Narrowbanding Resources

Compiled by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Office of Emergency Communications (OEC) Narrowbanding Working Group The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Narrowbanding Mandate requires all non-Federal radio licensees operating 25 kHz systems in the 150-174 MHz and 421-512 MHz bands (VHF and UHF) to migrate to more efficient 12.5 kHz (narrowband) channels by January 1, 2013. The resources below provide information to help you plan your transition from wideband to narrowband. If you would like to add narrowbanding resources to this list, please email suggestions to OEC@DHS.gov.

General Information about Narrowbanding

A Practical Guide to Narrowbanding:

Developed by OEC, this best practices guide assists emergency responders in compliance with the FCC narrowbanding mandate. The guide includes a step-by-step approach for narrowbanding communications equipment and licenses and five case studies illustrating common narrowbanding challenges and solutions. OEC Narrowbanding Guide

FCC Narrowbanding Website:

This website includes a countdown clock, recent narrowbanding articles, links to helpful resources, and FCC contact information.http://www.fcc.gov/pshs/public-safety-spectrum/narrowbanding.html

National Public Safety Telecommunications Council (NPSTC) Narrowbanding Website:

This website provides a comprehensive list of narrowbanding resources including technical briefs, articles about the narrowbanding process, the cost of narrowbanding, and general fact sheets about narrowbanding. http://www.npstc.org/narrowbanding.jsp

FCC Narrowbanding Mandate – A Public Safety Guide for Compliance:

This guide, published by the International Association of Fire Chiefs and International Municipal Signal Association, provides guidance to State and local public safety entities on the requirements of the FCC Narrowbanding Mandate. http://www.fcc.gov/pshs/docs/clearinghouse/guidelines/Narrowbanding_Booklet.pdf

WirelessRadioNarrowbanding Website:

This website provides information for FCC Part 90 Private Land Mobile Radio (LMR) licensees, dispatch system managers, consultants, integrators, sales and service facilities, and end-users facing the narrowbanding deadline. http://wirelessradio.net

Planning Resources

Narrowband License Status Tool:

The Narrowband License Status Tool is an OEC Technical Assistance tool which uses FCC license data to depict the narrowbanding status of all radio licensees within a certain area. http://publicsafetytools.info/start_nb_status.php

OEC Technical Assistance Catalog:

The OEC Technical Assistance Catalog describes the services available to requesting jurisdictions or organizations through OEC’s Interoperable Communications Technical Assistance Program. These services, which are provided at no cost, include instruction and assistance with the planning, governance, operational, and technical aspects of developing and implementing interoperable communications initiatives. The Catalog also contains a technical assistance request form and instructions on how to complete and submit a request. The technical assistance offering ENG-NB: VHF/UHF Narrowbanding (listed on page 43 of the catalog) includes an OEC/ICTAP analysis of frequencies affected by the FCC Narrowbanding Mandate. Examples of deliverables of this offering include: sorted listings of impacted frequencies, Google Map *.kmz files, webinars, and on-site review of data. OEC Technical Catalog

Public Safety Technical Assistance Tools


How to modify your license:

Vermont Communications (VCOMM) has created the following document of detailed instructions on how to modify your license from wideband to narrowband without utilizing a frequency coordinator and without the associated fee.                                          http://vcomm.vermont.gov/sites/vcomm/files/Narrowbanding_-_FCC_Instructions__01_11_.pdf

NPSTC Narrowbanding Assistance Contact Map:

NPSTC has assembled local, knowledgeable contacts from the State's Interoperability Coordinators, local public safety frequency advisors, and National Regional Planning Council (NRPC) members, plus additional persons who can provide information on the narrowbanding process.                NB Assistance Map      (Click on your State in the map to find narrowbanding assistance resources.)

Public Safety Frequency Coordinators

The Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials International (APCO)

(Typically for Law Enforcement applications.) http://www.apco911.org

International Municipal Signal Association (IMSA)

(Typically for Fire and Emergency Medical Applications.) http://www.imsasafety.org/fc/frontpage.htm

Forestry Conservation Communications Association (FCCA)


American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)


Narrowbanding Questions

FCC Narrowbanding Email Address:


Narrowbanding Videos

Virginia Interoperability Coordinator's Office:

Narrowband: Are You Ready?

Maine Emergency Management Agency/Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife:

Narrowband - Will You Be Ready? Part 1 | Part 2