FCC Record, Volume 27, No. 11, Pages 8850 to 9847, July 30 - August 17, 2012 Page: 8,930
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expects to complete narrowbanding for 180 systems by the end of 2012 and does not request an extension
for those call signs.6 First Student requests an extension of the narrowbanding deadline for the remaining
279 stations subject to the January 1, 2013 deadline because the national scope and complexity of its
system will keep FGA from timely completing its narrowbanding efforts.
3. Discussion. To obtain a waiver of the Commission's Rules, a petitioner must
demonstrate either that (i) the underlying purpose of the rule(s) would not be served or would be
frustrated by application to the present case, and that a grant of the waiver would be in the public
interest;7 or (ii) in view of unique or unusual factual circumstances of the instant case, application of the
rule(s) would be inequitable, unduly burdensome, or contrary to the public interest or the applicant has no
reasonable alternative.' Applying this standard to narrowbanding, we have stated in the Narrowbanding
Waiver Guidance Notice, jointly issued by the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, the Public Safety
and Homeland Security Bureau, and the Office of Engineering and Technology, that narrowbanding
waiver requests "will be subject to a high level of scrutiny" under the waiver standard.' We have also
provided recommended guidance on the factors that licensees should address in their requests and have
recommended that in addressing these factors, licensees should seek to demonstrate that "(i) they have
worked diligently and in good faith to narrowband their systems expeditiously; (ii) their specific
circumstances warrant a temporary extension of the deadline; and (iii) the amount of time for which a
waiver is requested is no more than is reasonably necessary to complete the narrowbanding process."'0
We conclude, under the circumstances presented, that strict enforcement of the deadline would be
inequitable, unduly burdensome, and contrary to the public interest. In reaching this conclusion, we place
significant weight on the showing that First Student has made with respect to the factors identified in the
Narrowbanding Waiver Guidance Notice.
4. Based on the record before us, we conclude that First Student has presented sufficient
facts to meet the high standard for grant of the requested waiver. First, the record shows that FGA has
diligently prepared for the transition to narrowbanding by conducting an audit of over 45,000 owned and
operated fixed base, mobile, and hand held radios in order to identify those in need of reprogramming or
replacement, and preparing a schedule for the transition." It has committed the necessary funds for the
narrowbanding implementation, totaling more than $10,000,000.2 The system is large, and at some
locations the equipment must be replaced rather than reprogrammed. In addition to narrowbanding, FGA
also plans to upgrade its systems in order to improve their performance, which will result in improved
school bus location service and child safety."3 Strict application of the narrowbanding rules could result
in interruption of FGA's communications, which could put children's safety at risk. Therefore, based on
the scope of FGA's operations, and the necessity to maintain service, we conclude that the twelve-month
6 See Supplement.
7 47 C.F.R. 1.925(b)3Xi).
S47 C.F.R. I.925(b)X3ii).
9 Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, and Office of Engineering
and Technology Provide Reminder of January 1, 2013 Deadline for Transition to Narrowband Operations in the
150-174 MHz and 421-512 MHz Bands and Guidance for Submission of Requests for Waiver and Other Matters,
Public Notice, 26 FCC Rcd 9647 (WTB/PSHSB/OET 2011) (Narrowbanding Waiver Guidance Notice); see also
Wireless Telecommunications Bureau and Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau Provide Supplemental
Guidance for Licensees in the 140-174 and 421-512 MHz Bands Seeking Waivers of the January 1, 2013
Narrowbanding Deadline, Public Notice, 27 FCC Rcd 1936 (WTB/PSHSB 2012).
'o Narrowbanding Waiver Guidance Notice, 26 FCC Red at 9649,
" Request at 2.
3 Id. at 3.
Federal Communications Commission
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United States. Federal Communications Commission. FCC Record, Volume 27, No. 11, Pages 8850 to 9847, July 30 - August 17, 2012, book, August 2012; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc133015/m1/97/: accessed February 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.