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Proposed Rule

Private Land Mobile Radio Service Regulations

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Federal Communications Commission.

ACTION:

Proposed rule.

SUMMARY:

This document proposes to modify our rules to permit the implementation of Terrestrial Trunked Radio (TETRA) technology in the United States. We also seek comment on our proposed technical rules that would enable digital technologies like TETRA to operate without causing interference to existing systems, and on how the deployment of TETRA technology may affect public safety interoperability. Comments on these proposed rule changes will aid the Commission in determining whether or not it is in the public interest to make TETRA technology available to private wireless users, especially those that must comply with the upcoming narrowbanding requirements.

DATES:

Submit comments on or before June 27, 2011 and reply comments are due on or before August 9, 2011.

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ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments, identified by WT Docket No. 11-69 and ET Docket No. 09-234; FCC 11-63, by any of the following methods:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
  • Federal Communications Commission's Web Site: http://www.fcc.gov/​cgb/​ecfs/​. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
  • People With Disabilities: Contact the FCC to request reasonable accommodations (accessible format documents, sign language interpreters, CART, etc.) by e-mail: FCC504@fcc.gov or phone 202-418-0530 or TTY: 202-418-0432.

For detailed instructions for submitting comments and additional information on the rulemaking process, see the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Tim Maguire, Mobility Division, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, (202) 418-2155.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

This is a summary of the Commission's Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Order (“NPRM”) in WT Docket No. 11-69 and ET Docket No. 09-234, FCC 11-63, adopted April 18, 2011, and released April 26, 2011. The full text of this document is available for inspection and copying during normal business hours in the FCC Reference Center, 445 12th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20554. The complete text may be purchased from the Commission's copy contractor, Best Copy and Printing, Inc., 445 12th Street, SW., Room CY-B402, Washington, DC 20554. The full text may also be downloaded at: http://www.fcc.gov. Alternative formats are available to persons with disabilities by sending an e-mail to fcc504@fcc.gov or by calling the Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau at 202-418-0530 (voice), 202-418-0432 (tty).

I. Procedural Matters

A. Ex Parte Rules-Permit-But-Disclose Proceeding

1. This is a permit-but-disclose notice and comment rulemaking proceeding. Ex parte presentations are permitted, except during the Sunshine Agenda period, provided they are disclosed as provided in the Commission's Rules.

B. Comment Dates

2. Pursuant to sections 1.415 and 1.419 of the Commission's rules, 47 CFR 1.415, 1.419, interested parties may file comments and reply comments on or before the dates indicated on the first page of this document. Comments may be filed using: (1) The Commission's Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS), (2) the Federal Government's eRulemaking Portal, or (3) by filing paper copies. See Electronic Filing of Documents in Rulemaking Proceedings, 63 FR 24121 (1998).

  • Electronic Filers: Comments may be filed electronically using the Internet by accessing the ECFS: http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/​ecfs2/​or the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov.
  • Paper Filers: Parties who choose to file by paper must file an original and four copies of each filing. If more than one docket or rulemaking number appears in the caption of this proceeding, filers must submit two additional copies for each additional docket or rulemaking number. Filings can be sent by hand or messenger delivery, by commercial overnight courier, or by first-class or overnight U.S. Postal Service mail. All filings must be addressed to the Commission's Secretary, Office of the Secretary, Federal Communications Commission.
  • All hand-delivered or messenger-delivered paper filings for the Commission's Secretary must be delivered to FCC Headquarters at 445 12th St., SW., Room TW-A325, Washington, DC 20554. The filing hours are 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. All hand deliveries must be held together with rubber bands or fasteners. Any envelopes must be disposed of before entering the building.
  • Commercial overnight mail (other than U.S. Postal Service Express Mail and Priority Mail) must be sent to 9300 East Hampton Drive, Capitol Heights, MD 20743.
  • U.S. Postal Service first-class, Express, and Priority mail must be addressed to 445 12th Street, SW., Washington DC 20554.

