CSAA to Lobby FCC for More Spectrum Use in Big Cities

VIENNA, Va. – The Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA) is planning to ask the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the spring to reassign some of the frequency channels assigned to alarm companies for alarm signal reporting instead of guard dispatch services. The association says the industry is running out of channels due to normal growth.

The industry currently has four high-powered channels allocated for dispatching guards and alarm installers. It also has roughly an equal number of low-powered channels for alarm signaling to central stations, says John Prendergast, an attorney with Blooston, Mordkofsky, Dickens, Duffey and Prendergast, a law firm that serves the alarm industry in telecommunications issues.

“The proposal to take the channels for one purpose and devote it to another channel is an urgent need,” says Prendergast.

CSAA also plans to ask the FCC to update the census numbers it uses to determine “urbanized” area frequencies alarm companies can use in major cities. These frequencies are a subset under the current spectrum and are granted to alarm companies, which, in this case, do not have to apply to the FCC for spectrum use.

Prendergast says the FCC currently uses census numbers from 1960, so cities that have grown since then, such as Las Vegas, do not qualify for urbanized area frequencies. “It’ll be a little controversial to identify these [urbanized] areas now because it’ll be restricted to alarm companies only,” says Prendergast. “As in any spectrum situation, it’s a battle of the haves vs. the have nots.”

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