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How Rebanding will affect the scanner listener.

First why and the plan

The FCC has mandated Rebanding to try and finally alleviate the interference being caused to 800MHz trunking systems from Nextel. This solution was reached after much battling and negotiation between all the affected parties with an agreement to have Nextel foot most of the bill in return for new spectrum that puts it on a more equal footing with Cellular and PCS companies it's competing with. To do this some band changes will be taking place that will have a major impact on the ways both two-way radios and scanners monitor these frequencies.

Rebanding in the US will start in waves. Here in New England we are part of the first wave of Rebanding actually starting next month on  June 27,2005. However there are many steps to this process so the entire change will take quite some time. Within 18 months of June 27th Nextel will have to complete the retuning of the I-TAC or NPSPAC channels to 851.0125-853.9875. At 36 months Nextel must complete all required relocations of 800MHz Incumbents.

The FCC is designating fourteen MHz in the upper portion of the 800Mhz band for ESMR (Nextel) while designating eighteen megahertz in the lower portion of the 800Mhz band to for use by Public Safety and other non cellular systems. Between the upper and lower systems will be an Expansion band and a Guard band to separate ESMR systems from two-way radio systems and eliminate interference.

Starting on June 27/05 Channels 1-120 or (806-809mobile/851-854MHzbase) can be voluntarily started of all non public safety users and the NPSPAC channels can be moved.

So the first affect we should see is the move of the I-TAC Channels which if they move down the exact 15MHz would be relocated in the new channels 1-120 starting at channel 1 851.0125. 
866.0125R I-Call    would move to 851.0125R
866.5125R I-TAC1 would move to 851.5125R
867.0125R I-TAC2 would move to 852.0125R
867.5125R I-TAC3 would move to 852.5125R
868.0125R I-TAC4 would move to 853.0125R

More local Systems Affected:
Sudbury PD has rebanded to 852.9125R D023  (*info courtesy of Doug Meyer and myself 7/14/08)
West Springfield PD has rebanded to 852.7875 167.9 (*info courtesy of 6/28/08 details)
West Springfield FD has rebanded to 851.475 D205 (*info courtesy of 6/28/08 details)
Sandwich PD has moved from 851.3875 to 855.1125 for rebanding (*info courtesy of Scott H on  9/21/06 details)
Bourne PD is moving today from 851.1625 to 857.4125 for rebanding (*info courtesy of Scott H on  9/21/06 details)
Mashpee PD moving tuesday and wednesday from 851.3125 to 854.9375 (*info courtesy of Scott H on  9/21/06 details)
Easton PD moving from 852.2875 to 855.7625  (Reportedly has moved as of May1st making them the first rebanded department in the State)
Worcester's Trunk has been rebanded with a new frequency plan (*info courtesy of Scott H on  9/5/06 details)
Cambridge PD moving from 852.2625 to 855.5625 (part of their trunk)
Cambridge PD moving from 853.2625 to 856.3625 (part of their trunk)
Comm. of Mass moving from 851.6375 to 859.4125 (MDT channel)
Bristol County moving from 853.7625 to 856.3875 (part of their trunk)
Comm. of Mass moving from 851.6375 to 859.4125
Comm. of Mass moving from 852.2375 to 855.1875
Salisbury PD moving from 852.5875 to 854.2125 (MDT channel) (FCC site showing this channel has moved too. perhaps they where first??)


You can look all these up as they happen here


Now how will this impact me as a Scanner user in this area??
Unfortunately this will have a devastating affect on you and all of us.  Perhaps you have noticed like I that The Mass State Police trunked system will be affected very little as most of the frequencies it uses in most zones are in the area that don't have to be moved. This would seem like all the good news you need at first glance but you would be wrong. The problem is that the channel numbers for all the frequencies in the 800MHz band will change after rebanding ( 821-824 to 806-809 Frequency Conversion Reference ). These number designations are how Motorola trunking systems pass the information in the Control channel data to the radios on where to go to follow conversations. After Rebanding this data will reflect the new channel designations and your scanner will not be able to follow along with out changes made to the tables contained in its memory.  The problem is that except for the latest models of scanners or two-way radios this information is not field programmable.  This means that almost all scanners and two-way radios will not be able to decode Motorola Trunking systems after rebanding and will need to be replaced. Nextel is paying billions to replace the licensed two-way radios but unfortunately will not be required to pay for your many scanners.  Uniden has announced that the only units it will design new firmware for in a post ( ) and now posted on their website. The BCD396D, BC246T, BC296D, BC796D, BC898T, and BCT8. All older models will need replacement. GRE has made no announcement but the consensus on message boards indicates that only the Pro96 and 2096 will be able to be reflashed. The Pro96 can also work without reflashing by manually re-setting up its tables. The newer Pro97 contary to what Radio Shack is stating cannot work this way since the tables do not appear to function during 800Mhz trunking as discovered by Don Starr ( So all other scanners not listed here will no longer be able to monitor Motorola trunking systems after rebanding. EDACS systems should work after user reprograming because they do not use the FCC channel numbers in the way they follow trunking but the LCN order instead.


A very good post by C Gordon on explains the situation in easy to understand example:

Rebanding will affect scanner monitoring of 800 Motorola systems only. Think of the Motorola channel numbering issue like this. There is a road that has houses numbered 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, etc. They build new houses between every one. The houses are renumbered so that it still goes 1, 3, 5 etc but each new house has to be included. Now, if you told someone two year ago that you lived in #7, they will now be going to the wrong house. If you use your older scanner the data channel will tell the radio to go to the wrong house.
EDACS and LTR use LCN so the Uniden scanner working is dependent on you entering the correct freq in the correct channel and is not dependant on FCC channel numbers.

The window starts on June 27, 2005. First the 851-854 users get moved up to 854-860. They have 12 months for that. Then the 866-869 users get moved to 851-854. This all has until June 27, 2008 to be done. So, some channels will change much sooner than others. It is anticipated that the larger, more complex systems such as MSP & CSP will take longer to changeover.

My guess is that MSP is likely to be prolonged because they have older radios that will have to be replaced. CSP will take extra time because while the radios will only need to be flashed, the majority of the system will be relocated to 851-854. This adds lots of retuning and remote site work.


Original thread on Rebanding on

New Fourm on Rebanding changes on

A great new Wiki page on

New! This all too complicated for me...!
How does this rebanding affect me listening to the Mass State Police?


Some important sites to look at for more information on Rebanding:

The FCC's 800MHz Reconfiguration Page
The 800MHz Transition Administrator
Call Sign Checker Frequency Checker
800MHz Rebanding Resource:

Motorola's Rebanding Page
More interesting Motrola pages:
800MHz Band Map - before and after
821-824 to 806-809 Frequency Conversion Reference
How to search the FCC database for License lookups
Rebanding impact on Motorola models:  All Categories of System Types