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Plea from NAB Technical Chief

Help Save the RPU Band!

Satellite interests are pushing hard to gain access to the 455-456 MHz RPU band. They claim that they can share this band without adversely affecting broadcasters' RPU operations. They envision having a multitude of small uplink transmitters all over the country that would send meter reading data, truck/bus position data, etc. up to their satellites. They claim that the satellites would be constantly monitoring the 455-456 MHz band for use by terrestrial systems and, if terrestrial use is detected anywhere within the satellite footprint, all of the uplink transmitters in the footprint would be instructed not to transmit on that frequency until it is clear.

The satellite interests have submitted technical reports to the FCC and to the International Telecommunications Union attempting to demonstrate that this type of satellite use in the 455-456 MHz RPU band will not cause interference to RPU operations. There is a meeting this Friday at which yet another such report is going to be presented.

I would really appreciate any information anyone out there can give me about when, and for what duration, specific broadcasters are operating 455-456 MHz RPU equipment. While I would like to know about all types of operation, I am particularly interested in situations where 455-456 MHz is used for a temporary STL under 74.431(h), which permits such use up to 30 days without further authority from the Commission. Also, I would be very interested to know if anyone is operating a 455-456 MHz RPU unit for an "indefinite" period. This type of operation is permitted under 74.431(g), though specific authority from the Commission is required for this type of operation.

Thanks in advance for any information you can provide. You may email me privately at:


Dave Wilson Manager, Technical Regulatory Affairs National Association of Broadcasters

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Edited by Gary Stigall. Updated 18-Nov-98.