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Broward County EBS Geographic Service Area Ruling

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Released: April 3, 2013
Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
April 3, 2013

DA 13-602

Evan D. Carb, Esq.
Law Offices of Evan D. Carb, LLC
1200 New Hampshire Avenue, NW, Suite 800
Washington, DC 20036
Dear Mr. Carb:
On February 21, 2013, The School Board of Broward County Florida (Broward County), licensee
of Educational Broadband Service (EBS) Station KTZ22, requested a ruling that the Geographic Service
Area (GSA) of Station KTZ22 be calculated without respect to former co-channel EBS Stations WHR973
and WHR994, licensed to The School Board of Palm Beach County (Palm Beach).1 For the reasons
stated below, we grant the Request to the extent of confirming that Stations WHR973 and WHR994 never
had GSAs because they were originally licensed on a secondary point-to-point basis.
In 1989, Palm Beach received licenses for ITFS Stations WHR973 and WHR994.2 Both licenses
contained the following condition: ““Permittee shall make adjustments or take whatever corrective action
may be necessary in the event operation of the facilities herein causes interference to or receives
interference from other ITFS stations operating on co-channel or adjacent channel frequencies in the West
Palm Beach, Florida area.”3
On September 25, 1998, the Commission released the Two-Way Order, which, among other
things, granted all Instructional Television Fixed Service (ITFS) licensees a Protected Service Area (PSA)
and individual protection to all receive sites registered through the date of the adoption of the Two-Way
.4 In the Two-Way Reconsideration Order, the Commission affirmed its decision.5 In the Two-Way
Second Reconsideration Order
, however, the Commission reversed its decision and concluded that point-
to-point ITFS stations authorized on a secondary basis should not receive PSA protection because

1 Letter from Evan D. Carb, Esq., counsel to The School Board of Broward County, Florida to John J. Schauble,
Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, Request for Confirmation (filed Feb. 21, 2013) (Request).
2 File Nos. BPLIF-881221DA (granted Apr. 21, 1989) (WHR973) and BPLIF-890214DA (granted July 12, 1989)
3 File No. BPLIF-881221DA (granted Apr. 21, 1989) (WHR973). The condition for Station WHR994 is identical
except the word “Florida” is omitted. File No. BPLIF-890214DA (granted July 12, 1989).
4 Amendment of Parts 21 and 74 to Enable Multipoint Distribution Service and Instructional Television Fixed
Service Licensees to Engage in Fixed Two-Way Transmissions, Report and Order, MM Docket No. 97-217, 13
FCC Rcd 19112, 19173 ¶ 114 (1998).
5 Amendment of Parts 21 and 74 to Enable Multipoint Distribution Service and Instructional Television Fixed
Service Licensees to Engage in Fixed Two-Way Transmissions, Order on Reconsideration, MM Docket No. 97-
217, 14 FCC Rcd 12764, 12773-12774 ¶ 20 (1999).

Evan D. Carb, Esq.
secondary stations, usually studio to transmitter links, have not traditionally been given protection relative
to primary stations.6
On July 29, 2004, the Commission released the BRS/EBS R&O, which granted all ITFS
incumbents a GSA based on their existing PSA.7 In the case of overlapping GSAs, the Commission
adopted a method for dividing overlapping GSAs, which is commonly known as “splitting the football.”8
On June 28, 2005, the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau released a Public Notice announcing that the
Commission’s Universal Licensing System would implement the adoption of geographic licensing for the
Broadband Radio Service and the Educational Broadband Service.9 The Public Notice stated that “[a]ny
BRS or EBS main station license listed on ULS with a protected service area (PSA) based on a 35 mile
radius, will be converted to a geographic license with a P35 geographic service area GSA based on the
PSA coordinates listed on the license.”10 On July 9, 2005, as part of the conversion of BRS and EBS to
ULS, the license records for Stations WHR973 and WHR994 were changed to state that the licenses for
the Stations were converted to GSAs “in accordance with Rule 27.1206.”11 On August 9, 2011, Palm
Beach voluntarily cancelled the licenses for Stations WHR973 and WHR994.12
Broward County argues that Stations WHR973 and WHR994 never should have received a GSA
because, as secondary point-to-point stations, they never received PSAs.13 It points out that the condition
placed on the licenses for Stations WHR973 and WHR994 has been recognized as granting a station
secondary status.14 Broward County argues that the only station it should have to split the football with in
calculating the northern boundary of the GSA of Station KTZ22 is Palm Beach’s Station KZB29.15 It
believes that the insertion of language into ULS stating that Stations WHR973 and WHR994 had GSAs
was a ministerial error that could be corrected at any time.16 Palm Beach agrees that Stations WHR973

6 Amendment of Parts 21 and 74 to Enable Multipoint Distribution Service and Instructional Television Fixed
Service Licensees to Engage in Fixed Two-Way Transmissions, Report and Order on Further Reconsideration and
Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking,
MM Docket No. 97-217, 15 FCC Rcd 14566, 14572 ¶ 24 (2000) (Two-
Way Second Reconsideration Order
7 Amendment of Parts 1, 21, 73, 74 and 101 of the Commission’s Rules to Facilitate the Provision of Fixed and
Mobile Broadband Access, Educational and Other Advanced Services in the 2150-2162 and 2500-2690 MHz Bands,
Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, WT Docket No. 03-66, 19 FCC Rcd 14165, 14190-
14191 ¶ 55 (2004).
8 Id. at 14192-14193 ¶¶ 60-63.
9 Wireless Telecommunications Bureau Announces Change to the Universal Licensing System (ULS) to
Accommodate the Broadband Radio Service and Educational Broadband Service and Reminds Licensees the Use of
ULS Forms and Electronic Filing for These Service Becomes Mandatory on July 11, 2005, Public Notice, 20 FCC
Rcd 11554 (2005).
10 Id., 20 FCC Rcd at 11554-11555.
11 47 C.F.R. § 27.1206.
12 File Nos. 0004833790, 0004833793 (filed Aug. 9, 2011, granted Aug. 10, 2011).
13 Request at 1.
14 Id. at 2, citing Florida Atlantic University, Order on Reconsideration, 22 FCC Rcd 12839, 12842 ¶ 9 (WTB BD
2007), subsequent history omitted.
15 Request at 1.
16 Id. at 3.

Evan D. Carb, Esq.
and WHR994 never had GSAs because they were secondary point-to-point stations, although it disagrees
with Broward County that the cancellation of those licenses created white space.17
Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED, pursuant to Section 4(i) of the Communications Act of 1934, as
amended, 47 U.S.C. § 154(i), and Sections 1.2 and 27.1206 of the Commission’s Rules, 47 C.F.R. §§ 1.2,
27.1206, that the Request for Confirmation filed by The School Board of Palm Beach County on June 10,
2010 IS GRANTED to the extent indicated.
These actions are taken under delegated authority pursuant to Sections 0.131 and 0.331 of the
Commission’s rules, 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.131, 0.331.
John J. Schauble
Deputy Chief, Broadband Division
Wireless Telecommunications Bureau
Edwin N. Lavergne, Esq.
Donna A. Balaguer, Esq.
Fish & Richardson P.C.
1425 K Street NW – 11th Floor
Washington, DC 20005

17 E-mail from Donna A. Balaguer, Esq., counsel for the School Board of Palm Beach County, to John Schauble and
Ruth Taylor (Mar. 1, 2013).

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