[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 78 (Tuesday, April 23, 2013)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 23855-23857]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-09416]


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FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION

47 CFR Part 90

[WT Docket No. 02-55; DA 13-586]


Improving Public Safety Communications in the 800 MHz Band; New 
800 MHz Band Plan for U.S.-Mexico Sharing Zone

AGENCY: Federal Communications Commission.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: This document establishes a reconfigured 800 MHz band plan for 
the National Public Safety Planning Advisory Committee Regions 
bordering Mexico. This action is necessary to meet the Commission's 
goals to improve public safety communications in the 800 MHz band. This 
order ensures an orderly and efficient transition to the new 800 MHz 
band plan along the Mexico border.

DATES: Effective June 24, 2013.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Brian Marenco, Policy and Licensing 
Division, Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, (202) 418-0838.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This is a summary of the Fifth Report and 
Order, DA 13-586, released on April 1, 2013. The complete text of the 
Fifth Report and Order is available for inspection and copying during 
normal business hours in the FCC Reference Information Center, Portals 
II, 445 12th Street SW., Room CY-A257, Washington, DC 20554. To request 
materials in accessible formats for people with disabilities (Braille, 
large print, electronic files, audio format), send an email to 
FCC504@fcc.gov or call the Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau at 
202-418-0530 (voice), 202-418-0432 (TTY). It is also available on the 
Commission's Web site at http://www.fcc.gov.
    1. In a July 2004 Report and Order, the Commission reconfigured the 
800 MHz band to eliminate interference to public safety and other land 
mobile communication systems operating in the band, 69 FR 67823, 
November 22, 2004. The Commission, however, deferred consideration of 
band reconfiguration plans for the border areas, noting that 
``implementing the band plan in areas of the United States bordering 
Mexico and Canada will require modifications to international 
agreements for use of the 800 MHz band in the border areas.'' The 
Commission stated that ``the details of the border plans will be 
determined in our ongoing discussions with the Mexican and Canadian 
governments.''
    2. In a Second Memorandum Opinion and Order, adopted in May 2007, 
the Commission delegated authority to the Public Safety and Homeland 
Security Bureau (Bureau) to propose and adopt border area band plans 
once agreements are reached with Canada and Mexico, 72 FR 39756, July 
20, 2007.
    3. On June 8, 2012, the United States and Mexico signed an 
agreement modifying the international allocation of 800 MHz spectrum 
along the U.S.-Mexico border enabling the U.S. to proceed with 800 MHz 
band reconfiguration in regions bordering Mexico.
    4. Consequently, on August 17, 2012, the Bureau released a Fourth 
Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking comment on establishing 
and implementing a reconfigured 800 MHz channel plan for the National 
Public Safety Planning Advisory Committee (NPCPAC) Regions bordering 
Mexico, 77 FR 52633, August 30, 2012. The Bureau received seven 
comments and four reply comments.
    5. Based on the record, on April 1, 2013, the Bureau released a 
Fifth Report and Order establishing a reconfigured channel plan for 
each NPSPAC region bordering Mexico. As with channel plans previously 
adopted for non-border regions and the Canada border region, the 
Bureau's goal is to reconfigure licensees within the band in a manner 
which separates--to the greatest extent possible--public safety and 
other non-cellular licensees from licensees in the band that employ 
cellular technology.

[[Page 23856]]

    6. In the Fifth Report and Order, the Bureau also established a 30-
month transition period for licensees along the border with Mexico to 
complete the rebanding process. The Bureau will, however, evaluate the 
progress of rebanding as of the 18th month of the transition period to 
determine whether additional time is needed based upon circumstances 
beyond licensees' control.

Procedural Matters

A. Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

    7. The Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis required by section 
604 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 604, is included in the 
Fifth Report and Order.

B. Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 Analysis

    8. The Fifth Report and Order contains no new or modified 
information collection requirements subject to the Paperwork Reduction 
Act of 1995 (PRA), Public Law 104-13. Therefore it contains no new or 
modified ``information burden for small business concerns with fewer 
than 25 employees,'' pursuant to the Small Business Paperwork Relief 
Act of 2002, Public Law 107-198.

Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

    9. As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), an Initial 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) was incorporated into the Fourth 
Further Notice of Proposed Rule Making (Fourth FNPRM) of this 
proceeding. The Bureau sought written public comment on the IRFA. The 
RFA requires that an agency prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis 
for notice-and-comment rulemaking proceedings, unless the agency 
certifies that ``the rule will not, if promulgated, have a significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.'' The RFA 
generally defines ``small entity'' as having the same meaning as the 
terms ``small business,'' ``small organization,'' and ``small 
governmental jurisdiction.'' In addition, 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 which: (1) Is 
independently owned and operated; (2) is not dominant in its field of 
operation; and (3) satisfies any additional criteria established by the 
Small Business Administration (SBA). The present Final Regulatory 
Flexibility Analysis (FRFA) conforms to the RFA.

