Q: Where can I see my license online?
A: The general site for viewing your license is at the ULS.
For pending applications, use the FCC file number we provide in your notification, and search here: http://wireless2.fcc.gov/UlsApp/ApplicationSearch/searchAppl.jsp
For existing granted licenses, search here: http://wireless2.fcc.gov/UlsApp/UlsSearch/searchLicense.jsp.
Q: I got a notice from the FCC (FCC_Wideband_Notice@fcc.gov) that said: “Narrowbanding Action Needed!” What do I need to do?
A: If your e-mail looks like this partial FCC e-mail, then this *IS* a legitimate notice from the FCC, and your license truly does have one of two issues that needs to be resolved before your license is fully narrowband-compliant. You either need to 1) add narrowband designations and remove wideband designations, or 2) just remove any remaining wideband designations on your license.
If you have modified your license in the past in an effort to be narrowband-compliant, and you still received an e-mail notification from the FCC for it, it is likely because of how the change was made. Over the past several years, most licensing companies only *added* the narrowband emissions without *removing* the wideband emissions because the FCC promised they’d automatically delete all the wideband emissions for every license. That promise was not fulfilled, and all of those wideband designations remain. Now those emissions have to manually be deleted from each license. Once all emissions on the license are 11KXXXX or numerically lower (like 8KXXXX, for example), the license is compliant. Anything numerically above 11KXXXX (like 20KXXXX, for example) is still considered wideband and must be removed.
Q: Why can't I see my pending application online?
A: The FCC does batch filings every Monday through Friday at midnight, Eastern Time. If your pending application isn't showing up, it would mean one of two things: 1) The FCC had issues with their batch filing and your application won't show up until after the next batch filing (this occurs about once or twice a month), or 2) We made a typo when entering the FCC File Number in your e-mail notification (which is rare, but we are human). If you see a screen that says, "No Matches Found" after searching for your application, verify the information is accurate (by searching for the applicant's name instead of the FCC File Number), then try again the next day after a normal batch filing (the days AFTER the Monday through Friday filings - which would be Tuesday through Saturday).
Q: How long is a license valid?
A: Any new license is valid for 10 years, and any renewed license is valid for another 10 years. Modifying a license does not extend the expiration date of the license.
Q: Why didn't I get the frequencies I requested?
A: We make every effort to give you the frequencies you request; however, the frequencies you receive when your license arrives at the FCC may not match what you requested. The most common reason for this is that another existing licensee is already using the frequencies you requested in too-close of a range to your system and will result in interference to either you or them. Other reasons include submitting invalid frequencies or submitting frequencies that the FCC has already specified are ONLY for certain uses that don't apply to your license.
Q: What is narrowbanding? How do I know if I am compliant?
A: The FCC decided that January 1, 2013 was the deadline for converting licenses and radio equipment to narrowband use. This is similar to the recent conversion the FCC required for televisions – everyone has to do it. This means that any UHF and VHF frequencies that have an emission designation higher than 11KXXXX need to change from wideband to narrowband (or lower designations such as digital, MotoTrbo, NexEdge, or 6.25 kHz). Obviously, January 1, 2013 has come and gone. Through mid-April of 2015, the FCC has not done more than require the conversion to occur before a renewal or modification my take place for an existing license. During April of 2015, they informed coordinators that they are allowed to ignore any non-compliant licenses (listing 20K emissions only) in processing searches for new licensees.
Changing from wideband to narrowband means two things: 1) Updating the license to reflect this type of transmission, and 2) Replacing or reprogramming every piece of equipment to operate with this type of transmission. Make sure both of these steps are completed before an FCC officer does any field tests in your area.
Q: Where are all the additional frequencies that were supposed to be created when everyone was required to narrowband their licenses?
A: If you look at the graphic below, you'll see that wideband frequencies occupy 25 kHz of spacing around the center point of a frequency. Once narrowbanding began, TWO narrowband frequencies could be used where every ONE wideband frequency existed, essentially doubling the spectrum available. Because entities have been using narrowband frequencies for some time before the required transition, it wasn't easy to see lots of new spectrum. In fact, a lot of it had already been assigned to licensees.
