Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Important reminder regarding narrowbanding cutover


To: All Ulster County Emergency Services
From: Art Snyder
Date: August 30, 2012
Re: VHF Narrowbanding Information

In previous correspondence I have explained the Federal Communications Commission mandate that all users in the 150-174 MHz and 421-512 MHz bandwidths migrate to “narrowband” frequencies (those with a 12.5 kHz spacing) by January 1, 2013. This has nothing to do with Ulster County’s initiative for a new radio system, this is a federal mandate.

To comply with the FCC mandate, Ulster County radio licenses have been modified and equipment has been installed. On October 1, 2012, we will officially begin narrowband operations. Your radios and pagers must be reconfigured by that time.

Frequency name                “old” wide band frequency      “new” narrow band frequency
EMS 175 (non PL and PL) 155.175 000                          155.17500000
EMS 220                            155.220 000                          155.22000000
EMS 340                            155.340 000                          155.34000000
EMS 400                            155.400 000                          155.40000000
Common police receive       155.025 000                          155.02500000
Common police transmit      159.345 000                          159.34500000
Police operations receive     155.670 000                          155.67000000
Police operations transmit    153.995 000                          153.99500000
MRD                                  155.370 000                          155.37000000

I previously suggested you contact your vendor to determine which mobiles, portables and pagers need to be replaced or reprogramed to accommodate the new configuration. At this point I recommend that if your radios have sufficient channel space, simply add the new frequencies and have both the old and new frequencies at your disposal. This will alleviate a last minute surge to have radios reprogrammed.

Please keep in mind that reduced coverage is often a consequence of narrowbanding. Your personnel should be informed of this ahead of time. All PL codes, procedures and operational issues will remain the same after the conversion.

If you need assistance or have additional questions, please do not hesitate to call.