Frequency Coordination Rules

FCC Part 101.103

Frequency coordination. For each frequency authorized under this part, the following frequency usage coordination procedures will apply:

  1. General Requirements. Proposed frequency usage must be prior coordinated with existing licensees, permittees and applicants in the area, and other applicants with previously filed applications, whose facilities could affect or be affected by the new proposal in terms of frequency interference on active channels, applied-for channels, or channels coordinated for future growth. Coordination must be completed prior to filing an application for regular authorization, or a major amendment to a pending application, or any major modification to a license…In engineering a system or modification thereto, the applicant must, by appropriate studies and analyses, select sites, transmitters, antennas and frequencies that will avoid interference in excess of permissible levels to other users. All applicants and licensees must cooperate fully and make reasonable efforts to resolve technical problems and conflicts that may inhibit the most effective and efficient use of the radio spectrum; however, the party being coordinated with is not obligated to suggest changes or re-engineer a proposal in cases involving conflicts. Applicants should make every reasonable effort to avoid blocking the growth of systems as prior coordinated. The applicant must identify in the application all entities with which the technical proposal was coordinated. In the event that technical problems are not resolved, an explanation must be submitted with the application. Where technical problems are resolved by an agreement or operating arrangement between the parties that would require special procedures be taken to reduce the likelihood of interference in excess of permissible levels (such as the use of artificial site shielding) or would result in a reduction of quality or capacity of either system, the details thereof may be contained in the applications.
  2. Coordination procedure guidelines are as follows:
    1. Coordination involves two separate elements: notification and response. Both or either may be oral or in written form. To be acceptable for filing, all applications and major technical amendments must certify that coordination, including response, has been completed. The names of the licensees, permittees and applicants with which coordination was accomplished must be specified. If such notice and/or response is oral, the party providing such notice or response must supply written documentation of the communication upon request;
    2. Notification must include relevant technical details of the proposal
    3. For transmitters employing digital modulation techniques, the notification should clearly identify the type of modulation. Upon request, additional details of the operating characteristics of the equipment must also be furnished;
    4. Response to notification should be made as quickly as possible, even if no technical problems are anticipated. Any response to notification indicating potential interference must specify the technical details and must be provided to the applicant, in writing, within the 30-day notification period. Every reasonable effort should be made by all applicants, permittees and licensees to eliminate all problems and conflicts. If no response to notification is received within 30 days, the applicant will be deemed to have made reasonable efforts to coordinate and may file its application without a response;
    5. The 30-day notification period is calculated from the date of receipt by the applicant, permittee, or licensee being notified. If notification is by mail, this date may be ascertained by:
      1. The return receipt on certified mail;
      2. The enclosure of a card to be dated and returned by the recipients; or
      3. A conservative estimate of the time required for the mail to reach its destination. In the last case, the estimated date when the 30-day period would expire should be stated in the notification
    6. An expedited prior coordination period (less than 30 days) may be requested when deemed necessary by a notifying party. The coordination notice should be identified as “expedited” and the requested response date should be clearly indicated. However, circumstances preventing a timely response from the receiving party should be accommodated accordingly. It is the responsibility of the notifying party to receive written concurrence (or verbal, with written to follow) from affected parties or their coordination representatives.
    7. All technical problems that come to light during coordination must be resolved unless a statement is included with the application to the effect that the applicant is unable or unwilling to resolve the conflict and briefly the reason therefore;
    8. Where a number of technical changes become necessary for a system during the course of coordination, an attempt should be made to minimize the number of separate notifications for these changes. Where the changes are incorporated into a completely revised notice, the items that were changed from the previous notice should be identified. When changes are not numerous or complex, the party receiving the changed notification should make an effort to respond in less than 30 days. When the notifying party believes a shorter response time is reasonable and appropriate, it may be helpful for that party to so indicate in the notice and perhaps suggest a response date;
    9. If, after coordination is successfully complete, it is determined that a subsequent change could have no impact on some parties receiving the original notification, these parties must be notified of the change and of the coordinator’s opinion that no response is required;
    10. Applicants, permittees and licensees should supply to all other applicants, permittees and licensees within their areas of operations, the name, address and telephone number of their coordination representatives. Upon request from coordinating applicants, permittees and licensees, data and information concerning existing or proposed facilities and future growth plans in the area of interest should be furnished unless such request is unreasonable or would impose a significant burden in compilation;
    11. Parties should keep other parties with whome they are coordinating advised of changes in plans for facilities previously coordinated. If applications have not been filed 6 months after coordination was initiated, parties may assume that such frequency use is no longer desired unless a second notification has been received within 10 days of the end of the 6 month period. Renewal notifications are to be sent to all originally notified parties, even is coordination has not been successfully completed with those parties; and
    12. Any frequency reserved by licensee for future use in the bands subject to this part must be released for use by another licensee, permittee or applicant upon a showing by the latter that it requires an additional frequency and cannot coordinate one that is not reserved for future use.