Bonner County & Narrowbanding


August 18th, 2010


The county's primary dispatch VHF frequencies on the Hoodoo and Schweitzer Mountain sites are being replaced by different, and narrow banded, frequencies. This will mitigate the interference we have experienced on these primary channels (Dispatch North and Dispatch West) and comply with F.C.C. regulations. 


The time-line for these events are as follows:

08/18/10 - Notification to agencies - This will allow agencies to schedule technical contractors, if needed, to reprogram radios or install new ones.  

09/01/10 -  Bonner Comm will begin monitoring both old and new primary VHF frequencies to allow departments four weeks to reprogram, install, or otherwise transition to the new frequencies while not interfering with normal day to day operations. 

10/01/10 - The former Bonner County primary VHF wide band frequencies (Dispatch North and Dispatch West) will be taken off the air permanently.  


The following are approximate dates to serve as a history reference for the Narrowbanding steps taken by Bonner County:

2010:  Bonner County is waiting to narrowband until the other agencies are also ready so the process of narrowbanding can be accomplished in a unified manner, in the interest of maintaining interoperability.

2008:  Bonner County modifies 90% of it's licenses to reflect narrowband operations.  The only frequencies remaining with the wideband emissions designator on the licenses are the main law enforcement frequency (waiting for the state to have capability which they gain in 2008) and the old Fire/EMS dispatch repeater (to allow for fire departments who are not yet narrowband capable).

2007:  Bonner County installs all narrowband, digital capable repeater networks on Baldy Mountain that would allow VHF and UHF users to communicate together.  This includes a new repeater for EMS and fire dispatch as well as a countywide tactical repeater and a second wide area coverage repeater for law enforcement.

2004:  Road & Bridge and Solid Waste now operate narrowband exclusively with no noticed change in coverage.  Instead of sharing a single frequency, each road district and solid waste have their own probe1.
The newly constructed 911 PSAP uses 100% narrowband capable base stations, 85% of which are also P25 digital capable.

2003:  BCSO replaces all patrol portable radios with P25 capable, narrowband digital radios that are capable of being immersed in water.  BCSO begins purchasing P25 capable, narrowband digital mobile radios for patrol vehicles.  The entire radio fleet is narrowband capable at this point.  All repeaters are now narrowband capable.

2001:  Road & Bridge begins standardization of their radio fleet with narrowband capable radios.  BCSO reconfigures the fleet so that all deputies and "front line" vehicles are narrowband capable.  BCSO continues to replace radios with narrowband capable equipment.

1999:  Several narrowband frequencies are obtained by the County for law enforcement and detention.  The jail begins using narrowband exclusively.  BCSO begins the purchase of narrowband radios with the goal of narrowband compliance by 2005.