[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 18 (Thursday, January 29, 2009)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 5117-5126]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-1536]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION

47 CFR Parts 2, 80, and 90

[WT Docket No. 04-344; FCC 08-208]


Maritime Communications

AGENCY: Federal Communications Commission.

ACTION: Final rule.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: In this document, the Federal Communications Commission 
(Commission or FCC) adopts additional measures for domestic 
implementation of Automatic Identification Systems (AIS), an advanced 
marine vessel tracking and navigation technology that can significantly 
enhance our Nation's homeland security as well as maritime safety. 
Specifically, in the Second Report and Order in WT Docket No. 04-344, 
the Commission designates maritime VHF Channel 87B (161.975 MHz) for 
exclusive AIS use throughout the Nation, while providing a replacement 
channel for those geographic licensees that are currently authorized to 
use Channel 87B in an inland VHF Public Coast (VPC) service area 
(VPCSA); determines that only Federal Government (Federal) entities 
should have authority to operate AIS base stations, obviating any 
present need for the Commission to adopt licensing, operational, or 
equipment certification rules for such stations; and requires that 
Class B AIS shipborne devices--which have somewhat reduced 
functionality vis-[agrave]-vis the Class A devices that are carried by 
vessels required by law to carry AIS equipment, and are intended 
primarily for voluntary carriage by recreational and other non-
compulsory vessels--comply with the international standard for such 
equipment, while also mandating additional safeguards to better ensure 
the accuracy of AIS data transmitted from Class B devices. These 
measures will facilitate the establishment of an efficient and 
effective domestic AIS network, and will optimize the navigational and 
homeland security benefits that AIS offers.

DATES: Effective March 2, 2009 except for Sec.  80.231, which contains 
new information collection requirements, that have not been approved by 
OMB. The Federal Communications Commission will publish a document in 
the Federal Register announcing the effective date. The incorporation 
by reference listed in the rule is approved by the Director of the 
Federal Register as of March 2, 2009.

[[Page 5118]]


FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jeffrey Tobias, Jeff.Tobias@FCC.gov, 
Mobility Division, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, (202) 418-1617, 
or TTY (202) 418-7233.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This is a summary of the Federal 
Communications Commission's Second Report and Order in WT Docket No. 
04-344, FCC 08-208, adopted on September 15, 2008, and released 
September 19, 2008. The full text of this document is available for 
inspection and copying during normal business hours in the FCC 
Reference Center, 445 12th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20554. The 
complete text may be purchased from the Commission's copy contractor, 
Best Copy and Printing, Inc., Portals II, 445 12th Street, SW., Room 
CY-B402, Washington, DC 20554. The full text may also be downloaded at: 
http://www.fcc.gov. Alternative formats are available to persons with 
disabilities by sending an e-mail to fcc504@fcc.gov or by calling the 
Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau at 202-418-0530 (voice), 202-
418-0432 (tty).
    1. In this Second Report and Order, the Commission concludes that 
it would promote the primary objectives of this proceeding, and would 
serve the broader public interest, to designate Channel 87B for 
exclusive AIS use in the thirty-three inland VPCSAs, just as it 
previously designated Channel 87B for exclusive use in the nine 
maritime VPCSAs in the Report and Order at 71 FR 60067, October 12, 
2006. Making Channel 87B, like Channel 88B, available only for AIS 
throughout the Nation will serve the public interest by expanding the 
effectiveness and reliability of AIS.
    2. Many commenters argue that Channel 87B should be designated 
exclusively for AIS use in the inland VPCSAs for reasons independent of 
the need to accommodate satellite AIS. These commenters note that AIS 
offers great benefits as a tool to assist vessels in navigating safely 
on waterways within inland VPCSAs, just as it does with respect to 
vessels in coastal areas and on the high seas. These commenters echo 
RTCM's assertion, made earlier in this proceeding, that AIS can provide 
vessel operators with the ability to ``see'' around islands and bends 
in narrow, obstructed or winding waterways in a way that radar cannot. 
According to RTCM, the unique navigational benefits of AIS will be 
especially important for large passenger vessels, large barge tows and 
similar vessels that have limited maneuverability on these inland 
waterways.
    3. Commenters assert that designation of a channel other than 
Channel 87B for inland AIS operations would result in many of the same 
problems that led the Commission to reject the use of a channel or 
channels other than Channel 87B for AIS in the maritime VPCSAs, i.e., 
it would prevent the establishment of a seamless global AIS network 
(and, in this case, even a seamless nationwide AIS network) and would 
require vessels transiting an AIS ``fence'' between maritime and inland 
VPCSAs to switch to a different AIS channel. These commenters believe, 
in sum, that a failure to designate Channel 87B for AIS use on inland 
waterways would prevent the United States from realizing the full 
navigational safety and homeland security benefits of AIS.
    4. Most commenters also believe that non-AIS operations should be 
prohibited on Channel 87B in the inland VPCSAs in order to protect the 
integrity of AIS operations not only in the inland VPCSAs, but also in 
the maritime VPCSAs and even in international waters. NTIA contends 
that the threat of co-channel interference to AIS from non-AIS 
transmissions on Channel 87B in inland VPCSAs is such that the 
Commission's main objective in this proceeding--to ensure that AIS is 
deployed widely, quickly, reliably, and cost-effectively, and in a 
manner that will maximize its capabilities--``cannot be fully attained 
unless the Commission designates AIS Channel 87B on a nationwide 
basis.'' Commenters note, in this regard, that, non-AIS transmissions 
on Channel 87B from transmitters located within inland VPCSAs would 
cause interference to AIS transmissions, even on the high seas, due to 
atmospheric ``ducting,'' which can cause VHF signals to be received 
several hundred miles away. Even relatively distant non-AIS 
transmissions on Channel 87B could therefore interfere with and degrade 
AIS operations, reducing the effectiveness of AIS for homeland security 
as well as navigational safety.
    5. MariTEL disputes the other commenters' arguments that non-AIS 
operations on Channel 87B, even in inland VPCSAs, will cause 
interference to AIS operations. MariTEL contends that the Commission 
previously considered and rejected similar arguments in permitting the 
use of VPC spectrum for land mobile operations pursuant to waivers. In 
those waiver decisions, according to MariTEL, the Commission determined 
that the use of VPC channels for maritime communications would not be 
compromised if land mobile use of the channels occurred sufficiently 
distant from the coast and navigable waterways. This argument overlooks 
the fact that the referenced decisions by the Wireless 
Telecommunications Bureau's former Public Safety and Critical 
Infrastructure Division did not permit land mobile use of Channel 87B, 
and expressly conditioned the non-maritime use of the frequencies on 
there being no harmful interference to current or future marine 
communications, including but not limited to AIS. In addition, the 
waivers granted in those cases were of limited geographic scope. The 
Commission therefore is not persuaded that those waiver decisions 
contradict the consensus view of the commenters other than MariTEL that 
non-AIS operations in inland VPCSAs can cause harmful interference to 
co-channel AIS communications, or that these decisions otherwise 
undermine the rationale for a nationwide designation of Channel 87B for 
AIS. The Commission therefore concludes that the public interest in 
homeland security and maritime safety would best be served by 
prohibiting non-AIS operations on Channel 87B throughout the Nation in 
order to protect the integrity of terrestrial (i.e., non-satellite) AIS 
communications.
    6. In addition, the Commission concludes that non-AIS operations on 
Channel 87B would likely cause interference to satellite AIS 
communications. NTIA says that ``[p]reliminary reports demonstrate 
that, with specific configurations, it is possible for land-based 
stations reliably to receive AIS signals from approximately 350 
nautical miles.'' The Maritime Transportation and Security Act of 2002 
(MTSA), however, requires the Coast Guard to develop long-range 
tracking capabilities, and the Coast Guard's goal in furtherance of 
that mandate is to extend AIS coverage to two thousand nautical miles 
from the United States shoreline. NTIA is therefore exploring the 
possibility of using a low earth orbit communications satellite system 
to receive, process and relay AIS data, and has contracted with 
ORBCOMM, a mobile satellite service licensee, to evaluate satellite 
detection of AIS signals. The consensus of the commenters is that 
satellite AIS, if it proves feasible, will offer significant advantages 
over terrestrial AIS by, for example, expanding vessel tracking 
capabilities to encompass areas of the high seas well beyond the reach 
of non-satellite AIS.
    7. NTIA and other commenters argue that the Commission should bar 
non-AIS transmissions on Channel 87B, even in inland areas, in order to 
avoid disruptions to satellite reception of AIS signals, which could, 
as ORBCOMM

