BPR-10 — Application Procedures and Rules for Digital Television (DTV) Undertakings

Issue 2

Posted on February 22, 2016

Preface

Issue 2 of BPR-10 is hereby released.

Listed below are the changes:

  1. A new option to submit applications online has been introduced.
  2. The definitions for allotment and allocation have been updated.
  3. WGS84 (World Geodetic System 1984) is defined as the new standard for geographical coordinates.
  4. A new file format has been established for antenna patterns.
  5. A new emission mask option for LPDTV is provided.
  6. Co-channel and first-adjacent interference criteria between DTV and LPDTV have been added.
  7. References to transitional DTV have been removed.
  8. Other updates have been made, including editorial changes.

Issued under the authority of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development.

space to insert signature
Daniel Duguay
Director General
Engineering, Planning and Standards Branch
space to insert signature
Peter Hill
Director General
Spectrum Management Operations Branch

1. International Agreements

1.1 Coordination with the United States

To facilitate analog-to-digital conversions, the governments of Canada and the United States signed an Exchange of Letters in 2008 that outlines the provisions for television allotments and assignments within 360 km of the common border. The Exchange of Letters can be found on Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada's (ISED) website.

The DTV Post-Transition Allotment Plan has been coordinated with the United States. Television broadcasting allotments and assignments in Canada will be subject to the terms of a future Agreement Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of Canada Relating to the Use of the 54-72 MHz, 76-88 MHz, 174-216 MHz, and 470-698 MHz Bands for the Digital Television Broadcasting Service Along the Common Border.

The Agreement states the basis upon which both administrations consider responses to border-area allotments and assignments. It also:

  • facilitates the development of new digital services;
  • establishes criteria for the protection of broadcasting services in both countries;
  • ensures efficient and equitable utilization of digital television broadcasting spectrum;
  • defines technical criteria for the notification of television allotments and assignments; and
  • contains lists of the Canadian and U.S. allotments within their respective coordination areas.

2. Digital Television Broadcasting — General Information

2.1 Definitions

Allocation: An allocation is an entry in the Canadian Table of Frequency Allocations of a given frequency band for the purpose of its use by one or more terrestrial or space radiocommunication services or the radio astronomy service under specified conditions. This term also applies to the frequency band concerned.

Allotment: An allotment is the entry of a designated frequency channel in an agreed plan, for use by one or more administrations for a terrestrial or space radiocommunication service in one or more identified countries or geographical areas and under specified conditions. The DTV allotment plans are available on ISED's website.

An up-to-date list of Canadian channels can also be found on the Department's website.

Associated Allotment: An associated allotment is one that is associated with a National Television Systems Committee (NTSC) station.

Vacant Allotment: A vacant allotment is a standalone allotment that can be claimed on a first-come, first-served basis.

Assignment: An assignment is the authorized operation of an undertaking. Associated allotments are considered assignments.

Primary Assignment: A primary assignment is a television station authorized for operation on an allotment. A primary assignment receives protection from other allotments, as well as from other primary and secondary assignments. In this document, all references to assignments refer to primary assignments unless otherwise noted.

Secondary Assignment: A secondary assignment is a low-power television (LPTV or LPDTV) station that operates on the basis of not causing interference to, nor receiving protection from, primary assignments.

Television Channels: The frequencies allocated to broadcasting are designated by a channel number. Each channel has a 6 MHz bandwidth as follows:

Television Channel Frequencies
Band Channels Frequencies (MHz)
Low VHF 2 to 4 inclusive 54-72
Low VHF 5 and 6 76-88
High VHF 7 to 13 inclusive 174-216
UHF 14 to 51 inclusive* 470-698
* The frequency band 608-614 MHz, channel 37, is allocated to the Radio Astronomy Service and is therefore not available for broadcast use.

Noise-Limited Bounding Contour (NLBC): The noise-limited bounding contour corresponds to the field strength value that delimits the geographical area within which reception is predicted for 50% of locations and 90% of time using the methodology specified in Annex D. The field strength values are provided in Tables 1 and 2 below, and are determined from the DTV planning factors identified in Annex H.

Table 1: Field Strengths Defining Noise-Limited Bounding Contours for Primary Assignments
Channels Defining field strength, dBµV/m, to be predicted for 50% of locations, 90% of time
2-6 28
7-13 36
14-51 41 – 20 log[615/(channel mid-frequency in MHz)]
Table 2: Field Strengths Defining Noise-Limited Bounding Contours for Secondary Assignments
Channels Defining field strength, dBµV/m, to be predicted for 50% of locations, 90% of time
2-6 43
7-13 48
14-51 51 – 20 log[615/(channel mid-frequency in MHz)]

Protected Area: The protected area of an allotment or assignment is the geographic area inside the noise-limited bounding contour where the (50, 90) field strength, as predicted using the appropriate effective radiated power (ERP) and a terrain-sensitive propagation model, equals or exceeds the noise-limited field strength values specified in Table 1 above. The protected area is determined using the methodology outlined in Annex D. It is limited to a distance of 100 km for primary assignments or 20 km for secondary assignments.

