Joint Statement, High Level Consultative Commission on Telecommunications U.S.-Mexico

December 1, 2009


Tenth Meeting, Washington, DC

Critical telecommunications needs in the common border area and rapid technological changes make it imperative that the United States of America (hereinafter United States) and the United Mexican States (hereinafter Mexico) work closely together to strengthen the economy of the border region, including among other purposes, to enhance public safety communications. For that reason, both countries have successfully concluded the Tenth Meeting of the United States-Mexico High Level Consultative Commission on Telecommunications (HLCC). Among the principal accomplishments of the HLCC was the signing of the Protocol regarding the cross border security communications along the common border, the Protocol concerning use of the 1710- 1755 MHz and 2110-2155 MHz bands for advanced wireless services, the Protocol relative to the use of the 4940-4990 MHz band for terrestrial radiocommunication services and the approval of a work program (known as the Directory of Bilateral Issues) for both governments for the period from 2009 to 2011. The actions proposed in the Directory of Bilateral Issues are designed to advance cross border communications and interoperability as well as to prevent harmful interference to public safety, commercial, broadcasting and other services in the heavily populated border regions.

Representatives of the two countries also exchanged views on a wide variety of issues including their joint policy on treatment of spectrum, the accommodation of new technologies and the deployment of new services.

The delegation of the United States, led by Ambassador Philip L. Verveer, United States Coordinator for International Communications and Information Policy, Department of State, accompanied by Julius Genachowski, Chairman, Federal Communications Commission and Lawrence E. Strickling, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information and Administrator of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, and the delegation of Mexico led by Gabriela Hernández Cardoso, Under Secretary of Communications of the Secretariat of Communications and Transportation, accompanied by Hector G. Osuna Jaime, Chairman of the Federal Telecommunications Commission, having met in the City of Washington on December 1st 2009, state that:

The delegations recognize that their exchanges of views and perspectives regarding telecommunications and broadcasting issues during the HLCC establish an essential foundation for actions by both governments to support opportunities for the peoples and industries in the common border area, to stimulate economic growth and to make critical improvements in border security;

The delegations also recognize that, along the common border, they need to coordinate sharing of the radio frequency spectrum on an equitable basis and in an expeditious manner in order to ensure the efficient and compatible development and effective operation of the diverse technologies and varied radiocommunication networks that support the economy of that region;

The delegations considered the following topics, among others, in their discussions:
  • Radiocommunication – Reconfiguration of the 800 MHz band, new service applications in the 700 MHz band (which until now has been used by the television broadcasting service), the applications and services in the 2500-2690 MHz band as well as implementing improvements in public safety and security communications along the common border; and
  • Broadcasting – The need to negotiate a framework agreement for broadcasting due to the transition to digital television in the United States as well as the need for continuing efforts to ensure compatible operations between the radio and television stations in the common border area, as well as compatibility between broadcasting and other radiocommunication services in the common border area;
The delegations reiterate their common desire and intention to promote cooperation and coordination in finding solutions to challenges that arise in the operation of telecommunication and broadcasting services along the common border and those involving satellite services, including reviewing and updating existing telecommunications and broadcasting Agreements;

The delegations further recognize the progress in the formulation of the January 2008 Plan from the Security Communications Task Group that provides for the establishment of a new cross border public security communications network for improving border security and combating border violence. The January 2008 Plan recommended the negotiation of a new bilateral agreement to provide interference protection and to establish other measures for the new network. On September 1, 2009, the two governments signed a new Protocol to accomplish those goals. In taking these actions, both delegations noted their assurance of the Protocol’s conformity with domestic regulatory requirements and the international obligations of both countries. This action supports the need for communications improvements identified in the Action Plan associated with the Security and Prosperity Partnership for North America, which was signed by the security representatives of the two governments in Brownsville, Texas, in March 2006;

The delegations encourage the HLCC Working Level officials to continue discussions on how to improve interoperable and compatible communications services in the border area;

The delegations reaffirm their desire to continue collaborations in their work at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and, when in the interests of both Parties, to work together on their positions for the meetings of the ITU Council and for the Conferences and Assemblies of the ITU sectors as well as in the preparatory work of the Inter-American Telecommunication Commission (CITEL) for the Conferences, Assemblies and Meetings of the ITU. Likewise, the delegations reaffirm that they intend to work for the consolidation of the community connectivity indicators adopted by the ITU;

The delegations also reaffirm their intention to continue pursuing revisions to the existing Protocol for the 800 MHz band on an urgent basis in order to secure: 1) Interference-free operation of public safety services along the common border; 2) Access to needed channels; and 3) Fair and equitable treatment of all affected licensees in both countries while minimizing disruption to existing users;

The delegations again reaffirm that the HLCC should meet once per year, and in case a face-to-face meeting cannot be held, a video conference should be arranged as a timely alternative. The Bilateral Working Level is to inform the HLCC on an annual basis of advances and concluded items in its work;

The delegations have signed the following document:
  • Protocol Between the Department of State of the United States of America and the Secretariat of Communications and Transportation of the United Mexican States Concerning Use of the 4940-4990 MHz Band for Terrestrial Non-Broadcasting Radiocommunication Services Along the Common Border;
The delegations also have adopted the following document:
  • The Directory of Bilateral Issues 2009-2011, which consists of the following sections: satellites, broadcasting, radiocommunication, international issues and other telecommunications matters. The Directory contains the topics that should be addressed by the staff of the Bilateral Working Level in advancing its work;
Once again, the delegations instruct the staff of the Bilateral Working Level in charge of administering the matters under the bilateral agenda to hold at least two meetings per year to review the full bilateral agenda, on dates that the staff finds mutually acceptable. The Bilateral Task Groups should meet as often as necessary on mutually acceptable dates;

The delegations further note that the Bilateral Working Level now includes the following groups:
  • Bilateral Task Group on Radiocommunications;
  • Bilateral Task Group on Security Communications;
  • Bilateral Task Group on Broadcasting;
  • Bilateral Task Group on Planning Communications Services;
  • Bilateral Task Group on Satellites;
  • Bilateral Task Force on Reconfiguration of the 800 MHz Band; and
  • Bilateral Task Group on Maritime Communications.

Finally, in order to focus continuing attention to their agenda, to deal with difficult situations that may arise in the common border area and to strengthen their bilateral relations, the delegations state that they intend to hold the Eleventh Meeting of the HLCC in Mexico during 2010.

Signed at Washington, DC, the first day of December, 2009.

/Original signed by
Luz Ma. Gabriela Hernández C./
Ms. Luz Ma. Gabriela Hernández C.
Under Secretary of Communications
Secretariat of Communications and Transportation of Mexico
/Original signed by
Philip L. Verveer/
Ambassador Philip L. Verveer
United States Coordinator for
International Communications and Information Policy
United States Department of State
/Original signed by
Héctor G. Osuna Jaime/
Mr. Héctor G. Osuna Jaime
Telecommunications Commission
/Original signed by
Julius Genachowski/
Mr. Julius Genachowski
Federal Chairman,
Federal Communications Commission
 /Original signed by
Lawrence E. Strickling/
Mr. Lawrence E. Strickling
Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information, and Administrator of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration