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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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RE: This will be disastrous if it happens
By JediJeb on 4/27/2010 2:11:38 PM , Rating: 2
Yea, it is kinda sad that you pay for premium services like cable and satellite yet also receive what seems to be more commercials than you do on "free" services OTA. If they want to do so much regulating of the business how about they add one that for every dollar they charge for your TV service they have to reduce the average advertising minutes per channel by 1% compared to the average advertising minutes per channel of OTA services. Why should we pay to watch more advertising instead of less?

RE: This will be disastrous if it happens
By namechamps on 4/28/2010 12:10:24 PM , Rating: 2
Then don't pay.

I don't. If they want to be 50 minutes of ads per hours and 10 minutes of content that is the choice of the content provider & network.

If you chose to pay and then watch "too many commercials" then who's fault is that?

OTA Antenna + Tivo HD + lifetime service < years worth of cable charges.

Plenty of content on OTA networks for free. Combine that with netflix & Hulu more than I could possibly watch.

By JediJeb on 4/28/2010 3:41:06 PM , Rating: 2
Honestly the only thing I pay for is the cheapest DirecTV plan I can get that carries SciFi channel and BBCA for Dr Who. If someone would broadcast that OTA then I definitely would not subscribe to any service. Of course SciFi is about to lose me anyway because they keep dropping so much real SciFi and running nothing but B grade monster movies now.

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