The NAB filed comments last week supporting the SBE Petition for Rulemaking to amend FCC rules to modify the Universal Licensing System to allow TV pickup and remote pickup broadcast auxiliary service licensees to provide the location and heights of their receive-only sites. NAB urged the commission to promptly issue a rulemaking for these amendments.
The NAB comments stated, “TV Pickup Receive sites, also known as Electronic News Gathering Receive-Only (ENG-RO) sites, are the lifeline by which breaking news is supplied to a station from ENG trucks on location.” The comments noted that ENG-RO sites operate as relays between the truck and station, and any interference there could inhibit a station’s ability to immediately report breaking news, including critical emergency information.
NAB said that high-power terrestrial base stations on adjacent bands, if sufficiently close, may interfere with the relatively sensitive ENG-RO sites and render them useless. The way ULS is currently set up, new entrants on adjacent bands cannot search ULS to discover locations of ENG-RO sites before building new base stations. However, NAB notes, if “licensees were allowed to document the location of their sites using the ULS, the new entrants on the adjacent band would be alerted to their location and could either move their proposed station or, at the very least, install filters to limit the interference.”
NAB also commented that documenting ENG-RO sites provides a “prime opportunity to facilitate frequency coordination.”
As part of the 2 GHz broadcast auxiliary band transition, all TV pickup licensees are required to file FCC Form 601 with the Commission specifying, in part, the technical parameters of their facilities including additional data associated with the filing. The commission was urged to amend Form 601 so licensees may provide, on a voluntary basis, additional data on their ENG-RO sites. It was seen that this solution would provide interested parties the ability to search the ULS and avoid interference with ENG-RO sites.