Now that 6.25 kHz is becoming more common, many people are taking advantage of the new technology and available spectrum. Again, looking at the graphic below, you'll see that wideband frequencies occupy 25 kHz of spacing around the center point of a frequency. Now FOUR ultra-narrowband (6.25 kHz) frequencies can exist where every ONE wideband frequency existed, essentially quadrupling the spectrum available - or at least doubling again the available spectrum of the current narrowband frequencies.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is a Construction Notice, and why do I need to have one filed?
A: As of December, 2002, the FCC has required a Construction Notice for most licenses. It is a way for the FCC to receive evidence that the specifications of the license have been built and that the system is operational. One year is provided to file this notice from the date it was granted. Failure to file this notice within the allowed year results in termination of the requested changes by the FCC. We file free Construction Notices for applications we have submitted.
Even though Construction Notices have been required since 2002, the FCC didn’t start following through with their threats of termination until around 2006. Consequently, most applicants and licensing companies did not file these notices. Now the FCC has decided that retroactive Construction Notices are required for applications filed during the end of 2002 through 2005, and this requirement is triggered by filing any renewal or modification to the existing license. These filings include an FCC fee and require a waiver letter. If these retroactive notices are not filed, the current request on the license will not be accepted.
Q: Why did I receive a notice from the FCC that my license is in Termination Pending status?
A: After a license has been granted for one year, and a Construction Notice has not been filed, the FCC will place the license in Termination Pending status. This means that 30 additional days are allowed for groveling by the applicant before all or part of the license is terminated. Please let us grovel for you. Over 98% of groveling done by the licensee is rejected by the FCC.
Q: My license has expired. May I still renew it?
A: Licenses must be renewed up to 90 days BEFORE the expiration of the license. If the license is expired, we can re-create the license based on the old call sign. It is likely, but not guaranteed, that the same frequencies will be available. Most of the determining factor of whether or not you can keep the same frequencies is how long the license has been expired.
In some rare cases (particularly with governmental entities), we can do some serious groveling if we act within 30 days of when the license has expired. This groveling requires a waiver letter and a fee, but the resulting renewal is not guaranteed. If you'd like us to try this route, please let us know.
Q: My license is pending at the FCC. When can I use it?
A: Once an application has been pending at the FCC for 10 days, the applicant is legally allowed to use it for up to 180 days until the FCC accepts or rejects the license. There are only three reasons we discourage the use of a pending license: 1) if the applicant plans to operate the license near Canada (above Line A) or near Mexico where Return Notices are more common, 2) if re-programming is ridiculously impossible (1,000+ radios, for example), or 3) if a dealer is financially unable to re-do anything and must do exactly what is on the license. Once a license reaches the FCC, over 95% of licenses are granted without the need to reprogram anything. If you don't meet the criteria we explained, we suggest using the license when you need to use it.
Q: Why am I being asked about a password? I’ve never established a password with the FCC.
A: Once the FCC established an online presence, the requirement of a password for an entity’s license(s) became obvious. (Think of the havoc a competitor could wreak by modifying/canceling your license at whim!) Whether or not you established this password, if you have an FRN (Federal Registration Number), you have a password. This is the only way of dealing directly with the FCC online. If a license was initially requested through XYZ Licensing Company they would have set up a password. Then if a modification is requested of Lone Peak Licensing, we will not have their password. At this point, unless you know the password XYZ Licensing Company chose, we will need to reset the password. To verify your ownership of the license, the FCC requires your Federal Tax ID number before initiating the password reset process.
There are times a password is not required. When we submit a modification through a coordinator, we are not dealing directly with the FCC. Coordinators are not required to use the applicant's password. However, within a year of the date when the license was granted, a Construction Notice must be filed. This filing requires direct interaction with the FCC online, and that means a password is required. It can be annoying to all involved, but you’ll likely agree that the protection of your license is worth a bit of annoyance.
Q: My company or license was purchased by another company. How should I modify the license to reflect this change in ownership?
A: If a license is owned by a new entity, an Assignment of Authorization must be filed. This assignment is required and notifies the FCC of the new licensee name, and the new Federal Tax ID number. Don’t mess with the FCC when it comes to ownership. If they discover false information or learn that they have not been notified in a timely manner, the license will be terminated.
