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U.S., Canada reach public safety services agreement

The United States and Canada have amended the 1962 agreement concerning coordination and use of radio frequencies above 30MHz.

The FCC and Industry Canada will cover the use of frequency bands 764MHz - 776MHz (TV channels 63 and 64) and 794MHz - 806MHz (TV channels 68 and 69). The new arrangement will facilitate the deployment of public safety systems in these bands near the U.S.-Canada border, providing public safety licensees near the border with additional spectrum as well as interference-free operations and interoperability.

The border area is divided into three sharing zones. In these zones, the arrangement specifies which narrowband and wideband frequencies are primary for United States and Canada. Operation on primary channels under the arrangement is subject to limitations on the effective radiated power (ERP). In addition, the arrangement contains restrictions to protect the other country’s TV stations. Use of the other country’s primary frequencies in the sharing zones is restricted under the arrangement to a maximum power flux density (PFD) at or beyond the border.

The arrangement specifies interoperability channels and low-power channels at certain frequencies for shared use along the border. Interoperability channels provide the necessary common operating frequencies for public safety stations on both sides of the border to communicate directly with each other for instant interchange of vital public safety information. Low-power channels are available for mobile operations only and are on an unprotected basis.

The full text of this arrangement is available on the FCC International Bureau Web site at

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