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By siding with wireless providers, the federal government will get the money it needs to finance its national broadband initiative. That money will come at the loss of TV broadcasters, though, which may be forced to give up spectrum for the auctions.  (Source: BPSCPAS)
Wireless service providers look to get more spectrum for next generation wireless gadgets

For some television providers, the Federal Communication Commission's ambitious National Broadband Plan is no big deal.  After all, while it will attempt to deliver a reasonably-priced national competitor to overpriced local cable internet offerings, it will also give telecoms extra bandwidth in order to pay for the national offering.

For some TV providers, who lack wireless offerings, though, the situation could be decidedly worse.  The FCC is determined to auction off one ninth (300 MHz of spectrum, in total) of the 300 MHz to 3 GHz UHF zone in so-called "incentive auctions".

The FCC on Monday created [PDF] a "spectrum task force" to "advance the FCC’s spectrum agenda and promote collaboration across the agency."  That group is plotting "the execution of the spectrum recommendations in the National Broadband Plan, including long-term spectrum planning."

TV station owners face having their spectrum seized from them to fuel America's passion for smartphones.  While they will receive a portion of the auction proceeds (the federal government will also pocket a share), they will be left with less spectrum to broadcast on.

The National Broadband Plan insists that this is fair, stating, "This sharing of proceeds creates appropriate incentives for incumbents to cooperate with the FCC in reallocating their licensed spectrum to services that the market values more highly."

It's hard to say just how big an effect on television providers, particularly small broadcasters, the plan might have.  Under the guidance of Julius Knapp, Chief of the FCC's Office of Engineering Technology, and Ruth Milkman, head of the Wireless  Telecommunications Bureau, the FCC seems intent to carry through with it, though, for better or worse.

The National Association of Broadcasters has already let its position be known, loud and clear [PDF]: "We cannot endorse this proposal."

But when it comes to federal regulators, they may discover that they don't have a choice in the matter.



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Loss of analog now loss of more spectrum
By JediJeb on 4/27/2010 2:04:03 PM , Rating: 2
I thought it was going to be great when they made all the stations switch to digital. There was going to be more content, HD, ect. Problem is the reception for digital stinks now compared to the old analog signal.

Worse thing now is when we have severe weather, I lose signal on DirectTV and my local over the air digital stations. On analog is you had a reduction in signal you could still get the severe weather updates even if they were a little fuzzy. With digital it is just like the satellite, once the signal falls to a certain point you lose everything, goes from perfect picture to no picture at all. The FCC needs to look into letting stations boost their transmission power during bad weather simply for the purpose of keeping people informed of potentially serious weather conditions. It was bad enough when I lived in town and the cable would go out every time it rained, now out in the rural area where I live I lose everything.

Sure you can listen to the radio when the weather is bad, but you can't see the maps with the tracks of the storms and tornadoes to know exactly where they are headed. Radio at best only lets you know one might be headed your way or tells you what happened after it is over.

Will this loss in spectrum further reduce the service to those in rural areas?




RE: Loss of analog now loss of more spectrum
By meepstone on 4/27/2010 3:03:07 PM , Rating: 2
While losing signal is nothing new for everyone with satelitte I seriously doubt they will up the power to transmit about weather conditions. If your tv signal just went out cus of bad weather.. I'm pretty sure they know by then, unless its a deaf, blind person trying to watch tv and couldnt hear or see the storm.


RE: Loss of analog now loss of more spectrum
By HotFoot on 4/27/2010 4:17:08 PM , Rating: 3
There's weathering out the storm playing cards on the kitchen table and then there's squeezing your family into the cellar because of tornado warnings.


By JediJeb on 4/28/2010 3:37:44 PM , Rating: 2
True and as I said it is much harder to know where the tornado is listening to a radio than being able to see it on a TV screen where they show you the exact location on a map.


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