People With Disabilities: To request materials in accessible formats for people with disabilities (braille, large print, electronic files, audio format), send an e-mail to fcc504@fcc.gov or call the Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau at 202-418-0530 (voice), 202-418-0432 (tty).

C. Paperwork Reduction Act

3. This NPRM does not contain any proposed information collection(s) subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13. In addition, it does not contain any new or modified “information collection burden for small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees,” pursuant to the Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002, Public Law 107-198, see 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(4).

II. Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

4. As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), the Commission has prepared this present Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) of the possible significant economic impact on small entities by the policies and rules proposed and set forth in Appendix B. We request written public comments on this IRFA which must be filed in accordance with the same filing deadlines as the comments on the rest of the NPRM. The Commission shall send a copy of this NPRM, including the IRFA, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration. In addition, a copy of this NPRM and IRFA (or summaries thereof) will also be published in the Federal Register.

5. The proposed rules in the NPRM are intended to permit the implementation in the United States of land mobile radio equipment utilizing Terrestrial Trunked Radio (TETRA) technology. TETRA is a spectrally efficient digital technology that we believe can provide valuable benefits to land mobile radio users.

A. Legal Basis

6. Authority for issuance of this item is contained in Sections 4(i), 303(r), and 403 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 154(i), 303(r), and 403.

B. Description and Estimate of the Number of Small Entities to Which the Proposed Rules Will Apply

7. Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 603(b)(3), the RFA directs agencies to provide a description of and, where feasible, an estimate of the number of small entities that may be affected by the proposed rules, if adopted. The RFA generally defines the term “small entity” as having the same meaning as the terms “small business,” “small organization,” and “small governmental jurisdiction.” Id. In addition, according to 5 U.S.C. 601(3), the term “small business” has the same meaning as the term “small business concern” under the Small Business Act. A small business concern is one that: (1) Is independently owned and operated; (2) is not dominant in its field of operation; and (3) satisfies any additional criteria established by the SBA at 5 U.S.C. 632. Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 601(3), the statutory definition of a small business applies “unless an agency after consultation with the Office of Advocacy of the SBA, and after opportunity for public comment, establishes one or more definitions of such term which are appropriate to the activities of the agency and publishes Start Printed Page 27298such definition(s) in the Federal Register.” Below, we further describe and estimate the number of small entity licensees and regulatees that may be affected by the rules changes proposed in this NPRM.

8. Private Land Mobile Radio Licensees. PLMR systems serve an essential role in a range of industrial, business, land transportation, and public safety activities. These radios are used by companies of all sizes operating in all U.S. business categories, and are often used in support of the licensee's primary (non-telecommunications) business operations. For the purpose of determining whether a licensee of a PLMR system is a small business as defined by the SBA, we use the broad census category, Wireless Telecommunications Carriers (except Satellite). This definition provides that a small entity is any such entity employing no more than 1,500 persons. See 13 CFR 121.201, NAICS code 517210. The Commission does not require PLMR licensees to disclose information about number of employees, so the Commission does not have information that could be used to determine how many PLMR licensees constitute small entities under this definition. We note that PLMR licensees generally use the licensed facilities in support of other business activities, and therefore, it would also be helpful to assess PLMR licensees under the standards applied to the particular industry subsector to which the licensee belongs. See generally 13 CFR 121.201.

9. As of March 2010, there were 424,162 PLMR licensees operating 921,909 transmitters in the PLMR bands below 512 MHz. We note that any entity engaged in a commercial activity is eligible to hold a PLMR license, and that any revised rules in this context could therefore potentially impact small entities covering a great variety of industries.

