Archived—BC-1 — AM, FM and TV Broadcasting Process

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Issue 1
December 1993

Spectrum Management
Broadcasting Circular

Notice

Broadcasting circulars are issued for the guidance of departmental staff and are complementary to the Broadcasting Procedures and Rules.

Foreword

In the spring of 1992, the Spectrum Management Operations Committee (SMOC) approved the report of the Spectrum Management Broadcasting Operations (SMBO) subcommittee on the regionalization of certain broadcasting activities. This regionalization is reflected in this broadcasting circular on the AM, FM and TV broadcasting process.

Purpose

This circular describes the general procedure to be followed in the submission, processing and certification of applications for AM, FM and TV broadcasting undertakings, including experimental undertakings, in evaluating foreign notifications and in evaluating proofs of performance for AM undertakings.

Procedure

Many interrelated factors come into play in the evaluation process including regional/district activities, HQ activities, the CRTC and international considerations. Since the process is a complex one, the procedure is broken down into a large number of tasks with responsibility for each task identified.

The procedure to be followed with respect to the areas covered by this circular are contained in Annex I.

Annex I identifies nine major activities A, B, ...G. For each major activity, a diagram outlines the main steps involved in block form, showing the relationship between blocks. In cases where further detail is required, a label is attached to the block. This label indicates that additional detail follows in text form.

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Annex I

AM, FM and TV Broadcasting Process

AM, FM and TV Broadcasting Process Table of Contents

A - Application Submissions

A - Application Submissions

A1 - Consultation

HQ

Before applying, the applicant or the consultant may seek HQ advice re:

  • frequency choice: allotted, drop-in, change in allotment plan;
  • technical rules: protection to existing broadcasting and other radio services, e.g. land mobile, aeronautical radio-navigation and communications, etc.
  • regulatory programme: interpretation and application of rules, procedures, regulations, working arrangement and agreements, policies and practices.

Region/District

The applicant or the consultant (especially for lower power undertakings by small community groups) may seek regional advice on:

  • regulatory advice: interpretation and application of rules, procedures and regulations, local issues;
  • technical advice: design, equipment, coverage;
  • frequency choice: may suggest frequency after consulting with HQ.

A2 - Receipt of Application

Eventually, an application for a broadcasting undertaking is filed with the Department. If submitted at region or district level, it should be sent to HQ. The Applications and Certification Unit checks with the CRTC for a parallel application. In case the latter is not filed, a reminder is sent to the applicant for his action. A file is opened for the received documentation.

A3 - Preliminary Review by Engineering Unit

A cursory examination of the technical brief is undertaken to ensure that requirements re channel, site, parameters, interference analyses and coverage are included. A notification under the Working Arrangement may be made if warranted. Technical database entries are prepared.

In FM, a short-spacing study is done to flush out any major problem. Concurrently, an FM/NAV/COM compatibility analysis is done for the same objective.

A4 - Administrative Processing by Applications and Certification Unit

This unit checks for completeness re forms, technical briefs, coverage maps and reproducibles, commitments, etc. For call sign requests, an analysis is undertaken to confirm availability and a reservation is made. A letter of acknowledgement is prepared including a request for missing documentation. Copies of correspondence and technical briefs are sent to the Region, District and the CRTC.

A5 - Database Entry

The first entry in the database comprising administrative and technical information is completed at this time.

A6 - Scheduling of Workload

Following the above steps, the application is scheduled on a chronological basis. More often, a CRTC confidential tentative Public Hearing Agenda is received abd the section workload is rescheduled accordingly and the Region is notified.

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B - Application Processing for Regular and Low Power Undertakings Prepared by Broadcasting Engineering Consultants

B - Application Processing for Regular and Low Power Undertakings Prepared by Broadcasting Engineering Consultants

B1 - Technical Processing

HQ

The following steps are involved and may require discussions with consultants:

(a) Proposed parameters: verification of class, power, antenna patterns and any other calculation pertaining thereto.

(b) Channel analysis: to determine conflicts within service or inter-service (AM, FM, TV, TV/LM, FM/NAV, FM/TV, AM/NAV):

  • to analyze protection or short-spacings, domestically and internationally;
  • to determine assignment limitations;
  • to analyze all amendments to the Plans;
  • to ensure applicant has notified affected assignments as required.

Given above results, a judgement is made on rules applicability or rule relaxation in order to enable a decision regarding acceptability under regular or special case conditions.

(c) Technical mutual exclusivities: Applications are analyzed with regard to technical mutual exclusivities which concern incompatible frequency choices. They are identified and consultants are requested to resolve the exclusivity after the agreement of the applicants has been obtained. This action applies particularly to TV and FM.

(d) Rebroadcasting proposals: This is important as only one rule exists in FM to cover the full-time rebroadcast applications. All other aspects, where duplication of service is part-time, have to be judged against precedents, efficient spectrum utilization practices and departmental policies before a decision on acceptability is reached.

(e) Coverage: determine correctness of service contours; where required, a "realistic" coverage analysis is undertaken (TV and FM).

(f) International notifications under CAN/US, CAN/FRANCE, CAN/REGION II COUNTRIES and IFRB:

  • as a pre-requisite to notifying Canadian plans, changes and assignments, the channel analysis in (b) is carried out to ensure compliance with appropriate agreements, arrangements, etc.;
  • proposals that do not meet rules require special consideration with regard to precedents, saleability, return impact on Canada. Judgement and experience are required in the conduct of special negotiations.

(g) Co-ordination with Region as required.

(h) Database update: if required, due to revisions or other changes, database updates are carried out.

