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AVS Official Topic - The FCC & Broadcast Spectrum

post #1 of 2861
Thread Starter 
Moderators Note: This topic is now the master topic for all broadcast spectrum discussion. The title has been edited.



A win for now.

http://www.wirelessweek.com/news/201...ers-axed-fcc/?
post #2 of 2861
Anyone else getting a funky page display with the hyperlink provided? I get a Wireless Week header, but the article is completely compacted, no more than three consecutive letters viewable on each line in Mozilla FF 3.5.7. I found I have to alt-click the hyperlink and select "Open in IE tab" for it to be viewable.
post #3 of 2861
From Engadget
Quote:


FCC backs off talk of forcefully reclaiming spectrum from TV broadcasters

By Chris Ziegler

Rest easy, broadcasters: your hard-earned spectrum is safe, at least for the moment. The FCC's full-court press to round up additional spectrum for wireless broadband services had led it to suggest reclaiming some spectrum from broadcasters in recent months -- a move that would arguably make sense considering the ever-shrinking importance of over-the-air television and the availability of more efficient broadcast methods -- but was met with considerable resistance from the broadcast industry, ultimately leading it to back off the message this week. The Fed's director of scenario planning for its broadband task force has gone on record saying the commission had never seriously considered implementing such a plan, instead looking at "a scenario that establishes a voluntary marketplace mechanism so that broadcast TV stations have a choice in how they want to use their spectrum." In other words, sell it if you want, keep it if you want -- and in all likelihood, the FCC would be looking to repurpose any offloaded frequencies for broadband. Of course, this kind of plan could leave the country with a fragmented system of spectrum slots where individual stations have elected to sell part or all of their airwaves, not really an optimal solution when some estimates have us needing to clear several hundred additional megahertz to keep up with data demand over the next few years -- but it's a start.
post #4 of 2861
From Wireless Week
Quote:


FCC Axes Plan to Take Spectrum From Broadcasters

By Maisie Ramsay

The FCC has stepped back from a proposal to reclaim spectrum from television broadcasters to use for wireless broadband services, according to an agency executive. The proposal was met with heavy opposition from broadcasters who argued it would limit the potential of digital broadcasting.

“The preference is to establish voluntary, market-based options to enable broadcasters who chose to do so to relinquish their spectrum and receive compensation,” said Phil Bellaria, director of scenario planning for the FCC's National Broadband Task Force.

Instead of forcing broadcasters to give up their spectrum, the FCC plans to make the option to sell spectrum holdings voluntary for the time being.

The FCC is also considering several other measures, including using DTS transmitters to more efficiently re-engineer broadcast network architecture; repacking station allotments; and auctioning overlay licenses as was done in the mid-1990’s.

However, Bellaria said the FCC would have to reconsider the issue if its voluntary proposals failed in Congress or did not garner the needed amount of spectrum.

“Both these options, along with the more heavy-handed mandatory option, are within the authority of the FCC but would take longer time to market,” Bellaria said.

In response to the news of the FCC’s softened approach to reallocating broadcast spectrum, CTIA President and CEO Steve Largent urged the agency to move aggressively to free up the airwaves for wireless broadband.

"The record overwhelmingly demonstrates there's a need for additional spectrum for mobile broadband services,” he said. “We continue to believe that all spectrum should be on the table for potential reallocation, including the almost 300 MHz allocated for broadcast television use, which is spectrum most favorable to mobile broadband. We look forward to working with the Commission and the broadband team to consider mechanisms to put spectrum to its highest use."

The wireless industry is facing an imminent spectrum crisis as high-bandwidth applications threaten to crash already overburdened networks. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski promised to address the issue in October 2009. The proposal to reallocate spectrum from broadcasters to mobile broadband providers was one of the measures considered to address the spectrum shortage.
post #5 of 2861
Quote:
Originally Posted by bidger View Post

Anyone else getting a funky page display with the hyperlink provided?

Nope.
post #6 of 2861
Thread Starter 
Quote:


FCC backs off talk of forcefully reclaiming spectrum from TV broadcasters

By Chris Ziegler

a move that would arguably make sense considering the ever-shrinking importance of over-the-air television and the availability of more efficient broadcast methods --

the word SHILL comes to mind. Or idiot.

Largest providers of TV in the US.

