U.S. and Mexico Agree on Cross-Border Communications Network

WASHINGTON.: U.S. and Mexican officials have hammered out the basis for a cross-border communications network. The protocol was outlined and signed earlier this month for carving out the radio frequency, identifying available infrastructure and building out where necessary. A figure of $7 million has been attached to the build-out.

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration and the Department of Homeland Security are in charge on the U.S. side; the Secretariat of Communications and Transportation and the Secretariat of Public Security are Mexico’s designated agencies. The Federal Communications Commission and the State Department will participate as well on a developmental working group.

The working group is charged with inviting all necessary parties to the table, and coming up with a plan to install, operate and maintain the network. Existing, fixed terrestrial links will have to be identified; federal, state and local agencies invited to participate; and experts consulted. The NTIA and Mexico’s SCT will also have to work out a spectrum plan for the network to prevent interference to it and to existing assignments.

No specific timeline was identified for construction nor completion.
(Image by frwl)

More on the RF border issues:
Protocol Concerning the Use of Radio Frequencies by Certain Fixed Terrestrial Links Constituting a Cross Border Public Security Communications Network Along the Common Border,” document, at the U.S. Department of State Web site.

July 23, 2009: “Border and LP Stations Take Up DTV Disruption Slack
More than half of the 1.3 million U.S. households lacking digital TV reception were still watching TV over the air two weeks after the analog shutdown, according to Sara Erichson, president of North American Media Client Services North America for Nielsen. Virtually all of the nation’s full-power TV stations ceased regular analog broadcasting June 12.