Telecom organizations agree to make 220 MHz spectrum more available

Herndon, VA, June 9, 2009 — The National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative (NRTC) and the Utilities Telecom Council (UTC) have signed an agreement that makes 220 MHz spectrum for land mobile radio voice and data systems available to all of the members and customers of UTC. Through this agreement, NRTC and UTC will be able to meet the immediate spectrum needs of utilities across the United States.

Utilities are relying ever more heavily on wireless spectrum, both to expand existing radio systems and to provide capacity for future technology deployments. Because of reliability and control requirements, most of the need must be met through utility-built-and-operated systems. One piece of this solution is access to reliable, licensed 220 MHz spectrum.

UTC President and Chief Executive Officer Bill Moroney commented that “This agreement allows UTC to work with our utility members and contacts to help them meet their most immediate spectrum needs or to make voice and data systems ‘narrowbanding-proof.’ As utilities gear up for next-generation communication systems, reliable access to spectrum becomes even more critical.”

The Federal Communications Commission has ordered that by 2013, voice radio equipment on some private land mobile frequency bands must be operating on 12.5 kHz-spaced, or narrowband, voice channels. The mandate does not affect 220 MHz spectrum. NRTC owns eight 220 MHz channels nationwide that are 12.5 kHz spaced.

“With 220 MHz, utilities can meet the coming mandates, using reliable, interference-free spectrum,” said NRTC President and CEO Bob Phillips. “NRTC members know the value of this spectrum to their radio communications and making it part of their upgrades prior to 2013. With this agreement, more utilities will have access.”

The National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative (NRTC) represents the advanced telecommunications and information technology interests of nearly 1,500 rural utilities and affiliates in 48 states.

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