Comcast, DirecTv, Time Warner, OTA. In fact the next 4 providers COMBINED provide less TV than OTA. yeah real unimportant.

Quote:


not really an optimal solution when some estimates have us needing to clear several hundred additional megahertz to keep up with data demand over the next few years -- but it's a start.

I hope this moron realizes that even if the cell companies got all the spectrum from Ch 14-51 it would only add up to 222 MHz( not counting CH 37 ). So I'm curious where he thinks the rest of these "hundreds of megahertz" that are supposedly needed are going to come from. Perhaps the cell companies better find ways to make the spectrum they do have more efficient. Because if after less than a year Ch 52-69 are suddenly not enough obtaining 14-51 won't do much.

Other than FloTv in some areas are they even using Ch 52-69 anywhere? Nope. Use what you've got first before you come back like Oliver and ask "may I please have some more sir?". Heck how much of Ch 70-83 are they using? They got that almost 30 years ago. I suspect most of it is sitting empty and unused.
post #7 of 2861
Quote:
Originally Posted by BCF68 View Post

A win for now.

http://www.wirelessweek.com/news/201...ers-axed-fcc/?

Broadcasters and viewers of OTA TV have won nothing! It's simply a temporary retreat by the proponents of taking TV spectrum. Broadcasters don't own any spectrum so how can they sell any. All that is being proposed is to perhaps pay broadcasters to permanently go out of business. Besides the spectrum most valuable to wireless companies is in the major markets most valuable to broadcasters so a "voluntary" plan might reduce their opposition but it definitely isn't the wireless companies' end plan.
post #8 of 2861
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammer View Post

Broadcasters and viewers of OTA TV have won nothing!

Well the FCC could have started taking away OTA as soon as 2012 if they forced the issue. This way it pushes it back. That's a win. Also gives broadcasters more time to figure out how to fight further attempts of hijacking OTA.

Quote:


Broadcasters don't own any spectrum so how can they sell any

They do own licenses which they PAID for. FCC can't just take away a paid for license without cause. And Verizon, At&t and their ilk wanting it is not "cause". Also taking away a license from a station that just spent MILLIONS of $$ upgrading to digital because the government FORCED them to would lead to a pretty good lawsuit. If the FCC wanted the spectrum in the first place they shouldn't have forced the digital upgrade.
post #9 of 2861
The FCC hasn't "AXED" anything here, they've just repositioned and re-worded it. Typical politics, so keep an eye on those "MIDNIGHT" votes or rule passages.
post #10 of 2861
This idea was insane to start with. I guess the FCC wasn't ready for a revolt.
post #11 of 2861
I HOPE the brodcasters have woken up and smelled the bacon. They need to embellish their OTA capabilities, and PROMOTE PROMOTE PROMOTE. That doesn't mean airing commercials for cable and sat. Companies EVERY 5 MINUTES! People WILL use an antenna to watch Local News, American Idol, and Dancing with the stars if they find out it's better quality, and totally FREE. Meanwhile, this gives us time for the wireless brodaband industry to tank. Ma and Pa kettle on the farm in rural areas are NOT going to buy wireless broadband... these telecoms are livin in a dream world if they think that is gonna work. And why is WIRELESS broadband so important? Is it THAT important for people to surf the net while theyr'e sittin on the can taking a dump? The local broadcasters are on their way to losing this game. IMO, it's time for them to throw a bomb in the direction of the end zone.
post #12 of 2861
Quote:
Originally Posted by alphanguy View Post

And why is WIRELESS broadband so important? Is it THAT important for people to surf the net while theyr'e sittin on the can taking a dump?

It's so that everyone can get LOTTO results and Twitter messages, whenever they want.
post #13 of 2861
Great. This will give time for ABC to move it's flagships and affiliates - proverbially and literally - into the 21st century. Digital and Hi-VHF do NOT mix!
post #14 of 2861
I believe those in charge (can you say FCC?) take advantage of the masses, whenever they can, and speak out of both sides of their mouthes. I believe I found a good example (I found it on Channel Master's website):

Quote:


Antenna Sales Skyrocket - 2009 JUN 12
Consumers are switching to digital TV antennas, and here’s why. First, the digital transition taking place now (and set to be completed this June) brings the best digital broadcast quality to consumers across all stations. No longer will TVs receive low signal quality as they did in the past. Channel Master’s digital TV antennas (i.e. UHF/VHF) are the reliable, hi-quality choice to bring in those digital broadcasts. So whether reception is being viewed on a hi-def or standard-def TV with a converter box, image quality will be the best possible for each type. This ‘upgrade’ to digital comes into their homes for free. Second, is the high cost of cable television. Cable TV pricing has risen a staggering 77 percent since 1996, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s double the rate of inflation, and it comes at a time when other technology prices are decreasing. “The average family has very little choice as to what channels are included, yet they’re having to pay more and more for those same channels,(sic)” said FCC chairman Kevin Martin.¹ With the current state of the economy, consumers are dropping their cable & satellite TV and are buying antennas, saving them hundreds of dollars per year. Consumers that used to sign up for cable or satellite simply to get better picture quality than they could have with an antenna, now realize that they no longer need to pay for services to get the best picture quality. Switching to a digital TV antenna is a smart, low cost alternative to ever increasing cable prices and still brings quality entertainment and news into their homes. And, with Channel Master’s selection of hi-quality digital TV antennas, and 60 years as a trusted brand, you’ll have what they’ll need to make that switch easily and reliably! ¹.Good Morning America, www.abcnews.go.com

Of course he feels that all Broadband should be free and wireless broadband is the ticket for sparsely populated areas. http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/sto...5614675&page=1

I hope he doesn't have too much sway at the Aspen Institute (as a senior fellow with its Communications and Society Program). http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/sto...6665355&page=1
post #15 of 2861
Quote:
Originally Posted by BCF68 View Post

Heck how much of Ch 70-83 are they using? They got that almost 30 years ago. I suspect most of it is sitting empty and unused.

There are only three currently used cell phone bands in the United States.

Mobile 824-849 MHz, Base 869-894 MHz (Cellular) 50 MHz total
Mobile 1850-1910 MHz, Base 1930-1990 MHz (PCS) 120 MHz total
Mobile 1710-1755 MHz, Base 2110-2155 MHz (AWS) 90 MHz total

The overall total is 260 MHz. The new 700 MHz allocation is another 62 MHz when it gets built out, bringing the grand total to 322 MHz.

You can see which bands are licensed in your area here:

http://www.wirelessadvisor.com/

Just enter a zip code.

Ron
post #16 of 2861
post #17 of 2861
Very nice links, thanks!

- Trip
post #18 of 2861
I don't believe the issue is involving just cell phones. This appears to involve all wireless broadband across the board (ie., whitespace, blue tooth, etc.).
post #19 of 2861
I agree, Systems2000.

We're just at the "departure point" for cellular technology where there will still be Billions of cell phones, but also an entire new class of hybrid devices that are not that much larger or heavier, but do an awful lot more -- sort of crosses between cell phones and laptops -- more than netbooks, yet smaller, probably some of them folding up into a small footprint and out into as many as four pieces, etc.

THAT's a small part of the sort of thing the wireless broadband industry is just FOAMING AT THE MOUTH to simply have ALL of the OTA spectrum for, but I still contend that it will be a long time, if EVER before ANY kind of telecommunications (or energy, for that matter) can be transmitted faster and more efficiently by ANY means faster than wire, period). And it's still the case that if you want "wireless in your bathroom," the best, easiest, and definitely LEAST EXPENSIVE way to do it is to have a wired broadband connection to your home and a good wireless router.

To me, the biggest part of this issue is still the original concept behind the airwaves... the part that they BELONG TO THE PUBLIC, and the FCC exists simply to administer them for our benefit. With licenses to TV and radio stations, those frequencies were still PUBLIC airwaves. Sure, TV stations licensed them, and they were available ONLY as commercial (or non-profit) TV frequencies. But they were still AVAILABLE, and anyone who had the money could BUY a license when the frequency became available, assuming they met the criteria set up by the FCC (purportedly also "in the public interest"). And furthermore, the broadcasts from all those frequencies are FREE to pick up by anyone who has a TV or radio within range.

Once SOLD to various wireless concerns, NONE of that will be true. Those frequencies will NOT be "public airwaves" any more, and anyone who wants to benefit from whatever is transmitted through them will not only be paying for it, they'll likely be paying BIG BUCKS and having to sign 2-year contracts, to boot.

