SBE petitions FCC to convert Media Bureau database to NAD83

The Society of Broadcast Engineers is asking the commission to require the Media Bureau to convert the Consolidated Data Base System to North American Datum 1983 coordinates.

The Society of Broadcast Engineers (SBE) Aug. 10 asked the FCC to begin a rulemaking proceeding to convert the Media Bureau’s Consolidated Data Base System (CDBS) to North American Datum 1983 (NAD83) geographic coordinates.

In its petition for rulemaking, the SBE noted that confusion exists because the FCC Wireless Telecommunications Bureau and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) long ago converted from the North American Datum 1927 to NAD83.

Despite various proceedings dating back to 1988 in which the commission said it would convert to NAD83, the Media Bureau has continued to use NAD27. By continuing to use NAD27, the Media Bureau “causes nothing but confusion,” the petition said.

The petition pointed to circumstances in which filers are unsure about which geographic coordinates to use — for example, “with the Media Bureau for broadcast stations,” NAD27 would be required, “but with the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau for Broadcast Auxiliary Service (BAS) stations and antenna structure registrations,” NAD83 would be required.

“To circumvent this confusion, the Media Bureau should embrace NAD83 and convert all existing NAD27 coordinates in the Media Bureau's CDBS,” the petition said.

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