Thursday, July 1, 2010

Narrow Band News Update 07/01/2010

Score a knockout for another FCC mandatory compliance date! For those who keep up with such things, you know that the FCC yielded to pressure to cancel their original date of 2018 for mandatory 6.25 kHz Very Narrow Band (VNB) channel spacing.

There was also a requirement for all VHF and UHF 2-way radio equipment manufactured in the USA (you've got to be wondering who that would be) or any 2-way radio imported into the USA would have to be capable of operating at 6.25 kHz channel spacing. This was later changed to 6.25 kHz equivalence for 12.5 kHz Narrow Band Channel spacing (i.e. two 6.25 kHz channels per 12.5 kHz "channel").

Now, the FCC has dropped the requirement for manufacturers to produce 6.25 kHz capable or equivalent equipment starting in 2011 and moved the date up to January 1, 2013. The bottom line is that 6.25 kHz has taken a SERIOUS hit!

There are no established coordination policies for 6.25 kHz frequencies. The message from the FCC is very clear. The manufacturers who invested heavily in developing 6.25 kHz compliant technology as well as users trying to advance greater utilization of existing spectrum have just been rewarded with a Thanks but no thanks message for trying to meet yet another unfunded mandate.

Shame on you FCC, and even more shame upon the special interest groups, lobbyists, and self serving bureaucrats who blocked the advancement of useful technology. For those that did the right thing -thank you for your effort, your investment, and your commitment for advancing communications technology.

The good news is you can purchase 6.25 kHz equipment at reasonable cost that can still operate at 12.5 or even 25 kHz channel spacing in both analog and digital modes with some truly unique capabilities. Go to for a free copy of our IDAS Narrow Band Planning Guide. We hope you will find it be useful!