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Business and Policy Areas
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FCC Reminds Institutions to Report the Use of Selected Frequencies

September 10, 2012

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued a notice listing requirements for certain multichannel video programming distributors, including colleges and universities.

The notice reminds non-cable multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs) that they, like all cable television systems, must notify the FCC if they use frequencies in the aeronautical bands in excess of certain power levels. Examples of non-cable MVPDs include universities, hotels, prisons, and office buildings with in-house cable systems. The aeronautical frequencies cited are within the range of 108-137MHz and 225-400MHz, which correspond to cable channels 14-16, 25-53, and 98-99.

Additionally, non-cable MVPDs that use aeronautical frequencies within their systems "must also comply with the same requirements applicable to cable television systems to prevent signal leakage and must promptly correct signal leakage if it occurs." The FCC explains that these frequencies are important for aircraft communication systems, therefore maintaining accurate information on and the integrity of such systems is a safety issue.

NACUBO suggests that member institutions operating their own campus video systems review their operations and the notice, including the FAQs, to ensure that they are in compliance, as there are penalties for noncompliance.