FCC Prepares to Cancel 3,000 Public Safety Radio Licenses


Fairfax, VA – The Federal Communications Commission’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (WTB) has been conducting an audit of the construction and operational status of Private Land Mobile Radio stations. The audit includes public safety radio licenses operating below 800 MHz. The FCC has now announced that it will proceed with the cancellation of licensees who have not responded to the audit.

Public safety agencies that face loss of their FCC license fall into two categories, undeliverable and non-responsive. If the FCC audit letter was undeliverable, you have until March 27, 2004 to notify the FCC that your radio system is still in operation to avoid license cancellation. The FCC will begin a final round of audit mailings on Friday, February 27, 2004, for those agencies that fall into the non-responsive category. If a response to the latest audit letter is not received by the FCC by March 31, 2004 the license will cancel automatically.

About the Audit
FCC rules require construction within a specified time and require that stations remain operational in order for the FCC license to remain valid. When a licensee fails to construct its authorized facilities within the requisite construction period or discontinues operation for a period of one year, the license cancels automatically.

The WTB initially sent audit letters to licensees over a six month period from August 2001 to January 2002. The initial mailing generated a 73 percent response rate. In order to generate a higher response rate, the bureau updated addresses and sent a second letter in April and May of 2002. As of February 2004, the response rate has reached 96 percent.

What to Do
Complete information on the FCC’s license audit is available at http://wireless.fcc.gov/licensing/audits/plmrs/index.html. The page contains information on the audit and easy to use tools that will allow you to determine if your license is at risk, and if it is, how to notify the FCC of your license status.

After accessing the page, you can follow two paths to determine the status of your license. The first is a search by call sign. Under ‘Process,’ click on the ‘search for your call sign(s)’ hypertext. In the ‘License Audit Search’ area enter the call sign(s) for your radio system and click enter. When the information is displayed click on ‘Licensee Name.’ If you have already responded to the audit you will see ‘Buildout Completed’ under ‘Response’ along with the date the FCC letter was sent and the date your agency replied. No further action is required; your license is current. If your search results in a listing of the ‘Licensee Name’ and a list of dates when letters were sent by the FCC you must act immediately to notify the FCC of your license status.

Can’t Remember Your Call Sign?
You can also search by your state or territory. Scroll to the bottom of the Web page to ‘Audit Progress and Results.’ Click on the ‘List of Licensees who have not responded to the mailed audit letters.’ Scroll down to the ‘Nonresponses by State/Territory,’ find your state or territory and then click on ‘public safety.’ You can review all public safety licenses in your state or territory that have not responded. This listing will also tell you if your audit letter was undeliverable or your agency was non-responsive.

How to Notify the FCC
You may download response forms from the Web site in either a PDF or Word format, complete the form, and fax to: (717) 338-2696. You may also mail response forms to:

FCC, 2001 PLMR Spectrum Audit Responses
1270 Fairfield Road
Gettysburg, PA 17325

Once you have submitted the form, you should check the Web site daily to make sure that your records have been updated.

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