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<<< Back to September 25 - Issue 233
October 2, 2000 - Issue 234 Final Edition
- FCC - U.S. and Canada Sign Letter of Understanding on Border DTV (Sept. 29)
- Applications for DTV stations within 400 km of the Canada/U.S. border will be governed under a Letter of Understanding (LOU) recently signed by the U.S. and Canada. The LOU generally accepts the facilties authorized in U.S. DTV Table of Allotments, even though in some cases they did not meet the required separations from Canadian stations. In some cases, the U.S. DTV Table of Allotment power levels were reduced toward specific Canadian stations. For example, the ERP of the DTV channel 34 allotment in Buffalo, NY, is attenuated by 20 dB towards DTV channel 34 in Peterborough, Ontario and the ERP of the DTV channel 15 allotment in Calais, Maine is reduced 13 dB towards DTV channel 15 in Digby, NS.
Applications for modifications to the DTV Table of Allotments in areas near the border must meet certain requirements. These requirements were outlined in an article in RF Current - January 24, 2000. Dane Ericksen (Hammett and Edison) pointed out a key change in the LOU from what was proposed in January. The original LOU did not have a "de minimus" interference level -- any interference was deemed unacceptable. The LOU, as signed, contains language stating, "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."
For more information on the Canadian DTV Letter of Understanding, refer to the News Release - U.S. and Canada Reach Agreement on Implementing Digital Television Service Along the U.S./Canada Border. The 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 is a PDF document containing the complete letter, which includes also agreements on non-broadcast uses of this spectrum and tables showing listing allocations affected by the LOU. Another summary is available in the PDF document Public Notice - U.S. and Canada Reach Agreement on Implementing Digital Television Service Along the U.S./Canada Border. Visit the Hammett and Edison Web Site for a detailed analysis of the LOU as proposed earlier this year.
- FCC Launches Inquiry Regarding High-Speed Internet Service (Sept. 28)
- The FCC has issued a Notice of Inquiry (NOI) regarding high-speed Internet service. While the FCC News Release focused primarily on cable and wireline high-speed Internet access, the NOI also sought comment "on the appropriate legal and policy approach to be accorded to high-speed Internet service provided over various platforms, including cable, wireline, wireless, satellite, broadcast and unlicensed spectrum technologies..."
In the NOI, the FCC asked for comment "on the impact, if any, of adopting a particular model of open access on other high-speed service providers, including those using wireless, satellite, broadcast, and unlicensed spectrum technologies." The NOI noted that certain common carriers, pursuant to the requirements of the FCC's Computer Inquires, are required to allow ISPs to purchase basic transmission services on a nondiscriminatory basis while others, such as entiries providing wireless Internet service under FCC Part 15 rules "are under no obligation to allow multiple ISPs to access their networks." The NOI asked: "Could the legal framework apply to other providers of high-speed services including those that employ wireless, satellite, broadcast, and unlicensed spectrum technologies? If so, why? If not, why not? In deciding whether the legal framework should apply to a particular high-speed provider, should it matter whether the provider has market power or is vertically integrated? Should it matter that some providers operate under common carrier requirements to serve the public indifferently? Should it matter that some providers must set aside a portion of capacity for purposes other than high-speed services?"
The NOI also asked for comments on "the potential services that may develop that make use of a combination Internet and television broadcast channel platform," asking, "For example, will problems arise by allowing the affiliated or preferred ISP the ability to combine Internet services to the television broadcast channel?"
The complete Inquiry Concerning High-Speed Access to the Internet Over Cable and Other Facilities, GN Docket No. 00-185, is available on line as text file fcc00355.txt or Adobe Acrobat file fcc00355.pdf.
- SATELLITE - PanAmSat Plans Replacement of Failing Galaxy VIII-i (Sept. 28)
- In a Press Release issued today, PanAmSat said Galaxy VIII-i was operating normally after experiencing problems with its primary method of maintaining its orbital location - a xenon ion propulsion system (XIPS). Galaxy VIII-i is now operating on a backup chemical propulsion system, but without the use of XIPS, it expected to reach its end of life in late 2002.
