Previously-installed radios meeting the older standard may continue to be used.
The new measure is implemented to ensure DSC-equipped radios incorporate several improved safety features and functions.
â€œThe new requirements ensure improved detection of distress alerts and a reduction in the rate of false alarms, reducing incessant alarming caused by DSC-equipped radios meeting the older standard,â€ said Joe Hersey, chief of the spectrum management telecommunications policy division at U.S. Coast Guard headquarters.
Other improvements include test calls, dual receivers and GPS interconnections alarms ensuring distress alerts transmit accurate positions. The changes also eliminate dangers associated with automatic channel switching.
New applications for certification of portable or handheld DSC-equipped radios that do not meet the same requirements will not be accepted by the FCC after March 25, 2012 and the manufacture, importation and sale of non-compliant portable devices will be prohibited beginning March 25, 2015.
Additional information is posted on the U.S. Coast Guardâ€™s navigation center website at http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/?pageName=mtDsc.