10. RF Equipment Manufacturers. The Census Bureau defines this category as follows: “This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in manufacturing radio and television broadcast and wireless communications equipment. Examples of products made by these establishments are: transmitting and receiving antennas, cable television equipment, GPS equipment, pagers, cellular phones, mobile communications equipment, and radio and television studio and broadcasting equipment.” See U.S. Census Bureau, 2002 NAICS Definitions, “334220 Radio and Television Broadcasting and Wireless Communications Equipment Manufacturing”; http://www.census.gov/​epcd/​naics02/​def/​NDEF334.HTM#N3342. The SBA small business size standard for Radio and Television Broadcasting and Wireless Communications Equipment Manufacturing is all such firms having 750 or fewer employees. See 13 CFR 121.201, NAICS code 334220. According to Census Bureau data for 2002, there were a total of 1,041 establishments in this category that operated for the entire year. See U.S. Census Bureau, American FactFinder, 2002 Economic Census, Industry Series, Industry Statistics by Employment Size, NAICS code 334220 (released May 26, 2005); http://factfinder.census.gov. The number of “establishments” is a less helpful indicator of small business prevalence in this context than would be the number of “firms” or “companies,” because the latter take into account the concept of common ownership or control. Any single physical location for an entity is an establishment, even though that location may be owned by a different establishment. Thus, the numbers given may reflect inflated numbers of businesses in this category, including the numbers of small businesses. In this category, the Census breaks-out data for firms or companies only to give the total number of such entities for 2002, which were 929. Of this total, 1,010 had employment of fewer than 500, and an additional 13 had employment of 500 to 999. An additional 18 establishments had employment of 1,000 or more. Thus, under this size standard, the majority of firms can be considered small.

C. Description of Projected Reporting, Recordkeeping, and Other Compliance Requirements for Small Entities

11. There are no projected reporting, recordkeeping or other compliance requirements.

D. Steps Taken To Minimize Significant Economic Impact on Small Entities and Significant Alternatives Considered

12. The RFA requires an agency to describe any significant alternatives that it has considered in reaching its proposed approach, which may include the following four alternatives: (1) The establishment of differing compliance or reporting requirements or timetables that take into account the resources available to small entities; (2) the clarification, consolidation, or simplification of compliance or reporting requirements under the rule for small entities; (3) the use of performance, rather than design, standards; and (4) an exemption from coverage of the rule, or any part thereof, for small entities.[1]

13. We hereby invite interested parties to address any or all of these regulatory alternatives and to suggest additional alternatives to minimize any significant economic impact on small entities. Any significant alternative presented in the comments will be considered.

E. Federal Rules That May Duplicate, Overlap, or Conflict With the Proposed Rules

14. None.

III. Ordering Clauses

15. Pursuant to sections 1, 4(i), 303(f), 303(g), and 303(r) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 151, 154(i), 303(f), 303(g), and 303(r), this Notice of Proposed Rule Making is adopted.

16. The Commission's Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, Reference Information Center, shall send a copy of this Notice of Proposed Rule Making, including the Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration.

17. Pursuant to sections 4(i), 302, and 303(e), of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 154(i), 302, and 303(e), and § 1.925 of the Commission's rules, 47 CFR 1.925, the Request for Waiver filed by the TETRA Association on November 20, 2009, is granted in part and denied in part to the extent set forth above. This action is effective upon release of this Order.

Start List of Subjects

List of Subjects in 47 CFR Part 90

End List of Subjects Start Signature

Federal Communications Commission.

Bulah P. Wheeler,

Deputy Manager.

End Signature

For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Federal Communications Commission proposes to amend 47 CFR part 90 as follows:

Start Part

PART 90—PRIVATE LAND MOBILE RADIO SERVICES

1. The authority citation for part 90 continues to read as follows:

Start Authority

Authority: Sections 4(i), 11, 303(g), 303(r), and 332(c)(7) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 154(i), 161, 303(g), 303(r), 332(c)(7).

