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Police, fire, public service radio frequencies at risk cities must respond to FCC now to avoid losing radio licenses.

Your city's radio licenses could be cancelled if your city does not respond to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) immediately. The capacity of your city to conduct critical radio communications to support public safety is at risk.

City officials should do two things immediately:

1. Get a list from your city staff of all the radio frequencies that your city uses or holds licenses for If the frequencies are below 512 MHz, you should confirm that you have responded in writing, on a federally provided form, to the FCC, giving the status of each license.

2. Check on the following website to confirm that your city isn't listed as a non-respondent: http:wireless.fcc. gov/plmrs/audit.html Hit "Search Spectrum Audit Database" listed on the middle of this page. You can search by call sign, licensee name, or audit letter reference number Lastly you can search by mailing address. If you use the mailing address search function you can restrict your search only to non-responses and/or only to public safety licenses.

If there are any differences between your locally generated list of licenses and the information on the FCC website you should arrange to resolve the discrepancies.

If you participate in joint service agreements or rely on other agencies (such as fire districts, other cities, counties or state agencies) for mutual aid you should also check those addresses.

Cities may also wish to render a public service by reminding private license holders in your area of the risk to their licenses. Hospitals and major construction firms, who you might call upon in an emergency, may be particularly important entities to communicate with.

Background

The Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (WTB) is currently conducting an audit of the status of all of the Private Land Mobile Radio (PLMR), including public safety, stations licensed on frequencies below 512 MHz. The purpose of the audit is to update and increase the accuracy of the FCC's database. All audit letters have been mailed and the Commission is awaiting responses.

As of mid-January 268,000 audit letters covering 420,000 call signs had been sent. Of these totals, 56,000 letters covering 121,000 call signs had been sent to public safety licensees. Only half of the public safety licensees have responded to the letters. The letters were sent between August 2001 and January 2002. The letters required a response within 60 days of the date of the letter Thus those receiving letters mailed last must respond by mid-March.

If you have a radio communications system operating on a frequency or frequencies below 512 MHz, you or someone in your city should have received an audit letter from the Commission. If you are not sure what frequency your system transmits on, check your FCC license or consult your radio technician. It is very important that you respond to the audit letter within the time frame specified in the letter Failure to respond within the specified timeframe may result in license cancellation or forfeiture.

You can verify whether your station(s) is (are) included in the Commission's audit by consulting the WTB website database. If the database indicates that a letter has been sent, but you have not received one, you should call 1-888-225-5322 and select option 2.
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Publication:Nation's Cities Weekly
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 4, 2002
Words:546
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