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U.S. & Canada Reach Agreement on Border Spectrum Sharing Arrangements

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Released: May 14, 2013

Federal Communications Commission

News Media Information 202 / 418-0500

445 12th Street, S.W.


Washington, D. C. 20554

TTY: 1-888-835-5322

This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action.
See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).



May 14, 2013

Thomas Sullivan, 202-418-0437

U.S. & Canada Reach Agreement on Border Spectrum Sharing Arrangements

Arrangements Allow Deployment of Broadband Services and Facilitate

Full Use of Public Safety Narrowband Systems

Washington D.C – The FCC and its Canadian counterpart, Industry Canada, have agreed,
through a process known as an exchange of letters, on ten interim spectrum sharing
arrangements covering operations in their common border area
These arrangements will aid in the deployment and use of mobile broadband and improve
public safety communications along the U.S.-Canada border by facilitating the efficient
sharing of spectrum and avoiding potential interference.
FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said, “I am pleased to conclude these important
arrangements with Canada, as they are critical to preventing interference to commercial and
public safety licensees in the border region. I appreciate the effort put forth by staff from
the FCC, State Department and Industry Canada,” stated FCC Chairman Julius
Among the technical sharing arrangements is an arrangement reached on the 3650-3700 MHz
band, which allows wireless broadband and high-speed Internet services to coexist along the
U.S.-Canada border. In this band, the United States and Canada agreed upon a spectrum sharing
arrangement which includes, among other things, the use of “contention-based protocols” to
avoid harmful interference while sharing the spectrum more efficiently. Contention-based
protocols allow multiple users to share the same spectrum by defining the events that must occur
when two or more devices attempt to simultaneously access the same channel and establishing
rules by which each device is provided a reasonable opportunity to operate.
The technical sharing arrangement reached on the 700 MHz band will allow public safety
licensees on both sides of the border to fully implement their 700 MHz narrowband systems.
The arrangement reflects the harmonization of the U.S. and Canadian public safety 700
MHz narrowband channel plans, thus providing more efficient, interference-free public
safety operations in the border area.

In addition, the United States and Canada have agreed upon several other spectrum sharing
arrangements including Personal Communications Services; Advanced Wireless Services;
public safety operations in the 4940-4990 MHz band; and railway communications systems.
These arrangements provide coordination and sharing protocols for spectrum used for
Wireless LAN, Mesh Network and Wi-Fi hotspots, fixed point-to-point/multipoint services
and broadband traffic.
The arrangements and exchange of letters can be downloaded at:
They are available at and available for reference in the FCC’s
Reference Information Center at 445 12th Street, S.W., Courtyard Level, Washington, D.C.
20554. Copies may be purchased by contacting the FCC’s duplicating contractor, Best Copy and
Printing, Inc., Portals II, 445 12th Street, S.W., Room CY-B402, Washington D.C. 20554,
telephone 1-800-378-3160, facsimile 202-488-5563, or via e-mail at
Contacts: Larry Olson, International Bureau at (202) 418-2142, Brian Marenco, Public Safety
and Homeland Security Bureau at (202) 418-0838, Tim Maguire, Wireless Telecommunications
Bureau at (202) 418-2155, and Stephen Buenzow, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau at (717)
- FCC -

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