DTV Urban Contour (DUC): The location of the DTV Urban Contour should be determined using the ERP, EHAAT and the propagation curves specified in Annex F for 50% of locations and 90% of time.

Table 3: Field Strengths of Digital Urban Contour
Channels Field strength (dBµV/m)
2-6 59
7-13 60
14-51 61 – 20 log[615/(channel mid-frequency in MHz)]

Effective Radiated Power (ERP): The ERP is the product of the transmitter output power, the transmission line (and combiner) efficiency and the power gain of the antenna relative to a half-wave dipole. The maximum ERP is calculated using the maximum value of radiation from the antenna in the plane of maximum radiation (i.e. beam tilt) and in the direction of maximum radiation for directional antennas.

Effective Height Above Average Terrain (EHAAT): An antenna’s EHAAT is the average of the antenna’s Height Above Average Terrain (HAAT) for 8 standard radials spaced every 45 degrees of azimuth starting with true north. The HAAT is the height of the centre of radiation of the antenna above the average elevation of the terrain, based on Canadian Digital Elevation Data (CDED) or equivalent, as measured from 3 to 16 km from the antenna for an individual radial. Determination of HAAT does not stop at the border or over bodies of water. HAAT incorporates the full 3 to 16 km radial segment, and will not employ truncated radials for calculations of radial average elevations above mean sea level (AMSL). In the event of a discrepancy, the analysis by the Department shall prevail.

The EHAAT of a LPDTV station should be determined using the average elevation of the terrain measured in metres from 0 to 5 km along 4 standard radials at 0, 90, 180 and 270 degrees from true north.

Antenna Beam Tilt: An antenna electrical beam tilt involves the shaping of the radiation pattern in the vertical plane of a transmitting antenna by electrical means so that maximum radiation occurs at an angle below the horizontal plane. An antenna mechanical beam tilt involves the installation of a transmitting antenna in a way to lower the normal angle of maximum radiation in the vertical plane.

DTV Assignment and Allotment Parameters
Maximum Operating Parameters of DTV and LPDTV Assignments

Table 4a: Maximum Permissible Operating Parameters of DTV Assignments
Channel ERP (W) EHAAT (m)
2-6 30 000 300
7-13 60 000 300
14-51 2 000 000 300
Table 4b: Typical Maximum Operating Parameters Used for the Development of the Post-Transition Plan
Channel ERP (W) EHAAT (m)
2-6 2 400 300
7-13 10 600 300
14-51 850 000 300
Table 5: Maximum Permissible Operating Parameters of LPDTV Assignments
Channel ERP (W) EHAAT (m)
2-6 370 30
7-13 600 30
14-51 2 600 30

EHAAT and Power Equivalence: Where the EHAAT exceeds the values shown in Tables 4a and 5, the ERP shall be reduced to provide equivalence with the applicable maximum parameters. Equivalence requires that the distance to the Noise-Limited Bounding Contour field strength, calculated using the maximum ERP, EHAAT and the F(50, 90) field strength charts in Annex F, remain the same.

Order of Protection: Primary NTSC assignments shall not cause interference to, or claim protection from, primary DTV assignments.

Secondary NTSC assignments shall not cause interference to, or claim protection from, secondary DTV assignments.

2.2 Television/Terrestrial Mobile Protection Criteria

Criteria for the mutual protection of the services to operate in the vacated spectrum above channel 51 and TV broadcasting services are under development.

3. Applications for Primary Digital Television Broadcasting Undertakings

3.1 Application Requirements

An application to the Department for a broadcasting certificate shall be accompanied by an application to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) for a broadcasting licence, unless the application is exempted from CRTC licensing requirements. Application requirements for a broadcasting licence can be obtained from the CRTC. If confirmation of the CRTC application is not received within 30 days, the technical application will be returned to the applicant.

All necessary forms may be obtained from the Spectrum Management and Telecommunications website.

3.1.1 Online Application Requirements

When submitting an application to the Department online, the applicant shall use the following website: http://sms-sgs.ic.gc.ca.

The following documentation shall be attached to the application:

  • An engineering brief (in PDF format) as per Section 3.2, including any required maps prepared in accordance with Section 3 of BPR-1, General Rules;
  • Electronic contour maps (MapInfo format: *.dat/*.id/*.map/*.tab or GIS format: *.mif,*.mid) in accordance with Section 3.3 of BPR-1; and
  • A text file containing horizontal and vertical antenna pattern data, in accordance with Annex E of BPR-1.

3.1.2 Email Application Requirements

When submitting an application to the Department via email, the applicant shall use the following email address: IC.broadcasting-radiodiffusion.IC@canada.ca.

In addition to the documentation required for an online submission, the following shall be included:

It is the responsibility of the applicant submitting the application to ensure that all electronic documents submitted have the necessary signatures.

