North Dakota Gets Waiver to Use VLAW31 for Border Emergencies
Wednesday, March 08, 2017 | Comments

The FCC granted a waiver request with conditions filed by the state of North Dakota to use frequency 155.4750 MHz within 25 kilometers — 15 miles — of the U.S.-Canada border for interagency coordination during emergencies.

North Dakota is licensed to operate on frequency 155.4750 MHz for transmissions from mobile or portable units throughout the entire state via private land mobile radio (PLMR) license call sign KO5210. It also holds several additional PLMR licenses permitting it to operate numerous base stations throughout the state on frequency 155.4750 MHz.

In November 2015, North Dakota filed an application seeking a waiver of Section 90.20(d)(41) so it can permit all the public-safety first responders who operate under its call sign KO5210 to use VLAW31 when communicating during emergencies within 25 kilometers of the U.S.-Canada border.

Under FCC rules, VLAW31 is reserved nationwide for use in police emergency communications networks operated under statewide law enforcement emergency communications plans. Therefore, North Dakota needs a waiver to expand use of the channel to communications during all types of emergencies rather than just police emergencies.

The waiver is subject to the condition that North Dakota shall restrict the use of for multidiscipline, mutual-aid communications among public-safety personnel operating within 25 kilometers of the border with Canada. Additionally, within 30 days North Dakota must notify the state police in Montana, South Dakota and Minnesota of its multidiscipline, mutual-aid plans to ensure that frequency 155.4750 MHz remains available nationwide for use in police emergency communications networks operated under statewide law enforcement emergency communications plans.

The commission requested comment on the waiver request late last year. The full order is here.

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