Assigning Mobile Communications Frequencies to the Alarm Industry

Table of Contents


Background

The alarm industry has historically been allocated exclusive use of five high-power primary frequency pairs for mobile communication and four low power frequency pairs in the 460-megahertz band for use in providing a public safety function.

In the Federal Communications Commissions (FCC) private mobile spectrum “refarming” proceeding (PR Docket No. 92-235), the alarm industry was assigned to the “Industrial Business Pool”, but was allowed to have continued exclusive use of these frequencies for UL and FM listed central station companies. The alarm industry was also successful in continuing the low power status of its offset frequencies along with a waiver of the 20-foot antenna height restriction imposed on the offset frequencies of most other radio frequency users.

The apparent basis for this favorable outcome was the important role played by alarm companies in protecting lives and property and in alerting police and fire departments in the event of an emergency, allowing these agencies to focus their resources more effectively.

Change in the Coordination of Frequency Assignments

The assignment to the “Industrial Business Pool” has created one issue. In the past, one person from the alarm industry coordinated all alarm industry frequencies. Now, any of the 15 other “Industrial Business Pool” frequency coordinators also have authority to coordinate the alarm industry’s exclusive frequencies.

The Alarm industry, while protected by FCC rule from invasion of our frequencies by other industries, no longer has exclusive review of applications to ensure that a user from a different industry is not mistakenly assigned to an alarm industry exclusive frequency. However, the CSAA frequency coordinator is advised of all applications to its reserved frequencies and has the ability to challenge them accordingly through the respective coordinators and take appropriate actions as necessary. 

Since the FCC is reluctant to withdraw licenses once they are issued, the probability for conflict, and therefore interference, exists which may well put lives and property at risk.

Solution

The FCC should be petitioned to reinstate the alarm industry frequency coordinator as the exclusive processor of applications for the frequencies assigned to UL and FM listed central stations. This will ensure that these frequencies will be protected for this very important public safety function