Between 2005 and 2008, the FCC is reconfiguring (or rebanding) the 800 MHz band in order to prevent dangerous interference and "dead zones" for public safety radio. Scanners which have pre-programmed service bands will therefore no longer be scanning the proper frequencies for those services. This will cause significant issues for scanner enthusiasts in the short term; however, in the long run, the process will result in clear scanning of the public safety and other bands, as interference will be minimized. In addition to the public safety frequencies, the trunked systems (such as EDACS, Motorola and Nextel) are also being moved.
The first change in frequencies is currently expected to occur in Spring 2006.
Over the years, more and more users and required uses have crammed more and more active frequencies into the 800 MHz frequency band. Presently, commercial radio and public safety radio operate in the same or adjacent frequency bands. This has led to more and more problems with interference between commercial radio and public safety radio. These problems included "dead zones" in which public safety radios could not operate. Obviously, this creates the potential for situations where public safety departments are unable to communicate when they most need to, in life-threatening situations.
As per the Transition Administration website: "Many 800 MHz systems, including public safety, CII, B/ILT, and commercial SMR systems operating in the 800 MHz Band will be required to relocate. Licensees in the 809-815/854-860 MHz Band are not required to relocate."
The organization in charge of implementing the rebanding is the 800 MHz Transition Authority. This consortium of companies and government entities has a website at http://www.800ta.org