UCSB departments using legacy wideband two-way radio systems will need to convert to a narrowband system by the end of 2012 in order to comply with FCC regulations. Departments using the campus 800 MHz radio system are not affected by this regulatory change, since these radios are already in compliance.
On January 1, 2013, all public safety and business industrial land mobile radio systems operating in the 150-512 MHz radio bands must cease operating with 25 kHz-per-channel efficiency technology, and begin using at least 12.5 kHz-per-channel efficiency technology. This deadline is the result of an FCC effort that began almost two decades ago to ensure more efficient use of the spectrum, and greater spectrum access for public safety as well as non-public safety users.
The migration to 12.5 kHz efficiency, called "narrowbanding," creates additional channel capacity within the same radio spectrum, and supports more users. For more information on narrowbanding, see the FCC's VHF/UHF Narrowbanding FAQs.
Departments now using radios in the 150-512 MHz radio bands, either on campus or elsewhere within the U.S., need to replace those radios with new narrowband models by January 1, 2013, or stop using them completely. To find out if your radios are capable of working within the 12.5 kHz spectrum, contact the company from which you purchased the radios. If you need additional assistance, contact the Communications Services Help Desk at firstname.lastname@example.org.