Technical Advisory Committee on Broadcasting (B-TAC) Minutes of First Meeting of 2004, held on January 27, 2004
- Minutes of First Meeting of 2004 (PDF, 55 KB, 11 pages)
- Minutes of First Meeting of 2004 (Word Format, 92 KB, 11 pages)
A. Lam (Secretary)Broadcast Standards and Procedures
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
S. LamarreDelivery Technology
François GauthierDelivery Technology
P. MarcouxDelivery Technology
N. HubertDelivery Technology
J-P BedardDelivery Technology
Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission
A. LubienietzkyBroadcast Technology
G. BerginBroadcast Technology
Broadcastors and Consultants
G. HenkeD.E.M. Allen & Associates Ltd.
K. PelserD.E.M. Allen & Associates Ltd.
D. MacaulayD. H. Macaulay Engineering
P. LabarrePierre Labarre & Associates Ltd.
S. EdwardsRogers Broadcasting Ltd.
W. StaceyCAB / Wayne A. Stacey & Associates
M. BeausejourY. R. H
J. SadounY. R. H.
J. DadourianBroadcast Standards and Procedures
D. MacMillanBroadcast Planning and New Technology
L. TollBroadcast Standards and Procedures
M. GuilletBroadcast Standards and Procedures
J-M BoilardBroadcast Regulation
P. VaccaniDirector, Broadcast Application Engineering
J. DexterBroadcast Application Engineering
M. DumasBroadcast Application Engineering
D. RichardBroadcast Application Engineering
J. AlainBroadcast Application Engineering
A. YounessBroadcast Application Engineering
K. AhmedBroadcast Application Engineering
A LeducBroadcast Automated Systems
R. CepellaOperational Policies and Procedures
S. FaucherEngineering, Quebec Region
K. AndersonEngineering, Atlantic Region
A. LeungEngineering, Ontario Region
S. VowlesSpectrum Management
A. TaucerCNS/ATM Systems Standards
1. Chairman's Opening Remarks
M Mr. Mimis welcomed the members and opened the first meeting of 2004.
2. Approval of Agenda
The following items were added to the draft agenda for discussions.
"Guidelines for the limitation of existing stations and adjustments of technical
"Review of RF Energy Measurement Guideline"
The agenda was approved as amended.
3. Draft Minutes of the September Meeting of 2003
The following changes were made to the draft minutes.
Item 5.1 last para: 'Mr. Edwards….by the U.S. for Emergency Service'
was changed to:
'Mr. Edwards….by the U.S. for Public Safety Service'
Item 5.4 'Notice' and 'Decision' in this paragraph were changed to 'Notices' and 'Decisions'
Item 7.3 1st para. '…refusing to consult with broadcast applicants'
was changed to:
'…refusing to consult with license applicants unless the requirements were met'
4. Matters Arising from the Minutes
Mr. Mimis reported that this matter had been reviewed internally and the general recommendation was that there would be no formal change to the present procedure until the release of the Antenna Review Committee report, expected to be released in the near future. However, Mr. Mimis pointed out that under the current procedure, applicants already had the option to choose the timing of consulting with Municipalities as provided by the Attestation Form.
Mr. Stacey remarked however, that at present there were two different forms with different Municipal Consultation requirements and he would like the Department to clarify its position on this matter. He added that other Telecom Service applicants were allowed to consult with the Municipalities after obtaining a CRTC license and he would like the Department to treat broadcasters in the same way.
Mr. Edwards said that some Regions apply their own interpretation of this requirement and sometimes insisted on Municipal Consultation even for minor changes to the facility.
Mr. Mimis reiterated that the Department would prefer to wait for the outcome of the Townsend Report before making any formal changes to the BPR. In the meantime, broadcasters may indicate in the Attestation form their intention to fulfill this requirement at a later date. Regional staff would be asked to be sensitive to the necessity of prior Municipal Consultation before a CRTC decision on license applications.
5. Status Report
5.1 Digital TV/DRBDTV
Mr. Dadourian reported on some of the recent DTV developments in the U.S. He said that NAB and MSTV responded to the FCC's Notice of Inquiry on the allotment of DTV channels for Class A, LPTV translator stations by suggesting that such allotments would not be needed for this class of service and that emphasis should be put on the quality of the primary digital service rather than the need for simulcasting LPTV's. Another topic of interest, which the FCC had requested comment on, was the concept of using temperature models for assessing RF interference from many sources. Mr. Dadourian said that the Department would continue to monitor development on the subject. Mr. Mimis suggested that the CAB might want to submit comments to the FCC on the above concept of interference assessment.
