and cyber attacks.

IWCE’s opening keynote will be presented by Curtis Levinson, Cybersecurity Advisor to NATO.

He will discuss threats to the critical infrastructure, including power grids and communications systems across the globe, as well as the adversaries that are targeting the U.S. with cyber attacks. He will also outline specific cybersecurity considerations for the communications-technology industry and provide practical actionable remediation—policies, procedures and technology—that can be implemented right now to help protect your valuable data and networks.

IWCE will offer several educational sessions on cybersecurity including:

  • Introduction to Cybersecurity  

  • The Threat to Technology: Cybersecurity Overview  

  • The Power Grid: The Biggest Vulnerability

  • The Challenges for Security in the Wireless Environment

  • Armageddon! How a Cyber Breach Can Disable a City

  • Case Studies in Vulnerability  

  • SCADA, Industrial IoT and Cybersecurity Convergence  

For additional information on IWCE, the conference program and to sign up for email updates, visit iwceexpo.com. Stay connected with us on Twitter, Facebook @iwceexpo and follow our IWCE company page on LinkedIn.

 

 The FCC and the LMCC have been working on changes to the 173 MHZ VHF band to allow Vehicular Repeater Systems (VRS) for use by Business entities and Public Safety agemcies/  VRS systems extend the range of the two way radio system by retransmitting the audio that is received by a vehicle, retransmitting it on a different band to a portable carried by a person.  This is especially helpful where in-building penetration of the original signal is hampered, a situation which may be critical to Firefighters, Emergency Medical Technicians or Police personnel. The systems are also functionally handy for construction, delivery and other business related activities.

In September of 2015 the LMCC prvided the FCC with a document listing the concesus protocol for coordinaton of these systems.

http://lmcc.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/LMCC-Ex-Parte-Ltr-PS-Docket-No-13-229-Final.pdf

The FCC Responded Dcember 11,  2015 with their Clarification Order finalizing the process.

 https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-15-103A1.pdf

Net result is that 6 KHZ maximum bandwidth is required on the six channels, the channels are available for both Busuiness/Industrial and Public Safety elligibles,  remote control, telemetry and mobile repeater operations are allowed,  and the coordination protocols and procedures proposed by the LMCC are established.

Ever wonder how the FCCs Enforcement Bureau does its job? Here is a lnk to their website explaining their enforcement-fines-collection process.

https://www.fcc.gov/news-events/blog/2015/11/25/enforcement-fines-collection-process

From LMCC:

LMCC NEWS

FACs Will Follow Rules as Written
December 23, 2015

Herndon, VA – On November 4, the Land Mobile Communications Council (LMCC) asked the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for clarification regarding the intent of Rule Section 90.187(d)(ii)(1)(D), which states that licensees that are not narrowband compliant need not be considered affected parties during analyses conducted by frequency advisory committees (FACs) seeking exclusive-use channels for use within trunked radio systems. Having not heard from the FCC, on December 17 the LMCC filed a second letter advising the FCC that, pending Commission clarification, both Business/Industrial Land Transportation (B/ILT) and Public Safety FACs understand that they have authority not to consider licensees with wideband-only emission designators as affected parties for purposes of exclusive-use channel analyses, except if they have a waiver to continue operating wideband equipment or satisfy the efficiency equivalency standard. This issue arose because FACs received conflicting interpretations of this provision from FCC staff.

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