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800 MHz Rebanding
If your local government is faced with the challenges of rebanding at 800 MHz, EMR Consulting will assist by providing invaluable advice and services to ensure that your efforts result in a positive outcome, reducing interference and securing a cost-neutral reband of your radios. We urge you to take the time to read the following advice in preparing for this often daunting task:
Right now, your agency may be getting up to speed on the 800 MHz rebanding procedures, including the rights and duties that are associated with your participation in rebanding in accord with the Federal Communications Commission’s rules, policies and statements in Docket WT 02-55 and related proceedings. If you have begun this process at all, you have been made to realize that rebanding your systems will be time consuming and complex. Out of this realization, your agency may have begun to seek appropriate assistance in getting the job done correctly and efficiently.
To move forward in a manner that will assist in obtaining a cost-neutral position and improve overall means to respond promptly to the demands of Sprint Nextel and the FCC, the following needs must be met:
All rebanding efforts will require some degree of rf engineering support and possibly technical support from vendors. The size, scope and nature of the rf systems used by your agency will dictate the amount of engineering and technical support which will be required. In selecting an engineering support vendor, consider the following: Your present vendor and/or manufacturer may serve this function, but you must control the vendor contracts to assure that the vendor’s demands upon Sprint Nextel via your agengy’s negotiations in a rebanding contract should moreover reflect your agency’s needs, not the vendor’s. EMR Consulting can help you tailor vendor contracts to make sure that your agency is fully served in a manner which is consistent with the rebanding contract.
Too many agencies are treating the rebanding as a purely technical problem. This myopic response ignores the underlying nature of the rebanding procedure which is a contract negotiation with Sprint Nextel, overseen by the Transition Administrator. Technical personnel and engineering input is essential in preparing for the negotiations, but the contract to be entered into is a legal document arising under the rules and decisions of the FCC. Engaging in such negotiations without competent telecommunications counsel is akin to going to a gunfight with only a knife. You should, therefore, add to your team legal counsel that fulfills these basic criteria: they should (a) have at least ten years experience with Part 90 matters; (b) be fully familiar with relocation agreements, including those that were entered into regarding the “upper 200" 800 MHz channels under Section 90.699; and (c) have a demonstrated affinity for your agenda which does not include any past representation of Nextel or any company or group that supported capping funding to public safety for relocation. With the right counsel, your agency will be in a position to negotiate effectively vendor contracts and the Nextel agreement, while assuring compliance with FCC rules. Remember, all of the parts must work together in a cohesive manner that results in a timely, nondisruptive, cost neutral position for your agency. EMR Consulting has identified competent counsel that can be used to serve your vital needs.
Many agencies’ technical personnel are in place to maintain existing radio systems under normal circumstances. Your local government may simply not have the number of qualified technical personnel to meet rebanding needs. Although your agency may turn to a manufacturer to supply needed, additional personnel, not all manufacturers are positioned to provide that assistance when and where it is needed. EMR Consulting can identify and assist in supplying those technician resources to help you with rebanding, so that the process is performed in a timely, non-disruptive manner.
All amounts agreed to be paid by Nextel will be subject to intense and complete recordkeeping to assure that the amounts paid or to be paid by Nextel are accounted for. To position your agency for an audit and to facilitate the administration of the rebanding, your agency will need to operate asset management techniques that will prepare the agency to demand and receive all required funding. Vendors, attorneys, and technical personnel will understand the need for asset management and quality recording software to assure that intra-agency and inter-vendor records are maintained during the rebanding process. If there is a failure in this portion of the project, it is likely that the failure will be felt in your agency’s pocketbook as the burden for demonstrating the cost neutral nature of the project will fall on the agency, not on Nextel. EMR Consulting’s strategic partners include the best possible solution for asset management software and techniques.
There will be a need for many agencies to obtain the services of consulting firms that will act as project managers for rebanding. Although your agency may possess technical resources, those resources may not be designed to meet the specific needs of rebanding. Your needs will include coordination of engineering, legal, asset management, recordkeeping, and more. Caring for these needs will be necessary to move smoothly through the rebanding process. EMR Consulting is qualified and ready to assist your agency in ensuring the rebanding process does not become a nightmare of cost overruns, uncoordinated efforts, and lost system capacity.
The time is now to begin your agency’s preparation and deployment of an 800 MHz rebanding strategy that assures a positive outcome for your radio system and your community’s future. If you don’t know how to begin or whom to turn to, contact us today to start that process and help you coordinate and control that effort. Find more rebanding information at EMR Emissions.