Mr. Dadourian also reported that ATSC had now harmonized its multimedia interactivity standard for DTV with CableLabs standard known as Advanced Common Application Platform (ACAP). He further explained that this was essentially a set of protocol for interactivity transmission, etc. (Further details can be found at the ATSC website). On the subject of over-the-air DTV, Mr. Dadourian said that in the U.S., 75% of households could now receive 6 or more DTV channels, 49 million households could receive 9 or more channels and 30 million households had 12 or more channels over the air. The FCC had also adopted protocol standard to prohibit illegal distribution of programs, e.g. via internet, etc. As for the protection of programming contents, this was still under development and the FCC was soliciting standards which would be robust enough to protect program content and yet acceptable to the consumers.
On the receiver front, Mr. Dadourian reported that the ATSC was in the process of developing receiver specification re. multipath performance, sensitivity etc. He suggested that should the FCC adopt these into regulation, DTV receivers might be required to meet such specifications. As well, as of July 2004, ATSC tuners would be gradually made mandatory in all DTV receivers. The FCC had also regulated the labeling of digital cable plug and play receiver. From July, 2005, all PNP receivers would have to meet the "Cable Card" specifications and would have to include the ATSC tuners. Mr. Mimis added that at the last CITEL meeting, it was recommended that a single hemispheric DTV standard be adopted and in the absence of other standards, the ATSC standard would likely be the de facto standard for Region 2.
Mr. Dadourian reported that one new DRB station was added in Ottawa last Fall. In the U.S., satellite digital radio such as the Sirius and XM Radio System was moving forward rapidly with noted interest to include the Canadian market. As for IBOC development in the U.S., iBiquity claimed to have issued 300 licenses to U.S. stations, however, FCC had yet to decide on IBOC service options, i.e. simulcast requirement, etc. Mr. Dadourian indicated that the Department would continue to monitor any Digital Radio development in the U.S.
Mr. Labarre was interested to know the final outcome of the recent IBOC tests in Canada. Mr. Dadourian responded that there remained one part of the testing to be carried out in the laboratory to complete the project. He suggested that this would be done in the near future. Mr. Lam added that the test result obtained from the Halifax testing did not show any interference due to the FM IBOC carriers on the first or second adjacent channels. With regard to AM IBOC, Mr. Lam indicated that it had yet to demonstrate its viability as a reliable system.
Ms. Lamarre suggested that aside from laboratory testing, IBOC systems should also be tested for interference over the air for real situation assessment. Mr. Mimis replied that it may be difficult to identify the sources of interference unless the tests were done in a controlled environment. However, if equipment were available, off air tests could be included. He also indicated that the FCC had agreed to cooperate in this regard.
Mr. Stacey inquired about the FCC's response regarding Canada's concern re. AM IBOC transmission, in particular, the possibility of sky-wave interference into existing AM stations at night. Mr. Mimis replied that the Department was still waiting for a response from the FCC on the subject and he added that many countries in Region 2 also shared this concern.
5.2 BPR Updates
Mr. Dadourian said that the draft BPR-7 was published in November 2003 for members' comment. He listed a few changes such as definition of coverage and protection contours, antenna heights and the power equivalent, digital service contours and digital local contours, etc. Mr. Dadourian pointed out that this version contained information on allotment planning and guidelines for changes to the table of allotments during and after the transition period. He urged the members to review the document and forward comments and suggestions to the Department as soon as possible.
A brief discussion ensued on its contents and Mr. Marcoux proposed a number of changes for improvement and clarification.
Mr. Edwards asked if the Department would relax the rules re. upper power limit of 15 kW during the transition if such increase did not cause any interference to other signals. Mr. Dadourian replied that the DTV Allotment Plan was based on a 39 dBu contour at 70 km for protection of other assignments. However, he suggested that this limit could be relaxed on a non-interference basis.