[[Page 5119]]

notes, ``hinder the U.S. Coast Guard in fulfilling its critical 
homeland security role.'' NTIA asserts that a report by the Department 
of Defense Joint Spectrum Center (JSC) analyzing technical issues 
relating to satellite AIS demonstrates that non-AIS co-channel signals 
``cause[] degradation in AIS signal detection * * * that is both 
unpredictable and unmanageable,'' and that this signal degradation 
``will significantly decrease the effectiveness of the AIS system'' to 
the point of defeating the purpose of using satellite AIS to expand 
long-range vessel tracking capabilities. ORBCOMM concurs that there is 
no current means of controlling non-AIS co-channel interference to 
satellite AIS, explaining that it is developing protocols/algorithms 
that will allow it to address simultaneous AIS transmissions from 
different ships, but that these do not prevent interference to AIS 
communications from non-AIS sources.
    8. MariTEL argues that the Commission should not designate Channel 
87B for AIS in the inland VPCSAs as an accommodation to satellite AIS 
because ``there is no evidence that space-based monitoring will provide 
the Coast Guard with any more information than it would otherwise 
receive from terrestrial monitoring,'' and because, even if such space-
based monitoring of AIS transmissions on Channel 87B is deemed 
beneficial, satellite AIS can co-exist with non-AIS operations on 
Channel 87B in inland VPCSAs. The Commission finds neither argument to 
be convincing. MariTEL does not dispute that satellite AIS can greatly 
enlarge the distance at which AIS transmissions can be received and 
relayed. In addition, MariTEL's argument that an AIS satellite should 
be able to distinguish land mobile radio transmissions on Channel 87B 
in inland VPCSAs from AIS transmissions on the channel elsewhere fails 
to effectively address the comments submitted by the entities 
responsible for implementing satellite AIS indicating that it is not 
currently possible to filter out the non-AIS transmissions, and that 
those non-AIS transmissions would likely degrade satellite AIS 
reception, even with respect to AIS transmissions from vessels far from 
shore. The Commission therefore concludes that non-AIS operations on 
Channel 87B would likely need to be terminated if satellite AIS proves 
feasible and is fully implemented.
    9. In sum, the Commission agrees with commenters such as NTIA that 
``[t]here are compelling safety and national security reasons to 
designate Channel 87B for AIS on a nationwide basis.'' Because the 
desirability of deploying AIS in coastal and international waters 
applies equally to inland rivers and lakes, the optimization of the 
domestic AIS network clearly requires the designation of Channels 87B 
and 88B for inland AIS, and permitting any non-AIS uses of Channel 87B 
anywhere in the Nation would compromise the integrity of the domestic, 
and by extension the global, AIS network. The Commission also finds 
that implementation of satellite AIS would serve the public interest, 
and that clearing Channel 87B of non-AIS operations would be necessary 
to maximize the effectiveness of satellite AIS operations
    10. As a consequence of its designation of Channel 87B for AIS in 
the inland VPCSAs, the Commission must establish a framework for 
clearing the channel of non-AIS operations. In the Report and Order, 
the Commission held that site-based VPC and private land mobile radio 
(PLMR) licensees in the maritime VPCSAs could continue to operate on 
Channel 87B until the expiration of their current license terms, but 
authorizations to operate on Channel 87B would not be renewed. In the 
inland VPCSAs, in contrast, there are no site-based VPC licensees and 
only two site-based PLMR licensees, one of which is a public safety 
entity. In addition, there is less maritime activity in the inland 
VPCSAs, further reducing the short-term potential for Channel 87B 
licensees in those areas to cause interference to AIS operations. 
Moreover, the full-scale implementation of satellite AIS is a longer-
term project than the implementation of ship-to-ship and ship-to-shore 
terrestrial AIS operations. Under these circumstances, the Commission 
concludes that it can afford an additional period of grandfathering 
protection to the site-based Channel 87B PLMR licensees in inland 
VPCSAs. Specifically, the Commission will permit them to remain 
authorized to operate on Channel 87B for fifteen years after the 
effective date of the rule amendments adopted herein. This will provide 
incumbent site-based licensees with an ample period of time to adjust 
to the redesignation of Channel 87B without any disruption to their 
present operations, while at the same time ensuring eventual clearance 
of all non-AIS operations from the channel.
    11. With respect to geographic licensees in the inland VPCSAs, the 
Commission noted earlier in this proceeding that two duplex channel 
pairs in the VHF maritime band have been set aside in each inland VPCSA 
as public safety interoperability channels. Specifically, Channel 25 
(157.250/161.850 MHz) is set aside in every inland VPCSA, and either 
Channel 84 (157.225/161.825 MHz) or Channel 85 (157.275/161.875 MHz) is 
also set aside in each inland VPCSA. The Commission's ULS database 
indicates that only four entities are currently licensed pursuant to 
the set-aside. The Commission noted earlier in this proceeding that it 
had designated significant additional spectrum for public safety 
interoperability, in the VHF band and elsewhere, in the years following 
the set-aside of these VPC channels for that purpose, and it requested 
comment as to whether, in the event it designated Channel 87B for 
exclusive AIS use nationwide, any of these set-aside channels should be 
redesignated for use by inland VPCSA licensees.
    12. In light of its determination to redesignate Channel 87B for 
exclusive AIS use in those VPCSAs, the Commission finds that it is 
appropriate to redesignate one of the public safety set-aside channel 
pairs in each inland VPCSA for use by inland VPCSA licensees. The only 
commenters addressing this issue--MariTEL, PacifiCorp, and RTCM--all 
favor redesignation of the channels, at least in the absence of any 
showing that they are needed for public safety interoperability 
communications. MariTEL argues that ``equity demands nothing less.'' 
MariTEL also suggests that giving inland VPCSA licensees replacement 
spectrum would make them ``whole'' for the loss of Channel 87B.
    13. The Commission therefore redesignates duplex Channels 84 and 85 
for VPC communications in the inland VPCSAs. (The Commission decides to 
make Channels 84/85 available to inland VPCSA licensees, rather than 
Channel 25, for several reasons. All four of the public safety 
licensees are licensed on Channel 25, but not all four are licensed on 
the other channels. In addition, Channel 25 is more useful for public 
safety interoperability because it is set aside throughout the inland 
VPCSAs. Finally, PacifiCorp, the only commenter addressing this precise 
issue, favors the reallocation of Channels 84 and 85, explaining that 
the reallocation of those channels would be more beneficial than a 
reallocation of Channel 25 in providing additional flexibility to 
inland VPCSA licensees and lessees with respect to signal strength 
across the border of adjacent VPCSAs.) Like incumbent site-based PLMR 
licensees operating on Channel 87B, site-based incumbents currently 
authorized on Channels 84/85 will remain authorized to operate on those

