FCC Announces SMR Dividing Lines In Canadian Border Regions
Monday, November 20, 2017 | Comments

The FCC announced the enhanced SMR dividing line in the 800 MHz band for Canada border regions (CBR) 1 through 6. The CBRs encompass the geographic area in the U.S. within 140 kilometers (87 miles) of the border with Canada and are divided into eight regions.

In the 800 MHz report and order, the FCC directed the 800 MHz Transition Administrator (TA) to assign post-reconfiguration replacement channels to border area licensees. Specifically, the commission instructed the TA to separate ESMR systems from non-ESMR systems in the CBRs by assigning non-ESMR licensees to replacement channels in the lower segment of the 800 MHz band while maintaining the upper portion of the band for licensees operating ESMR systems.

The FCC said the dividing line between ESMR and non-ESMR segments of the band would vary depending on the number of channels occupied by business, industrial, land-transportation (B/ILT) and high-site SMR licensees in each region. Thus, the TA had to wait until replacement frequencies were assigned and negotiations were complete before identifying the dividing line for CBRs 1 through 6.

On Sept. 1, the TA identified the dividing line between the ESMR and the non-ESMR segments of the band for CBRs 1 through 6. On Sept. 11, Sprint asked the FCC to establish an alternative dividing line between the ESMR and non-ESMR segments of the band in CBR 2.

Sprint said that CBR 2 spans west-to-east from the Ohio/Pennsylvania border through Western New York, Upstate New York, Vermont and New Hampshire.

Sprint contended that setting the ESMR dividing line in CBR 2 based on the highest non-ESMR licensee in the region prevents it from “deploying an 800 MHz 4G LTE channel in the border areas of Upstate New York, Vermont and New Hampshire.” Consequently, Sprint requested that the FCC define the ESMR dividing line in CBR 2 according to National Public Safety Advisory Committee (NPSPAC) region.

Sprint recommended maintaining the TA-recommended dividing line at 864.825 MHz in NPSPAC Region 36, western Pennsylvania, but lowering the line to 864.575 MHz in NPSPAC Region 55, western New York, and lowering the line to 863.9 MHz in NPSPAC Region 30, New York Albany, and NPSPAC Region 19, Vermont/New Hampshire.

The FCC adopted the TA’s recommended ESMR dividing lines with Sprint’s adjustment. The full notice with appendixes is here.

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