SBE Files FCC Comments on Flex Use of 3.7-4.2 GHz

The Society of Broadcast Engineers, the association for broadcast and multimedia technology professionals, filed comments on Oct. 29, 2018, with the FCC in response to the notice of proposed rulemaking (FCC 18-91), released July 13, 2018. That notice sought comment on various proposals for transitioning all or part of the 3.7-4.2 GHz band for flexible use, terrestrial mobile spectrum, and explores options for more efficient and intensive fixed use of the same band, all while protecting incumbent C-Band satellite earth stations from harmful interference.

The SBE comments constitute a counterproposal that offers a reasonable alternative to dividing the 3.7-4.2 GHz band, a reverse auction, or other action that would not protect incumbent C-band receive-only earth stations. The SBE suggests that, given the huge number of C-band registrations since the opening of the window (now reportedly greater than 16,000), the FCC’s initial premise that the C-Band could be shared with 5G as an overlay was simply wrong.

Recognizing that the European 5G proposal is 3.4-3.8 GHz, and since that offers 1 MHz of overlap with the U.S. proposal, the U.S, should adopt the European allocation, put the commercial broadband providers in the 3.4-3.7 GHz band and use the small overlap segment with C-band for local, private 5G networks critical for next-generation manufacturing and industrial applications. That is actually workable with C-band in the 100 MHz overlap segment. It leaves the vast majority of the spectrum, 3.8-4.2 GHz, intact with no 5G.

In contrast to other proposals, nothing is lost for current C-band users with the SBE plan. 5G moves into military radar spectrum, which was already designated years ago for broadband reallocation as part of the National Broadband Plan.

Read the SBE filing.

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FCC Extends C-Band Registration Deadline to Oct. 31, 2018

In a public notice, the FCC announced a two-week extension, through Oct. 31, 2018, to the filing window for fixed-satellite service (FSS) earth stations currently operating in the 3.7-4.2 GHz frequency band (C-Band) announced previously in Public Notice DA 18-398 on April 19, 2018.

The FCC previously announced that the C-Band filing window would close on Oct. 17, 2018. Due to the large influx of applications filed near the mid-October deadline, the International Bureau Filing System (IBFS), which handles the registration, experienced intermittent difficulties that have prevented some applicants from filing for license or registration. Because of this, the filing window has been extended for an additional two weeks.

2018 SBE Board Takes Office, Committee Chairs Assigned

The Society of Broadcast Engineers, the association for broadcast and multimedia technology professionals, held its National Meeting Oct. 2 and 3 in Danvers, MA, in conjunction with the Media Resource Expo. Among the events during those two days, the SBE Board of Directors met, and the SBE held its annual Membership Meeting.

At the Membership Meeting on Oct. 3, the 2018-2019 officers and directors were sworn in to begin their new terms. (The results of the SBE election were announced on Aug. 23.) SBE President Jim Leifer, CPBE, also announced his committee chair appointments for the coming year, which were reviewed and approved by the Board of Directors at its meeting on Oct. 2. The committee chair assignments follow.

Committee Chair
Awards Tom McGinley, CPBE, AMD, CBNT
By-Laws Ted Hand, CPBE, 8-VSB, AMD, DRB
Certification Ralph Hogan, CPBE, DRB, CBNE
Chapter Liaison Mark Fehlig, CPBE, 8-VSB
Education Wayne Pecena, CPBE, 8-VSB, AMD, DRB, CBNE
Fellowship Troy Pennington, CSRE, CBNT
Finance Roswell Clark, CPBE, CBNT
Frequency Coordination R.J. Russell, CPBE
Government Relations Kevin Trueblood, CBRE, CBNT
International Charles W. Kelly Jr.
Membership Steve Brown, CPBE, CBNT
Mentoring Kimberly K. Sacks, CBT
Nominations Vinny Lopez, CEV, CBNT
Publications Andrea Cummis, CBT, CTO
Social Networking Kirk Harnack, CBRE, CBNE
Sustaining Membership Stephen H. Lampen, CBRE
Technologies Shane Toven, CBRE, CBNT

On the committee assignments, President Leifer said, “We have a wide range of talent and skills represented by our committee chairs. I look forward to working with all of them in the coming year to further the goals of the SBE and enact the plans being laid following our strategic planning conference held earlier this year.”

The national board of directors of the SBE is responsible for the development of policy and determines the programs and services the society provides to its more than 5,000 members.

National EAS Test Rescheduled for Oct. 3

The Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) previously announced that a National EAS test would be sent Sept. 20, 2018. Following the effects of the Hurricane Florence, the test has been moved to the backup date, Oct. 3, 2018.

The times for the test have not changed. At 2:18 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT), FEMA will send a Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) test message to all WEA-capable wireless devices throughout the entire United States and territories. Immediately following the WEA nationwide end-to-end test, at 2:20 p.m. EDT, FEMA will conduct a live test of the Emergency Alerting System (EAS). All EAS participants are required to participate in this nationwide test. The EAS message will be disseminated via the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS).

Stations are encouraged to verify that their EAS units are communicating correctly with the IPAWS server. Review station logs (which should be checked once each week by the chief operator) to ensure stations are receiving the Required Weekly Test (RWT) from IPAWS. This RWT is fed every Monday at 11:00 a.m. local time. Contact your equipment representative for details on setting up your EAS decoder to properly receive and relay the National test.

EAS participants are reminded that they are required to register with the EAS Test Reporting System (ETRS). Form One was to be filed on or before Aug. 27, 2018. Then on or before 11:59 p.m. EDT, Oct. 3, 2018, EAS participants must file the day-of-test information sought by ETRS Form Two. Post-test data will be filed later with Form Three.

More information is availble from the FEMA website.

EAS National Test Reminder: Do Not Air Alert Tones as Examples

As you prepare your station for the EAS and Wireless Emergency Alert System (WEA) national test on Sept. 20, 2018, remember that the FCC forbids airing the audio attention signal or EAS tones for any reason other than a genuine alert, authorized test, or approved public service announcement. Remind your news and programming operations of this rule.

Any transmission, including broadcast, of the WEA or EAS attention signals or codes, or a simulation of them, under any circumstances other than a genuine alert, authorized test, or approved public service announcement violates the Commission’s rules and undermines the important public safety precautions that WEA and EAS provide. See 47 CFR §§ 10.520(d), 11.45.

While the FCC encourages improving public awareness of WEA and the EAS, including the upcoming nationwide test, broadcasters and cable providers are reminded to exercise caution and avoid inadvertently broadcasting the WEA or EAS tones in a news story.

Any question or concerns with the upcoming nationwide test can be directed to the FCC at alerting@fcc.gov.

Update FEMA Security Certificates by Sept. 24, 2018

By Larry Wilkins, CPBE
Chair, SBE EAS Advisory Group

As a reminder to all engineers, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will update one of its security certificates on Sept. 24, 2018.

Security certificates allow EAS decoders to use the digital signature in the CAP message to verify that the message came from an authorized authority, and that it wasn’t changed between the originator and EAS participants’ equipment. These certificates expire periodically. FEMA currently uses a chain of five certificates for alert validation, one of which expires at 11:55 p.m. EDT on Sept. 24, 2018 (Sep 25 03:55:36 2018 UTC).

Monroe-Electronics and Sage Alerting Systems have both issued updates to their EAS units.

DASDEC users: A field service bulletin and CA file are available from the Digital Alert Systems website at digitalalertsystems.com/resources_fsb.html. All DASDEC and One-Net customers should download the field service bulletin for instructions, and install the new CA file.

Sage Endec users should visit sagealertingsystems.com for compete information on downloading and installing the file in their units.

Engineers are also reminded that FEMA has scheduled a national EAS test on Thursday, Sept. 20. It will be sent at 2:20 p.m. EDT. The test will be fed via IPAWS.

Be aware that preceding the EAS test to broadcasters, FEMA will send a Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) test message to all WEA capable wireless devices throughout the entire United States and territories. That message will be sent at 2:18 p.m. EDT.

SBE Re-elects Jim Leifer as President

Jim LeiferThe Society of Broadcast Engineers, the association for broadcast and multimedia technology professionals, announces the results of the 2018 election for the national board of directors. Jim Leifer, CPBE, was re-elected as the society’s president. Leifer is senior manager of broadcast operations at American Tower Corporation, Andover, MA.

