Letter of Understanding Between the Federal Communications Commission of the United States of America and Industry Canada Related to the Use of the 54-72 MHz, 76-88 MHz, 174-216 MHz and 470-806 MHz Bands for the Digital Television Broadcasting Service Along the Common Border

Spectrum Management and Telecommunications Policy
Terrestrial Broadcasting Agreements and Arrangements/
Terrestrial Radiocommunication Agreements and Arrangements

Note

All persons making use of this consolidation are reminded that the documents included herein are provided only for convenience of reference. This consolidation is for the guidance of those engaged in radiocommunications in Canada. The information contained in this document is subject to change without notice. While every reasonable effort has been made to ensure accuracy, no warranty is expressed or implied. For more details, please contact the Spectrum Engineering Branch.

All notes in square brackets [ ] were added for clarification purposes.

Prepared by:

Industry Canada
Radiocommunications and Broadcasting Regulatory Branch
235 Queen Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0H5

via email: ic.spectrumpublications-publicationsduspectre.ic@canada.ca

All spectrum publications are available on the Internet at: http://www.ic.gc.ca/spectrum.

Publication Date: January 2001


Letter of Understanding Between the Federal Communications Commission of the United States of America and Industry Canada Related to the Use of the 54-72 MHz, 76-88 MHz, 174-216 MHz and 470-806 MHz Bands for the Digital Television Broadcasting Service Along the Common Border

Considering that there is currently in effect an Agreement Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of Canada Relating to the TV Broadcasting Service, Nov. 3, 1993 - Jan. 5, 1994 (the existing Agreement);

Considering that discussions have taken place between the Federal Communications Commission and Industry Canada (hereafter the "Administrations") on the use of the 54-72 MHz, 76-88 MHz, 174-216 MHz and 470- 806 MHz bands to permit television broadcasting services utilizing digital techniques along the common border;

Considering that the Federal Communications Commission released a United States (U.S.) Table of Allotments for digital television (DTV) on February 23, 1998, and that Industry Canada released a Canadian DTV Transition Allotment Plan in a Canada Gazette Notice dated April 24, 1999;

Considering that there is general agreement by both Administrations that the entries contained in the two Tables of Allotments are deemed mutually acceptable, and that both the Federal Communications Commission and Industry Canada are prepared to bring into service DTV stations listed therein; and

Considering that allocations have been made to other services in the 470-806 MHz band,

The representatives of the Federal Communications Commission and Industry Canada have reached the following understanding on the use of the 54-72 MHz, 76-88 MHz, 174-216 MHz and 470- 806 MHz bands within 400 kilometers of the common border:

1. This letter of understanding is subject to the existing Agreement. The existing Agreement, therefore, will apply to relations between analog stations in the two countries. Insofar as the existing Agreement was not intended to govern digital stations, this understanding will apply to relations between analog and digital stations or allotments and between digital stations or allotments.

2. Each DTV allotment in the Plan contained in Appendix 1 was examined to determine if it is mutually acceptable. Some of the allotments did not meet the requirements of the distance separation tables in Appendix 2, but were deemed to be acceptable. All proposed allotments of both countries were accepted, although, in a few cases, acceptance was based on adjustments noted in the Plan. The procedure used in arriving at their acceptance is shown in Appendix 3.

3. When an Administration intends to implement a DTV allotment that is listed in the Plan, and the proposed parametersFootnote * do not exceed those specified in the Plan, then the initiating Administration will notify the other Administration, by registered mail or mutually accepted electronic means, that it is implementing that DTV allotment. The notified parameters will be considered to be already approved and operation of the notified parameters may begin 21 days after the date on which the notification is sent.

4. When an Administration intends to implement a DTV allotment that is listed in the Plan, and the proposed parameters exceed those specified in the Plan, but meet the spacing requirements in Appendix 2 that are consistent with the modified parameters, then the initiating Administration will notify the other Administration, by registered mail or mutually accepted electronic means, that it is implementing that DTV allotment. The notified parameters will be considered to be approved unless the affected Administration objects, stating the reason for the objection, within 21 days of the date on which the notification is sent. In the case of an objection, discussions to resolve the situation will follow.

5. When an Administration intends to implement a DTV allotment that is listed in the Plan, and the proposed parameters exceed those specified in the Plan, but do not meet the spacing requirements in Appendix 2, then the initiating Administration will notify the other Administration, by registered mail or mutually accepted electronic means, that it intends to implement that DTV allotment. A study using pertinent HAAT obtained from terrain data and TV propagation curves will be performed. If the study shows interference, then a study using the Longley- Rice propagation model will be performed. The appropriate terrain data and Longley-Rice model are specified in Appendix 2. Such studies may take into account additional relevant technical factors, including actual antenna patterns and beam tilting. The results of any studies will be included with the notification.

