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MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING
ASSOCIATION OF AMERICAN RAILROADS
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
The Association of American Railroads (hereinafter "AAR") and the Federal
Communications Commission (hereinafter "FCC" or "Commission") hereby enter into
this Memorandum Of Understanding which establishes procedures whereby AAR will
assist the Commission with the investigation and resolution of complaints of
interference or compliance involving users of frequencies which formerly
comprised the "Railroad Radio Service."
The purpose of this Memorandum Of Understanding is to establish a procedure
whereby AAR, the only frequency advisory committee certified by the FCC to
coordinate railroad frequency use, will work with the Commission's Compliance
and Information Bureau ("CIB") to protect the technical and regulatory
integrity of railroad frequencies. Specifically, the approach set forth below
will advance the special, quasi-public safety communications needs of railroad
radio service spectrum users by ensuring speedier resolution of interference
complaints. In addition, this procedure will allow the Commission to conserve
II. AAR INTERFERENCE RESOLUTION PROCESS
- Complaint Process
- AAR will field complaints of interference of non-compliance involving
use of railroad frequencies by a licensee or its representative.
- Upon receipt, AAR will process such complaint through the completion
of a standard "Compliance Request Report" ("CRR")
- Each Compliance Request Form will be assigned a CRR Tracking Number.
- Investigation and Resolution Process.
- Educational Problems and Resolutions.
- Where AAR determines that an interference problem is caused by a
licensee unwittingly operating beyond the scope of its license, AAR will
notify the offending licensee of the interference, its obligations under
the FCC's rules and regulations, and advise it of necessary steps to
eliminate the interference.
- Where AAR determines that the offending interference is caused by the
operations of an unlicensed or improperly licensed entity, AAR will notify
the offending entity of the interference and its obligations under the
(1) If the offending entity is eligible to hold a license for a
railroad frequency, AAR may offer its assistance in the preparation of
necessary applications for proper FCC authorization, and the resolution of
the interference problem through standard coordination processes.
(2) If the offending entity is not eligible to hold a license for a
railroad frequency, AAR may refer the entity to the appropriate frequency
advisory committee for assistance with preparation of applications for
proper FCC authorization.
(3) Notwithstanding resolution of the interference problem, AAR will
immediately notify the Commission in writing of the unlicensed or
improperly licensed entity's operations. Resolution by AAR will not
preclude further Commission action.
- Upon resolution of an interference problem, AAR will send to all
parties a written summary of the problem and resolution. After a period
of thirty (30) days, AAR will send correspondence to each party verifying
the resolution of the matter. Upon determination that the matter has
been satisfactorily resolved, the CRR file for the matter will be closed,
but kept on file at the offices of AAR's frequency coordination staff and
made available to the FCC upon request.
- Technical Problems and Resolutions.
- Where a complaint involving technical interference of unknown origin
is filed, AAR will attempt to identify the source of the interference
through local monitoring conducted by the complainant licensee, its
service representative, or an independent provider. If all attempts to
identify the source of the interference are unsuccessful, AAR will solicit
the assistance of the local FCC field office.
- Upon identification of the interference source, AAR will notify the
offending licensee/operator of the problem and recommend technical
solutions available through AAR or an independent service provider. These
technical solutions may include, but are not limited to: reducing power,
lowering antenna height, antenna pattern reconfiguration, or the
selection of an alternative frequency.
- If an engineering or technical solution is available, AAR will
provide a written summary of the problem and its resolution to all parties.
After a period of thirty (30) days, AAR will send written correspondence to
each party verifying resolution of the matter. Upon determination that
the matter has been satisfactorily resolved, the CRR file will be
closed, but kept on file at the offices of AAR's frequency coordination
staff and made available to the FCC upon request.
- Operational Problems and Resolutions
- For purposes of this Memorandum of Understanding, "operational
problems" are defined as those instances where a licensee operates a radio
system in non-compliance with its license authorization (e.g., a
private system providing commercial service).
- If, through negotiation with the non-compliant licensee, AAR is able
to resolve the operational problem, AAR will provide a written summary of
the problem and its resolution to all parties. After a period of thirty
(30) days, AAR will send written correspondence to each party verifying
resolution of the matter. Upon a determination that the matter has been
satisfactorily resolved, the CRR file for the matter will be closed, but
kept on file at the offices of AAR's frequency coordination staff and made
available to the FCC upon request.
- FCC/CIB Participation in the Resolution Process.
- Where, despite notification and identification of an interference
problem. the parties are unable or unwilling to pursue recommended
solutions, AAR will submit a copy of the CRR report to the CIB field office
with geographic jurisdiction, as well as the CIB headquarters office in
Washington, DC. Such report will identify all parties to the dispute, all
background information (i.e., call signs involved, identified
non-compliance, location of unlicensed system) and AAR's recommended
regulatory or technical solution.
- Upon submission of the CRR report, the Commission agrees to notify
AAR of a single point of contact within the field office that will manage
the resolution of the matter.
- The Commission agrees to notify AAR upon resolution of the matter for
the purpose of allowing AAR to close its CRR file for the matter.
IV. TERMINATION OF MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING
- This Memorandum Of Understanding may be modifed at any time upon written
agreement of the Association of American Railroads and the Federal
- This Memorandum of Understanding may be canceled at any time by either
party upon 30 days prior notice.
On this _______ day of _______, 1998, the Federal Communications
Commission and the Association of American Railroads hereby agree to this
Memorandum of Understanding.
Charles E. Dettmann
Executive Vice President
for Safety & Operations
Richard D. Lee
Chief, Compliance & Information Bureau
1 In 1997, the Commission consolidated
all frequencies below 800 MHz that were allotted to the Industrial and Land
Transportation Radio Services, including the Railroad Radio Service, into one
new pool, the Industrial/Business Pool. Replacement of Part 90 by Part 88 to
Revise the Private land Mobile Radio Services and Modify the Policies Governing
Them, PR Docket No. 92-235, Second Report and Order,
12 FCC Rcd 14307, 14317 (1997). Under the consolidation plan, AAR serves as
the only FCC certified frequency advisory committee responsible for
coordination of the following frequencies: 160.215-161.565 MHz,
452.900-452.96875 MHz, and 457.900-457.96875 MHz. See
47 C.F.R. § 90.35(b).