Statement of Intent of the Federal Communications Commission of the United States of America and the Department of Industry of Canada Related to the Sharing and Use of Portions of the Frequency Band 220-222 MHz for Positive Train Control Systems along the United States–Canada Border

Posted on Industry Canada website: May 28, 2015

Considering that the use of portions of the band 220-222 MHz is being considered for Positive Train Control (PTC) systems to prevent train-to-train collisions, over-speed derailments and casualties or injuries to the public and railway workers;

Considering that the current Interim Sharing Arrangement between the Canadian Department of Industry, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, and the Federal Communications Commission Concerning the Use of the Band 220 to 222 MHz along the United States-Canada Border came into use on December 21, 1999 (hereafter the “1999 Interim Sharing Arrangement”), does not accommodate the use of PTC systems;

Considering that discussions have taken place between the Federal Communications Commission of the United States and the Department of Industry of Canada (Industry Canada) (hereafter the “Agencies”) on the sharing and use of portions of the frequency band 220-222 MHz for PTC systems along the United States-Canada border;

Considering that there are existing Canadian and U.S. stations that need to be protected from harmful interference caused by new stations until an arrangement governing the frequency band 220-222 MHz for use by PTC systems is finalized;

The representatives of the Agencies have discussed their intentions with regard to the sharing and use of portions of the frequency band 220-222 MHz for PTC systems along the United States-Canada border;

Taking the above into account, the Agencies intend to administratively apply the operational provisions set out in this statement on a non-binding basis, in order to facilitate the sharing and coordination of the channels listed in Table 1 for land mobile and fixed systems, including PTC systems. Furthermore, taking into account the aforementioned intent of the Agencies to administratively apply the operational provisions set out in this statement on a non-binding basis, it is understood that the Agencies no longer intend to apply the 1999 Interim Sharing Arrangement for the use of the channels in Table 1. Meanwhile, the Agencies intend to continue applying the operational provisions of the 1999 Interim Sharing Arrangement for all other channels in the frequency band 220-222 MHz.

1. Sharing Zone

1.1 The sharing zone is defined as the area within 120 km of the United States-Canada border.

1.2 Sector 1 and Sector 2, as defined below, are recognized as special geographic areas within the sharing zone.

1.2.1 Sector 1 is defined to be the portion of the sharing zone in the United States and Canada bounded on the West by 85° W longitude and on the East in Canada by 81° W longitude and in the United States by 80° 30′ W longitude.

1.2.2 Sector 2 is defined to be the portion of the sharing zone in the United States and Canada bounded on the East by 71° W longitude and on the West in Canada by 81° W longitude and in the United States by 80° 30′ W longitude.

2. Allotment and Use of the Bands in the Sharing Zone

2.1 The 5 kHz channels described in Table 1 may be combined to form a single channel of up to 25 kHz for PTC or Remote Control Locomotive (RCL) use. Other uses are limited to operations within a 5 kHz channel.

2.2 The Agencies share the understanding that beyond 120 km from the border, they have primary use of the channels listed in Table 1.

2.3 The Agencies also share the understanding that within the sharing zone, the channels are available for primary use by either Canada or the U.S., in accordance with Table 1:

Table 1

Table 1 — List of channels that can be used for PTC and RCL, with their respective channel designation and primary use allotment to Canada or U.S., within 120 km of the border
Channel Numbers Designation Allotment
220 MHz Band 221 MHz Band
(1) Channels 151-155 are available for primary use by the U.S. in Sector 1 and Sector 2 and by Canada in all other areas along the border.
21-25PTC 101PTC 141Canada
26-30PTC 102PTC 142U.S.
81-85PTC 113PTC 153Canada
86-90PTC 114PTC 154U.S.
141-145PTC 125PTC 165Canada
146-150PTC 126PTC 166U.S.
151-155PTC 127PTC 167See footnote (1)
171-175PTC 131PTC 171U.S.
176-180PTC 132PTC 172Canada
196-200RCL 136RCL 176Shared

2.4 The Agencies understand that the PTC and RCL channels may operate as time division duplexing channels (base and mobile on the same channel) with an authorized channel bandwidth of up to 25 kHz.

2.5 The Agencies intend to require their licensees who operate transmitting stations in the sharing zone on channels 196-200 to coordinate with licensees in the sharing zone on the other side of the border.

2.5.1 In the absence of a licensee on the other side of the border, the Agencies intend to limit the power flux density (pfd) produced by the stations transmitting on channels 196-200 located within one country’s territory to −91 dBW/m2 in any 25 kHz bandwidth in the other country’s territory, unless both Agencies concur.

2.5.2 The pfd described in section 2.5.1. should be calculated using good engineering practice and generally accepted terrain-sensitive propagation models (with location and time variables of 10% and standard 3 arc-second digitized terrain data). Data and calculations for determining compliance with this provision should be provided upon request.

2.6 The Agencies’ use of the channels listed in Table 1 should utilize good engineering practice to direct transmission away from the border when practicable.