The Department reserves the right to request a signed attestation to verify the authenticity of an application and may suspend the processing of the application until a satisfactory attestation has been received.

3.1.3 Written Application Requirements

When submitting a written application, printed and signed versions of the application form and other documentation described in sections 3.1.1 and 3.1.2 shall be provided.

3.1.4 Other Requirements

All proposed antenna structures, whether new or modified, low power or full power, must comply with the requirements of ISED’s Client Procedures Circular CPC-2-0-03, Radiocommunication and Broadcasting Antenna Systems, and Section 2 of BPR-1.

In addition to meeting the requirements concerning site sharing, land-use consultation and public consultation, applicants must also fulfill other important obligations, including:

  • compliance with Health Canada’s Safety Code 6 guideline for the protection of the general public,
  • compliance with radio frequency immunity criteria,
  • notification of nearby broadcasting stations,
  • environmental considerations and
  • Transport Canada/NAV CANADA’s aeronautical safety responsibilities.

3.2 Engineering Brief Requirements

The order of material in the engineering brief shall be maintained as listed below to simplify processing in the Department. The metric system known as SI (Système International) shall be used throughout the engineering brief.

3.2.1 Title Page

The title page shall include the submission title, type of undertaking proposed, name and address of the applicant, name of the broadcasting consultant, as well as the location of the proposed broadcasting undertaking and submission date. The project or reference number shall also be included.

3.2.2 Table of Contents

The table of contents shall cross-reference pages and sections of the brief.

3.2.3 Summary Sheet

The summary sheet shall be prepared as per Annex A. The summary sheet is optional for online applications.

3.2.4 Main Section of Brief

3.2.4.1 Introduction

There should be a general statement of the purpose of the brief in relation to the application, including the primary centre(s) to be served within the digital urban contour and the noise-limited bounding contour.

3.2.4.2 Discussion

There should be a discussion on the design considerations necessary to accomplish the applicant’s objectives, including the site location, choice of channel and operating parameters (the consultant should be guided by the requirements set forth in this Section).

3.2.4.3 Assumptions and Sources of Information

List and explain all assumptions and sources of information used in compiling the engineering brief.

3.2.4.4 Interference Analysis

If necessary, include an interference analysis in support of the transmitting channel(s) and the selected parameters (refer to Section 3.6).

3.2.4.5 Transmitter

Specify the make, type and output power (rated and operating) of the transmitter. Emissions shall meet the applicable emission masks shown in Figure C1 of Annex C.

In some circumstances, the Department may require the use of an emission mask with more stringent characteristics (out-of-band emissions) to protect adjacent band services.

3.2.4.6 Description of Antenna System

The following details are required:

  • Antenna: Manufacturer, type, model number, number of sections (if applicable), power gain and vertical radiation pattern. For directional antennas, the horizontal pattern is required (refer to Section 3.2.6). The largest dimension of the antenna shall be provided;
  • Transmission Line: Manufacturer, type, length in metres and efficiency;
  • Combiner: Manufacturer and operational characteristics;
  • Polarization: Horizontal, circular or elliptical polarization as proposed. Horizontal polarization is normally used.
3.2.4.7 Bounding Contour Table

Tabulated bounding contour predictions shall be provided according to the guidelines in Annex D.

3.2.4.8 Special Analysis and Commitments Relative to Interference to Other Broadcasting Undertakings

Analyses shall be submitted — with appropriate commitments made — in regard to all potential interference situations with other broadcasting undertakings as a result of the operation of the proposed television facility. The following are some examples of interference possibilities with other broadcasting services that shall be explored:

  1. Distortion of AM radiation patterns by the new television tower located in the vicinity of an AM
    antenna array;
  2. Isolation of AM, FM and television transmissions, where such services are co-located;
  3. Interference to FM channels 201 to 220 from channel 6:
    • For co-located channel 6 and FM stations, protection of the FM can be achieved when the TV/FM power ratio is below 30 dB for all FM channels except FM channel 201, for which the required ratio is 9 dB.
    • For television stations located outside the protected FM service area (0.5 mV/m contour), interference-free FM operations will be provided with 20 km (62 km for FM channel 201) separation between the television transmitter and the FM protected contour.
    • If the proposed TV assignment is located within the protected FM service area then a D/U analysis using the above ratios should be submitted.
  4. Interference to LPTV and LPDTV assignments: Although these are unprotected assignments, they should be notified of potential interference to their service. Such notification shall be made in writing to the affected broadcaster, with a copy forwarded to the Department (refer to Section 3.6.6).
3.2.4.9 RF Exposure and Strong Adjacent Channel Interference Issues

The applicant shall submit analyses regarding these issues. Refer to Sections 3.1.4 and 3.7 for the requirements.

3.2.4.10 Off-Air Reception and Microwave Links

When a television rebroadcasting station receives a feed from an existing facility using off-air reception (or a combination of off-air reception and microwave links), the engineering brief should specify the type of feed and give a description of the system.

