Analog Cell Phone Sunset Date Affirmed

Broadcast TV is not the only service facing a digital-only future. In a Memorandum Opinion and Order (FCC 07-103) the FCC upheld its Feb. 18, 2008 sunset date for analog cell phone service. However, unlike the DTV transition, cellular licensees will be allowed to continue to provide analog phone service after the sunset date if they choose. Cellular licensees that are unable to certify that discontinuing analog cell phone service will not result in any loss of wireless coverage in a Cellular Geographic Service Area will forfeit their license to serve the CGSA, making it available for reassignment. Cellular operators must notify all of their analog-only subscribers of their intention to discontinue analog service.

A Petition for Rule Making filed by the Alarm Industry Communications Committee and ADT Security Services Inc. requesting an extension of the sunset date was denied. In a news release the commission said that it “found that the alarm industry has sufficient time and equipment to replace all analog alarm radios that are used as a primary communications path before the analog sunset date and that the public interest would not be served by extending the analog service requirement beyond Feb. 18, 2008.”