U.S., Canada Forge Agreements On Spectrum Use Along Border

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By Bryce Baschuk  

U.S. and Canadian officials made three cross-border spectrum agreements Aug. 20 that seek to ensure more efficient spectrum use, improve aviation communications, and facilitate greater broadband deployment along the U.S.-Canada border, the Federal Communications Commission said in a news release.

The border frequency agreements were coordinated by three U.S. entities--the FCC, the State Department, and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration--and by Industry Canada.

The first agreement, called Arrangement V, will facilitate the deployment of fixed services along the U.S.-Canada border and govern spectrum sharing and coordination of the following spectrum bands: 71-76 GHz, 81-86 GHz, 92-94 GHz and 94.1-95 GHz, the FCC said.

The second pact aims to create a digital system to coordinate spectrum use in the 454 MHz and 459 MHz bands for general aviation air to ground services, the commission said.

The third accord, called Arrangement U, simplifies the criteria for permitting secondary voice communications users in the 896-901 MHz and 935-940 MHz bands, the FCC said. Arrangement U will be applied on an interim basis because it may become part of a larger treaty or replacement agreement governing services operating above 30 MHz, the FCC said.

Clyburn Comment

Acting FCC Chairwoman Mignon Clyburn said the arrangements will “help pave the way for improved wireless broadband deployment along the U.S.-Canada border for consumers and businesses, among other multiple public and commercial benefits,” according to a news release.

“The arrangements are also critical to maximizing interference protection for commercial licensees operating along our common border with Canada, and will also promote more efficient use of spectrum,” she added.

Clyburn and Gary Epstein, chairman of the FCC's Incentive Auction Task Force, recently visited Canada to discuss international coordination.

Text of the announcement is available at http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-322923A1.pdf.

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