Welcome to RF Current, a weekly electronic newsletter focusing on Broadcast technical and F.C.C. related issues. This newsletter is part of The RF Page @ www.transmitter.com, a web site devoted to TV Broadcast RF engineering. For more information see the What is... guide to the R.F. Page site.

Issues are dated each Monday, although recently I've needed an extra day or two to complete each issue. Articles may be posted earlier if time permits or if there is a major, breaking story.

<<< Back to August 9 - Issue 177

August 16, 1999 - Issue 178 Final Edition

FCC Proposes Modification of DTV Table of Allotments in Chattanooga TN (Aug. 13)
The FCC issued a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (MM Docket 99-268) that would substitute DTV channel 13 for the existing DTV channel 55 DTV allotment in Chattanooga, TN. The change was requested by Sarkes Tarzian, licensee of WRCB-TV, NTSC channel 3 in Chattanooga. The channel 13 allocation would be for an effective radiated power (average) of 37 kW at a height above average terrain of 325 meters. Comments on the NPRM are due September 27, 1999. The reply comment date is October 12, 1999.

FCC Proposes Modification of DTV Table of Allotments in Salinas CA (Aug. 13)
The FCC issued a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (MM Docket 99-269) that would substitute DTV channel 10 for the existing DTV channel 43 DTV allotment in Salinas CA. The change was requested by Heart Argyle, licensee of KSBW, NTSC channel 8 in Salinas. The channel 10 DTV allocation would be for an effective radiated power (average) of 24.2 kW at a height above average terrain of 692 meters. Comments on the NPRM are due September 27, 1999. The reply comment date is October 12, 1999.

FCC Experimental License Grants - some interesting applications (Aug.)
In 1998, the FCC Office of Engineering and Technology listed experimental actions on a monthly basis. This year, however, O.E.T. waited until this week to release the experimental actions from January 1, 1999 to July 1, 1999 on the Internet. The Public Notice (pnet9013) was dated July 11, 1999.

The microwave spectrum above 30 GHz attracted interest. Bosch Telecom was granted an experiment license to operate in the 38.6-40 GHz band to test prototype radio equipment employing Internet Protocol (IP) over the air. Harris Corporation received a license to operate on 38 GHz to evaluate the effect of tropical rain on the microwave transmission.

Several licenses were issued for experimental operation in the LMDS spectrum between 27.5 and 31.3 GHz. Liberty Cellular was granted a license "to study propagation characteristics and obtain data using LMDS to deliver two-way interactive services using telephony, data and video". The licenses issued to other companies were to test, develop and demonstrate LMDS equipment.

Other interesting licenses included WA2XXG, issued to Sensor Technologies & Systems, Inc. to operate on 16400 MHz to "test and develop radar that detects illegal entries into U.S." along the U.S./Mexico border. Globecomm Systems, Lockheed Martin and Southern California Edison were granted licenses to operate in the 14000-14500 MHz band for various purposes involving satellites. Brigham Young University was granted WA2XXQ to operate in the 9.8-10.0 GHz band to make measurements of topography and vegetation.

Sierracom received WA2XVS to operate in several microwave bands, including the TV broadcast auxiliary bands, to test and develop equipment to be used under Parts 74, 78 and 101 of the FCC rules. WA2XXE was issued to Satellite CD Radio, Inc. to test and develop terrestrial repeater stations for the Satellite Digital Audio Radio Service (DARS). 3COM received a license "to operate in the 2150-2162 and 2500-2690 MHz to test and develop two-way systems that provide data, video and POTS for MMDS licensees".

On lower frequencies, GTE Mobilnet of California's WA2XWZ is to be used to test an antenna with 45 degree polarization in the 880-894 MHz cellular band. On the UHF TV band, Telex Communications, Inc. received a license to operate in the 518-608 and 614-764 MHz range for "test, development, and demonstration of digital wireless intercom that is awaiting equipment approval (for use under Part 74)." Microwave Data Systems received permission to use 450.9, 455.9, 470.5 and 475.5 MHz to test new radio technology for use outside the U.S.

The American Radio Relay League was granted WA2XSY to operate in the 5100-5450 kHz band and amateur radio bands to "test propagation differences between the band preparatory to request for additional spectrum near 5 MHz."

The O.E.T. Public Notice (pnet9013) contains information on several other experimental license grants. The Public Notice also listed the areas where the experimental licenses are authorized. Refer to it for more details.

