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Federal Communications Commission
445 12th Street, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20554
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Internet: http://www.fcc.gov
TTY: 202/418-2555

This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action. See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).

JUNE 10, 1999

Meribeth McCarrick at (202) 418-0654


Today, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted rules which more readily facilitate the use of "centralized trunking" by private wireless spectrum users. This action is another example of how the FCC is promoting spectrum efficiency through consolidation and better coordination of private wireless spectrum.

Centralized trunking is a practical and effective method of improving spectrum-use efficiency. Efficiencies are realized by a radio system's using multiple radio channels that are assigned to users by a computer that either assigns a user the first available channel or places the user in a queue to receive the next available channel. These revised rules, which more readily facilitate trunking, are part of the FCC's broader "Spectrum Refarming" proceeding. Spectrum Refarming began in 1991 when the FCC, noting that the number of licensees in the Private Land Mobile Radio (PLMR) services bands had grown dramatically, initiated a proceeding to consider service rules and technological proposals designed to improve the efficient use of this spectrum.

Specifics of today's action:

In response to several petitions for reconsideration of the Refarming Second Report and Order, the FCC released a Second Memorandum Opinion and Order (Second MO&O) in April 1999. There, the Commission affirmed its earlier action in which it did away with 20 discrete radio services and replaced them with two frequency pools: the public safety pool and the industrial/business pool. The Commission also affirmed and extended its decision to make certain special frequency coordination provisions for "quasi public safety entities." The Second MO&O reserved the issue of reconsideration of the rules affecting centralized trunking for a subsequent order. Today's Third Memorandum Opinion and Order (Third MO&O) addresses those issues. Specifically, in the Third MO&O, the FCC:

  • adopted new standards for when consent must be obtained from certain existing licensees when applications are filed for trunked operation on shared spectrum below 800 MHz;

  • relied on certified PLMR frequency coordinators to evaluate trunking proposals on shared spectrum, reserving to the FCC the right to resolve contested proposals;

  • established procedures for the processing of trunking proposals on shared spectrum intended to guard against submission of speculative applications;

  • affirmed that a trunking proponent must obtain consent from all --- not just a limited percentage --- of affected co-channel and adjacent channel licensees before filing an application specifying a trunked operation; and

  • imposed a ten channel limit on the number of channels that may be requested in an initial trunking application; but giving public safety entities flexibility to exceed that limit based on an appropriate showing of need.
Action by the Commission, June 10, 1999, by Third Memorandum Opinion and Order (FCC 99-138). Chairman Kennard, Commissioners Ness, Furchtgott-Roth, Powell and Tristani.

News Media contact: Meribeth McCarrick at 202-418-0654, TTY at (202) 418-7233, or e- mail at mmccarri@fcc.gov

Wireless Telecommunications Bureau contact: Michael Wilhelm at (202) 418-0680, TTY at (202) 418-7233, or e-mail at mwilhelm@fcc.gov

PR Docket No. 92-235
WT Report No. 99-15