3.2.5 Antenna Location and Diagrams

The location of all structures and antenna sites that are of relevance to the site-specific analyses undertaken for the purpose of the application shall be provided in the engineering brief. The latitude-longitude geographical projection and the datum WGS84 shall be used.

An elevation diagram of structure and transmitting antenna and a description of the major components of the system, including a block diagram, shall be provided (refer to Annex B). For rooftop installations, include an elevation diagram of the building, including the height of the rooftop.

3.2.6 Radiation Patterns

3.2.6.1 Vertical Radiation Pattern

The vertical radiation pattern of the antenna (relative field versus degrees) must be plotted in rectangular coordinates from 90° above (positive values) to 90° below (negative values) the horizontal plane.

3.2.6.2 Horizontal Radiation Pattern

A polar plot of the horizontal pattern is required when directional antennas are employed. True north and the r.m.s. field shall be clearly indicated on this plot. The ratio of maximum to minimum fields of directional antenna systems shall not be greater than 20 dB except where signal reflections due to local terrain will present a reception problem or where other circumstances exist, such as a large body of water. When a directional pattern is proposed, the brief should contain a letter from the manufacturer stating that the proposed pattern can be achieved.

Note: Title blocks shall be placed on radiation patterns for directional antenna systems since, in some instances, for areas along the Canada-U.S. border, it may be necessary to submit this material separately when notifying the new assignments to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The title block shall include the identification of the undertaking, frequency, maximum ERP and date.

3.2.6.3 Pattern Data Tables

Vertical and horizontal pattern data (if applicable) must also be provided in tabular format in relative field (%).

Vertical pattern data shall include a maximum of 181 points. These points shall be distributed appropriately to reflect the shape of the actual pattern from the manufacturer as closely as possible, especially along each peak and null covering the full range from -90 to +90 degrees.

Horizontal pattern data must be provided at 1-degree intervals starting from true north.

For electronic applications, a text file containing the pattern data is required in the format defined in Annex E of BPR-1.

3.2.7  Maps

Provide a map (scale 1:50 000) showing the proposed antenna site location and its geographical latitude and longitude coordinates (refer to Section 3 of BPR-1).

Provide a map showing the noise-limited bounding contour and the digital urban contour. For further details concerning the preparation of maps for engineering briefs, refer to Section 3 of BPR-1.

Maps may be provided indicating the protected areas and interference for the proposed assignment and any other affected assignments or allotments (refer to Section 3.6.2).

When a change to the facility is proposed, the applicant shall provide maps indicating comparative contours.

For applications using associated allotments, the applicant shall provide a map showing the noise-limited bounding contour, the digital urban contour of the proposal and the Grade A and B contours of the corresponding analog undertaking (a CRTC requirement).

The latitude-longitude geographical projection and the datum WGS84 (up to 2 decimals for the seconds) shall be used.

3.3 Technical Operation of Broadcast Transmitter Plants

A description of the technical equipment in compliance with the minimum requirements specified in Section 5.1 of BPR-1 shall be submitted prior to on-air tests for the approved facility. If unattended operation is proposed, a statement that the unattended operation meets the minimum requirements of Section 5.1 of BPR-1 is required.

3.4 Application Requirements for Non-Program-Related Data

Television undertakings planning to transmit non program-related data using the excess capacity of the digital channel shall submit a description of the data to ISED. Such applications are authorized under the Radiocommunication Act and the Radiocommunication Regulations, and are subject to the applicable authorization fee and to any requirements under the Telecommunications Act. If the data service is intended for the reception of the general public, CRTC approval may be required.

The holder of a broadcasting certificate for a television undertaking is not required to notify the Department of the addition of broadcasting program services using the excess capacity of the digital channel (such as multiplexing); however such services may require CRTC approval.

3.5 On-air Testing Procedure

The procedure as outlined in Section 1.4 of BPR-1 shall be followed.

3.6 Interference Analyses and Notifications

An allotment or assignment should be designed to minimize interference to nearby allotments or assignments, but there are situations where interference may occur as a result of the choice of parameters and location. Annex E describes the criteria for determining which nearby digital television assignments or allotments may cause interference to, or receive interference from, the proposed assignment or allotment. Annex G describes the criteria for determining which nearby NTSC assignments may cause interference to, or receive interference from, the proposed assignment or allotment.

To avoid mutual interference, the transmitting sites of stations on the first-adjacent channel should be co-located, near (within 1 km) or outside the noise-limited bounding contour of the station on the first-adjacent channel.

It is the responsibility of the applicant to assess interference to the proposed assignment’s protected area.

3.6.1 Criteria to Determine When Analyses are Required

Analyses related to primary assignments and allotments as per Annex E or Annex G will only be required in certain situations.