Mr. Dadourian indicated that a subcommittee would be set up to further study some of the mentioned issues, e.g. co-siting, interference definition etc. (Sub-committee 16 – Chairman Mr. Dexter with Mr. Stacey, Mr. Labarre, Mr. Pelser, Mr. Dumas, a CBC representative, a CRTC representative, Mr. Lubienietzky, Mr. Toll. Mr. Dadourian, Mr. Boilard, Mr. Beausejour and Mr. Bogdanowicz as members).
On a related matter, Mr. Dadourian raised the subject of 'Radio Sensitive Devices' which under current BPR's only required broadcasters to address complaints of interference to RF devices within the 115 dBu contour. However, under another set of Radio Regulation (EMCAB), the Department also required all Radio operators to be responsible for complaints of interference to 'Radio Sensitive Devices' when the measured field strength value of the signal exceeded 130 dBu. In order to harmonize the two requirements, Mr. Dadourian suggested that the BPR's should be revised to require broadcasters to be responsible for interference complaints to broadcast receivers and related equipment within the 125 dBu contour and 130 dBu contour for 'Radio Sensitive Devices'. The Department would continue to protect broadcasters from complaints due to further urban developments after the installation of the facility. However, the Department also expects broadcasters to monitor any such development near their sites and notify the municipality of possible consequences.
Mr. Boilard reported that the Department had received comments from the CBC, CAB, regional offices, and other members on the draft updated version of BPR-1. He said that some of the suggestions would be incorporated into a revised version and it would be posted at the 'experimental site' for further consideration. He also informed the members that BP-23 (cable TV) would now become BPR-8
Mr. Stacey suggested that BPR-4 and BPR-7 could be combined into a single document. Mr. Mimis replied that this may be done in the future probably after the roll-out of DTV service in Canada.
Mr. Beausejour referred to BPR-3 and suggested that part of Section H could be modified to allow for a more flexible application of a protected frequency within an existing station's
0.5 mV/m contour. Mr. Mimis indicated that all these issues would be studied by subcommittee 16 and any changes should wait until the outcome of the study. He also raised the subject of post DTV transition planning and suggested that a subcommittee should be formed to examine all the relevant issues (Subcommittee 17 – Chairman, Mr. Dadourian with Mr. Vaccani, Mr. Henke, Mr. Lubienietzky, Mr. Toll, Ms. Guillet, Mr. Stacey, Mr. Labarre, Mr. Dumas, Mr. Edwards, Mr. Faucher, Mr. Bergin, and a representative from the CBC as members).
5.3 CRTC Updates
Mr. Bergin reported that the CRTC had issued Policy Notice 2003-61 entitled; The Regulatory framework for the distribution of digital television signals. He said that, in general, the regulatory obligations to distribute digital television signals would essentially match those that currently apply to the distribution of the analogue versions of the services. However, the Commission would, in exceptional circumstances, consider granting exceptions to the carriage requirements to address capacity problems or program duplication. Mr. Bergin informed the members that the Commission would issue two upcoming Policy Notices, one on the transition of the Pay and Specialty Services to high definition and the other on the distribution of high definition digital signals by direct to home satellite undertakings. He also mentioned that there was a process underway to address Interactive Television services.
Mr. Stacey pointed out that the digital grade A contour defined in the DTV Carriage Rules for over the air services may be more extensive than the analogue grade A contour. Since the definition of a Local Television Station was based on the location of its grade A contour relative to the cable territory, some digital services may become local priorities while their analogue counterparts may not. He cautioned that this may lead some cable operators to apply for exceptions to the Local Carriage Priority Rules. Mr. Bergin replied that such cases would be examined on their merits and would be addressed if necessary through conditions of the license.
In concluding the discussion on this topic, Mr. Lubienietzky informed the members that technical approval of application before a Hearing had been changed from 10 days to 20 days.
5.4 Subcom. 15 (Gov. on-line) Update
Mr. Vaccani reported on the progress of Subcom. 15 by presenting its work to date.
He said that the Subcom. members had agreed on a procedure to submit e-applications based on the following:
- The Engineering Brief would remain as the core of the application process;
- Applicants should provide to the Department coverage and interference contours in electronic format;
- Applicants should provide to the Department electronic summary data;
- Applicants would submit a signed commitment form in support of an application for Broadcasting Certificate.
Mr. Vaccani suggested that the subcommittee should remain in place to address e-application issues related to DRB and DTV etc.
