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  FCC VHF and UHF Narrowbanding Mandate

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Author Topic:   FCC VHF and UHF Narrowbanding Mandate
jimh posted 07-16-2012 11:15 PM ET (US)   Profile for jimh   Send Email to jimh  
The end of 2012 will mark the end of commercial VHF and UHF licensed stations using 25-KHz channel spacing in their FCC band plans. In 2013 the FCC's mandate for narrowband operation using 12.5-KHz channels will become mandatory unless an exemption is granted to specific licensees.

While most VHF and UHF spectrum radio users will be converting to 12.5-KHz channels, the VHF Marine Band has been exempted, along with a few other services, including FRS, GMRS, MURS, Amateur Radio, and CB radio. The VHF Marine Band will continue to operate with wide-band or 25-KHz spacing of channels. For more about the set up of the VHF Marine Band channels, see my article on that topic:

VHF Marine Band Channels
http://continuouswave.com/whaler/reference/VHF_MarineBandChannels.html

As I noted in the above linked article, the redivision of the VHF Marine Band into 12.5-KHz channels has already been planned and channel numbers have been assigned. However, it appears that there is not going to be an immediate move to narrowbanding on VHF Marine by the FCC in the USA. Such a move would obsolete a great deal of existing radios, particularly radios on voluntarily-equiped recreational boats.

For background on narrowbanding (or refarming as it was called previously) see

http://wiki.radioreference.com/index.php/Refarming

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