SBE asks commission to reconsider TV BAS Channel A10 band sharing

The Society of Broadcast Engineers filed a petition for reconsideration with the FCC regarding the allocation of 2487.5MHz to 2493MHz, which is within TV broadcast auxiliary service Channel A10, for use by Ancillary Terrestrial Component (ATC) Mobile Satellite Service (MSS) base stations.

Previously, the SBE proposed the 2.5GHz TV BAS band be refarmed in a way similar to ongoing refarming of the 2GHz TV BAS. The proposal would have solved the co-channel conflict between TV BAS Channel A10 operations and MSS ATC use.

In rejecting the proposal, the FCC based its decision on the assumption that BAS Channel A10 does not receive heavy use, and the number of grandfathered users of the band won’t grow. According to the May 22 SBE filing, those assumptions are “mistaken.” The filing pointed out that while no new Channel A10 authorizations are being granted, “a single TV Pickup license authorizes an unlimited number of TV Pickup transmitters.” The filing also pointed out the FCC’s Universal Licensing System does not track transmitters for TV Pickup, so the commission’s “fundamental reasons for not adopting the SBE proposal are incorrect.”

The filing took issue with a statement in the FCC order that cited frequency coordination as a solution to any interference. It said: “…the commission recognized the potential for mutual interference between ATC operations and the grandfathered incumbent operations in the band, but we ultimately determined that these services would be able to share spectrum and that any potential interference concerns could be mitigated through coordination.”

In response, the SBE’s filing, which sought reconsideration, said “frequency coordination should not be used as a euphemism for a de facto band reallocation.”

The filing requested that if the commission again rejects the SBE refarming plan, it must confirm that “newcomer MSS ATC operations are effectively secondary to earlier-in-time TV BAS Channel A10 operations.” The request underscores SBE’s contention that TV Pickup stations and MST ATC cannot co-exist using the same band.

“The only rational way SBE can foresee this occurring … is for the cellular-like CMRS service (i.e., MSS ATC) to be prepared to shut down its operations whenever a co-equal and earlier-in-time grandfathered TV Pickup licensee notifies the MSS ATC operator that TV Pickup operations will be taking place in the TV Pickup station's preexisting operational area,” the filing said.

That situation would likely be viewed as intolerable by MSS ATC operators, which makes the SBE’s point, the filing said. “A mobile service such as TV Pickup stations and a cellular-like service simply cannot simultaneously share spectrum in the same area without harmful interference resulting.”

MSS ATC operators are seeking to use 2487.5MHz to 2493MHz to deliver coverage in difficult areas, such as urban canyons created by skyscrapers.

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