Narrowbanding Resources

The Federal Communications Commission Narrowbanding Mandate requires all nonfederal radio licensees operating 25 kHz systems in the 150-174 MHz and 421-512 MHz bands (VHF and UHF) to migrate to the more-efficient 12.5 kHz (narrowband) channels by January 1, 2013.

The resources below provide information to help you plan your transition from wideband to narrowband. This list was compiled by the DHS’ Office of Emergency Communications (OEC) Narrowbanding Working Group. If you’d like to add narrowbanding resources to this list, email suggestions to the OEC.

General Information about Narrowbanding

  • A Practical Guide to Narrowbanding (PDF) – Developed by the OEC, this best-practice guide helps emergency responders in compliance with the FCC narrowbanding mandate. It includes a step-by-step approach for narrowbanding communications equipment and licenses and five case studies illustrating common narrowbanding challenges and solutions.
  • FCC Narrowbanding Website – This site includes a countdown clock, recent narrowbanding articles, links to helpful resources and FCC contact information.
  • National Public Safety Telecommunications Council Narrowbanding Website – This site provides a comprehensive list of narrowbanding resources, including technical briefs, articles about the narrowbanding process, the cost of narrowbanding and fact sheets about narrowbanding.
  • FCC Narrowbanding Mandate – A Public Safety Guide for Compliance (PDF) – This guide, published by the IAFC and International Municipal Signal Association, provides guidance to state and local public-safety entities on the requirements of the FCC Narrowbanding Mandate.
  • Wireless Radio Narrowbanding Website – This site provides information for FCC Part 90 Private Land Mobile Radio licensees, dispatch system managers, consultants, integrators, sales and service facilities, and end users facing the narrowbanding deadline.

Planning Resources

  • Narrowband License Status Tool – This tool is an OEC technical-assistance tool that uses FCC license data to depict the narrowbanding status of all radio licensees in a certain area.
  • OEC Technical Assistance Catalog – This catalog describes the services available to requesting jurisdictions or organizations through the OEC’s Interoperable Communications Technical Assistance Program. These services, which are provided at no cost, include instruction and assistance with the planning, governance and operational and technical aspects of developing and implementing interoperable communications initiatives.
    • The catalog also contains a technical-assistance request form and instructions on how to complete and submit a request. The technical assistance offering ENG-NB: VHF/UHF Narrowbanding (page 43) includes an OEC/ICTAP analysis of frequencies affected by the FCC Narrowbanding Mandate. Deliverables examples of this offering include sorted listings of impacted frequencies, Google Map *.kmz files, webinars and on-site review of data.
  • How to modify your license (PDF) – Vermont Communications has created a document with detailed instructions on how to modify your license from wideband to narrowband without utilizing a frequency coordinator and without the associated fee.
  • NPSTC Narrowbanding Assistance Contact Map – NPSTC has assembled local knowledgeable contacts from the State's Interoperability Coordinators, local public-safety frequency advisors, and National Regional Planning Council members, plus others who can provide information on the narrowbanding process. Click on your state in the map to find narrowbanding assistance resources.

Public-Safety Frequency Coordinators

Narrowbanding Questions

Narrowbanding Videos

This list was compiled by the DHS Office of Emergency Communications Narrowbanding Working Group.

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