BAS rules to change

The FCC wants to enable BAS licensees throughout the country to take advantage of the latest digital technology. BAS stations are used by broadcasters to conduct ENG and STL operations.

The Commission also proposed to conform certain technical rules for the BAS, Cable Television Relay Service (CARS) and Fixed Microwave Services (FS), and to allow certain additional wireless users assist video devices on unused TV channels.

This action proposed other modifications to simplify and streamline the BAS rules. These include extending to all BAS licenses the ability to operate under temporary conditional authority, implementing common coordination procedures for all BAS bands, and ensuring that BAS licensees can take full advantage of the Commission's Universal Licensing System. The Commission further proposed rule changes designed to increase spectrum efficiency by ensuring that similar services operating on shared spectrum are regulated in a consistent manner. The BAS, CARS, and FS share several frequency bands, but in some cases operate under different technical rules. The action proposes to amend and conform certain technical rules, such as transmitter power and emission limits, for all of these services.

The Commission proposed to allow motion picture and television producers to use wireless assist video devices on unused TV channels, under certain conditions designed to protect current users of the band. These devices produce low-resolution video images and are used by production crews for content, lighting and image framing. Currently, these devices may be used by broadcasters to assist them in producing films and programs. This action proposes to extend the use of these devices to all film and program producers.

The SBE has taken an active interest in this issue. In comments filed last year with the commission the SBE stated that the BAS spectrum was under attack in virtually all of its bands. In their statement they worried that the general overall rise in “noise” level because of increased non-licensed use could make the bands unusable when they are needed most. The SBE stated that BAS use during emergencies might be critical to getting information out to counter the intended effects of terrorist acts. The SBE plans to identify a few areas where SBE will most likely be filing a petition for partial reconsideration of the rule changes.

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