Industrial/Business radio systems serve a great variety of communications needs. Companies, large and
small, use their radio systems to support their business operations, safety and emergency needs. Although
each licensee uses their system to serve specific requirements that vary from entity to entity, there is one
characteristic that all these private wireless licensees share that differentiates them from commercial use.
They use radio communications as a tool, as they would any other tool or machine, to contribute to the
production of some other good or service in the most efficient way possible. For commercial wireless service
providers, by contrast, the services offered over the radio system are the end product.
In 1992, the FCC began work to develop an overall strategy for using the spectrum in the Private Land Mobile Radio (PLMR) allocations more efficiently to meet future communications requirements. Refarming is the informal name of a notice and comment rule-making proceeding (PR Docket No. 92-235) opened to achieve this goal.
The FCC adopted the Report and Order (R&O) on refarming in 1995 to address the increasing communications
requirements of the private land mobile radio (PLMR) community and to develop a strategy for encouraging more efficient
use of PLMR spectrum below 800 MHz (services within the 150-174 MHz, 421-430 MHz, 450-470 MHz, and 470-512 MHz
bands). This Report and Order served as a critical first step toward achieving this goal. In February of 1997, the FCC
adopted the Second Report and Order on refarming which served as the next critical step toward providing a regulatory
framework which promotes this goal. As a result of this Order, the Industrial Radio Services (Power, Petroleum, Forest
Products, Film & Video Production, Relay Press, Special Industrial, Business, Manufacturers, and Telephone
Maintenance Radio Services) and the Land Transportation Radio Services (Motor Carrier, Railroad, Taxicab, and
Automobile Emergency Radio Services) were combined to form the Industrial/Business Radio Pool (the new
Subpart C of Part 90, Title 47 CFR).