Print 28 comment(s) - last by RandallMoore.. on Oct 29 at 2:08 PM

FCC may play Robin Hood taking form rich broadcasters and giving to the poor mobile broadband providers

The FCC is considering many ways to increase the amount of available wireless spectrum to be had for wireless broadband service. According to the FCC and others, the country is already facing a looming shortage of airwaves to support broadband.

One of the plans on the table for the FCC to consider would have it taking back a portion of the airwaves that TV broadcasters are currently using and auctioning those off to wireless broadband providers. Blair Levin, the person in charge of crafting the FCC national broadband plan said, "The record is very clear that we're facing a looming spectrum gap."

It is not clear at this early stage if the proposal to take some of the airwaves away from TV broadcasters will make it to the final FCC national broadband plan or not. The final plan is set to be released in January. What is clear is that if the taking back of broadcaster airwaves does make the final plan, broadcasters will fight.

The National Association of Broadcasters spokesman Dennis Wharton said, "[The NAB] believes it is imperative that policy makers explore spectrum efficiency choices that don't limit consumer access to the full potential of digital broadcasting."

The FCC would not simply take the airwaves away and would reportedly spend about $12 billion to buy the airwaves back and $9 billion to move homes using OTA TV to digital or subscription services. However, the auction for the reclaimed spectrum would net the FCC as much as $62 billion.

The homes relying on these airwaves are also likely to be among those that just purchased new TVs or converter boxes during the digital transition that happened this summer adding more confusion and expense for them. Wharton continued saying, "CEA's study ignores the immeasurable public benefit of a vibrant free and local broadcasting system that is ubiquitous, reliable as a lifeline service in times of emergency, and flexible enough to include HDTV, diverse multicast programming and mobile DTV."

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What are you people smoking?
By Donovan on 10/28/2009 1:14:56 PM , Rating: 5
Why is everyone acting like the FCC is going to shut down broadcast TV? When we started using digital TV we gained the ability to fit multiple channels in the same space as a single analog channel. Several of the major networks have been using this to offer dedicated news or weather channels, PBS stations usually have multiple channels, and there are even completely unrelated stations being multiplexed together (probably to avoid paying for their own broadcast equipment).

The VHF spectrum should have been removed from broadcast TV when we did the all-digital UHF spectrum can carry far more channels than analog VHF+UHF ever did. It also simplifies rooftop antennas since a VHF antenna is much larger than a comparable UHF one. If a classic rooftop antenna (log-periodic VHF with corner-reflector Yagi UHF) is around 120" long by 80" wide, the equivalent UHF-only antenna would be more like 40" long by 20" wide and cost that much less.

RE: What are you people smoking?
By JediJeb on 10/28/2009 1:48:29 PM , Rating: 2
The problem I really have is with analog I got way more channels over the air than I can get with digital since I am at least 40 miles from the nearest transmitters. Also when bad weather is happening on analog I could at least hear the warnings through static if I could not see the video, but with digital it is all or nothing, heavy rain kills the signal and that is one of the times I need it most.

I would rather see them give that stations a little more power to boost their power and start broadcasting some of the cable channels over the air instead of taking away ota spectrum. Or reform the satelite providers so I don't have to pay over $50 a month to get the three channels I want and a ton of things like the music only channels I never listen to. If it has commercials it aught to be free, I wouldn't mind paying for premium channels that don't have commercials if I wanted to get them.

RE: What are you people smoking?
By Donovan on 10/28/2009 7:04:15 PM , Rating: 2
I agree about broadcast power...some of the stations need to boost their digital signals. I was hoping that would happen after the changeover but it doesn't seem to have changed.

As for cable channels going OTA, I assume it doesn't make financial sense or they would already be doing it. Offering channels a la carte would make more sense, but then current customers would want to drop the stations they never wanted and get a price break.

If we did consolidate on UHF, it would make it easier for people in your situation to purchase a deep-fringe antenna that can pick up the signal from that distance. I'm also 40 miles away and my antennas are effectively attic-mounted, but I can get all the UHF stations with a 40" corner reflector Yagi. I had to buy a 10' Yagi to get the high-VHF.