Short-spacing analyses will be required regarding secondary assignments, as per Section E2 of Annex E or Section G2.4 of Annex G, to identify all affected secondary assignments and inform them about the potential impact, using the notification procedure outlined in Section 3.6.6.

DTV assignments are not required to protect the remaining NTSC assignments. However, DTV proposals need to identify all short-spaced NTSC assignments and inform them about the potential impact, using the notification procedure outlined in Section 3.6.6.

3.6.1.1 Proposals Using Associated Allotments in the DTV Post-Transition Allotment Plan

Analyses related to primary television services are not required for a DTV application using an associated allotment in the DTV Post-Transition Allotment Plan that complies with the following:

  • channel as listed in the plan;
  • noise-limited bounding contour not exceeding the contour as calculated using the reference parameters listed in the plan.

Additionally, if the proposal is not co-located, near co-located (within 1 km) or located outside the noise-limited bounding contour of a DTV assignment on the first-adjacent channel, analyses related to that assignment will be required.

3.6.1.2 Other Applications

An application  to operate facilities based on a vacant allotment in the DTV Post-Transition Allotment Plan, or on a drop-in channel, requires analyses related to DTV assignments and allotments.

3.6.2 Interference Analysis Requirements

Calculations shall be provided to demonstrate that any population service loss from the proposal to affected assignments and allotments meets the interference ceilings in Section 3.6.3. The percentage of population service loss shall be provided for each affected allotment and assignment.

Maps illustrating the extent of any interference shall be provided and additional calculation details shall be made available upon request.

A full interference analysis using the Longley-Rice propagation model, version 1.2.2, must be provided for a proposed allotment or assignment that requires Canada-U.S. coordination.

3.6.3 Interference Ceilings

Depending on the proposal, the following interference ceiling conditions apply:

  • A proposal for a new assignment or a new associated allotment or for converting a vacant allotment to an associated allotment shall not cause greater than 0.5% population service loss to a previously planned or approved assignment or associated allotment in the DTV Post-Transition Allotment Plan.
  • A proposal for a modified assignment or an associated allotment under an existing plan allotment is allowed to cause up to 0.5% population service loss to an existing primary assignment or to an associated allotment in the DTV Post-Transition Allotment Plan. If the 0.5% limit is already exceeded by the proposal’s corresponding allotment reference facilities in the plan or by the proposal’s existing assignment, no additional population service loss will be allowed.
  • A proposal for a new or modified assignment or allotment shall not cause greater than 5% additional population service loss to a previously planned or approved vacant allotment. However, no additional population service loss is allowed if the cumulative population service loss to the planned or approved vacant allotment is greater than or equal to 20%.
  • A proposal for a new or modified vacant allotment shall not cause any additional population service loss to a planned or approved assignment or associated allotment.
  • Population service loss shall be calculated as described in Section E7 of Annex E and Section G2.5 of Annex G.

3.6.4 Modifications to the DTV Allotment Plan

When an application for a new television undertaking requires modifications to existing assignments or allotments in the DTV Post-Transition Allotment Plan, the applicant may consult with the Department regarding these modifications prior to the formal filing of the application.

Studies in support of the proposed modifications shall show that the coverage objective of the proposal cannot be achieved by less drastic measures.

The following types of proposed modifications are possible, either separately or in combination:

  1. Changing the channel of an allotment or assignment – In the case of assignments or associated allotments, the licensee’s or the assignee’s agreement, as appropriate, shall be obtained (refer to Section 3.6.5);
  2. Modifying the technical parameters or limiting an allotment or assignment – In the case of assignments or associated allotments, the licensee’s agreement shall be obtained (refer to Section 3.6.5);
  3. Moving an allotment to another area and replacing the shifted allotment with a suitable channel;
  4. Deleting an allotment; and
  5. Converting a vacant allotment to an associated allotment – These proposals shall be accompanied by a technical submission with an appropriate interference analysis.

A proposal to change the channel or the technical parameters of an allotment in the Post-Transition Allotment Plan, shall be supported by a technical submission demonstrating that the change would provide improved channel utilization. The proposed change shall conform to the interference ceilings contained in Section 3.6.3. Interference calculations for DTV should be performed following the methodology in Annex E. Interference calculations for NTSC should be performed following the methodology in Annex G.

It is noted that some of the types of proposed modifications mentioned above may have a positive impact in one area, but a negative impact in another area. If the Department accepts the changes, it will report to the CRTC on the technical aspects of the changes and their impact, provided that the proposal is based on a complete application. These changes will be considered technically acceptable pending a decision by the CRTC. Any changes to the plan that may be required as the result of such applications will not be made until the Department declares them technically acceptable and the CRTC approves the application.

