Public Safety to Ships at Sea – FCC Licenses Help Run the University

The Flipping ship next to a regular ship

By Alexa Rivetti.  When one thinks of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the first thing that comes to mind may be the net neutrality debate. While an incredibly important issue, there are at least 250 other reasons for UC staff to think about the FCC – all in the form of FCC issued radiofrequency licenses used for things like public safety or research.

Everyone at UC – from police officers to researchers to campus radio station listeners – at some time or another benefits from UC’s FCC licenses.

Speaking of radio stations, did you know that UC has six broadcast FM stations?

  • KALX at UC Berkeley,
  • KZSC at UC Santa Cruz,
  • KUCI at UC Irvine,
  • KDVS at UC Davis,
  • KUCR at UC Riverside, and
  • KCSB at UC Santa Barbara are all available to stream online as well.

The smart sprinklers that water your verdant campus? They’re likely tied to an FCC business license.

A very interesting UC research tool requires a ship license from the FCC. Called FLIP (pictured above), it is an open ocean research platform that pitches backwards ninety degrees.

UCOP helps maintain over 250 FCC licenses and works with the UC locations to ensure compliance with all FCC regulations. If you are experiencing interference with a frequency, need a new radio system for your department, or want to modify an existing license, reach out to the UC FCC licensing coordinator, and she will work with your local telecommunications department to find a solution.

All UC FCC licenses are issued to the UC Regents. The ability to apply for, renew, or modify them is granted only to the UC FCC licensing coordinator, on behalf of the Regents. It is essential therefore to contact the coordinator to make any license changes.

So next time you walk across your campus glade, listening to the radio and watching flipping ships, make sure to thank the FCC, and feel free to ask the UC FCC licensing coordinator any questions!


Alexa RivettiAlexa Rivetti is IT communications and UC FCC licensing coordinator at UCOP.

Her last day with UC is June 22. Jeané Blunt is assuming her duties.

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