[[Page 5120]]

channels for a period of fifteen years following the effective date of 
these rule amendments. As noted above with respect to incumbents on 
Channel 87B, a grandfathering period of fifteen years should provide 
affected public safety licensees with ample time for transition without 
any disruption to their present operations. In addition, making these 
former public safety set-aside channels available to inland VPCSA 
licensees is equitable because it will restore the operating capacity 
of these licensees, who, unlike the maritime VPCSA licensees, were 
under no pre-existing obligation to make any of their licensed spectrum 
available for AIS. This action is also equitable in consideration of 
the fact that the nationwide AIS designation of Channel 87B is itself 
intended to promote public safety. The Commission finds that this 
action will not disserve public safety, especially in light of its 
determination to temporarily grandfather the existing public safety use 
of the channels.
    14. In order to provide a transition period for inland VPCSA 
geographic licensees to switch from Channel 87B to Channels 84/85, the 
Commission will permit inland VPCSA geographic licensees to continue to 
operate on Channel 87B for up to two years after the effective date of 
these rules, while allowing them to modify their licenses to replace 
Channel 87B with Channel 84 or Channel 85, as appropriate, any time 
after the effective date. This transition period should be ample to 
avoid any disruption of existing operations by inland VPCSA licensees, 
and should not otherwise prove onerous to the licensees. At the same 
time, this limited relief for existing inland VPCSA licensees should 
not compromise efforts to implement AIS in the United States as quickly 
and broadly as possible. At the end of the two-year transition period, 
the Commission will modify any inland VPCSA licenses that were not 
previously modified to replace Channel 87B with Channel 84 or Channel 
85, as appropriate.
    15. In the FNPRM in this proceeding, the Commission, noting that 
the International Electro-technical Commission (IEC) was in the process 
of developing AIS base station equipment standards, asked interested 
parties to address standards and procedures for authorizing AIS base 
station equipment under part 80, and sought comment on whether it 
should adopt rules for the licensing and use of AIS base stations. 
After reviewing the record, the Commission concludes that AIS base 
stations should be operated only by Federal entities, and, as a 
consequence, that the Commission need not adopt any rules pertaining to 
AIS base station equipment certification, licensing, or operation.
    16. Almost all of the commenters addressing this question believe 
that private sector entities should not be licensed to operate AIS base 
stations. NTIA states that control of AIS base stations is ``an 
inherently federal government function.'' According to NTIA, AIS base 
stations control all aspects of the AIS network, and can override 
certain shipborne AIS functions. It explains, ``Base stations manage 
the AIS VHF Data Link by managing communications traffic on AIS through 
various means to provide for the safety of navigation, to obtain 
information necessary for VTS [Vessel Traffic Services] and national 
security purposes, to transmit safety related messages, and to serve as 
an aid to navigation.'' RTCM adds, ``This power of AIS Base Stations to 
affect the operating characteristics of AIS systems should only be 
available to federal agencies with responsibility for navigational 
safety and security.''
    17. Alone among the commenters, MariTEL asserts that AIS base 
stations should also be permitted to conduct commercial operations. 
MariTEL also argues that a determination not to permit private sector 
entities to be licensed for AIS base stations means that Channel 87B 
will in fact have been reallocated for exclusive Federal use, not the 
shared Federal/non-Federal use to which the Commission said the channel 
was being reallocated in the Report and Order in this proceeding. The 
Commission disagrees because, in making this argument, MariTEL ignores 
the existence of ship-to-ship AIS communications, which do not directly 
involve AIS base stations, and are authorized under part 80 of the 
rules pursuant to Commission-issued ship station licenses.
    18. The Commission agrees with NTIA and the other commenters who 
argue that the responsibilities of operating AIS base stations should 
be undertaken only by Federal entities. AIS base stations will query 
and send commands to vessels. They will have the capability of 
overriding certain shipborne AIS functions through remote control. They 
will serve as aids to navigation, in a fashion similar to lighthouses. 
They will be responsible for maritime traffic management. Given the 
critical role played by AIS base stations in the global AIS network, it 
would be inappropriate to permit private sector entities, or even state 
or local government entities, to operate such stations in the United 
States. Permitting non-Federal entities to control AIS base stations 
could potentially jeopardize maritime domain awareness and maritime 
safety by diffusing responsibility and accountability for AIS base 
station operations.
    19. It follows from this determination--that only Federal entities 
should operate AIS base stations--that the Commission should not 
promulgate rules for the licensing and operation of AIS base stations. 
The Commission is statutorily prohibited from licensing Federal 
Government radio stations. There is likewise no reason for the 
Commission to adopt rules to govern the certification of AIS base 
station equipment, because the Commission plays no role in certifying 
equipment for Federal Government stations. Although most commenters 
favor the international standard, IEC 62320-1, as the basis for 
equipment certification rules for AIS base stations, the comments do 
not account for the fact that radiofrequency equipment used in Federal 
Government radio stations is subject to certification by NTIA, not the 
Commission. In any event, the Commission has no reason to expect that 
the Federal Government will employ AIS base station equipment that is 
not compatible with the international standards. The Commission 
therefore declines to adopt any rules pertaining to the licensing, 
operation, or certification of equipment for AIS base stations.
    20. The final set of issues presented in the FNPRM in this 
proceeding involved standards for certifying Class B AIS shipborne 
equipment, and further measures the Commission might adopt to ensure 
the accuracy of data transmitted from such devices. As the Commission 
noted in the FNPRM, Class B AIS devices are generally intended for use 
by vessels that are not subject to a mandatory AIS carriage 
requirement, and provide a less expensive alternative to Class A 
devices to encourage voluntary AIS carriage. For reasons discussed 
below, the Commission concludes that it should base part 80 
certification of Class B AIS devices on compliance with the pertinent 
international standard for such devices, IEC 62287-1, as proposed in 
the FNPRM. The Commission therefore adds a new Sec.  80.231 and revises 
Sec.  80.1101(c)(12) of the Commission's rules to incorporate IEC 
62287-1 by reference as the Commission standard for certifying Class B 
AIS equipment. As suggested by some commenters, however, the Commission 
also adopts additional requirements as safeguards to better ensure that 
Class B AIS devices will transmit accurate static data, including the 
correct Maritime Mobile

[[Page 5121]]

