SBE requests FCC stay of BAS frequency coordination

The Society of Broadcast Engineers (SBE) has asked the FCC for a temporary one-year stay of the Prior Coordination Notice (PCN) frequency coordination requirement for 950 MHz Aural Broadcast Auxiliary Service (BAS). This refers to fixed point-to-point stations, and for 2.5, 7 and 13 GHz TV BAS fixed point-to-point stations, which use the frequency for video backhaul and late-breaking news feeds.

The requirement was scheduled to go into effect on April 16, 2003, but has been delayed. The SBE said that implicit in the FCC’s approach to frequency coordination is the availability of an accurate database for the dozen or so commercial frequency coordinating companies to use when undertaking such PCNs. Even if local broadcasters elect to do their own PCN coordination, they may have an obligation to study the BAS links of their local fellow broadcasters.

However, the SBE believes that BAS records in the Universal Licensing System continues to be in “such poor shape as to make impractical at this time the mandatory use of Part 101 PCN protocols.” Therefore, a stay is needed, the group said, “to correct inaccurate receive site information, such as geographic coordinates, antenna height, make and model.”

The organization points out in its request to the Commission that these inaccuracies occur in 29 percent of a fixed point-to-point BAS license records. This receive site information was not required prior to 1974 and it remains missing on many old licenses.

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