FCC Chairman Ajit Pai signed an agreement to update cross-border RF spectrum coordination between the United States and Canada. The agency said the transitional arrangement with Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) facilitates implementation of a new coordination agreement signed by both countries on January 12 and 13.
The agreement is the culmination of almost two decades of negotiations concerning RF spectrum use by terrestrial and earth stations. “This agreement will improve our nations’ effectiveness in eliminating harmful interference along our shared border and enable rapid deployment of new communications services to consumers,” said Pai. “We have long had a strong cooperative relationship with our northern neighbor, and this will continue and further that success.” He called spectrum coordination “vital” for border residents and cross-border travelers and businesses.
The FCC and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), along with the Department of State, led the negotiations. The agreement and transitional arrangement will enable the FCC, NTIA, and ISED to continue to facilitate rapid deployment of radio communications systems while minimizing harmful interference. It also helps both countries manage their spectrum resources efficiently and effectively along the United States-Canada border.
The modernized agreement supersedes, among other existing instruments, the Above 30 MHz Agreement. That has not been updated since 1962, and restricted the types of arrangements available for spectrum coordination.
Under the new framework, the FCC, NTIA, and ISED will have flexibility to create and update spectrum coordination arrangements in response to rapidly evolving communications needs. These decisions also ensure that all stations and frequencies coordinated prior to the new arrangement in force, maintain their coordinated status.