A Cleveland, Ohio community college with three campus locations planned to deploy a digital trunked private wireless system that would interconnect with the public-switched telephone network. To accommodate this objective, the immediate challenges included a requirement for exclusive-use channels and, the fact that the three locations were situated above Line A, necessitating concurrence from Canada.
An analysis of the system’s technical and geographic coverage requirements immediately led EWA to recommend the use of 420 MHz spectrum, which decades ago, capacity had been set aside by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for use specifically in Cleveland, Detroit, and Buffalo — urban areas north of Line A. The good news is that systems utilizing this spectrum capacity need not secure prior Canadian concurrence but must comply with certain Part 90 rules related to interconnection. Specifically, FCC rule 90.477 stipulates that in the frequency ranges below 800 MHz spectrum requires letters of consent from all users within a 75-mile radius of the 25 urban areas listed are required, which includes Cleveland. EWA’s analysis reflected no co-channel licensees within 75 miles of Cleveland’s city center nor within 75 miles of the community college’s proposed interconnected transmitters. EWA proceeded to secure and process an application specifying three FB8C (exclusive-use channels with interconnect capability), one at each location, and three shared frequencies with the required FB2C channel designation. The combination of exclusive and shared frequencies results in a very effective hybrid trunked radio system.
EWA also recommended reusing the frequencies so that workers could travel seamlessly among the three locations. The application prepared by EWA for this digital, interconnected multi-site simulcast trunked system has been granted by the FCC. Excruciating delays associated with securing Canadian approval were avoided.