RE: What are you people smoking?
By mindless1 on 10/29/2009 3:11:25 AM , Rating: 2
On the one hand I feel everyone should have access to public television but on the other, unless you are chained to the foundation of your home you choose where to live and if that location is away from lakes you don't get easy access to a lake, if it is away from snowy hills you don't get easy access to skiing, if it's away from McDonalds no Big Mac for you, and if it's away from TV transmitters...

Why are they paying the networks?
By mcnabney on 10/28/2009 1:10:37 PM , Rating: 2
Didn't the networks get their new spectrum for free? Why do they need to buy what was never paid for in the first place. Take it back and sell it. I hear that Verizon and AT&T are making great profits. Lets give them something to spend it on.

By theapparition on 10/28/2009 1:53:44 PM , Rating: 2
The FCC would have to buy the spectrum back since companies made investments into equipment to use the new (old) spectrum frequencies. No one would move thier channels voluntarily and absorb the cost. They also have contracts where they have "leased" the spectrum.

After an inital investment to buy a portion of the spectrum back, the would then sell it to wireless providers (aka, Verizon, and make a 5-6x return.

PBS would be the biggest loser
By kattanna on 10/28/2009 12:12:04 PM , Rating: 2
PBS would most likely be the biggest loser here, and honestly, im not all that sad about it.

let the telebeggars die, its long over due.

Half the Story
By Reclaimer77 on 10/28/09, Rating: -1
RE: Half the Story
By 3minence on 10/28/09, Rating: 0
RE: Half the Story
By Taft12 on 10/28/2009 10:46:12 AM , Rating: 5
That's a pretty serious claim with no evidence presented to back it up. Got any?

RE: Half the Story
By RandallMoore on 10/28/2009 11:30:25 AM , Rating: 2
I'm guessing you don't keep current with national news...

The white house has been singling out Fox for quite a while now. Get with the program bud...

RE: Half the Story
By bissimo on 10/28/2009 11:36:42 AM , Rating: 5
Again, this is just rhetoric. Where is the proof that that this is aimed at shutting down Fox News? Isn't Fox News a cable channel? Do they use FCC-regulated airwaves in any way? Normally only local channels use OTA transmission.

Sounds like the only "national news" reporting this story is probably Fox News. As usual, they're creating a controversy where there is none so that they and reactionaries like yourself can feel like martyrs that the "liberal establishment" has in their cross hairs.

RE: Half the Story
By praktik on 10/28/2009 12:02:41 PM , Rating: 1
Those poor, victimized conservatives.

America has been on a long journey. The slavery of the blacks, the reconstruction era, "the yellow peril", women getting the vote, equal rights for gays - the story of America is one of prejudice overcome by righteousness.

And now we have one festering sore of prejudice left to overcome: the unjust, ubiquitous persecution of conservatives.

Many years from now, we're going to look back at this era, with the persecution of Fox News, Limbaugh and conservatives generally and say to ourselves: "how far we've come!". We'll ask each other: "What did YOU do to stop this injustice?"

Luckily there are a few posters here who will have an answer to that: "I personally advocated for the downtrodden conservatives on the comments section of tech-websites, long a cog in the anti-conservative agenda".

School texts will have a chapter on slavery, a chapter on sexism, and one really long and detailed one on that last bastion of discrimination: the story of the repressed conservatives.

Victims all - just as much as the enslaved blacks.

RE: Half the Story
By Screwballl on 10/28/2009 1:14:30 PM , Rating: 2
I think you have this backwards, there is one main peril left to overcome: the socialist/communist liberals that are taking away our freedoms by the handful every day.

The future cause from liberal interference was already covered by South Park: (sarcasm)

Don't forget Aesop and his ant (conservative) and liberal (grasshoper) fables:

Don't forget Bush's house compared to the liberal Al Gore's house and tell me who is more suited to actually lead this country toward better environmental policies:

What is something that gets bigger, the more you take away from it? The hole liberals and "centrists" have dug this country into.

RE: Half the Story
By praktik on 10/28/09, Rating: 0
RE: Half the Story
By RandallMoore on 10/28/2009 11:59:48 PM , Rating: 2
Dude, please shut up. You are an idiot.

