FCC Narrowbanding Requirements


  • Most current radio systems use 25 kHz-wide channels.
  • The FCC has mandated that all  licensees using 25 kHz radio systems migrate to narrowband 12.5 kHz channels by January 1, 2013.
  • The order affects systems on VHF and UHF channels between 150 and 512 MHz
  • Licensees that do not meet the deadline face the loss of license.
  • Application for modification of operations that expand the authorized contour of an existing station using 25 KHz channels will NOT be accepted after January 1, 2011.  (Also applies to “new” systems submitted for licensing.)
  • Manufacture and importation of any equipment on 25 KHz channel will NOT be permitted after January 1, 2011.
  • Part 90 “paging-only” frequencies are exempt from this ruling.
  • Low Band VHF systems BELOW 150 MHz are not affected by this ruling.
  • Licensees need to start planning now to migrate to narrowband systems by assessing their current radio equipment and applying for new or modified licenses.