Region/District

The following steps are involved and may require discussions with consultants:

(a) Ghosting or re-radiation analysis: this is performed to determine the impact of proposed and existing towers/structures on TV and FM reception as well as on AM radiation patterns. Analysis results are interpreted and a decision is reached based on experience, precedents over and above known criteria which are based on bench tests.

(b) Overload analysis:

  • to calculate and verify contours;
  • to verify population count and estimate impact;
  • in TV an analysis is also carried out on overlapping adjacent channel service contours;
  • confirm municipal notification.

The impact of overload and intermodulation effects is assessed based on experience, precedents and site location.

(c) RF exposure limit analysis:

  • to calculate and verify RF exposure;
  • estimate impact on area especially if populated;
  • judgement is made on applicant's submission and commitments.

(d) Site evaluation process considering the following:

  • impact on broadcast and radio services;
  • impact on local listening or viewing habits;
  • physical impact of proposed site re municipal and environmental concerns (Environmental Impact Assessment, EIA) including social and cultural considerations, etc;
  • resolution of municipal problems, if any.

(e) Site clearance by Transport Canada (TC):

  • ensure aeronautical navigation hazard clearance is applied for as per TC's requirements and clearance obtained.

(f) Co-ordination with HQ as required.

NOTE: If major revisions to the technical brief are required during technical processing, most of the steps above have to be repeated.

B2 - Evaluation Comments

Regional comments: following their evaluation the Region develops technical comments for referral to HQ.

HQ comments: following receipt of Regional technical comments and completion of its own technical evaluation, formal comments are prepared for referral to the CRTC (following agreement with Region).

B3 - Interventions

The CRTC should refer any technical intervention it received for Departmental consideration. HQ analyzes the intervention, contacts the parties involved with a view to resolving the problem (if required) and comments to the CRTC accordingly. This action may require regional input in terms of comments or a recommendation, mediation or an investigation.

B4 - Certification of Application

The Applications and Certification Unit refers the technical evaluation comments to CRTC under cover of a letter which also notifies the Department's intention to issue a Certificate should the application be approved by the CRTC. This certification has to reach the CRTC at the latest ten days before a Public Hearing is held, otherwise the Commission pulls the item from the Hearing. At the same time Industry Canada notifies the applicant that technical acceptability has been granted.

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C - Application Processing for Low Power Undertakings from New Class of Applicant

C - Application Processing for Low Power Undertakings from New Class of Applicant

C1 - Pre-Application Processing

HQ

This new class of applicant may inquire with HQ for advice and information regarding administrative and technical regulations. This is given referral to Region for further guidance and application procedures, assistance, etc.

Region/District

This new class of applicant normally visits regional/district offices for:

  • technical regulatory and administrative information;
  • all assistance required to complete application. Region/District provides full guidance, including parameters, coverage and frequency choice. The latter step requires frequency approval from HQ.

C2 - Application

HQ

May receive application from the CRTC or directly from applicant but normally from Region. Checks with the CRTC for parallel application and opens file.

Region/District

Ensures application documentation is complete and refers to HQ for acknowledgement, keeping required copy for technical evaluation.

C3 - Acknowledgement

HQ

HQ acknowledges receipt of application with copies of correspondence to the CRTC, Region and District. Database entry is made at this time.

C4 - Technical Processing

HQ

The following steps are involved:

(a) Frequency review to identify major problems.

(b) Co-ordinates with Region/District re frequency problem and resolution.

(c) International notification as required.

(d) FM/NAV/COM analysis and notification to TC with copy of reply to Region/District.

(e) Technical evaluation: co-ordination with Region/District as required.

(f) Database update.

Region/District

The following steps are involved:

(a) Parameters and verification of class, coverage, interference analysis.

(b) Ghosting or re-radiation analysis: this is performed to determine the impact of proposed and existing towers/structures on TV and FM reception as well as on AM radiation patterns. Analysis results are interpreted and a decision is reached based on experience, precedents over and above known criteria which are based on bench tests.

(c) Overload analysis:

  • to calculate and verify contours;
  • to verify population count and estimate impact;
  • in TV an analysis is also carried out on overlapping adjacent channel service contours;
  • confirm municipal notification.

    The impact of overload and intermodulation effects is assessed based on experience, precedents and site location.

(d) RF exposure limit analysis:

  • to calculate and verify RF exposure;
  • estimate impact on area especially if populated;
  • judgement is made on applicant's submission and commitments.

(e) Site evaluation process considering the following:

  • impact on broadcast and radio services;
  • impact on local listening or viewing habits;
  • physical impact of proposed site re municipal and environmental concerns (Environmental Impact Assessment, EIA) including social and cultural considerations, etc.;
  • resolution of municipal problems, if any.

(f) Site clearance by Transport Canada:

  • ensure aeronautical navigation hazard clearance is applied for as per TC's requirements and clearance obtained.

(g) Co-ordination with HQ as required.

NOTE: If major revisions to the technical brief are required during technical processing, most of the steps above have to be repeated.

C5 - Evaluation Comments and Certification

Regional comments: following their evaluation the Region develops technical comments for referral to HQ.

HQ comments: following receipt of regional technical comments, formal comments are prepared for referral to the CRTC.

The Applications and Certification Unit refers the technical evaluation comments to the CRTC under cover of a letter which also notifies the Department's intention to issue a Certificate should the application be approved by the CRTC. This certification has to reach the CRTC at the latest ten days before a Public Hearing is held otherwise the Commission pulls the item from the Hearing. At the same time, the Region notifies the applicant that technical acceptability has been granted.

C6 - Letter of Authority

Region/District

Following CRTC approval of the application, Region/District issues a letter of authorization for construction of the facilities.

Co-ordination with HQ is required for:

  • call sign assignment;
  • FM/NAV/COM conditions, where applicable.