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Two-Way Radio Users Warned of FCC Narrowbanding Mandate

Fri, 10/05/2012 - 8:12am

Dallas, TX — BearCom, a nationwide provider of wireless communications equipment and solutions, today issued a warning to users of two-way radios about the wide-ranging consequences of failing to comply with the narrowbanding mandate from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). 

BearCom pointed to the latest statistics showing that more than one third of FCC licensees — 36.8 percent — have yet to transition to the narrowband (12.5 kHz) technology called for in the agency’s narrowbanding initiative. Its objective is to increase capacity and efficiency for the industrial/business and public safety radio pools in the private land mobile radio services category. The mandate requires public agencies and companies that currently use legacy wideband (25 kHz) systems in the VHF and UHF bands to make the transition to narrowband by January 1, 2013. Users who don’t make the switch face potential fines and possibly the loss of their communication capabilities.

“The Enforcement Advisory issued in August by the FCC left no doubt that the agency will aggressively enforce the provisions of the narrowbanding mandate,” said BearCom’s President & CEO Jerry Denham. “With less than three months left until the January 1 deadline, now is the time for users who have yet to act to get into compliance.”

With the help of a qualified two-way radio communications consultant, Denham said, users can conduct an inventory of equipment that should reveal which units can be converted to 12.5 kHz and which must be replaced. Users then can arrange for the conversions and procure up-to-date equipment. Lastly, new or modified FCC licenses can be obtained.

The stated penalties for failing to comply with the mandate include:

  • Fines up to $112,500 for any single violation
  • Fines up to $16,000 for each day of a continuing violation
  • Revocation of FCC license

“After January 1, users will not be able to buy wideband-only equipment or have it repaired without it first being narrowbanded,” Denham added. “Users who haven’t converted to narrowband will have no protection against interference. And most worrisome of all: Licenses deemed not in compliance may be handed out by the FCC to other users.”

BearCom, which offers compliance analysis, equipment upgrades, and license preparation and modification, has amassed a collection of useful information about the narrowbanding mandate. BearCom partnered with Motorola Solutions and the Enterprise Wireless Alliance to launch Narrowbanding.com, an important educational resource. The company also has made its Two-Way Radio Narrowbanding Guide available free for downloading and produced a narrowbanding video tutorial.

About BearCom

BearCom provides a broad line of high-performance wireless communications products, services, and complete mobility solutions. Founded in 1981, BearCom is America's only nationwide dealer and integrator of wireless communications equipment, serves customers from 26 branch offices located throughout the U.S., has several affiliated offices around the world, and employs approximately 400 people. BearCom is headquartered in the Dallas, Texas area. For more information, visit www.BearCom.com.

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