FCC Record, Volume 27, No. 3, Pages 1878 to 2785, February 21 - March 16, 2012 Page: 1,932
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Federal Communications Commission
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;'' 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.6 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."7 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."''8
5. Based on the record before us, we conclude that Petitioners have presented sufficient
facts to meet the high standard for grant of the requested waiver, subject to several conditions discussed
below. The record shows that Petitioners have been planning since 2007 to migrate their VHF/UHF
public safety communications operations to the 800 MHz band.'9 Migrating to the new multi-county 800
MHz system will increase the reliability of public safety communications and will significantly improve
interoperability among the multiple jurisdictions operating in the St. Louis Urban Area. Ideally,
Petitioners would be able to complete construction of the 800 MHz system in time to migrate their
VHF/UHF operations before the narrowbanding deadline. However, Petitioners indicate that it will take
until December 31, 2013, a year after the narrowbanding deadline, to complete the new system due to its
size and complexity.20
6. If we were to strictly apply the narrowbanding rules, Petitioners would be required to
expend significant financial and administrative resources to narrowband their existing VHF/UHF
wideband facilities by January 1, 2013, even though they plan to decommission these facilities and vacate
their VHF/UHF frequencies no more that twelve months later when they migrate to the new 800 MHz
system. We conclude that strict enforcement of the narrowbanding deadline under these circumstances
would not serve the underlying purpose of the rule and that a waiver would be in the public interest. In
reaching this conclusion, we place significant weight on the showing that Petitioners have made with
respect to the factors identified in our Narrowhanding Waiver Guidance Notice.
7. First, Petitioners have shown diligence in planning for and implementing their transition
to the 800 MHz band, which will enable them to decommission their existing wideband facilities and
vacate their VHF/UHF frequencies.2) Planning for the transition began five years ago, and Petitioners
have provided for funding of the new system through local sales taxes. Based on the size and complexity
's 47 C.F.R. 1.925(b)(3)(i).
'0 47 C.F.R. 1.925(b)(3)(ii).
'~ 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 Red 9647 (2011) (Narrowhanding Waiver Guidance Notice).
8 id. at 9649.
't St. Louis Waiver Request at 5; St. Charles Waiver Request at 5; Jefferson Waiver Request at 5.
20 St. Louis Waiver Request at 6: St. Charles Waiver Request at 6: Jefferson Waiver Request at 6.
21 Narrowbanding IWaiver Guidance Notice, 26 FCC Red 9647, 9649.
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United States. Federal Communications Commission. FCC Record, Volume 27, No. 3, Pages 1878 to 2785, February 21 - March 16, 2012, book, March 2012; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94252/m1/73/: accessed August 16, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.