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MEMA Home > Programs> Communication> News > SCIP Monthly Update December 2010

SCIP Monthly Update December 2010


December 20, 2010

12:20 AM


** State of Maine Communications Interoperability Plan (SCIP)**

Less than 2 years away: What is the Status of Narrowbanding Today?

From NPSTC...Help us help you by filling out a brief narrowbanding questionnaire On January 1, 2013, the Federal Comunications Commission (FCC)has mandated that all public safety and business industrial land mobile radio (LMR) systems operating in the 150-512 MHz radio bands must cease operating using 25 kHz efficiency technology, and begin operating using at least 12.5 kHz efficiency technology. The FCC mandate to narrowband is 2 short years away. NPSTC has created a Narrowbanding Questionnaire to ascertain the status of narrowbanding across the country. Completing this questionnaire will help the FCC assist jurisdictions to develop helpful strategies to accomplish the narrowbanding goal. Questionnaire can also be accessed by pasting this link into your browser You may receive this notice from more than one source because NPSTC wants to ensure as many of the affected LMR users fill out the questionnaire and access the narrowbanding assistance available on NPSTC's website and FCC's website. Please forward this notice to other agencies or persons who may be affected by the narrowbanding mandate.

Who Is Affected: This mandate affects more than just public safety. In general it affects any users operatiing at VHF (150-174 MHz) and UHF (421-512 MHz) utilizing Part 90 frequencies. This includes but is not limited to public safety, public works, utilities, hospitals, higher education, and K-12 schools. If you are uncertain if this will affect your radio operations or if you need more information on the steps to begin your narrowbanding effort, please click on the above hyperlinks or insert the following link into your browser .

Personal Assistance Available. The NPSTC narrowbanding page includes a map of the United States. When a specific state is selected, the map will display contact information for local knowledgeable contacts that can provide information on the narrowbanding process. These contacts come from the State’s Interoperability Coordinators, the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Office of Emergency Communications (OEC) Regional Coordinators, local public safety frequency advisors, and National Regional Planning Council (NRPC) members, plus additional persons who have volunteered to assist in the process.

More Narrowbanding Information…

Please note that there are two deadlines for narrowband migration. The first deadline is the approaching January 01, 2011. In the Public Notice DA 09-2589 released December 11, 2009 the Commission declared “Licensees and frequency coordinators should be aware of the following deadlines:

January 1, 2011, the Commission will no longer accept applications for new wideband 25 kHz (i.e., operating with only one voice path per 25 kHz of spectrum) operations, and modification of existing wideband 25 kHz stations that expands the authorized interference contour (19 dBu VHF, 21 dBu UHF)…”

PCIA cannot guarantee applications with these two conditions received after December 3, 2010 can be coordinated and filed with the FCC in time to meet the January 01, 2011 deadline. Now may be the time to act if there is a need to modify such a license. Wideband systems seeking a modification of technical parameters that may impact the interference contour, (ex. increases in ERP and/or antenna height) may require a contour analysis after January 01, 2011 and may be subject to an additional fee for this analysis.

Public Notice DA 09-2589 also states the following:

Many stations are or will be authorized to operate on their assigned frequencies with multiple authorized bandwidths, including both wideband 25 kHz emissions and 12.5 kHz or narrower emissions. It is not necessary for licensees of such stations to delete the wideband 25 kHz emission designator in order to demonstrate compliance with the January 1, 2013 deadline. Instead, absent information to the contrary, stations that were authorized to operate with both wideband and narrowband emissions prior to January 1, 2013 will initially be presumed to be operating only with narrowband emissions (i.e., that the wideband mode has been disabled) after January 1, 2013.

It is important to keep this in mind when making decisions regarding equipment compliance and license modifications.


OIT is scheduled to begin construction on January 3rd, 2010 at Cook Hill for the MSCommNet upgrade. The site will remain operational; however there could be periods where the power is briefly interrupted.


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Cross Border Workshop

In March and June of this year, Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) has held Cross Border workshops to help identify technical and procedural issues and tasked to find recommendations to correct them. This is an item in the Maine State Interoperability Plan (SCIP) as well as the National Emergency Communication Plan (NECP). We need to bring our partners together to identify all the cross border technical and procedural issues and recommendations to correct. This initiative is not related to any other programs. The top three concerns that the working group identified were.

  1. Frequency Coordination – common book of protocols for both countries along the border
  2. Radio sharing between entities (Radio Cache) for border localities
  3. Written MOU’s between locals, State, and Countries

With the working group recommendations, MEMA has created a flip book that will identify these aforementioned items. This book, called the Border Interoperability Guide (BIG) is a guide that will enable public safety entities from Maine and Canada to quickly reference operating channels in their respective areas as well as contact numbers, location of radio cache, CONOPS, and other information in the case of an event. If you are a member of public safety agency who works along the Maine/Canada border and are interested in participating please contact me at (207) 624-4476 or Darren Woods at Aroostook County EMA. This workshop will be held on January 12, 2011 at the Caribou Inn & Convention Center.

Please register for one of the meetings by contacting Aroostook County EMA at 207-493-4328 or

MEMA releases DVD in regards to Narrowbanding:

In September MEMA released a DVD “Narrowband Will You Be Ready” that explains the Narrowbanding dilemma facing all of us. If you would like a copy of this DVD please contact Steven Mallory at (207) 624-4476

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Steven Mallory


Last update: 07/20/10