Provision of Trans-Border Radio Paging Service by United States and Canadian Licensees to Subscribers Across the Border

Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554

June 25, 1971


Airmail

In reply refer to:
6320-C

Mr. W.J. Wilson
Director-General
Telecommunications Regulation Branch
Department of Communications
Ottawa, Ontario

Dear Mr. Wilson:

This refers to your letter of January 14, 1971, file 6209-260 (RRP), the Commission's letter of June 8, 1970, file 6320-C, and informal discussions between our respective offices, concerning the provision of trans-border radio paging service by United States and Canadian licensees to subscribers across the border.

The Commission has similar concern that, in principle, it would be indeed undesirable to permit a radio paging service of one country to be offered subscribers in the other country if the latter country objects. The Commission concurs that such objection should be well founded so that potential subscribers in an area are not denied service which might otherwise be available.

We are in mutual accord that each country should, on a case-by-base basis, assess the impact of trans-border radio paging service on its domestic radio services and either agree to, or object to, the provision of such service. Further, the authorization to a licensee to provide service across the border must be temporary and subject to termination upon notification by the neighbouring country that such service is no longer required.

On the other items mentioned for consideration in our letter of June 8, 1970, any conceivable problem which might arise with respect to frequency coordination or transborder operation can be handled readily on an individual basis.

The use of wirelines or radio to control a transmitting station in the other country, e.g., the situation reportedly encountered with Quest Communications, Ltd., is a specific problem which must be avoided. Such use would be in conflict with the Commission's Rules, which specify that any control point, such as a message center, answering service, must be authorized by the Commission and shown on the base station licence. It is recognized that your information indicates that Quest Communications maintained an answering service in Niagara Falls, Ontario. However, it is our understanding that an answering service, Telephone Answering Service of Niagara Falls, New York, has been used as a dispatching agent by Quest, which, if true, would be contrary to the Commission's Rules. Whether or not Quest used an answering service in either Ontario or New York State is rendered moot by other considerations, since Commission licensees in the area can provide a comparable service.

Assuming that we are in agreement with the principles stated in paragraphs 2, 3 and 4, above, clarification of how the paging service may operate within the framework of existing Rules and Regulations is required. It is our view that calls originating in the United States placed directly to a control point and base station in Canada to page subscribers, the United States would be permissible, as well as those calls originating in Canada and placed to a control point and base station in Canada to page subscribers in either country. Calls originating in the United States placed to a control point and base station in the United States to page subscribers in either country, as well as calls originating in Canada placed to a control point and base station in the United States to page subscribers in either country would be permissible.

You have suggested that we may wish to consider a different approach to situations where the communication common carriers involved are engaged in the business of providing a public landline telephone service, and those which are not. In examining such situations, keeping in mind that radio paging is a one-way signalling service and such service would be provided by a licensee of the other country when comparable service cannot be furnished by a licensee of the same country, the need for a different approach for public landline common carriers than for radio common carriers is not readily apparent. It would be helpful if an explanation were furnished so that the significance of this distinction between landline and radio communication common carriers can be further studied. You may wish to discuss this point by telephone to expedite the exchange of views, since this item appears to be the only obstacle to drafting the principles of an agreement whereby radio paging, as discussed herein, might be implemented.

Accordingly, your comments and views will be appreciated.

Sincerely yours,


Raymond E. Spence
Chief Engineer

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Berger Building,
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0C8


Chief Engineer,
6320-C (Your file)

Federal Communications Commission,
6209-1

Washington, D.C. 20554
6209-260 (RRP)


August 9, 1971

Dear Sir:

This has reference to your letter of June 25, 1971 and to previous correspondence exchanged concerning the provision of trans-border radio paging services by Canadian and United States licensees to subscribers across the border.

We are in agreement with the principles outlined in your letters of June 25, 1971 and June 8, 1970. These principles are as follows:

  1. It would be undesirable to permit a radio paging service in one country to be offered to subscribers in the other country, if the latter country objects.
  2. Such objections should be well founded so that potential subscribers in an area are not denied service which might otherwise be available.
  3. Each country should, on a case-by-case basis, assess the impact of trans-border radio paging service on its domestic radio services and either agree to, or object to, the provision of such service.
  4. The authorization to a licensee to provide service in the other country must be temporary and subject to termination upon notification by that country that such service is no longer required.
  5. The use of wirelines or radio from one country to control a transmitting station in the other country would not be permitted.
  6. Any equipment furnished subscribers in the other country would be required to meet the technical standards specified by that country.

It is considered that any conceivable problem which might arise with respect to frequency co-ordination or trans-border operation can be resolved on an individual basis. Further, it is agreed that the same approach would be employed for both types of communication common carriers, i.e., those providing a public landline telephone service and those which are not.

It is recognized that each application received by either Administration, which proposes trans-border operations, would be referred to the other country for co-ordination. Subject to favourable co-ordination the following communications would be permitted.

  1. Calls originating in the United States placed directly to a control point and base station in Canada to page subscribers in either country;
  2. Calls originating in Canada and placed to a control point and base station in Canada to page subscribers in either country;
  3. Calls originating in the United States placed to a control point and base station in the United States to page subscribers in either country;
  4. Calls originating in Canada placed directly to a control point and base station in the United States to page subscribers in either country.

If you agree with the foregoing, it is suggested that your letter of June 25 and this reply might constitute an informal agreement under which cases of trans-border radio paging operations could be dealt with.

We are prepared to take appropriate action on the case at Niagara Falls, NY/Niagara Falls, Ont. involving a Canadian station licensee, upon receipt of your formal comments. Similarly, we are prepared to provide you with formal comments on the case involving a United States station licensee in the Detroit, Michigan/Windsor, Ontario area.

An early reply to this letter would be appreciated.

Yours truly,


W.J. Wilson
Director-General
Telecommunications Regulation Branch.

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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554

August 20, 1971

In reply refer to:
6320-C

Airmail

Mr. W.J. Wilson
Director-General
Telecommunications Regulation Branch
Department of Communications
Ottawa 4, Ontario


Dear Mr. Wilson:

It is agreed that your letter 6209-1 6209-260(RRP) dated August 9, 1971, taken together with my letter of June 25, 1971, constitute an agreement under which cases of trans-border radio paging operations can be dealt with.

Concerning the operations by Quest Communications, Ltd., as discussed in the fifth paragraph of my June 25th letter, a careful review of all the available information has led this office to conclude that continuation of trans-border paging by Quest is unnecessary owing to the availability of a comparable domestic service and, in the light of the aforementioned agreement, is objectionable.

At your convenience, the Commission would be pleased to receive the formal comments you have mentioned regarding the operations in the Detroit, Michigan, area by Radio Relay Corporation. You may wish to note that this Corporation has been directed to discontinue any transborder operation.

Sincerely yours,


Raymond E. Spence
Chief Engineer

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