FCC Proposes Permanent Assignment of TV Channel 16 for Public Safety Use In NYC Area

In 1995, the FCC allowed public safety agencies in the New York City metropolitan area to use TV channel 16 (482-488 MHz) for at least five years or until a TV station in the NYC area initiates use of channel 16 for DTV, whichever is longer. In a Notice of Proposed Rule Making the commission tentatively concluded permanent reallocation of Channel 16 to the land mobile service for public safety communications would serve the public interest.

The reallocation is not expected to have an impact on broadcasters, as Channel 16 has been used in the NYC area since 1995. The effective radiated power of base and mobile units in Bergen County, N.J. was limited to accommodate WNEP-TV Channel 16 in Scranton, Pa. and WPHL-TV, channel 17 in Philadelphia. The agencies petitioning for permanent assignment of Channel 16 did not seek to have these limitations lifted and have an agreement with Class-A TV station WEBR-CA on channel 17 to coordinate interference between them and preserve the status quo.

The NPRM requests comments on the potential for interference. Comments are due 30 days after publication in the Federal Register and reply comments are due 45 days after publication.