Just HOW does the FCC NOT see this as a violation of its very establishment (and Sen. Snowe, as well, based on her quote in the thread that led to this one). To me, it's like saying The First Amendment still applies, but we're going to go into each city and make all the newspapers stop publishing because we think they'd make better Kinkos locations, or something. They seem to be working at cross purposes -- definitely against their mandate!
Jeff
post #20 of 2861
Quote:


Consumers that used to sign up for cable or satellite simply to get better picture quality than they could have with an antenna, now realize that they no longer need to pay for services to get the best picture quality.

I was just talking to my mom about this last night. We cut the cord a year ago and are enjoying digital OTA for free. But there is a low powered analog channel in our town that has RTN on it. But the picture has so much static in it its unwatchable. We might of watched it 25 years ago but not in todays world of HDTV. Were hoping that channel will go digital soon.
post #21 of 2861
All this makes me wonder how the Cable TV system is doing in Haiti right now.

With the cellular system only half-working (how many Haitians can afford it anyway), a never-did-work phone system, and most power lines lying on the streets, I wonder how their OTA TV and Radio is holding up.
post #22 of 2861
Hmmmmmmm, I doubt they have ANYTHING working right now, but THIS is an excellent example of a time when NOT having OTA would likely make a disaster even worse... Of course it's difficult to say whether cell towers would topple more or less than television towers, or which would be more likely to have backup generators in the case of a total loss of power.

With their portability added to the fact that they're in every car, radios would be even more important, I think.
Jeff
post #23 of 2861
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffAHayes View Post

or which would be more likely to have backup generators in the case of a total loss of power.

Cell towers usually either do not have backup power, or have about a day's worth. Meanwhile, many TV stations can last several days without grid power.

- Trip
post #24 of 2861
Quote:


Typical politics, so keep an eye on those "MIDNIGHT" votes or rule passages.

The same thing that happened back on October 2001.
Quote:


CTIA President and CEO Steve Largent urged the agency to move aggressively to free up the airwaves for wireless broadband.

Hell with wireless everything. Go back to copper!
post #25 of 2861
These wireless groups want people to be able to watch TV on their phones, yet I won 't be able to watch TV on my TV. What's with that?
post #26 of 2861
You noticed that too.

The CEA just wants something new to sell you since all the other crap doesn't work correctly.
post #27 of 2861
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike99 View Post

These wireless groups want people to be able to watch TV on their phones, yet I won 't be able to watch TV on my TV. What's with that?

Well TV on your TV is free. They can't money that way. They don't care if you can't watch free OTA TV.
post #28 of 2861
Quote:
Originally Posted by BCF68 View Post

Well TV on your TV is free. They can't money that way. They don't care if you can't watch free OTA TV.

There's another reason why CTIA wants the UHF TV airwaves. ATSC Mobile / Handheld is a potential competitor to the pay TV on cellphones the CTIA wants to control. They don't want to see those potential profits go to local broadcasters or benefit the public.
post #29 of 2861
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike99 View Post

These wireless groups want people to be able to watch TV on their phones, yet I won 't be able to watch TV on my TV. What's with that?

Their a greedy bunch of theives. I have a 50 inch plasma HDTV and there is no way I'm going to watch something on a 3 inch screen on a cell phone. The darn cell phone commercials every 5 minutes are insane. The stupidest one is where the flat panel TV falls off the wall and somebody sticks their small cell phone screen in the way. Oh yeah, that really helps a lot.
post #30 of 2861
I'm going to say it again, but in a different way -- if the CTIA is successful in acquiring most of what is currently OTA broadcasting spectrum so they can SELL that air space to people and (I assume) force everyone who has a standard ATSC TV to buy some sort of NEW converter (and a contract) to watch the equivalent of what is currently OTA, well, I don't think it matters HOW MUCH CLOUT they have in Congress or with the FCC... Can anyone say "Boston Tea Party," or "Whisky Rebellion?"

There are easily enough OTA-only viewers in America to cause so much outrage over such a move it could be more than just political unrest, and if the majority in Congress isn't smart enough to see that, they're a a lot less intelligent than I thought even the stupid ones had to be to get elected. (That quote from Olympia Snowe simply blew me away with how how little she seems to realize the implications!)
Jeff
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