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AVS Official Topic - The FCC & Broadcast Spectrum - Page 5

post #121 of 2861
We already have a good example of what happens when the Government controls the Internet Gateway.

CHINA!
post #122 of 2861
So who's using 2-6 in Analog??
post #123 of 2861
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarioMania View Post

So who's using 2-6 in Analog??

Lots of stations outside the USA, and probably a number of analog translators within the US.

http://www.fcc.gov/fcc-bin/tvq?state...&slon2=&size=9
post #124 of 2861
I was thinking EXACTLY of China as an example, Systems2000 -- and not only for the internet, but possibly for ALL communications if "the last mile" of fiber optics running to everyone's home were owned by the government, and that were carrying not only their internet connection, but also all their television and radio signals, as well.

The current FCC regulations over content, fines for "indecent" content and so forth are quite mild contrasted with the sort of thing I'm talking about. What I'm talking about is the ability to instantly and constantly quash any and all political dissent, for instance, like the Chinese do -- not only on the internet, but on all TV and radio -- newspapers and magazines would be the only sources left unregulated by such means, and likely easy to pressure and police at such a point.

Under such a police state a Valerie Plame incident, or a Monica Lewinsky incident might just never get covered, just as two examples, because the government could just "nip it in the bud." I really don't envision that happening, but considering some of the things some of our presidents have tried, from time to time, using the theory of "executive privilege" (or, as Nixon said, "if the President does it, it's not illegal"), we'd want to make darn sure that any "last mile" scenario was very well protected from such possibilities.

I'm not being paranoid. I'm just very cautious and always looking at possibilities and worst-case scenarios.
Jeff
post #125 of 2861
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffAHayes View Post

Under such a police state a Valerie Plame incident, or a Monica Lewinsky incident might just never get covered, just as two examples, because the government could just "nip it in the bud." I really don't envision that happening, but considering some of the things some of our presidents have tried, from time to time, using the theory of "executive privilege" (or, as Nixon said, "if the President does it, it's not illegal"), we'd want to make darn sure that any "last mile" scenario was very well protected from such possibilities.

I'm not being paranoid. I'm just very cautious and always looking at possibilities and worst-case scenarios.
Jeff

The current administration made it very clear they believe "the ends justify the means" in getting the health care law passed so you should be very concerned. Such a philosophy is a threat to freedom and not what our Constitution is based on. Anyway I still think the NAB and others who want free local TV to remain should make it clear to the FCC that any auctioning of the frequencies for channels 21-36 & 38-45 (even if called voluntary) is unacceptable.
post #126 of 2861
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffAHayes View Post

Under such a police state a Valerie Plame incident, or a Monica Lewinsky incident might just never get covered, just as two examples, because the government could just "nip it in the bud." I really don't envision that happening, but considering some of the things some of our presidents have tried, from time to time, using the theory of "executive privilege" (or, as Nixon said, "if the President does it, it's not illegal"), we'd want to make darn sure that any "last mile" scenario was very well protected from such possibilities.

I'm not being paranoid. I'm just very cautious and always looking at possibilities and worst-case scenarios.
Jeff

I don't understand the paranoia over the local government owning the last mile of fiber. As it is, the government had simply to ask--not even with a warrant!--to be able to wiretap the country's phone lines and those aren't government owned. I can't imagine the Comcasts and Time-Warners of the country refusing anything either.

In addition, over the air broadcasting is allowed through government licenses and are, effectively, single points of failure. If the government wanted to shut them down, it'd be as easy as pulling licenses and having the FBI shut the stations down for operating without a license.

The fact of the matter is that nothing like that will happen. The moment the government goes to such lengths to try to hide something, the people will automatically know there's something big to hide, and (I hope) would not stand for it. As such, a blanket shutdown of things would make no sense to someone in power with any bit of intelligence. Anything else that could happen would happen whether the government owns the last mile or not.

- Trip
post #127 of 2861
I'm sure you're right, Trip.

Although I'm not one of the big Second Amendment adherents (although I support it), who belongs to the NRA (I don't) goes to gun shows (I don't) and owns multiple firearms (I have one, .22 pistol, which was inherited from my grandparents), knowing how many millions of pistols, rifles and shotguns exist in this country and how many would still be in private hands no matter WHAT kind of laws were passed to try to regulate or outlaw them, in the event our government ever tried to become some sort of "police state" and restrict personal freedoms the way China or other countries do, I think the kind of mayhem and private militias that would spring up nearly everywhere would be more than the army, national guard, and all the police forces combined could deal with.

I think the chance of anything like that is so remote it's not worth considering, anyway.

At any rate, whatever the government can do to make universal broadband utilization as seamless inexpensive as possible for as many people as possible will be best, and I think the government paying for and owning part of it IS in the public interest.