PanAmSat said Galaxy IIIc is under construction and is expected to be launched into the Galaxy VIII-i orbital location in the second quarter of 2001. At that time, Galaxy Latin America will move from Galaxy VIII-i to Galaxy IIIc. Galaxy VIII-i will continue to be used for some additional services, according to the PanAmSat release. PanAmSat will also build the Galaxy VIII-iR replacement satellite to assure against a Galaxy IIIc launch failure and to provide a more robust in-orbit back-up configuration, subject to approval by the boards of directors of PanAmSat and Galaxy Latin America. Until Galaxy IIIc is successfully launched and deployed, Galaxy Latin America has backup rights to preemptible transponders on Galaxy IIIR. PanAmSat said it considered a situation that would require use of Galaxy IIIR transponders "highly unlikely".
PanAmSat has five other HS 601 HP spacecraft using the XIPS and one HS 702 spacecraft using XIPS, with three aditional satellites using XIPS planned for launch by mid-2001. The PanAmSat press release said, "Based on the information furnished to PanAmSat by Hughes Space & Communications Company, the manufacturer of the XIPS-equipped satellite, and PanAmSat's experience with XIPS, PanAmSat believes that this difficulty on Galaxy VIII-i is an incident that will not affect the performance of XIPS on those other spacecraft."
- FCC Modifies Rules for Low Power FM (Sept. 28)
- The FCC has released a Memorandum Opinion and Order in MM Docket No. 99-25, Creation of Low Power Radio Service that disposed of petitions for reconsideration of the Report and Order, made certain changes to the LP FM rules and provided clarifications of some LP FM rules.
The FCC declined to modify permissible power levels for the service. It did, however, adopt specific "complaint and license modification procedures to ensure that if any unexpected, significant 3rd adjacent channel interference problems are caused by the operation of a particular LPFM station, it can be resolved expeditiously." The FCC modified the spacing standards adopted in the Report and Order to require that "LPFM stations operating on 3rd adjacent channels protect stations operating radio reading services and, pending further study, will not authorize an LPFM station that would not be sufficiently geographically separated from any full-service FM station on a 3rd adjacent channel that operates a radio reading service as of the date of the adoption of this Memorandum Opinion and Order."
The adopted changes modify FCC Rules Section 73.807 - Minimum distance separation between stations and Section 73.809 - Interference protection to full service FM stations. Section 73.816 - Antennas; Section 73.825 - Protection to Reception of TV Channel 6; Section 73.827 - Interference to the Input Signals of FM Translator or FM Booster Stations; Section 73.854 - Unlicensed operations; Section 73.855 - Ownership Limits; Section 73.860 - Cross Ownership; Section 73.870 - Processing of LPFM Broadcast Station Applications; Section 73.872 - Selection procedure for mutually exclusive application; Section 73.877 - Station Logs for LPFM stations; Section 73.1660 - Acceptability of broadcast transmitters; and Section 74.1204 Subpart L were also modified. A new section, 73.810 - Third Adjacent Channel Compliant and License Modification Procedure was added.
A summary of the changes is available in the FCC News Release FCC Adopts Reconsideration Order for Low Power FM Radio. Refer to the Memorandum Opinion and Order - fcc00349.txt or Memorandum Opinion and Order - fcc00349.doc (Word document) for details on the rule changes.
- FCC Grants Change to DTV Table of Allotments in Urbana, IL (Oct. 2)
- The FCC has granted the request of The University of Illinois Board of Trustees, licensee of WILL-TV, NTSC Channel 12 in Urbana, Illinois, to substitute DTV channel 9 for channel 33.
The FCC agreed the public interest would be served by the substitution since "it will allow Station WILL-TV to preserve its limited resources and apply them
to the station's other public interest responsibilities." The parameters of the Channel 9 DTV allotment to Urbana specify an effective radiated power of 30 kW at a height above average terrain of 302 meters serving a population of 1,005,000. Reference coordinates are 40-02-18N and 88-40-10W.
This information is from the Report and Order (Proceeding Terminated)(MM Docket 00-76).