Regarding the election, President Leifer said, “I thank SBE members for their support and the Board of Directors for their work over the last year. Looking ahead, I am eager to discuss the ideas from the SBE strategic planning meeting held in June, and then implement those approved by the SBE Board of Directors. This will enhance the membership experience as we embrace new technologies and new ways of performing the work of the SBE.”

Others serving one-year terms as officers, which begin on Oct. 3, are:

Vice President: Robert “RJ” Russell, CPBE; president, Technical Broadcast Solutions, Inc.; Middletown, DE

Secretary: Wayne Pecena, CPBE, 8-VSB, AMD, DRB, CBNE; director of engineering, Texas A&M University – KAMU-FM & TV; College Station, TX

Treasurer: Jim Bernier, CPBE, CBNE; senior director, Techwood Engineering; Turner; Atlanta

    

Serving two-year terms on the board of directors, which also begin Oct. 3 are:
• Stephen J. Brown, CPBE, CBNT; director of broadcast engineering, Woodward Radio Group; Appleton, WI
• Roswell Clark, CPBE, CBNT; senior director of radio engineering, Cox Media Group; Clearwater, FL
• Kirk Harnack, CBRE, CBNE; senior solutions consultant, Telos Alliance; Nashville, TN
• Vinny Lopez, CEV, CBNT; chief engineer, WSTM/WTVH/WSTQ-TV; Syracuse, NY
• Thomas McGinley, CPBE, AMD, CBNT; president, McGinley Enterprizes; Missoula, MT
• Shane Toven, CBRE, CBNT; field engineer, Educational Media Foundation; Laramie, WY

    

    

The national board of directors of the SBE is responsible for the development of policy and determines the programs and services the society provides to its more than 5,000 members. Those elected will begin their terms on Oct. 3, 2018, during the SBE Membership Meeting. They will join the other six directors who have another year remaining in their terms (Andrea Cummis, CBT, CTO; CTO, WLVT-TV, Roseland, NJ; Mark Fehlig, PE, CPBE, 8-VSB, senior systems engineer, Jampro Antennas/Alan Dick, Walnut Creek, CA; Ted Hand, CPBE, 8-VSB, AMD, DRB, director of engineering/operations, Cox Media Group, Charlotte, NC; Stephen H. Lampen, CBRE, consultant, San Francisco, CA; Kimberly K. Sacks, CBT, director of engineering, iHeartMedia, Loveland, CO; Kevin Trueblood, CBRE, CBNT, director of engineering, WGCU Public Media, Estero, FL; and Jerry Massey, CPBE, 8-VSB, AMD, DRB, CBNE, director of technical operations, Entercom Greenville Spartanburg, who remains the immediate past president.

The SBE National Meeting will be held Oct. 2-3, 2018, in Danvers, MA, in conjunction with the Media Resource Expo (MRE).

SBE Certification Exam Session Scheduled for 145th AES Convention

AES logoIn cooperation with the Audio Engineering Society (AES), the SBE is offering an opportunity for registered AES Convention participants to take an SBE certification exam while attending the 145th AES Convention convention in New York City.

The exam session will be held on Saturday, Oct. 20 in the Javitz Center. The time and room will be announced later this summer. Those interested in taking an SBE certification exam at the AES Convention must submit their certification application to the SBE National Office no later than Sept. 21.

SBE Joins Professional Certification Coalition

Since February 2018, a number of states have considered legislation that could restrict how holders of SBE certifications, and hundreds of other non-governmental certifications, are able to use them. The intent has been to remove perceived employment barriers and is focused on state professional licensing laws. However, language affecting voluntary certifications offered by private organizations has been swept up into these bills.

The legislation varies by state. Some define certifications as solely created by the state, while others limit holders of certifications from using them to promote their business, or indicate their knowledge and experience to current or potential employees.

Legislation in Louisiana was successfully amended earlier this year, but a new law in Missouri went into effect earlier this summer that defines certification as only authorized by the state. Legislation is pending in Ohio, Illinois and Michigan.

