Reaffirming Cross-Border Relations

Earlier this month, I traveled to Mexico as part of a U. S. Government delegation – including the FCC and Departments of Condition and Commerce – attending the first high-level spectrum discussion since South america established the Federal Institute of Telecommunications (IFT). We were warmly welcome by IFT, the Secretariat of Communications and Transport and the Secretariat of Foreign Relations.

We traveled to Mexico to advance ongoing staff discussions on important telecommunications and cross-border spectrum coordination issues and further improve the bilateral relationship between each countries on these issues. From the perspective, both delegations were very pleased with the outcome of these discussions. (IFT’s take on these discussions)

Specifically, we agreed to work together on a revised agreement that would facilitate implementation of Positive Teach Control technology in the 220-222 Megahertz band along the common border. PTC systems are intended to reduce the risk of train accidents by enabling real-time info sharing between trains, rail wayside devices, and control centers. PTC technology is designed to automatically slow or stop a train in order to avoid a collision or derailment.

On 800 Megahertz, which is a band the FCC is certainly reconfiguring for public safety and first responder radio communication, all of us agreed to a roadmap accelerating the particular reconfiguration process along the common edge. The roadmap is in accordance with a Protocol signed with Mexico in 2012. It includes a process for confirming when channels are cleared in South america.

In addition , we are working on a joint repurposing of the 600 MHz band. IFT and the FCC have developed a specialized plan that will enable IFT to complete its DTV transition and DTV auction initiatives while also accommodating the FCC’s incentive auction. This plan places Mexican TV stations below channel 37 while providing additional channels for U. S. channels to use in the reorganized TV band.

I actually look forward to continuing these discussions with our Mexican colleagues, and am eager to see the results of our work as well as the deployment of advanced technology and services to the mutual benefit of citizens both in countries.

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