FCC Denies Icom Clarification Request on Trunking Interference (6/13/12)
The FCC denied a clarification request from Icom America for clarification
of the commission’s regulations regarding trunking in the bands between 150 and 512 MHz. Specifically, Icom requested guidance as to whether a 250-millisecond data burst would constitute “harmful interference” under Section 90.187(b) of the FCC’s rules, which provides trunked systems must provide a “level of monitoring … sufficient to avoid causing harmful interference to other systems.”
Icom requested clarification of whether a 250-millisecond data burst from a
control channel idle message would constitute harmful interference. The company, which manufactures NXDN digital equipment, argued that the data burst should not be considered harmful interference because it “would be barely discernable white noise.” In response to a request from FCC staff, Icom provided additional technical information about the contemplated operations.
The FCC sought comment on Icom’s request. The FCC received four comments or reply comments. The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) supported Icom’s request for a ruling that a 250-millisecond data burst doesn’t constitute harmful interference on industrial/business pool frequencies, but argued that the question should not be addressed with respect to public-safety pool frequencies without additional input from manufacturers and the public-safety community. Icom agreed with TIA.
Two other commenters opposed the request. Motorola Solutions argued that it would be inappropriate for the FCC to issue a broadly applicable definition of the definition of harmful interference based on one manufacturer’s technology, and that potential interference should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis taking into account all relevant circumstances. The Land Mobile Communications Council (LMCC) said that Icom’s request should not be granted without additional testing and input, and any action should apply equally to industrial/business and public-safety pool frequencies.
The FCC agreed with LMCC that Section 90.187(b) should have the same meaning for industrial/business pool licensees, public-safety pool licensees and public-safety pool eligibles operating on industrial/business pool frequencies. Therefore, the FCC declined to issue a blanket response on the definition of harmful interference. Instead, the determination of harmful interference shall continue to require a case-by-case analysis of each specific situation.
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