If a company has decided to change their name without a change in ownership, an Assignment of Authorization is not required. A simple Administrative Update (which we file for free) will accommodate this change.
Q: What is a coordinator?
A: The FCC has decided that Frequency Coordinators are the only people who can submit most types of licenses directly to the FCC. Coordinators are private entities that have been certified by the Commission to recommend the most appropriate frequencies for applicants. Also, they check the impact that a new license will have on existing licenses.
There is no way around using a coordinator for most applications. One of the benefits of using a coordinator is that by the time it reaches the FCC, it is highly likely that the FCC will grant the requested application.
Q: What actually happens to my application once I give it to Lone Peak Licensing?
A: Four steps are required for your license:
Step 1: It takes us about 1-3 days to process the applications we receive. (Note: That means if you decide to cancel a license, you need to act quickly to prevent incurring non-refundable coordinator or FCC fees.)
Step 2: Once we process the application, we send it to the FCC-required coordinator (see the "coordinator" explanation above, if this is a new concept). Their processing time depends on their current workload. Some coordinators can process applications in a few days to a week, others take a month, and some even take up to three months. We can't always send it to the fastest coordinator (it all depends on what is requested on the application), but we will do our best to choose the best coordinator at any given time.
Step 3: After coordination is complete, the application is submitted to the FCC. The FCC can take as long as they want to approve or deny an application. We've seen licenses granted in a day, and we've also seen licenses granted in 16 weeks. The Federal Government is not fully predictable nor reliably fast; however, the FCC allows applicants to legally use the frequencies for which they have a pending application. That means you do not have to wait until the FCC approves the license, you can program the radios and use the frequencies shortly after you are notified that the application is at the FCC. The main downside to doing this is if the applicant plans to use the radios near the Mexican or Canadian border where the majority of high-power-related rejections occur. About 2% of licenses are returned with the need to change frequencies. If you do decide to program radios before the license is granted, there is a small chance you may need to re-program the radios once the FCC makes their decision.
Step 4: After the license is granted, we will file the required Construction Notice within 12 months of the granted date for no additional fee. FCC licenses are considered "public record" and are available to be perused by anyone who is interested. Consequently, hungry marketers will likely send you some sort of mailing that can appear intimidating. Don't buy into the intimidation, just view these mailings as "reminders." Scan it and e-mail it to us or fax it to us (801-938-9465) and we'll let you know what, if anything, needs to be done.
Q: Why am I being asked to provide a Letter of Concurrence (LOC)?
A: An LOC is required by applicants who want to use the same frequency as an existing licensee. Sometimes this is because of equipment limitations and sometimes this is because of living in a congested area. Radio waves, like freeways, can get a lot of traffic. An LOC is an agreement saying that two or more entities will share a frequency and “play nice” with each other for the benefit of all involved. If you are a recipient of an LOC request, and you deny it, the chances of getting someone else to agree to your future LOC requirements are very slim. If you accept it, you may have to wait your turn when using a shared frequency, but the result is a positive relationship with other radio users and will likely increase your chances of getting an approved LOC for your needs in the future.
Usually, an LOC requires that the new applicant bears most or all of the burden of changing their equipment or transmit/receive power in the event that there is excessive interference. An approved LOC means that these companies will work together until the result is mutually agreeable.
Q: What is the FCC rule book and why do I need it?
A: The FCC rule book is typically for more advanced applicants/licensees with more complex requirements. It is available in book format and online (http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?c=ecfr&Sid=de2c5bb4296aebd9beeb1cb86470e4fc&rgn=div5&view=text&node=47:188.8.131.52.3&idno=47). The FCC bases its decisions regarding a license on the rules in this book. Use the online version to your advantage by learning how to use the "find" feature in your browser.
Q: What is an Inter-Service fee?
A: Each coordinator is given a range of spectrum over which they have jurisdiction. If coordinator A needs to use a frequency that is in coordinator B's jurisdiction, they can, but coordinator B will charge an Inter-Service fee for using "their" frequencies. We will notify you in advance if this fee applies to you. It will be your choice to accept the fee and the resulting frequency or reject the fee and pursue a different frequency route. This type of fee is most common with Public Safety applications.