The Executive Committee of the Society of Broadcast Engineers adopted the following policy regarding “fixed-link” frequency coordination on June 14, 2003.
- As of October 16, 2003, or such later date that the FCC may subsequently specify, all new and modified fixed link BAS facilities, except those at 2 GHz, are subject to the Prior Coordination Notice (PCN) procedure set forth in Part 101 rules.
- “Local Coordination” as SBE coordinators have practiced it until now, has not involved the PCN process, which is time consuming and substantially more complex, requiring, among other things, specialized software.
- As the result of the foregoing, SBE suggests that local SBE coordinators assist broadcasters seeking new or modified fixed BAS facilities by referring them to a commercial microwave frequency coordination service provider. In so doing, SBE coordinators should not recommend any particular coordinator, but rather should refer the broadcaster to a list of known commercial coordination service providers on the SBE web site.
- If SBE coordinators wish to provide volunteer PCN services to broadcasters seeking new or modified BAS fixed facilities, they should provide to the broadcasters appropriate disclaimers so as to limit potential exposure to liability. Such disclaimers will be provided by SBE for coordinator use.
- SBE coordinators should continue to coordinate all mobile, temporary fixed, itinerant and all 2 GHz BAS facilities, as they have done all along in their local markets. All event-related and temporary operation is subject to local coordination exclusively. No broadcasters involved in these events, or for mobile, temporary fixed, itinerant, or any 2 GHz facilities, should be referred to commercial microwave coordinators.
- It is important for local SBE coordinators to continue their involvement with broadcasters (and licensees in other services which operate in shared BAS bands) as regards coordination in all BAS bands, as well as event-related or mobile, temporary fixed, itinerant or any 2 GHz operations. This will allow SBE coordinators to keep their databases current with new or modified fixed links, even if the SBE coordinator is not the one who coordinates those fixed links.
- The SBE frequency coordination program derives its credibility, in part, from the fact that it is a volunteer program. Acceptance of payment for local coordination services potentially creates some measure of exposure to liability, should interference occur following an act of coordination. Given these factors, SBE’s policy that local coordinators shall not accept payment for coordination services is affirmed. SBE chapters are free to solicit donations to offset costs of administration of the coordination program. SBE will enter into agreements with event sponsors providing for reimbursement for local coordination efforts at and for that event, except in instances in which a broadcaster is the sponsor of an event or where broadcasters request the coordination services.
- It is and has been SBE policy that local coordination consists of facilitation of licensee-to-licensee contact and database administration incidental to that core function. Interference analyses are not part of the traditional model of SBE frequency coordination. However, the increasing complexity of BAS spectrum occupancy dictates in certain instances a greater involvement by local SBE coordinators in interference analyses and operating parameter recommendations. SBE does not object to this function at the discretion of the local coordinator, subject to use of appropriate disclaimers and subject to the recognition of the voluntary nature of the local coordination process for Part 74, and broadcasters’ participation in it.