Service Identity (MMSI) number. (An MMSI number, also referred to 
simply as an MMSI, is a unique nine-digit number assigned to commercial 
and recreational vessels participating in the Global Maritime Distress 
and Safety System (GMDSS). The MMSI functions as a ``phone number'' for 
the vessel and must be programmed into the vessel's digital selective 
calling (DSC) radio. MMSIs are also used for AIS transponders.)
    21. The commenters addressing this issue generally favor the 
Commission's proposal to incorporate by reference IEC 62287-1 as the 
standard for certifying Class B AIS equipment under part 80. As ACR 
Electronics explains, the incorporation by reference of IEC 62287-1 is 
the option most consistent with the paramount goals of this proceeding 
to facilitate speedy and widespread deployment of AIS equipment. Given 
that, as ACR Electronics also notes, there currently is no alternative 
basis for certifying Class B AIS equipment, rejection of IEC 62287-1 as 
the standard for certifying Class B AIS devices would necessitate the 
development of a different standard, which would result in a 
substantial and unacceptable additional delay before Commission 
certification of Class B AIS devices could begin. Further, reliance on 
the existing IEC standard will reduce the cost of Class B AIS devices, 
and thus promote voluntary AIS carriage. It will also moot any concerns 
regarding interoperability of Class B AIS devices both domestically and 
on a worldwide basis.
    22. The Commission disagrees with MariTEL's contention that the 
Commission should delay certifying Class B AIS equipment until it 
determines whether IEC 62287-1 ensures that Class B AIS devices do not 
cause interference to VPC operations in adjacent spectrum. The 
Commission already has determined, after reviewing an extensive record 
that included separate technical studies submitted by MariTEL and NTIA, 
that ``the interference impact of wideband simplex AIS on VPC 
operations can be effectively mitigated through commercially reasonable 
means,'' and MariTEL has not adduced any evidence to suggest that Class 
B AIS devices would pose a greater interference threat to VPC 
operations than Class A AIS devices, or that adopting rules for the 
certification of Class B AIS devices otherwise requires revisiting that 
earlier determination. The Commission finds, in sum, that certification 
of Class B AIS equipment in accordance with the established 
international standard for such equipment would serve the public 
interest for the same reasons that underlie the Commission's earlier 
determination to certify Class A AIS equipment in accordance with the 
established Class A international standard. The Commission therefore 
amends our rules as proposed to incorporate by reference IEC 62287-1 as 
the standard for certifying Class B AIS equipment under Part 80.
    23. The Commission also agrees in principle with those commenters 
who believe that the Commission should adopt additional measures, 
beyond reliance on IEC 62287-1, to ensure the accuracy of MMSIs and 
other static data programmed into Class B AIS devices. The Commission 
has reviewed the proposals to that end in the record, some of which are 
very detailed and extensive. As discussed below, the Commission adopts 
three measures to provide better assurance that Class B AIS devices 
will be programmed with the correct static data, and in particular the 
correct MMSI. None of these measures conflicts with IEC 62287-1, and 
none should be burdensome for either equipment manufacturers or end 
users. It is unnecessary, and might be counterproductive, to prescribe 
more complicated processes, as some comments contemplate.
    24. First, as urged by NTIA, the Commission prohibits any person 
from knowingly entering an incorrect MMSI or other static data in a 
Class B AIS device. Although this is a very basic measure, it ensures 
and clarifies that the Commission may impose the full range of 
sanctions at its disposal for the willful or knowing entry of false 
data. The Commission says it would view any violations of this 
requirement as very serious, because the transmission of inaccurate 
static data could result in the misidentification of vessels, thus 
compromising the Coast Guard's ability to use AIS to full effect on 
behalf of its maritime domain awareness efforts. Second, the Commission 
requires that the static data, including MMSI, be entered by sellers 
and professional installers of Class B AIS devices, not the end users. 
As commenters note, IEC 62287-1 prohibits end users from altering 
MMSIs, once programmed in the unit, but does not prohibit end users 
from entering the numbers initially. Thus, this requirement would go 
further than IEC 62287-1 by requiring professional entry of the MMSI 
number at the point of sale or installation. NTIA proposes such a 
requirement, and it is consistent with the comments of ACR Electronics, 
RTCM and the Task Force asking the Commission to require persons that 
sell and install Class B AIS units to ensure that the appropriate 
static data is entered, or at least to encourage them to enter the data 
themselves. Third, and also as recommended by NTIA, as well as by RTCM, 
the Commission requires manufacturers to include a conspicuous label on 
Class B AIS devices explaining how to enter and confirm static data, 
and warning that inputting an MMSI that has not been properly assigned 
to the end user, or otherwise entering any improper or inaccurate 
static data, is prohibited. Manufacturers also will be required to 
include this information in the user's manual. As RTCM notes, IEC 
62287-1 contains only minimal guidance on the contents of manuals and 
user instructions, so adoption of this requirement does not conflict 
with the standard. NTIA believes that these three measures together 
provide a significant safeguard to ensure that the static data 
transmitted from Class B AIS devices, particularly MMSIs, are accurate 
and reliable. The Commission therefore adopts these measures. The 
Commission also adopts its proposal, unopposed by any commenter, that 
applicants for Commission certification of a Class B AIS device first 
obtain Coast Guard certification of the device, consistent with the 
Commission's procedures for Class A AIS devices.
    25. Finally, the Commission notes that, while the FNPRM was 
pending, equipment manufacturers requested waivers to permit the 
authorization and use of Class B AIS transponders. The Wireless 
Telecommunications Bureau's Mobility Division sought comment on the 
waiver requests, and the commenters support authorizing Class B AIS 
devices before the conclusion of this proceeding. They assert that 
allowing voluntary vessels to fit the lower-cost Class B AIS devices as 
soon as possible will improve maritime security and safety of 
navigation. The Commission agrees that it is in the public interest to 
allow the use of Class B devices prior to the effective date of the 
rules adopted herein. Therefore, the Commission grants the waiver 
requests to the extent that it will certify Class B equipment that 
meets the requirements adopted in this Second Report and Order prior to 
the effective date of the new rules.

I. Procedural Matters

A. Paperwork Reduction Act Analysis

    26. This document contains new information collection requirements 
subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), Public Law 104-
13. It will be submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) 
for review under Section 3507(d) of the

[[Page 5122]]

PRA. OMB, the general public, and other Federal agencies are invited to 
comment on the new or modified information collection requirements 
contained in this proceeding. In addition, we note that pursuant to the 
Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002, Public Law 107-198, see 44 
U.S.C. 3506(c)(4), we previously sought specific comment on how the 
Commission might ``further reduce the information collection burden for 
small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees.''
    27. In this present document, we have assessed the effects of 
establishing labeling requirements for manufacturers of Class B AIS 
devices, and find that the labeling requirements adopted herein would 
not impose an undue burden or excessive cost on such manufacturers, 
including those that have fewer than 25 employees. We also find that 
the public interest in ensuring that Class B AIS devices transmit 
accurate static data, including the correct MMSI number, which is the 
underlying purpose of the labeling requirements, outweighs the 
incremental compliance cost on manufacturers, including those that have 
25 or fewer employees.

B. Report to Congress

    28. The Commission will send a copy of this Second Report and Order 
in a report to be sent to Congress and the General Accountability 
Office pursuant to the Congressional Review Act, see 5 U.S.C. 
801(a)(1)(A).

C. Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

    29. As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, as 
amended (RFA), an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) was 
incorporated in the FNPRM in this proceeding. The Commission sought 
written public comment on the proposals in the FNPRM, including comment 
on the IRFA. This present Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (FRFA) 
conforms to the RFA.
    Need for, and Objectives of, the Second Report and Order:
    30. The rules adopted in the Second Report and Order are intended 
to facilitate the implementation of maritime Automatic Identification 
Systems (AIS) in the United States and its territorial waters. AIS is 
an important tool for enhancing maritime safety and homeland security. 
In the Second Report and Order, the Commission designates VHF maritime 
Channel 87B for exclusive AIS use in inland VHF Public Coast service 
areas (VPCSAs) because such designation will best ensure that the 
United States can maximize the maritime safety and homeland security 
benefits of AIS. The exclusive use of VHF maritime Channel 87B for AIS 
in inland waterways will, among other things, provide an important 
navigational tool to guide vessels traveling on inland rivers and 
lakes, avoid the problems that would inhere in requiring vessels to 
switch AIS channels when transiting an AIS ``fence'' between maritime 
VPCSAs and inland VPCSAs, facilitate speedy AIS deployment using 
existing technical standards and infrastructure, and prevent co-channel 
interference to AIS operations not only in inland waterways but also in 
coastal and international waters. The Second Report and Order also 
concludes that AIS base stations should be operated only by Federal 
entities, and, as a consequence, that the Commission need not adopt any 
rules pertaining to AIS base station equipment certification, licensing 
or operation. Finally, the Commission adopts rules for the 
certification of Class B AIS devices, incorporating by reference the 
applicable international standard as the basis for such certification, 
while also adopting additional measures to better ensure that Class B 
AIS devices transmit accurate static data.
    Summary of Significant Issues Raised by Public Comments in Response 
to the IRFA:
    31. No comments were submitted specifically in response to the 
IRFA. However, one of the commenters, MariTEL, Inc. (MariTEL), contends 
that the Commission should not designate Channel 87B for AIS in inland 
VPCSAs, should not adopt rules based on international standards for the 
certification of AIS base station equipment, and should not authorize 
Class B AIS devices pursuant to the international standards, because 
such measures would cause interference to VHF Public Coast (VPC) 
stations operating on adjacent channels. As discussed in detail in 
Section E of this FRFA, we have considered the potential economic 
impact on small entities of these rules, and we have considered 
alternatives that would reduce the potential economic impact on small 
entities of the rules enacted herein, regardless of whether the 
potential economic impact was discussed in any comments.
    Description and Estimate of the Number of Small Entities to Which 
Rules Will Apply:
    32. The RFA directs agencies to provide a description of and, where 
feasible, an estimate of the number of small entities that may be 
affected by the proposed rules, if adopted. The RFA defines the term 
``small entity'' as having the same meaning as the terms ``small 
business,'' ``small organization,'' and ``small governmental 
jurisdiction.'' In addition, the term ``small business'' has the same 
meaning as the term ``small business concern'' under the Small Business 
Act. A small business concern is one which: (1) Is independently owned 
and operated; (2) is not dominant in its field of operation; and (3) 
satisfies any additional criteria established by the Small Business 
Administration (SBA).
    33. Small businesses in the aviation and marine radio services use 
a very high frequency (VHF) marine or aircraft radio and, as 
appropriate, an emergency position-indicating radio beacon (and/or 
radar) or an emergency locator transmitter. The Commission has not 
developed a small business size standard specifically applicable to 
these small businesses. For purposes of this analysis, the Commission 
uses the SBA small business size standard for the category ``Cellular 
and Other Wireless Telecommunications,'' which is 1,500 or fewer 
employees. Between December 3, 1998 and December 14, 1998, the 
Commission held an auction of 42 VHF Public Coast (VPC) licenses in the 
157.1875-157.4500 MHz (ship transmit) and 161.775-162.0125 MHz (coast 
transmit) bands. For purposes of the auction, the Commission defined a 
``small'' business as an entity that, together with controlling 
interests and affiliates, has average gross revenues for the preceding 
three years not to exceed fifteen million dollars. In addition, a 
``very small'' business is one that, together with controlling 
interests and affiliates, has average gross revenues for the preceding 
three years not to exceed three million dollars. There are 
approximately 10,672 licensees in the Marine Coast Service, and the 
Commission estimates that almost all of them qualify as ``small'' 
businesses under the above special small business size standards.
    Description of Projected Reporting, Recordkeeping, and Other 
Compliance Requirements for Small Entities:
    34. The rule amendments adopted in the Second Report and Order 
impose new compliance burdens on manufacturers and vendors of Class B 
AIS devices by requiring that such devices comply with the 
international standard for Class B AIS equipment, IEC 62287-1, in order 
to be certified by the Commission for use in the United States, and by 
requiring that static data be entered into Class B AIS equipment only 
by the vendor or installer. The rule amendments adopted in the Second 
Report and Order also impose requirements for the professional

[[Page 5123]]