A. Need for, and Objectives of, the Proposed Rules

    10. In the Fifth Report and Order, the Bureau adopts a channel plan 
for reconfiguring the 800 MHz band along the U.S.-Mexico border. The 
channel plan the Bureau adopts in the Fifth Report and Order will be 
incorporated into the Commission's rules and is needed to implement and 
complete the Commission's band reconfiguration program along the U.S.-
Mexico border. The Commission ordered reconfiguration of the 800 MHz 
band to address an ongoing nationwide problem of interference created 
by a fundamentally incompatible mix of technologies in the band. The 
Commission determined to resolve the interference by reconfiguring the 
band to spectrally separate incompatible technologies. The Commission 
delegated authority to the Bureau in May 2007 to propose and adopt a 
channel plan for implementing band reconfiguration along the U.S.-
Mexico border. The band plan the Bureau adopts in the Fifth Report and 
Order will separate incompatible technologies along the U.S.-Mexico 
border and thus resolve the ongoing interference problem in that 
region.

B. Summary of Significant Issues Raised by Public Comments in Response 
to the IRFA

    11. There were no comments filed that specifically addressed the 
rules and policies proposed in the IRFA.

C. Description and Estimate of the Number of Small Entities To Which 
the Rules Will Apply

    12. The RFA directs agencies to provide a description of and an 
estimate of the number of small entities to which the rules will apply. 
The RFA generally defines the term ``small entity'' as having the same 
meaning as the terms ``small business,'' ``small organization,'' and 
``small governmental jurisdiction.'' In addition, 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 which: 
(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. Below, we provide an estimate of the number of 
small entities to which the rules the adopted in this Fifth Report and 
Order will apply.
    13. Private Land Mobile Radio Licensees (PLMR). PLMR systems serve 
an essential role in a range of industrial, business, land 
transportation, and public safety activities. These radios are used by 
entities of all sizes operating in all U.S. business and public sector 
categories, and are often used in support of the licensee's primary 
(non-telecommunications) operations. For the purpose of determining 
whether a licensee of a PLMR system is a small entity 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. 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 and 
governmental 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.
    14. As of March 2013, there were approximately 250 PLMR licensees 
operating in the PLMR band between 806-824/851-869 MHz along the U.S.-
Mexico border.

D. Description of Projected Reporting, Recordkeeping and Other 
Compliance Requirements

    15. The Fifth Report and Order does not adopt a rule that will 
entail additional reporting, recordkeeping, and/or third-party 
consultation or other compliance efforts beyond those already approved 
for this proceeding. See OMB Control No. 3060-1080 for Improving Public 
Safety Communications in the 800 MHz Band (exp. September 30, 2014).

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

    16. The RFA requires an agency to describe the steps it has taken 
to minimize the significant economic impact on small entities 
consistent with the stated objectives of applicable statutes, including 
the agency's reasoning for not adopting significant alternatives to the 
rules adopted.
    17. The Fifth Report and Order creates no significant economic 
impact on small entities because Sprint Nextel Corporation will pay all 
reasonable costs associated with retuning incumbent licensees to the 
post-reconfiguration channel plan adopted by the Bureau. Further, once 
the channel plan adopted in the Fifth

[[Page 23857]]

Report and Order is implemented, PLMR licensees will no longer be 
subject to on-going interference in the band and will therefore save 
costs that would otherwise be associated with resolving interference.

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

    18. None.

Ordering Clauses

    19. Accordingly, it is ordered, pursuant to sections 4(i), 303(b), 
316, and 332 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 
154(i), 303(b), 316, 332, that the Fifth Report and Order is adopted.
    20. It is further ordered that the amendments of the Commission's 
rules set forth in the Fifth Report and Order are adopted, effective 
sixty days from the date of publication in the Federal Register.
    21. It is further ordered that the Final Regulatory Flexibility 
required by section 604 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 
604, and as set forth in the Fifth Report and Order is adopted.
    22. It is further ordered that the Commission's Consumer and 
Governmental Affairs Bureau, Reference Information Center, shall send a 
copy of this Fifth Report and Order, including the Final Regulatory 
Flexibility Analysis, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small 
Business Administration.

List of Subjects in 47 CFR Part 90

    Radio.

Federal Communications Commission.
David S. Turetsky,
Chief, Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau.

Final Rules

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Federal 
Communications Commission's Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau 
amends 47 CFR part 90 as follows:

PART 90--PRIVATE LAND MOBILE RADIO SERVICES

0
1. The authority citation for part 90 continues to read as follows:

    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), and 332(c)(7), and Title VI of the Middle Class Tax 
Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, Pub. L. 112-96, 126 Stat. 156.