End Authority

2. Section 90.209 is amended in the table in paragraph (b)(5) by adding footnote 6 to read as follows:

Start Printed Page 27299
Bandwidth limitations.
* * * * *

(b) * * *

(5) * * *

Standard Channel Spacing/Bandwidth

Frequency band (MHz)Channel spacing (kHz)Authorized bandwidth (kHz)
*         *         *         *         *         *         *
406-512 21 6.25136 20/11.25/6
806-809/851-85412.56 20
809-824/854-869256 20
*         *         *         *         *         *         *
929-930256 20
*         *         *         *         *         *         *
1 For stations authorized on or after August 18, 1995.
2 Bandwidths for radiolocation stations in the 420-450 MHz band and for stations operating in bands subject to this footnote will be reviewed and authorized on a case-by-case basis.
3 Operations using equipment designed to operate with a 25 kHz channel bandwidth will be authorized a 20 kHz bandwidth. Operations using equipment designed to operate with a 12.5 kHz channel bandwidth will be authorized a 11.25 kHz bandwidth. Operations using equipment designed to operate with a 6.25 kHz channel bandwidth will be authorized a 6 kHz bandwidth. All stations must operate on channels with a bandwidth of 12.5 kHz or less beginning January 1, 2013, unless the operations meet the efficiency standard of § 90.203(j)(3).
*    *    *    *    *
6 Operations using equipment designed to operate with a 25 kHz channel bandwidth may be authorized up to a 22 kHz bandwidth if the equipment meets the Adjacent Channel Power limits of § 90.221.
*    *    *    *    *

3. Section 90.210 is amended by adding footnote 5 to the table to read as follows:

Emission masks.
* * * * *

Applicable Emission Masks

Frequency band (MHz)Mask for equipment with audio low pass filterMask for equipment without audio low pass filter
*         *         *         *         *         *         *
421-512 2, 5B, D, or EC, D, or E.
*         *         *         *         *         *         *
809-824/854-869 3, 5BG.
*         *         *         *         *         *         *
*    *    *    *    *
2 Equipment designed to operate with a 25 kHz channel bandwidth must meet the requirements of Emission Mask B or C, as applicable. Equipment designed to operate with a 12.5 kHz channel bandwidth must meet the requirements of Emission Mask D, and equipment designed to operate with a 6.25 kHz channel bandwidth must meet the requirements of Emission Mask E.
3 Equipment used in this licensed to EA or non-EA systems shall comply with the emission mask provisions of § 90.691.
*    *    *    *    *
5 Equipment in the 450-470 MHz and 817-824/862-869 MHz bands may alternatively meet the Adjacent Channel Power Limits of § 90.221.
*    *    *    *    *

4. Section 90.221 is added to subpart I to read as follows:

Adjacent channel power limits.

(a) For the frequency bands indicated in 90.209, operations using equipment designed to operate with a 25 kHz channel bandwidth may be authorized up to a 22 kHz bandwidth if the equipment meets the adjacent channel power (ACP) limits below. The table specifies a value for the ACP as a function of the displacement from the channel center frequency and a measurement bandwidth of 25 kHz.

(b)(1) Maximum adjacent power levels for frequencies below 700 MHz:

Frequency offsetMaximum ACP (dBc) for devices 1 watt and lessMaximum ACP (dBc) for devices above 1 watt
25 kHz−55 dBc−60 dBc.
50 kHz−70 dBc−70 dBc.
75 kHz−70 dBc−70 dBc.

(2) In any case, no requirement in excess of −36 dBm shall apply.

(c)(1) Maximum adjacent power levels for frequencies above 700 MHz:

Frequency offsetMaximum ACP (dBc) for devices less than 15 wattsMaximum ACP (dBc) for devices 15 watts and above
25 kHz−55 dBc−55 dBc.
50 kHz−65 dBc−65 dBc.
75 kHz−65 dBc−70 dBc.

(2) In any case, no requirement in excess of −36 dBm shall apply.

(d) On any frequency removed from the assigned frequency by more than 75 Start Printed Page 27300kHz, the attenuation of any emission must be at least 43 + 10 log (P) dB.

End Part End Supplemental Information

Footnotes

[FR Doc. 2011-11136 Filed 5-10-11; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6712-01-P