Joint Statement: United States-Mexico High Level Consultative Commission on Telecommunications

February 3, 2011


Eleventh Meeting, Mexico City
February 3, 2011

Critical telecommunications needs in the common border area, rapid technological changes, and the expansion of wireless broadband services 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, and to enhance public safety communications in, the border region. For these reasons, both countries have successfully concluded the Eleventh Meeting of the United States-Mexico High Level Consultative Commission on Telecommunications (HLCC). To advance its goals, the representatives put in place an ambitious work program (known as the Directory of Bilateral Issues) for officials from both governments for the period from 2011 to 2013. The actions proposed in the Directory of Bilateral Issues are designed to expand wireless broadband services and 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.

In developing the work program, delegates from the two countries exchanged views on a wide variety of issues including joint policies on treatment of spectrum, the accommodation of new technologies, the possible future reallocation of certain frequency bands, and the deployment and expansion of new services.

The Mexican delegation, led by Mr. Hector Olavarria Tapia, Director General of Telecommunications and Broadcasting Policy of the Ministry of Communications and Transportation, accompanied by Mr. Mony de Swaan Addati, Chairman of the Federal Telecommunications Commission, and the U.S. delegation, led by Ambassador Philip L. Verveer, United States Coordinator, International Communications and Information Policy, Department of State, accompanied by Mr. Lawrence E. Strickling, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information, and Administrator of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration and Mr. Roderick K. Porter, Deputy Chief of the International Bureau, Federal Communications Commission, having met in Mexico City on February 3, 2011, 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 officials from both governments to support opportunities for the peoples and industries in the common border area, to stimulate economic growth, to expand wireless broadband services 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 land mobile 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, expansion of the amount of spectrum available for wireless broadband services as well as implementing improvements in public safety and security communications along the common border; and
  • Broadcasting – The need to foster Digital Terrestrial[1] Television services, and to discuss the possible spectrum realignment within the television band, as well as the need for continuing efforts to ensure compatible operations between the radio and television stations in the common border area;

The delegations reiterate their mutual 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 as needed, 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 and have subsequently advanced the implementation of the Protocol looking toward start-up operation of the network in 2011. The bi-national working group that was created by the Protocol to administer the network plans to hold its first meeting on February 4, 2011. These actions also support the need for communications improvements identified in the Action Plan associated with the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America, which was signed by the security representatives of the two governments in Brownsville, Texas, in March 2006;

The delegations encourage the HLCC Bilateral Working Level officials to continue discussions on how to improve the interoperability and compatibility of communications services in the border area;

The delegations also encourage U.S. and Mexican officials to continue to exchange information relating to wireless broadband policies and their implementation;

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 Conferences, Assemblies and Meetings of the ITU as well as in the preparatory work of the Inter-American Telecommunication Commission (CITEL) for those ITU Conferences, Assemblies and Meetings. 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 interest in reaching a mutual understanding on a new allotment plan for the 800 MHz band which provides for: 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. Furthermore, the delegations intend to finalize a protocol codifying the new allotment plan once all outstanding issues are resolved. In this regard, the delegations intend to re-establish the Bilateral Task Force on Reconfiguration of the 800 MHz Band which will be responsible for transitioning incumbent licensees in the band to the new allotment plan.

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

The delegations have adopted the following document:

  • The Directory of Bilateral Issues 2011-2013, which consists of the following sections: satellites, broadcasting, radiocommunication, international issues and other telecommunications matters. The Directory contains the topics that are to be addressed by the staff at the HLCC Bilateral Working Level in advancing the work of the HLCC;

Once again, the delegations instruct the staff at the HLCC 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 may meet as often as necessary on mutually acceptable dates;

The delegations further note that the HLCC 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 on the agenda of the HLCC Bilateral Working Level 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 Twelfth Meeting of the HLCC in the United States in 2012.

Signed at Mexico City the third day of February, 2011.

/Original signed by
Hector Olavarria Tapia/
Mr. Hector Olavarria Tapia
Director General of Telecommunications and Broadcasting Policy
Ministry of Communications and Transportation of Mexico
/Original signed by
Philip L. Verveer/
Ambassador Philip L. Verveer
United States Coordinator, International Communications and Information Policy
United States Department of State

/ Original signed by
Mony de Swaan Addati/ _______________________________ Mr. Mony de Swaan Addati
Chairman, Federal Telecommunications Commission

/Original signed by
Lawrence E. Strickling/ ______________________________ Mr. Lawrence E. Strickling
Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Commissions and Information, and Administrator of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration

/Original signed by
Roderick K. Porter/
Mr. Roderick K. Porter
Deputy Chief, International Bureau
Federal Communications Commission

[1] Use of non-conforming ITU equivalent telecommunications term relative to associated Spanish text signed on same date at same meeting site, i.e. ITU English equivalency for Spanish “terrestre” is “land,” not “terrestrial.”