3. Use of Channels Understood to Be for the Primary Use of One Administration by the Other Administration

3.1 The Agencies understand that channels for primary use of one Agency may be assigned by the other Agency for use within the sharing zones in its country under the following conditions:

3.1.1 The maximum pfd of the signal at and beyond the border of the primary user’s country does not exceed −101 dBW/m2 in any 25 kHz bandwidth.

3.1.1.1 The pfd described in section 3.1.1. should be calculated using good engineering practice and generally accepted terrain-sensitive propagation models (with location and time variables of 10% and standard 3 arc-second digitized terrain data). Data and calculations for determining compliance with this provision should be provided upon request.

3.1.1.2 In the event that the measured pfd at or beyond the border exceeds the value described in section 3.1.1., it is the responsibility of the licensee to bring the station’s pfd into compliance with section 3.1.1.

3.1.2 Stations authorized under this provision are considered as secondary and it is understood that they are neither granted protection against harmful interference from stations that have primary use of their authorized frequency, nor may they cause harmful interference to stations having primary use of their authorized frequency, regardless of whether they meet the pfd values specified in section 3.1.1 above.

3.1.3 Mobile stations exceeding 5 W transmitter power output (TPO) should not be operated in frequencies for primary use of the other Agency within 30 km of the common border.

3.1.4 The Agencies intend to include a clause in the documentation authorizing such stations to use these frequencies stating that such authorization is subject to the following conditions:

3.1.4.1 In the event that the measured signal at or beyond the border is found to exceed −101 dBW/m2 in any 25 kHz, the signal level is to be reduced accordingly;

3.1.4.2 In the event that harmful interference is experienced by any station that has primary use of the authorized frequency, regardless of signal strength, the licensee is expected to take immediate action to eliminate such interference. The Agency granting the authorization for secondary use is expected to ensure that remedial action is taken to resolve the harmful interference, up to and including revocation of the authorization.

4. New Stations

4.1 Each Agency intends to authorize new stations within the sharing zone consistent with the following parameters:

4.1.1 For the PTC and RCL systems in the band 220-222 MHz, the maximum effective radiated power (ERP), except as noted below in section 4.1.2, is to be determined by Table 2:

Table 2

Table 2 — Maximum effective radiated power of PTC and RCL base stations operating in the band 220-222 MHz based on the antenna height above average terrain.
Antenna Height Above Average Terrain (Meters) ERP (Watts)
Up to 150 500
Above 150 to 225250
Above 225 to 300125
Above 300 to 45060
Above 450 to 60030
Above 600 to 75020
Above 750 to 90015
Above 900 to 1,05010
Above 1,0505

4.1.2 For the PTC and RCL channels in the band 220-222 MHz, the maximum ERP allowable for mobile units is 50 W. Portable units are considered mobile units.

5. Existing Stations

5.1 The Agencies share the understanding that existing stations authorized by the Agencies prior to March 15, 2015, and operating within the sharing zone, may continue to operate at their indicated parameters, as listed in Appendix 1. Any modification to these authorized existing stations should only be made if it will not increase their interference potential in the direction of the United States-Canada border.

6. Modification

6.1 The Agencies may modify the provisions in this statement jointly in writing at any time.

7. Discontinuation

7.1 Either Agency should give to the other Agency at least 90 days’ written notice if it intends to cease applying the operational provisions outlined in this statement. It is intended that, even after discontinuation, existing stations would continue operating at their current parameters in accordance with the authorizations granted by the Agencies.



FOR THE FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION

space to insert signature
Tom Wheeler
Chairman
Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C., U.S.A.

Date: April 17, 2015


FOR INDUSTRY CANADA

space to insert signature
Corinne Charette
Senior Assistant Deputy Minister
Spectrum, Information Technologies
and Telecommunications
Industry Canada
Ottawa, Ontario

Date: May 13, 2015


Appendix 1 — Existing Canadian stations in the frequency band 220-222 MHz
Record ID Call Sign Licensee Name Latitude (DDMMSS) Longitude (DDMMSS) TX Freq. (MHz) RX Freq. (MHz) ERP (dBW) Antenna Height AGL (m) Distance to Border (km)
13040811001XKK545University of Victoria4856151253316220.9975220.997521385
53056820001VX9GSSCanadian Pacific Railway Company4527550734031220.1375220.13756.7650
530568219001VX9GSRCanadian Pacific Railway Company4527550734031220.1375220.137581550
53056820003VX9GSSCanadian Pacific Railway Company4527550734031220.4375220.43756.7650
53056819006VX9GSRCanadian Pacific Railway Company4527550734031220.4375220.437581550
53056820006VX9GSSCanadian Pacific Railway Company4527550734031220.7375220.73756.7650
53056819005VX9GSRCanadian Pacific Railway Company4527550734031220.7375220.737581550
53056820005VX9GSSCanadian Pacific Railway Company4527550734031220.7625220.76256.7650
53056819003VX9GSRCanadian Pacific Railway Company4527550734031220.7625220.762581550
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