0
2. Section 90.619 is amended by revising paragraph (a) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  90.619  Operations within the U.S./Mexico and U.S./Canada border 
areas.

    (a) Use of frequencies in 800 MHz band in Mexico border region. All 
operations in the 806-824/851-869 MHz band within 110 km (68.35 miles) 
of the U.S./Mexico border (``Sharing Zone'') shall be in accordance 
with international agreements between the U.S. and Mexico.
    (1) The U.S. and Mexico divide primary access to channels in the 
Sharing Zone as indicated in Table A1 below.

       Table A1--U.S. and Mexico Primary Channels in Sharing Zone
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             Channels                          Primary access
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1-360.............................  U.S.
361-610...........................  Mexico.
611-830...........................  U.S.-Mexico Co-Primary.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

     (2) Stations authorized on U.S. primary channels in the Sharing 
Zone are subject to the effective radiated power (ERP) and antenna 
height limits listed below in Table A2.

  Table A2--Limits on Effective Radiated Power (ERP) and Antenna Height
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                      Maximum ERP in any
 Average of the antenna height above average terrain   direction toward
 on standard radials in the direction of the common    the common border
                 border (meters) \1\                  per 25 kHz (watts)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
0 to 503............................................                 500
Above 503 to 609....................................                 350
Above 609 to 762....................................                 200
Above 762 to 914....................................                 140
Above 914 to 1066...................................                 100
Above 1066 to 1219..................................                  75
Above 1219 to 1371..................................                  70
Above 1371 to 1523..................................                  65
Above 1523..........................................                   5
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Standard radials are 0[deg], 45[deg], 90[deg], 135[deg], 180[deg],
  225[deg], 270[deg] and 315[deg] to True North. The height above
  average terrain on any standard radial is based upon the average
  terrain elevation above mean sea level.

    (3) Stations may be authorized on channels primary to Mexico in the 
Sharing Zone provided the maximum power flux density (PFD) at any point 
at or beyond the border does not exceed -107 db(W/m\2\) per 25 kHz of 
bandwidth. Licensees may exceed this value only if all potentially 
affected counterpart operators in the other country agree to a higher 
PFD level.
    (4) Stations authorized on U.S.-Mexico co-primary channels in the 
Sharing Zone are permitted to exceed a maximum power flux density (PFD) 
of -107 db(W/m\2\) per 25 kHz of bandwidth at any point at or beyond 
the border only if all potentially affected counterpart operators of 
800 MHz high density cellular systems, as defined in Sec.  90.7, agree.
    (5) Channels in the Sharing Zone are available for licensing as 
indicated in Table A3 below.

     Table A3--Eligibility Requirements for Channels in Sharing Zone
------------------------------------------------------------------------
             Channels                     Eligibility requirements
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1-230.............................  Report and Order of Gen.
                                    Docket No. 87-112.
231-315...........................  Public Safety Pool.
316-550...........................  General Category.
551-830...........................  Special Mobilized Radio for 800 MHz
                                     High Density Cellular.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

     (i) Channels 1-230 are available to applicants eligible in the 
Public Safety Category. The assignment of these channels will be done 
in accordance with the policies defined in the Report and Order of Gen. 
Docket No. 87-112 (See Sec.  90.16). The following channels are 
available only for mutual aid purposes as defined in Gen. Docket No. 
87-112: channels 1, 39, 77, 115, 153. 800 MHz high density cellular 
systems as defined in Sec.  90.7 are prohibited on these channels.
    (ii) Channels 231-315 are available to applicants eligible in the 
Public Safety Category which consists of licensees eligible in the 
Public Safety Pool of subpart B of this part. 800 MHz high density 
cellular systems as defined in Sec.  90.7 are prohibited on these 
channels.
    (iii) Channels 316-550 are available in the General Category. All 
entities are eligible for licensing on these channels. 800 MHz high 
density cellular systems as defined in Sec.  90.7 are prohibited on 
these channels.
    (iv) Channels 551-830 are available to applicants eligible in the 
SMR category--which consists of Specialized Mobile Radio (SMR) stations 
and eligible end users. ESMR licensees who employ 800 MHz high density 
cellular systems, as defined in Sec.  90.7, are permitted to operate on 
these channels.
    (6) Stations located outside the Sharing Zone (i.e. greater than 
110 km from the border) are subject to the channel eligibility 
requirements and provisions listed in Sec. Sec.  90.615 and 90.617 
except that stations in the following counties are exempt from the 
requirements of paragraph (k) of Sec.  90.617:
    California: San Luis Obispo, Kern, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara, 
Ventura, Los Angeles, Orange and Riverside.
* * * * *
[FR Doc. 2013-09416 Filed 4-22-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6712-01-P