installation and labeling of Class B AIS devices to better ensure the 
accuracy of the static data transmitted from such devices.
    Steps Taken to Minimize the Significant Economic Impact on Small 
Entities, and Significant Alternatives Considered:
    35. The RFA requires an agency to describe any significant 
alternatives that it has considered in developing its approach, which 
may include the following four alternatives (among others): ``(1) The 
establishment of differing compliance or reporting requirements or 
timetables that take into account the resources available to small 
entities; (2) the clarification, consolidation, or simplification of 
compliance and reporting requirements under the rule for such small 
entities; (3) the use of performance rather than design standards; and 
(4) an exemption from coverage of the rule, or any part thereof, for 
such small entities.''
    36. In the IRFA for the FNPRM, the Commission described, and sought 
comment on, possible alternatives to the rule amendments under 
consideration in the FNPRM that might minimize the economic impact on 
small entities. Specifically, the Commission asked interested parties, 
and in particular inland VPCSA licensees, to provide information on the 
potential impact on inland VPCSA licensees of designating Channel 87B 
for AIS use exclusively throughout the Nation. To the extent that 
commenters foresaw such an impact, they were invited to suggest 
alternatives that would minimize or eliminate any adverse effect on 
small entities. It was noted, for example, that commenters could 
suggest that inland VPCSA licensees be accorded treatment similar to 
that which was accorded to site-based incumbent licensees, permitting 
them to continue to operate on Channel 87B on a shared basis with AIS 
for the remainder of their current license terms, but with no 
opportunity for renewal of the licenses. Commenters were also invited 
to address the possibility of migrating such licensees to different 
channels if such were available.
    37. In the FNPRM, comment was also invited on rules to govern AIS 
base stations, including certification standards for AIS base station 
equipment. In the absence of specific proposals, the Commission invited 
interested parties to consider generally whether any special measures 
should be adopted in the AIS base station rules to prevent a 
significant adverse impact on small entities. Parties providing such 
comments were asked to address the extent to which they believe small 
entities may seek to become AIS base station licensees.
    38. Finally, the Commission requested comment in the FNPRM on the 
Commission's proposal to incorporate by reference IEC 62287-1 as the 
standard for certifying Class B AIS devices under Part 80 of the 
Commission's rules. The Commission stated that incorporating by 
reference the international standard for Class B AIS devices would 
reduce costs to manufacturers by eliminating the possible need to 
design devices to two potentially conflicting standards, and would 
reduce costs to users of the devices both from a pass-through of 
manufacturers' cost savings and by eliminating the possible need to fit 
their vessels with more than one Class B AIS device if they travel 
outside U.S. territorial waters, i.e., removing the need to carry one 
Class B AIS device to function within U.S. territorial waters, and 
another Class B AIS device to function in international waters or other 
nations' territorial waters. The Commission noted, in addition, that 
Class B AIS devices are intended generally for use on vessels that are 
not required by law to carry AIS devices. Since carriage of Class B AIS 
devices is voluntary, the establishment of standards for certifying 
such devices should not impose a new compliance burden on vessel 
operators. However, to the extent that any commenters believed that the 
establishment of equipment certification standards for Class B AIS 
devices might impose a significant new compliance burden on any small 
entities, the Commission invited those commenters to suggest 
alternative or complementary approaches that might reduce or eliminate 
that burden, including, but not limited to, the establishment of less 
rigorous standards, or the provision of exemptions or grandfathering 
protection for small entities.
    39. Although the Commission received no comments specifically 
addressed to the IRFA for the FNPRM, it has considered all comments to 
the FNPRM addressing the impact of any proposed change on small 
entities and all suggestions for alternative measures that would have a 
less significant impact on small entities. For reasons discussed below, 
the Commission has concluded that the rule changes adopted in the 
Second Report and Order will not impose undue compliance burdens on 
small entities.
    40. In order to avoid the disruption of VPC station operations in 
inland VPCSAs that might otherwise stem from the designation of Channel 
87B for exclusive AIS use in the inland VPCSAs, the Commission has 
provided the licensees of those stations with both a significant 
transitional period to adjust to the loss of Channel 87B, as well as a 
replacement channel. Specifically, the Commission has provided that 
site-based licensees operating on Channel 87B in inland areas may 
continue to use that channel for fifteen years after the effective date 
of these rule changes, and that geographic licensees operating on 
Channel 87B in inland VPCSAs may continue to operate on the channel for 
a period of two years following the effective date of these rule 
amendments. In addition, in each inland VPCSA, the Commission is making 
a duplex channel pair, either Channel 84 or Channel 85, depending on 
the inland VPCSA, available for VPC use by the geographic licensee as a 
replacement for Channel 87B. Channel 84/85 will be made available 
immediately upon the effective date of these rule amendments; thus, 
licensees will be able to operate on either Channel 84/85 or Channel 
87B for a significant period of time, allowing migration of existing 
users of Channel 87B to alternative spectrum without disruption of 
existing operations on Channel 87B. In addition, the only commenter 
opposing the designation of Channel 87B for AIS use in inland VPCSAs 
has indicated that the redesignation of Channel 84/85 for VPC use could 
suffice to compensate licensees for the loss of use of Channel 87B.
    41. The Commission has determined not to adopt rules for the 
certification of AIS base station equipment, or for the licensing and 
operation of AIS base stations, because AIS base stations perform 
critical maritime safety and homeland security functions, and should 
therefore be controlled only by Federal entities. Accordingly, there is 
no present need to further consider how such rules might affect small 
entities.
    42. In addition, the Commission continues to find, for the reasons 
stated in the IRFA accompanying the FNPRM, that adopting rules for the 
certification of Class B AIS devices based on the international 
standard, IEC 62287-1, will benefit the manufacturers of such devices, 
including small entities, because manufacturers would have to 
manufacture Class B AIS devices in accordance with that standard in any 
event to serve vessels traveling outside U.S. territorial waters. 
Adoption of a different standard incompatible with IEC 62287-1 would 
increase costs of manufacturing Class B AIS equipment by requiring that 
such equipment conform to both standards. Those costs would be passed 
on to consumers, and it is even possible that establishment of

[[Page 5124]]

a U.S.-specific standard for Class B AIS devices would compel vessel 
owners and operators, including recreational boaters, to purchase and 
install two separate Class B AIS devices. Adoption of a different 
standard would also delay domestic deployment of Class B AIS equipment 
because no such accepted alternative standard currently exists. 
Finally, the Commission has noted that the manufacturers addressing 
this issue all support the incorporation by reference of IEC 62287-1.
    43. Finally, the Commission has also determined in the Second 
Report and Order to impose additional requirements pertaining to the 
labeling, sale, installation and operation of Class B AIS equipment. 
Specifically, the Commission has adopted rules that: (a) Prohibit any 
person from entering an incorrect MMSI or other static data in a Class 
B AIS device; (b) require that sellers and professional installers of 
Class B AIS devices, not the end users, enter the static data; and (c) 
require affixation on a Class B AIS device of a conspicuous label 
explaining how to enter and confirm static data, and warning that it is 
a violation of the Commission's rules to input an MMSI that has not 
been properly assigned to the end user, or to otherwise enter any 
improper or inaccurate static data, and to provide this same 
information in the user's manual. These provisions do not impose a 
significant compliance burden on manufacturers, vendors or users of 
Class B AIS equipment. In any event, the Commission does not see any 
alternative that would permit differential application of these 
requirements on small entities without undermining the purpose of these 
requirements, to promote homeland security and maritime safety by 
ensuring that Class B AIS devices transmit accurate static data.

F. Report to Congress

    44. The Commission will send a copy of this Second Report and Order 
in WT Docket No. 04-344, including the Final Regulatory Flexibility 
Analysis, in a report to be sent to Congress pursuant to the 
Congressional Review Act. In addition, the Commission will send a copy 
of the Second Report and Order, including the Final Regulatory 
Flexibility Analysis, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the SBA. A 
copy of the Second Report and Order and the Final Regulatory 
Flexibility Analysis (or summaries thereof) will also be published in 
the Federal Register.

List of Subjects

47 CFR Part 2

    Communications equipment.

47 CFR Part 80

    Incorporation by reference, Communications equipment, Marine 
safety, Radio, Vessels.

47 CFR Part 90

    Communications equipment, Radio.

Federal Communications Commission.
Marlene H. Dortch,
Secretary.

Rule Changes

0
For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Federal Communications 
Commission amends 47 CFR parts 2, 80 and 90 as follows:

PART 2--FREQUENCY ALLOCATIONS AND RADIO TREATY MATTERS; GENERAL 
RULES AND REGULATIONS

0
1. The authority citation for part 2 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 47 U.S.C. 154, 302a, 303, and 336, unless otherwise 
noted.


0
2. Section 2.106, the Table of Frequency Allocations, footnote US399, 
is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  2.106  Table of Frequency Allocations.

UNITED STATES (US) NOTES
* * * * *
    US399 The frequency bands 161.9625-161.9875 MHz (AIS 1 with its 
center frequency at 161.975 MHz) and 162.0125-162.0375 MHz (AIS 2 
with its center frequency at 162.025 MHz) are allocated to the 
maritime mobile service on a primary basis for Federal Government 
and non-Federal Government use, and shall be used exclusively for 
Automatic Identification Systems (AIS). However, in VHF Public Coast 
Service Areas (VPCSAs) 1-9, site-based stations licensed prior to 
November 13, 2006, may continue to operate on a co-primary basis in 
the frequency band 161.9625-161.9875 MHz until expiration of the 
license term for licenses in active status as of November 13, 2006. 
Also, in VPCSAs 10-42, site-based stations licensed in the frequency 
band 161.9625-161.9875 MHz prior to March 2, 2009 may remain 
authorized to operate on a co-primary basis in that frequency band 
until March 4, 2024, and geographical stations licensed in the 
frequency band 161.9625-161.9875 MHz prior to March 2, 2009 may 
continue to operate on a co-primary basis in that frequency band 
until March 2, 2011. See 47 CFR 80.371(c)(1)(ii) for the definitions 
of VPCSAs, and geographic license.
* * * * *

PART 80--STATIONS IN THE MARITIME SERVICES

0
3. The authority citation for part 80 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: Secs. 4, 303, 307(e), 309, and 332, 48 Stat. 1066, 
1082, as amended; 47 U.S.C. 154, 303, 307(e), 309, and 332, unless 
otherwise noted. Interpret or apply 48 Stat. 1064-1068, 1081-1105, 
as amended; 47 U.S.C. 151-155, 301-609; 3 UST 3450, 3 UST 4726, 12 
UST 2377.

