Federal database equivalent to Radio Reference

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k3td

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This may be a dumb question, but I have not monitored Fed users in the past. Is there a link on this site for Feds like there is for users licensed by the FCC?

Thank you!
 

ka3jjz

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The Fed's frequency allocations are maintained elsewhere, I believe, and not accessible to the public

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mmckenna

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The federal users are governed by the NTIA. The NTIA does publish some useful information, such as the NTIA "Red Book", however they don't have a publicly searchable database like the FCC does.

Most of what you'll find is people recording their findings on this site. The Red Book may give you some places to start looking, but probably not the detail you are searching for.

https://www.ntia.doc.gov/page/2011/...es-federal-radio-frequency-management-redbook
 

krokus

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This may be a dumb question, but I have not monitored Fed users in the past. Is there a link on this site for Feds like there is for users licensed by the FCC?

Thank you!
Federal users are not licensed by the FCC. They register their use with the NTIA.

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footage

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You can FOIA the Government Master File through the Interdepartmental Radio Advisory Committee (IRAC), which is a unit within NTIA. They will respond quickly and send you a Windows-compatible CD-ROM that acts like an app (in other words, you launch some software on the disc and it allows you to query the database and generate some reports). They'll also send you a bill for $35.

The issue is that the database is scrubbed and doesn't contain many Federal frequency assignments, only non-government assignments for which federal users also hold authorizations. (Think state mutual aid frequencies, local or state fire channels for areas near Federal installations, etc.) So while it contains quite a number of records, few exclusively-Federal assignments are included.

While the full database is not classified, it is exempt from public release because it contains specific assignments that may be classified and because of the concern that people will construct a matrix of publicly-releasable information and then investigate the remaining holes in the matrix (as hobbyists have been doing since time immemorial). Individual agencies control the status of their own assignments, and there have been successful efforts to FOIA frequency lists from them. I would not be optimistic about getting LE-related assignments from anyone, though.

I have to take some responsibiity for this situation. Back in 1982-83 I requested all publicly releasable assignments in the Government Master File and received them on microfiche with very few fields included. Bob Grove had just published his Federal Frequency Directory that listed hundreds of thousands of frequencies with agency and location (but no usage details). When I asked for the "bureau" field that indicated which component of an agency used an assignment, as well as for the "notes" field which can be quite revealing, they denied my request and declared the database exempt from public release under FOIA. My bad, I asked for too much.
 
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