- FCC Grants Change to DTV Table of Allotments in Thomasville, Georgia (Oct. 2)
- The FCC has granted the request of WCTV Licensee Corporation, licensee of WCTV-TV, NTSC Channel 6 in Thomasville, Georgia, to substitute DTV channel 46 for channel 52. Channel 51, L.C., permittee for WBIF on channel 51 in Marianna, Florida filed supporting comments.
The FCC agreed the public interest would be served by the substitution since "it permit Station WCTV-DT to operate on a core allotment in lieu of its current non-core allotment." The parameters of the Channel DTV allotment to specify an effective radiated power of 1000 kW at a height above average terrain of 619 meters serving a population of 832,000. Reference coordinates are 30-40-13N and 83-56-26W.
This information is from the Report and Order (Proceeding Terminated)(MM Docket 00-98).
- FCC Grants Change to DTV Table of Allotments in Killeen, TX (Oct. 2)
- The FCC has granted the request of White Knight Broadcasting of Killeen Licensee Corporation, licensee of KAKW, NTSC Channel 62 in Killeen, Texas, to substitute DTV channel 13 for channel 23.
The FCC agreed the public interest would be served by the substitution since "it would allow Station KAKW(TV) to provide over 100 percent replication of its NTSC construction permit service area during the DTV transition period." The parameters of the Channel DTV allotment to specify an effective radiated power of 39.4 kW at a height above average terrain of 553 meters serving a population of 1,307,000. Reference coordinates are 30-43-33N and 97-59-24W.
This information is from the Report and Order (Proceeding Terminated)(MM Docket 00-103).
- FCC Notice of Proposed Rule Making to Modify DTV Table of Allotments in Rapid City, SD (Oct. 2)
- )Duhamel Broadcasting Enterprises, licensee of station KOTA-TV, NTSC Channel 3 in Rapid City, South Dakota has requested the substitution of DTV Channel 2 for its assigned DTV Channel 22. Duhamel stated, "the allotment of a VHF channel, rather than a UHF channel, is necessary to facilitate the introduction of digital television service to the vast, sparsely populated, rural area served by KOTA-TV." Assignment of UHF Channel 22, it said, would require it to find a new transmitter site, to construct a new tower to support the UHF antenna and to incur costs associated with building and operating a UHF TV facility that present "a real impediment to the implementation of digital television in a small television market".
The FCC has found this channel change would meet its requirements and warrants consideration. The technical parameters of the modified allotment on Channel 2 would specify an effective radiated power of 8 kW at a height above average terrain of 174 meters.
Interested parties may file comments on or before November 24, 2000. Reply comments are due on or before December 11, 2000. Refer to the Notice of Proposed Rule Making (MM Docket 00-177) for details on the request and information on filing comments.
- FCC Notice of Proposed Rule Making to Modify DTV Table of Allotments in Charlotte, NC (Oct. 2)
- )Charlotte-Mechkenburg Public Broadcasting Authority (CMPBA), licensee of station WTVI-TV, NTSC Channel 42 in Charlotte, North Carolina has requested the substitution of DTV Channel 11 for its assigned DTV Channel 24. CMBPA claimed, "operation on the VHF channel will reduce some initial equipment costs, creating savings which will be used to finance other aspects of the DTV conversion, and will reduce operating expenses." CMBPA also said by moving to channel 11 it would avoid interference from WBTV-DT on channel 23 in Charlotte.
The FCC has found this channel change would meet its requirements and warrants consideration. The technical parameters of the modified allotment on Channel 11 would specify an effective radiated power of 2.0 kW at a height above average terrain of 387 meters.
Interested parties may file comments on or before November 24, 2000. Reply comments are due on or before December 11, 2000. Refer to the Notice of Proposed Rule Making (MM Docket 00-178) for details on the request and information on filing comments.
- FCC Notice of Proposed Rule Making to Modify DTV Table of Allotments in Arkadelphia, AR (Oct. 2)
- )Arkansas Educational Television Commission(AETC), licensee of station KETG, NTSC Channel 9 in Arkadelphia, Arkansas has requested the substitution of DTV Channel 13 for its assigned DTV Channel 46. AETC stated it "believes the activation
of DTV Channel *46 at the power levels of 937.1 kW, as contemplated by the Commission, will result in additional massive electrical power costs. AETC claims that this expense is especially significant in light of the fact that AETC has four additional DTV stations to construct, operate and maintain, all within a short span of time."
The FCC has found this channel change would meet its requirements and warrants consideration. The technical parameters of the modified allotment on Channel 13 would specify an effective radiated power of 7.3 kW at a height above average terrain of 320.9 meters.
Interested parties may file comments on or before November 24, 2000. Reply comments are due on or before December 11, 2000. Refer to the Notice of Proposed Rule Making (MM Docket 00-179) for details on the request and information on filing comments.
- FCC Notice of Proposed Rule Making to Modify DTV Table of Allotments in Fort Myers, FL (Oct. 2)
- )Fort Myers Broadcasting Company (FMBC), licensee of station WINK-TV, NTSC Channel 11 in Fort Myers, Florida has requested the substitution of DTV Channel 9 for its assigned DTV Channel 53. FMBC stated that channel 53 is outside the core channels and will not be available for TV broadcasting at the end of the DTV transition. FMBC also stated, "Channel 9 is within the core television band and is sufficiently close to WINK-TV's analog Channel 11." and claimed "equipment purchased for DTV Channel 9 can be used for digital broadcasting on Channel 11 with minor modifications." FMBC also noted the cost savings from using Channel 9 and said the savings it incurs will help it maintain high quality programming.
The FCC has found this channel change would meet its requirements and warrants consideration. The technical parameters of the modified allotment on Channel 9 would specify an effective radiated power of 20 kW at a height above average terrain of 451 meters.
Interested parties may file comments on or before November 24, 2000. Reply comments are due on or before December 11, 2000. Refer to the Notice of Proposed Rule Making (MM Docket 00-180) for details on the request and information on filing comments.
- OTHER Items of Interest
- FCC Opens Filng Window for Requests to Be a Frequency Coordinator in the Wireless Medical Telemetry Service - Public Notice - Potential coordinators must disclose fee structure, conflicts of interest, method for resolving conflicts, and other information concerning their qualifications.
- FCC Office of Engineering and Technology Extends Effective Date of Antenna Connector Requirement Indefinitely - Public Notice - see xxxx
- FCC Grants INMARSAT Extension of Time to Conduct IPO - News Release - Request by Inmarsat Ventures Ltd. for nine-month extension granted. New IPO deadline is July 1, 2001.
- GE-1A Satellite Successfully Launched from Baikonur, Kazakhstan - Press Release - GE-1A has 28 active 36 MHz 120W Ku-band transponders. It will be located at 108.2 degrees East Longitude to serve south and northeast Asia, including China, India and the Philippines.
- Harris Corporation Marks Digital Television Milestone with Installation of Its 100th DTV transmitter - Press Release - 100th DTV transmitter, a SigmaCD, is being installed at WFTV in Orlando, FL.
- Harris Corporation Releases Next Generation Software for Microwave Radio Path Planning - Press Release - StarLink 2.1 is used for planning digital microwave paths. While the release said it was available for downloading at www.harris.com, it appeared to be in a password protected area.
- Multi-Protocol Digital Transceiver IC from Motorola Supports GSM/DCS/TDMA/AMPS Phones, PDAs and Other Applications - Press Release
- This Week In Consumer Electronics article - RadioShack, Microsoft Begin Broadband Service - Press Release announcing MSN Internet two-way satellite service for $59.95/month (plus $299 for dish setup) available in November
- EE Times article - Wireless video set to run on DSPs - story by Junko Yoshida - Companies optimizing MPEG-4 software for wireless devices
- EE Times article - Whither the FCC under Gore, Bush? - story by George Leopold looks at future direction of the FCC on issues such as TV channel 60-69 reallocation and regulation versus competition.
- EE Times article - Wireless developers urged to prepare for an IP world - story by Loring Wirbel covers sessions at IEEE Wireless Communications and Networking Conference.
- EE Times article - Ultrawideband radio attacks spectrum drought - Ian Cameron asks Ralph Petroff from Time Domain Corp. about the potential of ultrawideband technology.
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