Over the past several years, the Society of Broadcast Engineers has worked with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) on several projects. Now, the DoD has been provided co-primary status with broadcasters in the 2025-2110 MHz Broadcast Auxiliary Spectrum (BAS) band as a result of the Advanced Wireless Services-3 (AWS-3) transition. The DoD plans to deploy a number of training systems that use this spectrum it now shares with broadcasters.
The DoD asked the SBE for help with frequency coordination. SBE President Jim Leifer said, “Part of the SBE’s mission is to create working alliances within the broadcast industry and with those who work in our space. Entering into this agreement serves to protect broadcasters’ use of spectrum and provides a needed service to our government.”
The SBE, DoD and the National Association of Broadcasters discussed how broadcasters use this spectrum and its importance for electronic news gathering. It became clear to DoD officials that to operate their defense systems without causing or receiving interference, a substantial, national frequency coordination effort would be needed, providing in some cases, near-real-time coordination.
The systems the DoD intends to deploy potentially may be located at installations of all the military branches, including the Coast Guard, National Guard and Reserves. These installations are ubiquitous and located in both urban and rural areas.
The SBE has for many years facilitated a network of volunteer frequency coordinators, most through local SBE chapters across the United States and its territories. The DoD, with encouragement from the NAB, asked the SBE to employ a national frequency coordinator, paid for with DoD funds, who would work with SBE’s established volunteer coordinators, and cover the areas that don’t have their own local coordinator.
Through the DoD’s primary contractor in this area, Alion Science and Technology, the SBE has entered an agreement to provide national frequency coordination services that will mutually serve the needs of the DoD and broadcasters. To handle the added responsibilities, the SBE retained the broadcast consulting firm of Technical Broadcast Solutions, Inc., (TBSI) of Middletown, DE. Its principal is RJ Russell, CPBE, a 20-year member of the SBE and, until recently, SBE National Vice President and Chair of its Frequency Coordination Committee.
TBSI is heavily involved in TV repack and ATSC 3.0 implementation work and is taking on the SBE as a major client to serve as the national SBE Frequency Coordination Manager. Russell and SBE General Counsel Chris Imlay worked on the SBE’s behalf with DoD officials and the NAB to develop a solution for this shared spectrum.
September 30, 2019
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