The FCC recently granted several public safety agencies in the St. Louis, MO, area a one-year extension of the January 1, 2013, narrowbanding deadline. This decision may be of guidance to other similarly situated licensees. The FCC found that the agencies are committed to migrating to a new 800 MHz system and it would be a waste of time and resources to compel narrowbanding of the VHF/UHF systems only to have them abandoned by the end of 2013. The FCC also concluded that allowing the agencies to migrate to a new system will provide them with greater reliability and will improve interoperability. It stated that a one-year extension is no more than is reasonably necessary for the licensees to vacate their existing VHF/UHF frequencies and migrate to 800 MHz and that a one-year extension will not harm neighboring public safety agencies.
The FCC also issued a Public Notice advising other waiver applicants to file "a definitive list of the frequencies for which they are seeking a waiver, a list of frequencies that will be relinquished (if applicable, e.g., if the licensee intends to migrate to the 700 MHz or 800 MHz band and relinquish VHF/UHF spectrum)."