  1. Operation of the notified parameters may begin only after a favorable response is received, or there is no response within the time period specified in subparagraph b below.
  2. A response to the notification will be delivered within forty-five (45) days from the date of receipt; if no response is received by the end of the forty-five (45) day period, it will be assumed by the notifying Administration that the notification has been approved
  3. If the receiving Administration objects to a notification, the reasons for the objection will be given. While all requests will be judged for acceptability on a case-by-case basis and every attempt will be made to reasonably accommodate requests, the Administrations agree that changes that result in new interference to any station or allotment which affects the population or area coverage by 2% or less, provided that the cumulative interference into the affected station or allotment is not excessive, will generally be deemed acceptable.

6. When an Administration intends to implement a DTV allotment that is new (not listed in the Plan) and meets the spacing requirements in Appendix 2, the initiating Administration will notify the other Administration, by registered mail or mutually accepted electronic means, that it intends to implement that new DTV allotment. The notified parameters will be considered to be approved unless the affected Administration objects, stating the reason for the objection, within 21 days of the date the notification is sent. In the case of an objection, discussions to resolve the situation will follow.

7. When an Administration intends to implement a DTV allotment that is new (not listed in the Plan) and does not meet the spacing requirements in Appendix 2, the initiating Administration will notify the other Administration, by registered mail or mutually accepted electronic means, that it intends to implement that new DTV allotment. A study using pertinent HAAT obtained from terrain data and TV propagation curves will be performed. If that study shows interference, then a study using the Longley-Rice propagation model will be performed. The appropriate terrain data and Longley-Rice model are specified in Appendix 2. Such studies may take into account additional relevant technical factors, including actual antenna patterns and beam tilting. The results of any studies will be included with the notification.

  1. Operation with the notified parameters may begin only after a favorable response is received, unless there is no response within the time period specified in subparagraph b below.
  2. A response to the notification will be delivered within forty-five (45) days from the date of receipt; if no response is received by the end of the forty-five (45) day period, it will be assumed by the notifying Administration that the notification has been approved.
  3. If the receiving Administration objects to a notification, the reasons for the objection will be given. While all requests will be judged for acceptability on a case-by-case basis and every attempt will be made to reasonably accommodate requests, the Administrations agree that changes that result in new interference to any station or allotment which affects the population or area coverage by 2% or less, provided that the cumulative interference into the affected station or allotment is not excessive, will generally be deemed acceptable.

8. For responses under paragraphs 4 through 7, if an Administration is unable to complete its evaluation of a notification within the deadlines specified, it may request an extension of up to 30 days.

9. When an Administration wants to implement a DTV allotment to which an objection is timely filed pursuant to paragraphs 4 through 7, coordination between the Administrations will be required.

10. When a new allotment or a modification to an existing allotment is accepted, the Plan will be updated accordingly.

11. Future Accommodation of Out-of-Core Allotments

Considering that some stations have allotments in spectrum that is designated or planned to be recovered for other uses, i.e., TV channels 52-69 in the US, and Canada is also independently considering a reduction of the spectrum allocated to television after cessation of analog operation, both Administrations agree to continue to review the entries in their respective DTV tables of allotments and to make reasonable efforts to accommodate such stations with new allotments, to the extent possible, during the transition and in the development of a revised post-transition Plan.

12. Low Power Analog or DTV Stations

As in the existing Agreement, low power television stations are secondary relative to regular power television stations. Proposed analog low power television stations within 32 km of the common border or digital low power television stations within 100 km of the common border will be referred to the other Administration for approval. They will also be referred if the pertinent interfering contour would fall within the territory of the other country. A response to the referral of a low power station proposal will be delivered within forty-five (45) days from the date of receipt; if no response is received by the end of the forty-five (45) day period, it will be assumed by the notifying Administration that the proposal has been approved.

13. Additional Allocations or Services

Until a separate agreement is reached on non-broadcast uses, such new services shall not claim protection from DTV stations or analog TV stations established in accordance with the existing Agreement. Furthermore, such services in the 746-806 MHz band shall provide a protection ratio of 40 dB to co-channel and 0 dB to adjacent channel analog TV, and 17 dB to co-channel and -23 dB to adjacent channel DTV. Protection is to the 64 dBμV/m contour of analog TV stations and the 41 dBμV/m contour of DTV stations and is based on interference at 50% of locations no more than 10% of the time.

14. For the purpose of calculating interference, the basic principles specified in paragraphs 3.1.2 and 3.1.3 of the existing Agreement will apply.

This Letter of Understanding will be effective upon signature by both parties.

This Letter of Understanding will remain in effect until the entry into force of a binding bilateral agreement, or until notice of termination is given by either Administration.

FOR THE FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
FOR INDUSTRY CANADA
space to insert signature
William E. Kennard
Chairman
Federal Communications Commission
space to insert signature
Michael Binder
Assistant Deputy Minister
Spectrum, Information Technologies & Telecommunications
Industry Canada

Washington, D.C.
September 12, 2000

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
September 22, 2000

Attachments:

Appendix 1 - The Plan

Appendix 2 - Planning and Separation Criteria

Appendix 3 - Initial Allotment Acceptance Procedure

Date modified: