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(week) or two to complete each issue. Articles may be posted earlier if time permits or if there is a major, breaking story.

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October 30, 2000 - Issue 238 Final Edition

FCC Experimental Applications Granted from 9/1/00 to 10/1/00 (Oct. 26)
The FCC Office of Engineering and Technology released a list of Experimental Actions granted between 9/1/2000 and 10/2/2000. Interesting actions include a license granted to Vanu, Inc. to operate in several bands in the VHF and UHF region, including all TV channels, to test and develop communications software and interoperability technology in Cambridge, MA; an experimental license to Professor Scott Palo allowing use of 46.3 MHz to operate a meteor radar system for measurement of wind and temperature in the middle atmosphere; and a license allowing Radio Router, Inc. to use 747-762 and 777-792 MHz for test and development of mobile data systems in New York, NY and Bedminster NJ. Mitsubishi Materials U.S.A. was granted an experimental license to operate on 454 and 459 MHz to use a Wireless Internet communications system for the business community in NYC. Several licenses to use frequencies in the 17 to 40 GHz bands were granted to companies to develop and test microwave equipment and antennas. For details on these and other grants, refer to the Experimental Actions Public Notice.

FCC Proposes New Rules for Fixed and Fixed Satellite Services and Limited Blanket Licensing of Small C-Band Earth Terminals (Oct. 24)
In the First Report and Order and Second Notice of Proposed Rule Making in ET Docket 98-237 and WT Docket 00-32, the FCC allocated the spectrum between 3650-3700 MHz to fixed and mobile (base stations) terrestrial services on a primary basis. The Report and Order said the "allocation will facilitate the provision of a broad range of services, including traditional voice telephony and new broadband, high- speed, data and video services." The FCC stated, "We also believe that this allocation will help foster the introduction of such services to rural areas of the United States, thus promoting the objectives of Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 to facilitate the rapid deployment of advanced telecommunications services and technologies to all Americans. This action will also encourage new and more effective competition to existing wireline local exchange carriers by providing for an economical means to offer competitive "local loop" or "last-mile" facilities."

This spectrum is shared between fixed service (FS) and fixed satellite service (FSS) earth stations. The FCC said it will "grandfather" existing FSS stations in this band and would, for a limited time, accept new applications for FSS earth stations within 10 miles of the grandfathered sites to operate on a co-primary basis. Additional FSS earth stations will be allowed to operate in the band on a secondary basis. In cases where an FSS earth station or FS station licensee accepts a level of interference along a set of azimuth and elevation angles recognized to be below normally permissible interference objectives to coordinate its station, the station must accept use of the same model in subsequent coordinations.

In the Second Notice of Proposed Rule Making associated with the Order, the FCC proposed assigning fixed and mobile services licenses in the band by competitive bidding. In response to a separate rulemaking petition, the FCC proposed licensing C-band small aperture terminal earth station networks (CSATs) under conditions similar to those sought by Onsat. Onsat would use CSATs to bring high-speed data services to rural Americans by deploying a C-band satellite network under a single authorization, with prior frequency coordination. The FCC proposal would require that CSAT networks use no more the 20 MHz of C-band spectrum and to communicate with no more than three satellite locations within the visible geostationary satellite orbit. The FCC sought comment on whether spectrum congestion requires limiting CSATs to rural areas and how to define rural for this purpose. The FCC also asked for comment on whether Hughes proposal for deploying GSO/FSS earth stations in the shared portion of the Ka-band without individual site-by-site licensing was practical.

For details, see the First Report and Order and Second Notice of Proposed Rule Making. A summary is available in the FCC News Release Commission Proposes Rules Promoting Efficient Spectrum Use by the Fixed and Fixed-Satellite Services and Providing Limited Blanket Licensing of Small Earth Terminals in C-Band.

OTHER Items of Interest

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