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220 MHz Band Plan
Frequently asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions on the Interim Sharing Agreement Concerning the Use of the Band 220 to 222 MHz along the United States - Canada Border.

Q. When does this agreement become effective?

A. The agreement came into effect when it was signed in December 1999.

Q. Does the agreement affect the rest of the Canadian 220 band, from 222 to 225 MHz?

A. No.

Q. In what geographic areas does it apply?

A. It applies to transmitter sites located within 120km of the U.S. - Canada border.

Q. Do the same conditions apply across Canada?

A. No. The border region is divided into Sectors, each having specific frequency allocations and certain specific antenna height (HAAT) and power (ERP) limitations. Also, the conditions applying to 220 to 221 MHz are different from those applying to 221 to 222 MHz.

Q. How are the Sectors along the border defined?

A. Sector 1 is the area along the border within 120 km of the border that is bounded on the west by 85 degrees West longitude and on the east in Canada by 81 degrees West longitude.
Sector 2 is the area along the border within 120 km of the border that is bounded on the west in Canada by 81 degrees West longitude and on the east by 71 degrees West longitude.
The other areas along the border within 120km of the border (including the border with Alaska) can be considered as Sector 3.

Q. If I have been operating on a frequency allocated to the United States, do I have to stop operations or change frequency?

A. Probably not. Canadian radio amateurs have Secondary status on frequencies allocated to the United States and can continue to operate ON MOST FREQUENCIES on an unprotected basis and on the basis of non-interference to stations having Primary status. You will have to refer to the details of the agreement concerning the specific frequency you have been using.

Q. How much power can I run on 220 to 222 MHz ?

A. That depends on the frequency you are operating on and the height of your antenna, and for some frequencies, if you are within 6km of the border. Different limitations apply to 220 to 221 MHz from those for 221 to 222 MHz. In one frequency segment which is shared with the United States (220.975 to 221.0 MHz), power is limited to a maximum of 2 watts ERP and a maximum antenna height above average terrain of 6.1 meters. On most frequencies much higher power and higher antennas can be used. Refer to the Agreement, and to the 'Power and Height Limitations' section of the RAC Interpretation of the agreement.

Q. My station is very close to the border. Does this affect my operations?

A. There are maximum antenna height and power limitations applying to stations within 6km of the border that are transmitting on frequencies in the range of 220.800 to 220.975 MHz. Refer to the Agreement, and to Table 7 in the RAC Interpretation of the agreement.

Q. We want to network across Canada. Do we have to change frequencies going from one Sector to another?

A. Canadian radio amateurs have Primary status on some frequency segments that are common to all Sectors.

Q. I want to use spread spectrum with a signal width of 30 KHz, but the channel width is only 5 KHz. What can I do?

A. You can aggregate 6 adjacent channels and use them as one, provided that they are all in one group. Please note that your ERP can be 6 times as much as shown in the table, provided that the power is spread uniformly over the 30 KHz. You can not operate with this much power if you are transmitting an unmodulated carrier, because then all the power would fall within one 5 KHz channel.

Q. I'm operating on a frequency that is allocated on a Primary basis to the United States and I am told I am causing interference. What should I do?

A. Simply put, what you must do is to stop causing interference. You will have to work this out to the satisfaction of Industry Canada. You must not cause interference on frequencies where you have Secondary status. In a practical way, you can consider reducing power, lowering the height of your antenna, using an antenna that directs less power toward the border region, changing the polarization of your antenna, or changing your frequency - or if necessary, all of the above.

Chairman, RAC VHF/UHF Band Planning Committee