RE: Half the Story
By RandallMoore on 10/28/2009 11:52:03 PM , Rating: 2
I'm sure you feel quite good about yourself now that you think you are right. I watch the news. I watch all factions of the news. The white house has been purposefully bashing Fox news and known conservatives ever since our great dictator took office. If you think that they aren't trying to control free speech then your are quite simply put, "a f#$&%@# retard."

Liberal agenda is destroying this nation. Nationalized health care is just the beginning if we let this happen. The majority of Fox news is DEAD SET AGAINST national health care. Does it not seem logical that they are in their cross hairs?

RE: Half the Story
By praktik on 10/28/2009 11:45:14 AM , Rating: 2

Here they are folks, anti-Obamaites are the new 9/11 Truthers.

And if you don't agree with them and ask for *evidence* - you're a sheeple!

Randall, Obama is working on a mind-reading device and I hear the only defence is aluminum foil. just wrap it around that precious cerebrum of yours!

RE: Half the Story
By RandallMoore on 10/29/2009 2:08:00 PM , Rating: 1
The Obama koolaid in your refrigerator is getting low. You need to make a new batch and have him stir it up with his dick of salvation.

RE: Half the Story
By GeorgeOu on 10/28/2009 2:06:08 PM , Rating: 2
You make conservatives look pretty bad by posting this kind of stuff. It's almost as embarrassing as the birther theories.

In case you haven't figured it out, Fox News is a CABLE network and not a broadcast network. Sheesh.

Government takeover
By Looey on 10/28/09, Rating: -1
RE: Government takeover
By unableton on 10/28/2009 11:26:17 AM , Rating: 2
Hey that's odd, you're not Reclaimer77...

RE: Government takeover
By Reclaimer77 on 10/28/2009 11:36:15 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah I hate to tell ya, but there's lot's of people out there besides me that see what's going on today. Sorry you aren't one of them.

RE: Government takeover
By praktik on 10/28/2009 11:46:24 AM , Rating: 3
Laziest rhetorical trick in the book.

You don't agree with me because you've rationally appraised the evidence and come to a diverging conclusion. You don't agree with me because you are BLIND and cannot see!!

RE: Government takeover
By RandomUsername3463 on 10/28/2009 11:39:58 AM , Rating: 2
What's really interesting is when you consider the H1N1 vaccine. If you actually look at the dose packaging, the Google logo is stamped on the bottom. Anyone with a brain can see this is one huge government conspiracy & google is playing along with them.

RE: Government takeover
By JediJeb on 10/28/2009 11:54:24 AM , Rating: 2
A news story today mentioned that prison inmates are getting H1N1 vaccine allocated to them when it could be going to the school children around the country. Seems to me some priorities are getting mixed up.

RE: Government takeover
By HrilL on 10/28/2009 12:45:18 PM , Rating: 2
Its all about money. It cost the government more if prisoner get sick and it cost them a lot less if children do. Likely their parents have insurance coverage that will cover the costs of the children getting sick.

Also H1N1 could spread very fast in a prison setting so the costs could be astronomical if they have an outbreak.

Just like how education budgets are the first to get slashed whenever a government needs more money. They should see things differently. If you spend a lot on education its like investing on the future because with more educated people the economy is likely to grow bigger and thus produce more tax money.

RE: Government takeover
By DotNetGuru on 10/28/2009 8:02:34 PM , Rating: 1

This is not a government takeover of industry. This is politicians doing as they are told by their controllers in the Banking/'financial services' world.

Big Business and bankers (as they always have) control this whole dance. Stuff politicians' pockets and wait for handouts or favorable policy decicions.

Help everyone buy a home? Sure, when banks make 40% on your mortgage. New cars for all? Sure, when nobody pays cash, banks make money on interest loans. Every dollar printed cost $1 + interest, so if you want to be pissed about something, put on your tin-foil hat and start researching the Federal Reserve. Interest/inflation devalues your money. (They're robbing you without touching those paper bills in your wallet.)

The news media is a joke. They're just entertaining the cows between milkings. I was raised in a conservative family, but it is embarrassing to listen to the stuff Faux news has convinced otherwise decent Americans to take as truth. Oh here's another for your tinfoil hat studies: Google (or bing) "Bush new-world-order conspiracy"

“So far we have not seen a single Android device that does not infringe on our patents." -- Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith
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