700 & 800 MHZ REGIONAL PLANNING COMMITTEES

700 MHZ PLANNING

Montana FCC Region 25 700 - 800 MHz Regional Planning CommitteesIn 1998, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) established a structure to allow Regional Planning Committees (RPCs) optimal flexibility to meet state and local needs, encourage innovative use of the spectrum, and accommodate new and unanticipated developments in technology and equipment. There are fifty-five RPCs, and each committee is required to submit its plan for the General Use spectrum. The entire State of Montana makes up Region 25.

Planning for the region’s 700 MHz spectrum began in 2002. On April 17, 2012, the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau of the FCC announced its approval of the Region 25 (Montana) 700 MHz Public Safety Plan. Montana’s 700 MHz RPC submitted its plan for General Use spectrum in the 769-775/799-805 MHz band to the FCC on August 22, 2011. The FCC requires each regional plan to contain certain elements, and the plan must be coordinated with adjacent regions. Region 25 coordinated its plan with all four adjacent regions including: Region 12 (Idaho), Region 32 (North Dakota), Region 38 (South Dakota), and Region 46 (Wyoming).

Two distinct parts make up the 700 spectrum:

  1. 763-768/793-798 MHz for broadband communications
  2. 769-775/799-805 MHz for narrowband communications

The Regional 25 Montana 700 MHz Plan is for the public safety narrowband portion of this spectrum. The purpose of the Plan is to define the procedures used to manage, allocate, make application and resolve 700 MHz narrowband frequency disputes.

To date, Montana public safety agencies have not utilized the 700 MHz spectrum. However, the advent of multi-band and software defined radios will eventually increase the value and utilization of this spectrum. Moreover, as the country moves towards public safety broadband deployment, it is advantageous to have in place a 700 MHz narrowband plan and an active Regional Planning Committee.

Comments and/or questions may be sent to Elizabeth Wing Spooner, Region 25 Secretary.

CURRENT 700 MHZ REGION 25 PLAN

DRAFT 700 MHZ REGION 25 PLAN - REVISED 12/31/15

800 MHZ PLANNING

In December of 1983, the U. S. Congress directed the FCC to develop a national plan to meet the communications needs of state and local public safety authorities. The National Public Safety Planning Advisory Committee (NPSPAC) assisted in the development of this plan and provided guidelines for frequency allocation, re-use and turn back, regional interoperability, spectrum requirements, and adjacent region operations. After consideration of NPSPAC's Final Report and comments filed in Docket No. 87-112, the FCC released its Report and Order in December 1987. This order not only established the framework for a national public safety plan, but also allocated six (6) MHz of spectrum in the 800 MHz band for its implementation.

The 800 MHz Region 25 (Montana) Plan requires minimum coverage areas to provide for maximum frequency reuse. It encourages consolidation of small systems, establishes requirements for trunking and packing assignments through an efficient mechanism, and explains how interoperability is achieved through use of International Common Channels and additional regional mutual aid channels.

The Plan also provided a basis for proper spectrum utilization by supplying a pool of frequencies for each county, a pool for state agency use, adequate reserve allocations for future needs in all areas, and a method to appeal initial allocations based on need. These pool assignments of the 821-824/866-869 MHz bands met the goals of spectrum efficiency and interference protection.

The original plan was submitted on June 15, 1992 and is available at the link below.

800 MHZ REGION 25 PLAN

As part of a national band reconfiguration, the FCC approved a streamlined plan amendment on Jan. 11, 2011 to shift the former NPSPAC band 15 MHz lower in the band to 806-809/851-854 MHz. A copy of this FCC Public Notice is available at the link below.

800 MHZ REGION 25 STREAMLINED PLAN AMENDMENT

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