SBE asks FCC to modify database to include ENG-RO information

The Society of Broadcast Engineers filed a petition with the FCC Sept. 6 asking the commission to establish rules that would allow television stations to document the location and height of their ENG receive-only (ENG-RO) sites in the Universal Licensing System (ULS).

Doing so would allow Personal Communications Services (PCS), Third-Generation (3G) or Advanced Wireless Services (AWS), Nextel 2GHz SMR, Mobile Satellite Service (MSS) Ancillary Terrestrial Component (ATC), and Broadband Radio Service (BRS) Channel 1 base stations to be located away from the “immediate vicinity” of an ENG-RO site. “Unfortunately, the ULS does not presently allow TV Pickup licensees to enter this information,” the filing said.

If the information were to be included in the ULS, the society pointed out, the newcomer could seek out alternate locations to avoid creating interference problems to ENG-RO sites. If forced to locate near the ENG-RO, having access to ULS information on ENG-RO sites would allow the new operator to contact the station with the ENG-RO site in advance to attempt to ameliorate problems before they occur.

According to the filing, ENG-RO information in the ULS “must be searchable on a point radius basis by interested parties.”

This isn’t the first time the SBE has petitioned the commission to modify rules to allow ENG-RO site information to be added to the ULS. A July 2001 SBE filing addressed the issue, but the commission declined making a change in a November 2002 Report & Order saying that the matter was “outside the scope of the rulemaking.” In April 2003, the society once again made its case on modifying the ULS in a petition for reconsideration. Six months later the commission issued a Memorandum, Opinion and Order declining to address the matter. The MO&O did suggest the SBE file a petition for rulemaking dedicated to the matter, however.

The society filing pointed out that the 2GHz TV BAS relocation effort requires TV pickup stations to file license modification applications with the commission for new 12MHz wide digital channels and authority for digital COFDM operation. This filing would provide a good opportunity for the commission to request and collect ENG-RO site information for the ULS.

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