County will request extension on narrowband upgrade

Published 8:02 am Friday, March 15, 2013

E-911 Director Tonya Griffin plans to file for an extension to the county’s deadline to complete a federally-mandated upgrade to narrow-band communications.

The federal government is requiring all public safety radio stations to change from a “broadband” wavelength to a “narrow-band” frequency, in order to free up other parts of the communications spectrum. Originally, the deadline set for the upgrade was Dec. 31, 2012. However, Decatur County and Grady County, who are working on the project together, received an extension until April.

However, in a memo presented to the Decatur County Board of Commissioners at Tuesday’s meeting, Gardiner said that Griffin will request an additional extension until July 1.

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Gardiner said the reasons for the extension include necessary communications tower remediation projects, as well as delays in obtaining licenses from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Gardiner said that the planned remediations will take place in the coming months. Most of the work will center on the tower located at the Spring Creek Road location.

Engineering has already been completely on the Spring Creek Road tower, Gardiner said, and foundation work was scheduled to begin Monday, March 11. He said the goal is to have the tower’s antennas and lines completely installed by April 15.

Gardiner said that user training for the new narrow-band system will likely take place in late May or early June.