Obion County Board of Education
June 4, 2012

Agenda Item: VIII.I.

Consider/Approve Tower Space Lease

Background Information :

Due to the upcoming regulation changes by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) pertaining to two-way radio usage, we have to make some adjustments in order to be in compliance with federal law.  Effective January 1, 2013, all radio bandwidths must be at 12.5 megahertz.  Our current bandwidth is at 25 megahertz.  In order to make this adjustment, we first must purchase a new repeater, which will be budgeted in the 2012 – 2013 fiscal year budget. Our current repeater cannot be adjusted to meet these new regulations because it is an older crystal type repeater and a digital one is what is required to meet the upcoming regulations.  Adjusting to a 12.5 megahertz bandwidth on our current tower would cause us to lose approximately 8 percent of our coverage area. The coverage is already scarce around the bluff and in some South Fulton areas. The digital repeater being placed on Robin Wood’s 685 foot tower would increase coverage to the entire area, as opposed to the 300 foot tower we are currently using that belongs to TEMA. With the digital repeater placed on the proposed tower, our bus drivers would no longer have a need for using a cell phone while driving a bus within the county.

The contract with Wood Communication contains all of the proposed pricing for all of the changes mentioned above, as well as adjusting the bus radios to the new bandwidth regulation. This lease is for an initial period of three (3) years, which can be renewed three (3) times (total 12 years). The terms of the lease are $2,700 annually. Since this lease extends beyond a fiscal year, approval must be granted by the Board of Education and County Commission.

Staff Recommendation:

I recommend that the Tower Space Lease be approved so that the System can be in compliance with FCC regulations that become effective January 1, 2013.