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April 17, 2006
In Reply Refer To:
1292 (WO-560D) P
Instruction Memorandum No. 2006-130
Expires: 09/30/2007
To:                   All SDs and CDs
                        Attn: CIOs and Telecommunications Managers
From:               Assistant Director, Information Resources Management

Subject:           Radio Frequency Sharing

Program Areas: Telecommunications 

Purpose: This Instruction Memorandum (IM) is published to clarify the requirements in order to share radio frequencies with other Federal, State and Local agencies. This applies to all programs within the Bureau and to radio frequencies shared between BLM and other agencies where either the other agency is using BLM frequencies, or BLM is using their frequencies. These requirements are developed from the guidelines published in The National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) Manual of Regulations and Procedures for Federal Radio Frequency Management and those guidelines further defined in the Departmental Handbook for Radio Communications (377 DM).
Policy: States and Centers are required to obtain written authorization from the frequency owner and a Radio Frequency Authorization (RFA) from the NTIA before using another Federal, State or Local agency's frequency in a non-emergency communications[1] situation.  Conversely, another agency wishing to use a BLM frequency must obtain written authorization from BLM to do so and obtain authorization from NTIA or the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
Aside from complying with FCC or NTIA Regulations and Departmental Policy, the intent of these requirements is to protect the frequency owner and primary users by clearly defining who can use their frequency, where, when and for what.
Written authorization to use another agency's frequency requires renewal every 5 years. The corresponding RFA must also be reviewed every 5 years.  
Action:  States and Centers who wish to enter into an agreement with another Federal, State or Local agency to share radio frequencies shall perform the following:
            Where another Federal, State or Local agency is requesting to use a BLM frequency
            - The appropriate INTERAGENCY RADIO FREQUENCY USE AGREEMENT must be completed and signed by the frequency controlling authority2 for all parties. Sample agreement forms are included in attachments (1) and (2).
            - The completed Agreement shall be forwarded to the supporting State or Center CIO/IRM office for filing and submission to WO-560D. 
            - The Agreement submitted to WO-560D will be used to update the Department's Radio Frequency Sharing Inventory.
            Where BLM is requesting to use another Federal, State or Local agencies frequency
            - If the agency does not have its own Agreement form, the appropriate INTERAGENCY RADIO FREQUENCY USE AGREEMENT should be used and completed. The agreement must be signed by the frequency controlling authority[2] for all parties. Sample agreement forms are included in attachments (3) and (4). 
            - The completed Agreement shall be forwarded to the supporting State or Center CIO/IRM office for preparation of a RFA request, per DM 377.
            - The Agreement and the RFA request shall be submitted to WO-560D for processing and delivery to the Department and NTIA.
States and Centers should allow a minimum of 90 days to obtain an RFA once the request is submitted to WO-560D.  Allow 200 days if the frequency is to be used within 75 miles of the Canadian border. RFA requests submitted less than 90 days before the frequency use is required, may request interim authority to operate without an RFA.  Interim authority cannot be granted within 75 miles of Canada. 
Fire or Law Enforcement operational type Memorandums of Agreement or Understanding (MOA/MOU) are acceptable forms of written authorization to share frequencies, if the documents lists; the frequencies, who can use them, where, when and for what purpose.  The signature of the controlling authority2 for each frequency listed must also be on these documents for it to be acceptable.
Time Frame: This IM is effective immediately for any planned or future frequency sharing initiatives. Existing radio frequency sharing agreements may remain in effect until they are due for renewal, at which time they must comply with this policy.
Manuals/Handbooks Affected: 377 DM.
Budget Impact: None. The Bureau has previously been creating radio frequency sharing agreements. This policy only modifies those existing activities.
Background: The FFA and the NTIA’s regulations both require a written agreement between the radio frequency license holder and the agency wishing to use that frequency showing that permission is granted and under what circumstances it may be used.  
Coordination: This IM has been coordinated with FA-260.
Contacts: Please contact Russ Sveda, 303-236-2315 if you have any questions.
Signed by:                                                                   
Authenticated by:
William Corrington                                                       
Robert M. Williams
Acting, Assistant Director                                            
Division of IRM Governance,WO-560
Information Resources Management
4 Attachments



[1] Emergency communications is defined as the unplanned, temporary use of an authorized frequency outside of its licensed limitations or the use of another frequency in situations where a threat exists or is imminent that seriously affects the welfare of a community, endangers human life or endangers property.
[2] The controlling authority for a frequency is either the frequency manager for the agency which holds the license or the head of the agencies particular operations who oversees the use of that frequency for the licenses holder.   For BLM the controlling authority rests at the State or Center level and is the responsibility of the CIO/IRM Chief if no other designation is made by the State or Center Director.

Last updated: 10-21-2009