FCC Chairman Kennard Delivers A New FCC for the 21st Century (Aug. 12)
FCC Chairman William E. Kennard has presented Congress with a draft strategic plan for the future of the FCC. An FCC News Release (nrmc9059) said "the plan envisions that in five years U.S. communications markets will be characterized predominantly by vigorous competition that will greatly reduce the need for direct regulation. The FCC as we know it today will be very different both in structure and mission. As a result, the FCC must wisely manage the transition from an industry regulator to a market facilitator."

The News Release also said "the FCC must streamline its licensing activities, accelerate the decisionmaking process, and allow the public faster and easier access to information through increased automation and efficiency. The FCC must become a 'one-stop, digital shop' where form-filing and document-location is easy and instantaneous." The plan sets forth specific goals and deadlines for meeting these objectives.

One of the key policy initiatives in the plan calls for the FCC to "Recruit high-quality staff knowledgeable about the communications marketplace. Strengthen technical capabilities by hiring more engineers/technologists and re-establishing an entry-level engineering training program." Other initiatives include opening "low-power radio frequencies for local use across the nation to create outlets for an array of new voices to be heard, like churches, community groups, and colleges." The plan also included an initiative to "Encourage the creation of a new tax certificate program that would apply not just to radio, television, and cable, but to all telecommunications businesses, including wireline, wireless and satellite."

With regards to spectrum allocation, under the plan the market rules. The plan calls for the FCC to "Rely principally on the marketplace to achieve the highest value use of spectrum." Furthermore, the plan says "Facilitate efficient aftermarket trading and aggregation of spectrum by creating tools such as a public database on current spectrum users and forums to bring together buyers and sellers of 'after market' spectrum." The plan also calls for the FCC to "Consider expanded provision of spectrum for ultra wideband use and unlicensed services."

This is clearly a bold undertaking by the FCC that will change the regulatory landscape all FCC licenses will act on. Take time to read through the Adobe Acrobat (PDF) document A New FCC For the 21st Century - Draft Strategic Plan. There is also a web site devoted to the plan: http://www.fcc.gov/21st_century/.

SATELLITE - EchoStar V Shipped to Cape Canaveral for September Launch (Aug. 9)
EchoStar Communications Corporation said EchoStar V arrived at Cape Canaveral Air Station in Florida. The launch on a Lockheed Martin Atlass IIAS rocket is scheduled for September 10, 1999.

EchoStar V will be located at 110 degrees West Longitude. The satellite will allow EchoStar's DISH Network(TM) to provide 500 digital video and audio channels from a single dish pointed at satellites at 110 and 119 degrees West Longitude. This satellite will also provide direct to home satellite service to Alaska and Hawaii.

Some of the uses envisioned for the satellite include multiple HDTV channels, Dolby-Digital surround sound, Internet and other interactive data services. EchoStar said EchoStar V could also expand satellite delivery of network channels beyound the 13 cities currently served to locations including more than 70 percent of the U.S. population.

More information is available in the EchoStar Press Release.

DIGITAL TELEVISION STATION APPLICATIONS - See ap990813.txt for more information
Call (DT) Ch. Licensee Location ERP (kW) HAAT (m) Antenna
KATU 43 Fisher B'cstg Portland OR 1000 524 RFS PHP80E

DIGITAL TELEVISION STATION APPLICATIONS - See ap990812.txt for more information
Call (DT) Ch. Licensee Location ERP (kW) HAAT (m) Antenna
WTCT 17 Tri-State Christian TV Marion IL 350 213 Andrew ATW30H3-HSO-17S
WTLJ 24 Tri-State Christian TV Muskegon MI 500 281 Andrew ATW22H3-HSC1-24S
WAQP 48 Tri-State Christian TV Saginaw MI 500 287 Andrew ATW22H3-HTO-48S
WLXI 43 Radiant Life Ministries Greensboro NC 150 158 Andrew ALP24M3-HSO-43

DIGITAL TELEVISION STATION ACTIONS - See ac990810.txt for more information
Call (DT) Ch. Licensee Location ERP (kW) HAAT (m) Antenna
KXTV 61 KXTV Sacramento CA 1000 593 Dielectric TFU-30GBH-R08
WFSB 33 Meredith Hartford CT 500 284 Dielectric TFU-24GTH-R04

OTHER Items of Interest

Next >>>> August 23 - Issue 179

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Last modified August 22, 1999 by Doug Lung dlung@transmitter.com
Copyright 1999 H. Douglas Lung