6. Radio Broadcasting and Related Questions
Mr. Leduc reported that service contours had been posted at the Department's website. He also said that combined integrated files containing the AM, FM and TV contours had been created for downloading. However, he cautioned the members that some of the information in the file may need to be updated, e.g. station call signs and status, etc.
Mr. Stacey suggested that in addition to updating the database, all referred stations should be identified as soon as their cases were made public.
Mr. Lubienietzky added that this would be helpful especially in cases of drop-in channel.
Mr. Vaccani agreed to look into the matter before the next meeting.
7. Other Business
7.1 Spectrum Requirement for Return Channels for Interactive Broadcasting
7.2 Spectrum and User Requirement re. Terrestrial Electronic News Gathering (ENG)
Mr. Mimis said that the above two items were included in today's Agenda in order to alert members of current work in the ITU on the subjects. On the former issue (7.1), ITU had made some preliminary spectrum requirements based on DBV-T RCT, however, there had been no proposal as to where this spectrum be located. On the latter subject (7.2), an ITU study report had been sent to the members for information. Mr. Mimis invited members to forward their comments to the Department for consideration as Canadian input to the ITU.
Mobile Sites Near AM Station
Mr. Stacey said that although different potential antenna pattern altering structures may be constructed near a broadcasting station without any prior knowledge of the broadcaster, he would like to categorize these towers into 'Industry Canada Licensed Operations' and 'Other Structures'. It was noted that the latter category was beyond the jurisdiction of the Department and he stated that the Department has a responsibility to require Radio licensees/applicants to cross check for broadcasting facilities prior to allowing the installation of these non-broadcasting towers. Mr. Cepella replied that at present, Industry Canada procedures (CPC-2-0-03, issued 1995) identified two types of tower proponents: i) 'site-specific' or 'Type 1'; and ii) 'non-site specific' or Type 2'. For 'site-specific' applications, including cellular phone carriers, Industry Canada application form (IC2365 – "Application to Install and Operate a Radio Station in Canada") would require applicants to identify broadcast antenna structures within 2 km of the proposed site and, if there were any, to list them. Mr. Cepella further explained that non-site specific stations would be stations that either: i) already had some form of radio authorization (e.g. spectrum licence, radio amateur operator certificate, etc.) or, ii) were exempt from the requirement to hold a radio authorization (e.g. CB, certain wireless ISPs, home TV antennas, satellite dishes, etc.). Of these, however, it would be likely that only the mobile PCS stations would, in all probability, construct towers that may be a concern from the perspective of broadcast pattern distortion. For these tower proponents, Industry Canada already had in place procedures since 1997 that would require all broadcast antenna structures be listed within two kilometers. Ms. Lamarre was concerned that should the Radio applicants not follow the procedure to check for broadcasting facilities, how the Department would enforce such requirement. Mr. Cepella said that the Department has the authority to withdraw a radio authorization if the terms and conditions are not met. However, he indicated that the Department would usually attempt to educate prior to taking enforcement action, or suspending / revoking a radio authorization, unless the particular situation warranted otherwise. Mr. Mimis agreed that the current situation was unsatisfactory and he indicated that the Department would review the application procedures and report back to the members.
In concluding the discussion, Mr. Mimis suggested that a subcommittee be set up, with representation from all the interested parties, e.g. the CBC, Hydro Quebec, the Department, etc. to study issues related to towers and structures near broadcasting sites and to recommend solutions to the committee at future meetings. (Subcom 18 – chaired by the CBC, with
Mr. Beausejour, Mr. Labarre, Mr. Faucher, Ms. Choi, CRC and Hydro Quebec representatives as members.
Interference Zone re. Canadian TV and FM Allotment Plans
This item was discussed under BPR Updates and would be studied by subcommittee 16.
RF Measurement Guidelines Review
Mr. Lam said that the document 'Guidelines for the Measurement of Radiofrequency Fields at Frequencies from 3 kHz to 300 GHz' was developed by a sub-group under the auspices of B-TAC. However, some of the original members of this sub-group had since retired or left their organizations and he suggested that Subcom 13, which was formed to develop the 'Enforcement Guidelines' be revived to do the review. He indicated that invitations would be sent out to the sub-group members for their participation of this review.
This topic was discussed under item 7.3. All issues related to 'Towers and Structures' would be addressed by Subcom 18.
Date of next meeting
The next meeting will be on Monday, June 7, 2004 in Ottawa.
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