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Steer Clear of RPU Band, SBE Advises

Tells FCC a proposed medical device use would be unwise

Could RPU gear, long used by broadcasters, affect medical patients?

The Society of Broadcast Engineers says it could happen under a current proposal at the FCC.

The SBE has told the Federal Communications Commission that a proposed use of certain types of products — called Medical Micro-Power Network Devices — in the 413–457 MHz spectrum “would endanger medical patients using MMN devices due to harmful interference from lawfully-operated RPU mobile stations that would be impossible to predict.” Remote pickup units or RPUs are used in 455–456 MHz.

The SBE said agrees with concerns raised by the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials-International Inc., the Land Mobile Communications Council and the Association for Maximum Service Television in previous comments.

According to SBE, MMN proponents at the Alfred Mann Foundation “rejected the use of the UHF TV band, calling it ‘unsuitable’ due to high power, but the proposed RPU band would be subject to similar circumstances, given the location of RPU antennas in potentially close proximity to MMN patients.”

The society also said a device is much more likely to be in closer proximity to a high-power RPU than to a UHF DTV transmitter, and therefore more likely to be exposed to dangerous RF fields in the RPU bands.

The proceeding is the FCC’s ET Docket 09-36.