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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: Soviet
By sleepeeg3 on 4/27/2010 9:18:35 PM , Rating: 2
Capitalism doesn't involve government redistributing the wealth. Where is the money for the spectrum going? Straight to the government. If the cable companies were given a license to the spectrum, they should receive full compensation for the redistribution of the spectrum. Instead, the government uses this as an excuse to collect more taxes.

This is how the government works, gentleman. If they see an opportunity that the majority agree with, they use it as an excuse to "punish" the entity that the majority are against and take all the taxes for themselves. This is how they try to justify taxes on coke, fried foods, banks, corporations, polluters, etc. Most people are too stupid to realize that the taxes never go to help the majority - the only thing that is benefiting from these taxes is the government.

RE: Soviet
By mcnabney on 4/28/2010 9:25:10 AM , Rating: 2
Nothing is being redistributed you brainless ninny.

The 'airwaves' in this nation are regulated by the government in order to prevent absolute chaos. Sections of spectrum are alloted for hundreds of purposes. Some chunks are left open for uses like cordless phones, RC toys, WiFi, and local 2-way radio devices. Other chunks are reserved for the military, science, government functions, emergency services, and commercial/private aviation. The type we are talking about here are licensed/leased chunks of spectrum that are assigned or leased to private companies.

The government once gave these chunks of spectrum to private companies in order to develop a strong and competitive broadcasting infrastructure which would benefit all citizens. All they had to do was follow some basic rules that were managed by the FCC and they got their spectrum for free. Then came private wireless companies. Because they charge for their services it was decided that they would have to lease the frequencies they use instead getting them for nothing. That is why closed/private organizations have to acquire spectrum at auction.

Recently things have changed. The explosion of bandwidth intensive wireless (3G/4G) devices has pushed some carriers (AT&T) to the limits of their spectrum portfolios. At the same time broadcasters are underutilizing the fresh new spectrum they were given during the digital conversion. The government wants businesses and services to flourish so the obvious choice was to put underutilized TV spectrum to better use by allowing other private companies to buy it.

They really shouldn't even give any TV station revenue from the auction. They didn't pay for it and it is their own fault for not using what they had in the first place.

RE: Soviet
By JediJeb on 4/28/2010 3:33:27 PM , Rating: 2
Nothing is being redistributed you brainless ninny.

Hmmm if nothing is being redistributed then that means the original users of this spectrum will still be using it. If it is given to someone else then it is being taken away from one user and given to another. That latter sounds like redistribution to me.

At the same time broadcasters are underutilizing the fresh new spectrum they were given during the digital conversion.

Actually broadcasters were not given fresh new spectrum in the digital conversion. They are still broadcasting in PART of the original spectrum. The rest has already been taken from them and auctioned off, now the FCC is taking more. Even during analog broadcasts they weren't under utilizing the spectrum, the FCC just wanted to have them use less spectrum so they forced the conversion to digital which allows stations to operate in a narrower band. True they do transmit more data in that narrower band which increases bandwidth efficiency, but overall the service quality I believe is less than it was when it was analog as I have posted in another thread here.

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