PCC logoThe SBE has joined the Professional Certification Coalition (PCC), which was formed to challenge these legislative efforts. The coalition is led by the American Society of Association Executives and the Institute for Certification Excellence. It currently numbers more than 50 organizational members. The group is waging a campaign focused on educating state legislators and their staffs on how this legislation will negatively affect thousands of their constituents. Their aim is to modify the bills to remove any effect they have on certifications offered by private, non-profit associations and other certification granting organizations.

The SBE will be an active participant in this effort and may call on individual SBE members who hold SBE certifications to contact their state legislators. Watch for further updates in The Signal, SBE-news and SBE Legislative Updates and Alerts.

ATSC’s Richer to Keynote SBE National Awards Dinner

Mark Richer, president of the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC), will be the keynote speaker at the 2018 SBE National Awards Dinner. The ATSC is an international, non-profit organization developing voluntary standards for digital television including the ATSC 3.0 suite of standards for next generation television. The SBE National Awards Dinner is the closing event of the SBE National Meeting, this year held in conjunction with the Media Resource Expo in Danvers, MA, just outside of Boston, on Oct. 3.

Marck RicherRicher will also take part in that afternoon’s live webcast of the SBE Annual Membership Meeting. SBE President Jim Leifer will discuss with him ATSC 3.0 standards, testing and implementation.

Richer first joined the ATSC after 16 years with the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) where, as vice president of engineering & computer services, he was responsible for development of new technologies for PBS and its member stations, design of audio/video systems, and management of information technology operations.

Richer was a recipient of the Broadcasting & Cable Technology Leadership Award in 2007, the 2010 recipient of the National Association of Broadcasters Engineering Achievement Award for Television and the 2018 EDGE Award for Excellence in Innovation from America’s Public Television Stations. He is a Fellow of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) a Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and serves on the FCC Technology Advisory Council. He has been a member of the SBE since 1995.

SBE National Meeting events begin on Tuesday, Oct. 2 with meetings of the national SBE Certification Committee and the SBE Board of Directors. On Wednesday, Oct. 3, activities include the annual SBE Fellows Breakfast (invitation-only), sponsored by Kathrein USA, SBE Annual Membership Meeting (webcast live), sponsored by Blackmagic Design, Dielectric, DVEO, Drake Lighting, IMT Vislink, Lawo and Technical Broadcast Solutions.

The SBE Annual Awards Reception, sponsored by Comrex, is followed by the SBE National Awards Dinner, sponsored by Telos Systems. Presentation of the society’s major awards will be made, including the SBE Fellow Award to Jerry Massey, CPBE, 8-VSB, AMD, DRB, CBNT, of Greenville, SC. Also to be presented are, the Robert W. Flanders SBE Broadcast Engineer of the Year, James C. Wulliman SBE Educator of the Year, the SBE Technology Award to a Sustaining Member company and the Best Technical Article, Book or Program by an SBE member.

SBE chapters will be presented with awards recognizing achievement for Best Chapter Communications, Best Regional Educational Event, Greatest Member Growth, Highest SBE Certified Chapter and Highest Meeting Attendance.

The SBE National Meeting is being held in conjunction with the Media Resource Expo and our host is SBE Chapter 11 of Boston. MRE is a one-day annual trade show and technical educational event that attracts professionals in broadcast, film, instructional media and communication, along with manufacturers, resellers and integrators. The SBE will have a booth during the show, sponsored by Technical Broadcast Solutions.

The SBE National Meeting and the MRE will be held at the Doubletree by Hilton Boston North Shore Hotel in Danvers, MA. The hotel is located 19 miles north of downtown Boston and Logan Airport.

Registration for the MRE is required but free to SBE members if they register in advance. Tickets for the SBE National Awards Reception and Dinner ($16) are available through the SBE website, www.sbe.org, and by telephone, Monday – Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET at 317-846-9000. There is no registration or fee to attend the Annual Membership Meeting.

Accommodations at the Doubletree can be reserved by calling 978-777-2500. The SBE has a limited number of rooms reserved at the discounted rate of $149. Rooms are on a first come, first-served basis, so don’t wait too long.

The SBE National Meeting and MRE are open to anyone interested in media technology. We invite SBE members, especially those in the New England area, to take advantage of this opportunity and attend all of the events on Oct. 3.