3.6.5 Notification of Primary Assignments

The applicant shall send a copy of the engineering brief with a covering letter to the broadcasting certificate holder of all short-spaced primary assignments and associated allotments as identified in Section 3.6.1, preferably on the date of filing the application or immediately after the CRTC has issued a Notice of Public Hearing. Footnote 1

A copy of this letter and confirmation of receipt by the affected broadcasting certificate holder, as proof of delivery, shall be sent to ISED. The letter shall advise the certificate holder of the situation and of interference or proposed changes where applicable, and shall emphasize that any representations that the certificate holder may wish to make to the Department shall be submitted to the Department with a copy to the applicant, no later than 30 days after receipt of the engineering brief.

If the affected certificate holder offers an objection, ISED may reject and return the application. The Department reserves the right to make an independent decision concerning the disposition of the application. If no reply is received within the specified period, it will be assumed that there is no objection.

The affected certificate holder shall use the criteria contained herein, together with established engineering practices, to assess the impact of the proposal. The Department will review the certificate holder’s response from a technical point of view and will reserve the right to make an independent decision concerning the disposition of the application.

Applicants proposing to modify the technical parameters or change the channel of an assignment that results in additional capital and operating cost for existing assignments will be expected to cover these expenses.

3.6.6 Other Notifications

The applicant shall send a copy of the engineering brief with a covering letter to the broadcasting certificate holder of all short-spaced LPTV and LPDTV assignments as identified using the methodologies of Annexes E and G, preferably on the date of filing the application or immediately after the CRTC has issued a Notice of Public Hearing.

The applicant shall send a copy of the engineering brief with a covering letter to the broadcasting certificate holder of all short-spaced NTSC assignments as identified using the methodologies of Annex G, preferably on the date of filing the application or immediately after the CRTC has issued a Notice of Public Hearing.

A copy of this letter and confirmation of receipt by the affected broadcasting certificate holder, as proof of delivery, shall be sent to the Department. The letter shall advise the certificate holder of the situation, the possibility of interference and the need for remedial action should the application become operational.

3.6.7 Incompatibilities

In all of the cases described in Section 3.6.1, problems can arise when changes to the plan proposed by one applicant are not compatible with changes proposed by another applicant. It should be noted that incompatibilities can occur even when the proposed services are geographically well separated.

The Department encourages applicants to cooperate in the search for an early solution to problems of incompatibility. In this regard, the Department will, without divulging the details of the proposed changes, make any incompatibility known to each of the applicants involved, urging resolution prior to consideration of the applications by the CRTC.

3.6.8 Allotment Planning

ISED may make changes to the DTV Allotment Plan independent of any application received. In its role as spectrum manager, it will also make independent decisions based on technical considerations.

3.7 Assessment and Control of Maximum Field Strength of TV Broadcasting Assignments

3.7.1 Introduction

Service requirements and constraints related to the siting of television broadcasting assignments may result in high signal strength levels in populated areas. Under these conditions, TV receivers may be susceptible to interference from strong adjacent TV signals. Broadcast receivers are also susceptible to immunity-type interference. Non-radio frequency equipment (radio-sensitive equipment) may also be affected by TV emissions. To avoid or minimize such problems, applicants are encouraged to locate their transmitters away from populated areas. Where this is unavoidable, it is necessary to assess the potential for interference.

3.7.2 Purpose

The purpose of this Section is to:

  • identify the analysis required from applicants in determining interference potential;
  • define the responsibilities of broadcasters in response to interference complaints; and
  • identify non-valid complaints of interference.

The requirements of this Section apply to all applications for the issue or amendment of broadcasting certificates for television broadcasting assignments.

3.7.3 Requirements Regarding Interference Analysis and Population Estimates

In addition to the requirements in Section 3.2 pertaining to the engineering brief, interference analyses are required, as discussed in this Section. In specific cases, the Department may accept a common assessment for co-located assignments, multiplexed or otherwise.

Strong adjacent TV signal interference can take place in the vicinity of a television assignment and the severity of the interference potential depends on the broadcasting radio environment. The proposed station’s 120 dBµV/m contour (channels 2-6 inclusive) or the 115 dBµV/m contour (channels 7-69 inclusive) is to be plotted on an appropriately-scaled map and submitted to the Department. An estimate of the population within this contour shall also be provided. The calculations should be based on the methodology in Section 3.7.5, for high field strengths.

Every attempt shall be made to keep the population within the above area to a minimum. The Department reserves the right to request changes to the antenna site, to the antenna height, to the antenna itself, or to the radiated power to reduce the population within this high field strength area.

3.7.4 Immunity-Type Interference

Broadcast receivers and their associated equipment, as well as non-radio equipment (radio-sensitive devices), are expected to operate properly within field strengths lower than those indicated in ISED’s Electromagnetic Compatibility Advisory Bulletin 2 (EMCAB-2). The Department uses EMCAB-2 to make determinations on interference or immunity cases.

3.7.5 Method for Calculating High Field Strength Contours

The vertical and horizontal antenna radiation patterns (if the antenna is directional) are normally supplied by the antenna manufacturer. In predicting high field strength contours, the ERP should be based on the appropriate antenna vertical plane radiation pattern for the pertinent azimuthal direction.