0
4. Amend part 80 by adding Sec.  80.231 to read as follows:


Sec.  80.231  Technical Requirements for Class B Automatic 
Identification System (AIS) equipment.

    (a) Class B Automatic Identification System (AIS) equipment must 
meet the technical requirements of the International Electro-technical 
Commission (IEC) 62287-1 International Standard, ``Maritime navigation 
and radio communication equipment and systems--Class B shipborne 
equipment of the Automatic Identification System--Part 1: Carrier--
sense time division multiple access (CSTDMA) techniques,'' First 
Edition 2006-03. The Director of the Federal Register approves this 
incorporation by reference in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR 
part 51. Copies of this standard can be inspected at the Federal 
Communications Commission, 445 12th Street, SW., Washington, DC 
(Reference Information Center), call 1-888-225-5322 or at the National 
Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the 
availability of this material at NARA, call 202-741-6030, or go to: 
http://www.archives.gov/federal_register/code_of_federal_regulations/ibr_locations.html. IEC publications can be purchased from 
the International Electro-technical Commission, 3 Rue de Varembe, CH-
1211 Geneva 20, Switzerland, or from the American National Standards 
Institute (ANSI), 25 West 43rd Street, New York, NY 10036, telephone 
(212) 642-4900, http://www.ansi.org.
    (b) In addition to the labels or other identifying information 
required under Sec. Sec.  2.925 and 2.926 of this chapter, each Class B 
AIS device shall include a conspicuous label that includes: 
Instructions on how to accurately enter into the device and confirm 
static data pertaining to the vessel in which the device is or will be 
installed; and the following statement: ``WARNING: It is a violation of 
the rules of the Federal Communications Commission to input an MMSI 
that has not been properly assigned to the end user, or to otherwise 
input any inaccurate data in this

[[Page 5125]]

device.'' Instructions on how to accurately enter and confirm static 
data in the device shall also be included in the user's manual for the 
device. The entry of static data into a Class B AIS device shall be 
performed by the vendor of the device or by an appropriately qualified 
person in the business of installing marine communications equipment on 
board vessels. In no event shall the entry of static data into a Class 
B AIS device be performed by the user of the device or the licensee of 
a ship station using the device. Knowingly programming a Class B AIS 
device with inaccurate static data, or causing a Class B AIS device to 
be programmed with inaccurate static data, is prohibited.
    (c) Prior to submitting a certification application for a Class B 
AIS device, the following information must be submitted in duplicate to 
the Commandant (CG-521), U.S. Coast Guard, 2100 2nd Street, SW., 
Washington, DC 20593-0001:
    (1) The name of the manufacturer or grantee and the model number of 
the AIS device; and
    (2) Copies of the test report and test data obtained from the test 
facility showing that the device complies with the environmental and 
operational requirements identified in IEC 62287-1.
    (d) After reviewing the information described in paragraph (c) of 
this section, the U.S. Coast Guard will issue a letter stating whether 
the AIS device satisfies all of the requirements specified in IEC 
62287-1.
    (e) A certification application for an AIS device submitted to the 
Commission must contain a copy of the U.S. Coast Guard letter stating 
that the device satisfies all of the requirements specified in IEC 
62287-1, a copy of the technical test data, and the instruction 
manual(s).

0
5. Amend Sec.  80.275 by revising the heading and paragraph (a) 
introductory text to read as follows:


Sec.  80.275  Technical Requirements for Class A Automatic 
Identification System (AIS) equipment.

    (a) Prior to submitting a certification application for a Class A 
AIS device, the following information must be submitted in duplicate to 
the Commandant (G-PSE), U.S. Coast Guard, 2100 2nd Street, SW., 
Washington, DC 20593-0001:
* * * * *

0
6. Amend Sec.  80.371 by removing the column titled ``Frequency pairs 
not available for assignment'' in the table in paragraph (c)(1)(ii), 
and revising paragraphs (c)(1)(i), (c)(1)(ii) introductory text, and 
(c)(3) to read as follows:


Sec.  80.371  Public correspondence frequencies.

* * * * *
    (c) Working frequencies in the marine VHF 156-162 MHz band. (1)(i) 
The frequency pairs listed in this paragraph are available for 
assignment to public coast stations for communications with ship 
stations and units on land.

       Working Carrier Frequency Pairs in the 156-162 MHz Band \1\
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                      Carrier Frequency
                                                            (MHz)
                Channel designator                 ---------------------
                                                       Ship      Coast
                                                     transmit   transmit
------------------------------------------------------------------------
24................................................    157.200    161.800
84................................................    157.225    161.825
25 \5\............................................    157.250    161.850
85 \2\............................................    157.275    161.875
26................................................    157.300    161.900
86................................................    157.325    161.925
27................................................    157.350    161.950
87 \3\............................................    157.375    161.975
28................................................    157.400    162.000
88 \4\............................................    157.425    162.025
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ For special assignment of frequencies in this band in certain areas
  of Washington State, the Great Lakes and the east coast of the United
  States pursuant to arrangements between the United States and Canada,
  see subpart B of this part.
\2\ The frequency pair 157.275/161.875 MHz is available on a primary
  basis to ship and public coast stations. In Alaska it is also
  available on a secondary basis to private mobile repeater stations.
\3\ The frequency 161.975 MHz is available only for Automatic
  Identification System communications. No license authorizing a site-
  based VHF Public Coast Station or a Private Land Mobile Radio Station
  to operate on the frequency 161.975 MHz will be renewed unless the
  license is or has been modified to remove frequency 161.975 MHz as an
  authorized frequency. Licenses authorizing geographic stations to
  operate on frequency 161.975 MHz will be modified on March 2, 2011 to
  replace the frequency with either frequency pair 157.225/161.825 MHz
  (VPCSAs 10-15, 23-30, 33-34, 36-39, and 41-42) or frequency pair
  157.275/161.875 MHz (VPCSAs 16-22, 31-32, 35, and 40), unless an
  application to so modify the license is granted before that date.
\4\ The frequency 162.025 MHz is available only for Automatic
  Identification System communications. One hundred twenty kilometers
  (75 miles) from the United States/Canada border, the frequency 157.425
  MHz is available for intership and commercial communications. Outside
  the Puget Sound area and its approaches and the Great Lakes, 157.425
  MHz is available for communications between commercial fishing vessels
  and associated aircraft while engaged in commercial fishing
  activities.
\5\ In VPCSAs 10-42, the working carrier frequency pair 157.250/161.850
  MHz (Channel 25) is not available for assignment under part 80.

* * * * *
    (ii) Service areas in the marine VHF 156-162 MHz band are VHF 
Public Coast Service Areas (VPCSAs). As listed in the table in this 
paragraph, VPCSAs are based on, and composed of one or more of, the 
U.S. Department of Commerce's 172 Economic Areas (EAs). See 60 FR 13114 
(March 10, 1995). In addition, the Commission shall treat Guam and the 
Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin 
Islands, American Samoa, and the Gulf of Mexico as EA-like areas, and 
has assigned them EA numbers 173-176, respectively. Maps of the EAs and 
VPCSAs are available for public inspection and copying at the FCC 
Public Reference Room, Room CY-A257, 445 12th Street, SW., Washington, 
DC 20554, 1-888-225-5322. In addition to the EAs listed in the table in 
this paragraph, each VPCSA also includes the adjacent waters under the 
jurisdiction of the United States. In VPCSAs 10-42, the working carrier 
frequency pair 157.250 MHz/161.850 MHz (Channel 25) is not available 
for assignment under part 80.
    (3) VPCSA licensees may not operate on Channel 228B (162.0125 MHz), 
which is available for use in the Coast Guard's Ports and Waterways 
Safety System (PAWSS). In addition, VPCSA licensees may not operate on 
Channel AIS 1 (161.975 MHz) or Channel AIS 2 (162.025 MHz), which are 
designated exclusively for Automatic Identification Systems (AIS), 
except to receive AIS communications to the same extent, and subject to 
the same limitations, as other shore stations participating in AIS. See 
note 3 to the table in paragraph (c)(1) of this section regarding use 
of Channel AIS 1 by VPCSA licensees in VPCSAs 10-42.
* * * * *

0
7. Amend Sec.  80.393 by adding an undesignated center heading ``AIS 
STATIONS'' immediately above Sec.  80.393 and by revising the section 
to read as follows:

AIS Stations


Sec.  80.393  Frequencies for AIS stations.

    Automatic Identification Systems (AIS) are a maritime broadcast 
service. The simplex channels at 161.975 MHz (AIS 1) and 162.025 MHz 
(AIS 2), each with a 25 kHz bandwidth, may be authorized only for AIS. 
In accordance with the Maritime Transportation Security Act, the United 
States Coast Guard regulates AIS carriage requirements for non-Federal 
Government ships. These requirements are codified at 33 CFR 164.46, 
401.20.

0
8. Amend Sec.  80.1101 by adding paragraph (c)(12)(vi) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  80.1101  Performance standards.

* * * * *
    (c) * * *

[[Page 5126]]

    (12) * * *
    (vi) With respect to Class B AIS devices only, IEC 62287-1 
International Standard, ``Maritime navigation and radio communication 
equipment and systems--Class B shipborne equipment of the Automatic 
Identification System--part 1: Carrier--sense time division multiple 
access (CSTDMA) techniques,'' First Edition 2006-03 (incorporated by 
reference at Sec.  80.231).
* * * * *

PART 90-PRIVATE LAND MOBILE RADIO SERVICES

    The authority citation for part 90 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: Secs. 4(i), 11, 303(g), 303(r) and 332(c)(7) of the 
Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 154(i), 161, 
303(g), 303(r), 332(c)(7).

0
9. Amend Sec.  90.20 by removing paragraphs (g)(3) and (g)(4), 
redesignating paragraph (g)(5) as (g)(3), and revising paragraphs (g) 
introductory text, (g)(2) and redesignated paragraphs (g)(3)(i), 
(g)(3)(ii), (g)(3)(iii)(B), (g)(3)(iii)(D), and (g)(3)(vi) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  90.20  Public safety pool.

* * * * *
    (g) Former public correspondence working channel in the maritime 
VHF (156-162 MHz) band allocated for public safety use in 33 inland 
Economic Areas.
* * * * *
    (2) In VHF Public Coast Service Areas (VPCSAs) 10-42, the duplex 
channel pair 157.250 MHz/161.850 MHz (VHF Maritime Channel 25) is 
allocated for public safety use by entities eligible for licensing 
under paragraph (a) of this section, and is designated primarily for 
the purpose of interoperability communications. See 47 CFR 
80.371(c)(1)(ii) for the definitions of VPCSAs.
    (i) The channel pair 157.250 MHz/161.850 MHz was formerly allocated 
and assigned (under Sec.  80.371(c) (1997) of this chapter) as a public 
correspondence working channel in the maritime VHF 156-162 MHz band, 
and was also shared (under former Sec.  90.283 (1997) of this chapter) 
with private land mobile stations, including grandfathered public 
safety licensees. Thus, there are grandfathered licensees nationwide 
(maritime and private land mobile radio stations, including by rule 
waiver) operating on this channel both inside and outside of VPCSAs 10-
42.
    (ii) The channel pairs 157.225 MHz/161.825 MHz and 157.275 MHz/
161.875 MHz were formerly allocated and assigned under this section as 
public safety interoperability channels but were reallocated for 
assignment as VHF public coast station channels under Sec.  80.371(c) 
of this chapter. Public safety operations licensed on these channels as 
of March 2, 2009 or licensed pursuant to an application filed prior to 
September 19, 2008, may remain authorized to operate on the channels on 
a primary basis until March 4, 2024.
    (3) * * *
    (i) Provide evidence of frequency coordination in accordance with 
Sec.  90.175. Public safety coordinators except the Special Emergency 
Coordinator are certified to coordinate applications for the channel 
pair 157.250 MHz/161.850 MHz (i.e. , letter symbol PX under paragraph 
(c)(2) of this section).
    (ii) Station power, as measured at the output terminals of the 
transmitter, must not exceed 50 Watts for base stations and 20 Watts 
for mobile stations, except in accordance with the provisions of 
paragraph (g)(3)(vi) of this section. Antenna height (HAAT) must not 
exceed 122 meters (400 feet) for base stations and 4.5 meters (15 feet) 
for mobile stations, except in accordance with paragraph (g)(3)(vi) of 
this section. Antenna height (HAAT) must not exceed 122 meters (400 
feet) for base stations and 4.5 meters (15 feet) for mobile stations, 
except in accordance with paragraph (g)(3)(vi) of this section. Such 
base and mobile channels shall not be operated on board aircraft in 
flight.
    (iii) * * *
    (B) Protect stations described in paragraph (g)(2)(i) of this 
section, by frequency coordination in accordance Sec.  90.175 of this 
part.
* * * * *
    (D) Where the Public safety designated channel is not a Public 
safety designated channel in an adjacent VPCSA: Applicants shall 
engineer base stations such that the maximum signal strength at the 
boundary of the adjacent VPCSA does not exceed 5dB[mu]V/m.
* * * * *
    (vi) Applicants seeking to be licensed for stations exceeding the 
power/antenna height limits of the table in paragraph (g)(3)(iv) of 
this section must request a waiver of that paragraph and must submit 
with their application an interference analysis, based upon an 
appropriate, generally-accepted terrain-based propagation model, that 
shows that co-channel protected entities, described in paragraph 
(g)(3)(iii) of this section, would receive the same or greater 
interference protection than the relevant criteria outlined in 
paragraph (g)(3)(iii) of this section.
* * * * *

[FR Doc. E9-1536 Filed 1-28-09; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6712-01-P