Rules of Procedure: The indispensable companion to the Radio Regulations

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) last week released new Rules of Procedure: the latest in a series of publications designed to guide Member States and the ITU Radiocommunication Bureau (BR) in applying the Radio Regulations approved at the last World Radiocommunication Conference, WRC-19.

Updated by the ITU Radio Regulations Board, the Rules of Procedure clarify and/or establish the necessary practical procedures for applying particular provisions of the Radio Regulations

The Radio Regulations form the international treaty governing the global use of radio-frequency spectrum and satellite orbits. When it comes to allocating radio frequencies, the Radio Regulations are indispensable.

They are designed to ensure rational, equitable, efficient, and economical use of the radio-frequency spectrum all over the world – while aiming to prevent harmful interference between different radio services and between the radio systems of different countries.

Today’s Radio Regulations cover frequencies ranging from 8.3 kilohertz (kHz) to 3,000 gigahertz (GHz). They have evolved over more than a century, with 37 rounds of revision to date.

While the regulations set clear boundaries, determining the precise technical requirements for your spectrum needs can be more complicated than it sounds. The Radio Regulations – at least in their traditional physical form – comprise over 2,000 pages in four thick volumes.

The final piece of the puzzle

As WRC-23 approaches, ITU Member States and delegates may wonder how to apply the Radio Regulations correctly.

That’s where the Rules of Procedure come in.

In addition to the four-volume Regulations, the Rules support the proper application of Regional Agreements, Resolutions, and Recommendations that come out of both World and Regional Radiocommunication Conferences.

The 2021 Rules of Procedure will be incorporated in ITU’s Table of Frequency Allocations software, as well into a forthcoming Radio Regulations Navigation Tool.

Rules of Procedure

The Rules are presented in three parts:
1. Rules related to one or a limited number of Radio Regulatory provisions;
2. Rules related to a process, such as a technical examination;
3. Internal arrangements and working methods of the Radio Regulations Board.

Rules and regulations

Updated every four to six months, the Rules of Procedure complement the Radio Regulations by clarifying how particular provisions are applied. Rules contained in the current publication supersede all previously published Rules of Procedure.

The Rules of Procedure also establish practical procedures that may not be covered in current regulatory provisions.

The publication was approved by the Radio Regulations Board (RRB) after WRC-19. The Board consists of 12 members elected during the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference.

Along with meeting several times yearly to approve Rules of Procedure updates, the RRB also addresses requests related to the frequency assignments made by ITU Member States, reviews cases of harmful interference, and considers matters that cannot be resolved by applying the Rules of Procedure.

Now available for pre-order

The new Rules of Procedure publication is now available in all six official ITU languages.

Download the PDF free of charge or pre-order your hard copy for purchase here.

 

Header image credit: ITU