For distances less than 1.5 km from the transmitting site, the field strength should be determined from the following free-space formula;

\[F = 137 + 10log(ERP) - 20log(d) \]

Where:

F: is the field strength in dBμV/m (dB above one microvolt per metre);

ERP: is the effective radiated power in watts at the pertinent depression angle; and

d: is the slant distance (in metres) between the centre of radiation of the antenna and the receiving location.

For distances between 1.5 and 4 km, the field strength should be determined from the F(50,90) curves using the height of the antenna radiation centre with respect to the receiving location under consideration.

For distances beyond 4 km, the field strength should be determined from the F(50,90) curves using the pertinent HAAT.

The antenna height and the distance from the tower should be used to determine the depression angle. The ERP for that direction shall be determined by the depression angle and the vertical pattern information of the antenna. For the horizontal directional pattern, the power shall also be adjusted according to the azimuth selected.

Close-in field strength prediction may involve nulls in the vertical radiation pattern which shall be taken into consideration. The distances (di) along the ground, where the field strength is minimal due to a vertical pattern null, can be calculated by the following relationship:

\[ d_{i} = \frac{H}{tan(\theta_{i} + A)} \]

Where:

A and θi are the beam tilt angle and the angles corresponding to the different nulls in the vertical pattern respectively (both in degrees);

H = height (in metres) to radiation centre of antenna; and

di = distances in metres along the ground.

For values of \(\theta_{i} + A \leq 10^{°}\) \[d_{i} = 57.3 \frac{H}{\theta_{i} + A}\]

3.7.6 Resolving Issues

The broadcaster will accept responsibility as follows.

  1. In the case of strong adjacent channel (2nd, 3rd and 4th) interference relative to an assignment:
    • address complaints of interference within the 120 dBµV/m contour (channels 2-6 inclusive) or the 115 dBµV/m contour (channels 7-69 inclusive) of the interfering DTV assignment on an adjacent channel (refer to Section 3.7.7 for a list of complaints judged not valid by the Department);
    • keep the appropriate district office of the Department fully informed of all complaints received and action taken.
  2. In the case of immunity-type interference:
    • The broadcasters will be responsible for solving immunity-type interference for valid complaints.
    • The guidelines on resolving immunity issues relating to radio-sensitive equipment are outlined in Client Procedures Circular CPC-3-14-01, Determinations of Harmful Interference with Respect to Radio-Sensitive Equipment. CPC-3-14-01 can also be used as a guide for resolving immunity-related interference to broadcast receivers and associated equipment.

3.7.7 Complaints Judged Not Valid by ISED

The following is the list of complaints judged not valid by the Department and for which the broadcaster is not responsible for remedial action:

  1. where the complaint is attributed to the use of a malfunctioning or mistuned receiver or an improperly installed or defective antenna system;
  2. where the complaint is attributed to the desired signal being received outside the area where service is normally expected;
  3. where the complaint is attributed to the desired signal not being favourably received because of adverse local propagation conditions or building penetration losses;
  4. where the complaint involves the reception of signals originating from outside of Canada;
  5. where the complaint involves a high gain receiving antenna and/or an antenna booster amplifier intended for reception of distant assignments which, as a consequence, overloads the receiver or creates intermodulation in the amplifier output;
  6. where the complaint is attributed to the reception of a TV assignment which, under normal allotment criteria, is not fully protected from interference, or where the complaint originates from a planned interference zone;
  7. where the complaint is attributed to immunity-type interference to broadcast receivers and associated equipment located in an area where the measured field strength does not exceed the 125 dBμV/m;
  8. where the complaint is attributed to immunity-type interference to radio-sensitive equipment that is located in an area where the measured field strength does not exceed the 130 dBμV/m;
  9. any other complaint which, in the judgment of the Department, is considered not valid.

3.8 Transport Stream Identifier (TSID)

TSID is an integral part of the ATSC PSIP Standard A/65. The TSID identifies an individual broadcast assignment and facilitates the tuning of DTV receivers.

TSIDs for use in Canada are assigned by the Department. An up-to-date list of TSIDs is available as part of the Broadcasting Database . Applicants can refer to that list to find their assigned TSID prior to starting regular broadcast emissions.

4. Applications for Low-Power Digital Television (LPDTV) Broadcasting Undertakings

4.1 Preamble

LPDTV assignments are considered secondary assignments. In other words, assignments are established on an unprotected basis.

If an assignment established in accordance with this Section causes unacceptable interference to primary television assignments, whether established before or after the LPDTV assignment, remedial measures must be taken, even to the extent of closing down if another suitable channel cannot be used.

An LPDTV assignment is not entitled to protection from interference from primary television assignments. An LPDTV assignment is entitled to protection from other LPDTV assignments that are established at a later date.

Where a new primary television assignment, or one that has changed parameters, causes interference to an LPDTV assignment but does not receive any, the latter may either accept the interference or make application to change its operation to alleviate the interference.

4.2 Required Documents

All necessary forms may be obtained from the Spectrum Management and Telecommunications website.

4.2.1  Online Application Requirements

To submit an application to ISED online, use the following website: http://sms-sgs.ic.gc.ca.

The following documentation shall be attached to the application:

  • a separate engineering brief may be required in accordance with Section 4.3;
  • a contour map in accordance with Section 4.3.6; and
  • a text file containing horizontal and vertical antenna pattern data, in accordance with Annex E of BPR-1.

4.2.2 Email Application Requirements

To email an application to the Department, use the following email address: IC.broadcasting-radiodiffusion.IC@canada.ca.

In addition to the documentation required for online submissions, include the following documentation:

4.2.3 Written Application Requirements

When submitting a written application, printed and signed versions of the application form and other documentations described in 4.2.1 and 4.2.2 shall be provided.

It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that all electronic documents submitted have the necessary signatures.

The Department reserves the right to request a signed attestation to verify the authenticity of an application and may suspend the processing of the application until a satisfactory attestation has been received.

All proposed antenna structures, whether new or modified, low or full power, must comply with the requirements of Client Procedures Circular CPC-2-0-03, Radiocommunication and Broadcasting Antenna Systems, and Section 2 of BPR-1. In addition to meeting the requirements on site sharing, land-use consultation and public consultation, applicants must also fulfill other important obligations, including compliance with Health Canada’s Safety Code 6 guideline for the protection of the general public, compliance with radio frequency immunity criteria, notification of nearby broadcasting assignments, environmental considerations and Transport Canada/NAV CANADA’s aeronautical safety responsibilities.

4.3 Engineering Brief

The order of material in the engineering brief shall be maintained as listed below to simplify processing in the Department. The metric system known as SI (Système International) shall be used throughout the engineering brief.

4.3.1 Summary Sheet

This will show the submission title, type of undertaking proposed, name and address of the applicant, transmitting channel, name of the technical representative, location of the proposed broadcasting undertaking, submission date and, if applicable, the project or reference number.

4.3.2 Introduction

There should be a general statement of the purpose of the brief in relation to the application, including the primary centre(s) to be served within the noise-limited bounding contour. The programming source(s), method of programming feed and network affiliation should be indicated.

4.3.3 Transmitting Channel

A brief interference analysis in support of the selected transmitting channel should be included in the brief, with particular reference to existing television assignments and allotments in the applicable DTV Allotment Plan. This analysis should demonstrate that interference ceilings for LPDTVs, as described in Section 4.3.9, to authorized primary or low-power assignments operating in the area would not be exceeded. Technical criteria for determining interference to and from LPDTVs can be found in Annexes E and G.

4.3.4 Description of Antenna System

A description of the major components of the system, including a block diagram, should be provided. Details on the following equipment, if used, should be described:

  • Antenna: Manufacturer, type, model, gain, orientation, largest dimension and radiation patterns.
  • Transmission Line: Manufacturer, type, length in metres and efficiency.

4.3.5 Transmitter

Specify the make, type and output power of the transmitter (rated and operating). The output power of the transmitting equipment shall not exceed 50 watts on VHF and 500 watts on UHF band channels.

Low-power television applicants may choose to use the simple or stringent mask for LPDTVs shown in figures C2 and C3 respectively of Annex C. The applicant shall specify the type of emission mask to be employed and provide a statement related to compliance with the selected mask.

In some circumstances, the Department may require the use of an emission mask with more stringent characteristics (out-of-band emissions) to protect adjacent band services.

4.3.6 LPDTV Service

The service of an LPDTV undertaking shall not normally extend beyond a distance of 20 km in any direction from the antenna site.

In mountainous terrain locations, where the transmitting antenna height is more than 300 metres above the elevation of the community to be served, it may not be possible for the service of an LPDTV assignment to extend less than 20 km. In such cases, a broadcast consultant shall be retained to demonstrate that existing primary and secondary assignments will be protected from interference using an analysis that follows the procedures in Annexes E and G.

The bounding contour table (see Annex D) and a suitably detailed map with the transmitting site marked and the labelled bounding contour shall be provided.

4.3.7 Radio Frequency (RF) Exposure and Strong Adjacent Signal Interference Issues

The applicant shall provide analyses related to these issues. Refer to Sections 3.1.1 and 3.7 for the requirements.

4.3.8 Off-Air Reception and Microwave Links

When a television rebroadcasting station receives a feed from an existing facility using off-air reception (or a combination of off-air reception and microwave links), the engineering brief should specify the type of feed and give a description of the system.

4.3.9 LPDTV Interference Ceilings

A proposal for a new or modified LPDTV assignment shall not cause greater than 0.5% additional population service loss to a previously approved primary or secondary assignment.

LPDTV assignments are not required to protect LPTV assignments. However, LPDTV proposals need to identify all affected LPTV assignments and inform them about the potential impact.

Date modified: