About APCO Local Advisors

What Is a Local Advisor?

The Advisors are a vital and current source of information for members requiring assistance in licensing their radio systems. The APCO Local Advisor Network consists of 61 men and women who are experts in the field of public safety communications and share their skills with APCO. They receive ongoing and technically advanced training in current FCC licensing and frequency coordination procedures. When the FCC releases new rules and changes to APCO, those items are immediately passed on to the Local Advisors.

Roles of the Local Advisor

  1. One of the most important roles Advisors perform is frequency coordination on applications that have been pre-screened by a regional processor. Advisors can help applicants with the coordination process, answer questions about FCC rules and procedures and investigate interference problems. They ultimately assign the frequency that agencies will use in the field.
  2. Advisors play an important role by staying involved in planning for 700 and 800 MHz spectrum allocations — from the planning stage through the licensing stage, and all the way through the second or third window of modifications. All the planning meetings the Local Advisors attend are time-consuming but show the depth of dedication they have for their communities. APCO appreciates the many man hours Advisors volunteer in the name of public safety communications.
  3. If your agency is in the planning stages of a new radio system, you will need to do some investigating to find out about frequency availability very early in the planning stage. Without sufficient spectrum, it may be necessary for you to gear your system to a different band, or location, borrow spectrum from other coordinators or plan to share with other agencies. The Local Advisor may be able to give you a fairly realistic but informal estimate of availability in his state or region, particularly if he has been at it a long time. It would be wise to get some early expert advice from him.
  4. Your Advisor will want to discuss a new system, particularly if it is a large system, or unique in some way, and can probably give you valuable tips on how to proceed. Depending on the amount of congestion at the site of the proposed system, it may also be appropriate to contact APCO’s Engineering Department for more specific information. The engineering staff can run searches that will pinpoint if interference will be an issue and the frequency band that offers the best availability. That could save an agency from committing further resources to a band or location that is not suitable for the proposed radio system. Keep in mind that APCO cannot hold frequencies so those that appear available at the time of the search may not be available when the application is submitted for coordination.

When to Contact Your Local Advisor

The Advisor knows the players; he’s familiar with the terrain, local frequency usage and local politics. She has connections that could save you time. If you have a question related to a new or existing radio system located in a specific area of the Advisor’s region, it would be wise to contact the Local Advisor rather than a regional processor.

Technical questions involving engineering studies should be referred to the AFC Engineering Department. Fees for services provided by APCO AFC are listed on the website under each service. The Engineering Department and Licensing Service can provide many services to make things flow smoothly from engineering, through the Licensing Service, and on to Frequency Coordination. Then your application will be sent electronically to the FCC.

AFC’s top-of-the-line frequency coordination, knowledgeable staff and expert Local Advisors will guide you through the frequency coordination process and speed you on your way to an FCC license.

Local Advisors Map

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U.S. Territories

  • Guam: AFC In-House Advisor
    (386) 322-2500
  • Puerto Rico/Virgin Islands: Mr. Ferdinand Cedeno
    [email protected]


View complete list of Local Advisors including address information.

How to File Your FCC 601 Application in Spectrumwatch

APCO uses a computer program called Spectrumwatch to process FCC 601 radio license applications and submit them to the FCC. Following are step-by-step instructions to help you setup a free account with Spectrumwatch, navigate the system, and submit your FCC 601 application to APCO:

1. First, go to www.Spectrumwatch.com

  • Click on Register for a Free Public 601 Account and fill in the required fields. Spectrumwatch will send you your log-in information by email.


2. Once you have received your log in information, return to www.Spectrumwatch.com and log in.


3. The first page you will see when you log in is the Tools tab. Spectrumwatch provides some helpful tools and information here. This is also where you will create your application with two options: 1) Create New Form 601 or 2) Create Application Based on Call Sign.


4. If you need to obtain a new license, then choose Create New Form 601. If you want to modify an existing license, then choose Create Application Based on Call Sign and enter the call sign at the prompt.


5. After you create your application, Spectrumwatch will take you to the first page of the application package: the Spectrum Request page. Use this page to choose your Coordinator, Frequency Band/s, and provide Billing Information/Payment. NOTE: MAKE SURE YOU ‘SAVE’ EACH PAGE BEFORE MOVING ON TO THE NEXT PAGE.


6. On the Spectrum Request page, also make sure to click the checkbox ‘Click this box if you have read the terms and conditions’ about halfway down the page.


7. Use the Tree View, Table View and Bulk Tasks menus on the left-hand side of the page to navigate through the pages of the application, going in order from top to bottom. This is especially important when adding new locations. To add new locations, start by adding the sites under the Locations section; then add the transmit antenna(s) under the Antennas section; then add the frequency(ies) under the Frequencies or Bulk Add Frequencies sections; finally add the emission designator(s) under the Emissions or Bulk Emission Tasks sections. If you are modifying existing parameters, simply go right to that section.


8. If you have comments to add, attachments to include, or want to print or PDF a copy of the application, use the Notes, Attachments, or Print Preview icons at the top of the page and on the sliding menu at the right-hand side of the page.


9. When your application is complete and you are ready to submit it to the frequency coordinator, click on the Notify button at the bottom of the left-hand menu and follow the prompts.


10. You can use the My Account tab to track your applications (My Apps) and manage your Spectrumwatch account (Account Management).


If you find the process of completing the forms yourself to be too complicated and need assistance, our Licensing Services department will be more than happy to help you.


Improve Your Agency’s Call Taking and Dispatching

APCO Guidecards improve your agency’s call taking and dispatching by providing rapid and consistent instructions customized to meet your agency’s needs and resources. They give telecommunicators ready access to precise information for specific call types and provide call handling techniques — which means your callers get the fast, consistent and appropriate information they need and expect in an emergency.

APCO Guidecards are specialized for emergency medical dispatch (EMD)fire service and law enforcement, and are available as racks or binders.

EMD Guidecards

EMD Guidecards are only available in conjunction with a complete implementation of the APCO Institute EMD Program. The implementation process includes customization to meet your agency’s needs and training of all dispatch personnel.

APCO Institute EMD Guidecards provide EMDs with the tools they need to properly prioritize the response level of a call and to provide pre-arrival instructions to the caller.

Fire Service Dispatch Guidecards

Fire Service Dispatch Guidecards provide agencies with guidecards for the triaging and dispatching of fire service-related emergency calls, customized to match the needs and resources of the individual agency. They use the fire service-specific information and call handling techniques taught in the APCO Institute’s Fire Service Communications training course and incorporate information provided by subject matter experts from the fire service and the public safety communications industry.


Law Enforcement Dispatch Guidecards

The APCO Law Enforcement Dispatch Guidecards provide agencies with guidecards for the triaging and dispatching of law enforcement-related emergency calls, and are customized to match the needs and resources of the individual agency.

The Law Enforcement Dispatch Guidecards use law enforcement-specific information and call handling techniques taught in the APCO Institute’s Public Safety Telecommunicator and  Law Enforcement Communications training courses. These incorporate information provided by subject matter experts in the law enforcement and public safety communications industry.

Learn More or Schedule a Demo

For more information or to schedule a demo of APCO’s Guidecards, please provide us with your contact information below so we can connect.
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Purchase Guidecards

For pricing and customization information, contact the APCO Sales Coordinator at [email protected] or (386) 322-2500.