Pure "market forces" almost never work to the public good when it comes to utilities like this -- particularly to getting them rolled universally and to maximum capacity. Even when longterm profits will recoup the costs, most companies these days are SO addicted to "next-quarter" profits their boards have blinders on about any projections past the next couple of quarters -- certainly not past the next year.
Jeff
post #128 of 2861
TVNewsCheck: DTV On VHF Anxious For Improvement

http://www.tvnewscheck.com/articles/2010/03/25/daily.1/

Quote:


The FCC's National Broadband Plan is adding another layer of urgency to resolving broadcast reception issues. Having determined that UHF spectrum would be better used for wireless broadband access, the NBP is proposing transferring up to 120 MHz (20 channels) from broadcast to broadband.

According to Donovan, taking away 120 MHz would directly affect about 700 stations operating in chs. 31 to 51, including some of the country's largest network affiliates.

To overcome inherent reception problems, VHF broadcasters are seeking more power, looking to move to vacant UHF channels and considering distributed transmission systems and other schemes for filling gaps in coverage.
post #129 of 2861
I know there are some who see broadcast TV and antenna reception as analogous to "horse-and-buggy" and feel that all "horse-and-buggy" traffic should be done away with so the cars can move faster (up until as late as the 1920s, in many cities, there were restrictions on automobile drivers about how they had to proceed when encountered a horse-drawn carriage so as not to spook the horse).

While I agree that the "horse-and-buggy" days of straight broadcast TV will, eventually, become completely obsolete and unnecessary, I feel that day is still quite distant and regardless, the simple fact of the IMPLIED contract the government made with both the public and the broadcast industry with all the BILLIONS of DOLLARS it required BOTH to spend in order to make the DTV transition should mean they don't mess with DTV broadcast availability AT LEAST until there's truly NO NEED for it any longer, which I see as being at least another 10 to 20 years, UNLESS the government and/or the companies who want to acquire all that spectrum are willing to provide the alternatives to broadcast antennas FREE OF CHARGE to those who currently enjoy free TV reception, as well as compensating whatever financial losses the broadcasters face as the result, and I certainly don't see THAT happening!
Jeff
post #130 of 2861
Todays House Oversight Subcmte. Hearing on the FCC's National Broadband Plan
is now on CSPANs web site.
post #131 of 2861
From B&C: Genachowski Vague On How FCC Would Get Spectrum If Broadcast Incentive Plan Fails

http://www.broadcastingcable.com/art...Plan_Fails.php

Quote:


Dingell, famous for trying to elicit only yes or no answers both to pin witnesses down and economize on his five minutes of questioning time, pointed out that the FCC had said in the plan that if the commission could not get enough spectrum from broadcasters through offering to cut broadcasters in for a slice of the proceeds from an auction of that reclaimed spectrum for wireless broadband, or if the Congress did not give the FCC the incentive auction authority, that the commission "should pursue other mechanisms."

Dingell asked whether those other mechanisms would be voluntary. "I think that answer speaks for itself," said Genachowski, then added: "The other mechanisms would be determined in the future." Dingell pressed on. "If these are not voluntary, how would they be accomplished?"

"I'm focused on a near-term, win-win that works for broadcasters and is done on a voluntary basis," said the chairman. He earlier assured Rep. Anna Eshoo that noncommercial broadcasters would not be subject to an involuntary exodus.

Dingell said he hoped the chairman understood there was great interest in what the "other mechanisms" were going to be. In that spirit he tried once again. "Would we assume, then, that these other mechanisms will be 100% voluntary, or involuntary or what?"

"I would be speculating about what would happen if we face a spectrum crisis in the country..." Dingell cut off the rest of the answer with another admonition about the importance of finding out what those other mechanisms are.

Genachowski has invoked the looming spectrum crisis in arguing for the need to free it up from broadcasters and others.
post #132 of 2861
Quote:
Originally Posted by Falcon_77 View Post

TVNewsCheck: DTV On VHF Anxious For Improvement

http://www.tvnewscheck.com/articles/2010/03/25/daily.1/

"According to Donovan, taking away 120 MHz would directly affect about 700 stations operating in chs. 31 to 51, including some of the country's largest network affiliates."

Note that is over a third of all full power stations and doesn't count the many Class A, low power and translators operating on those upper UHF channels. Don't forget that low VHF is nearly worthless for digital TV, high VHF is already crowded, and that the use of channels 14 through 21 is restricted particularly in major major markets by land mobile. I don't see how it's even possible without a second digital transition utilizing MPEG4 technology unless we're talking about the end of free OTA TV.
post #133 of 2861
I have said it before and I will keep hammering this point ad infinutum: HELL NO TO A SECOND TRANSITION! The people should take to the streets with a loud protest if such crap is considered! A switch of the magnitude of the one we just finished last year should be a once in a lifetime thing!
post #134 of 2861
Well people are too busy taking to the streets about issues that are probably already settled law, stirred up by certain special interests who are taking the guise of protecting their "rights," while the foxes are circling the henhouses on other issues like broadcast TV.

I wouldn't be at all surprised if there weren't some subterfuge involved in the people behind the current protest movement about an obviously controversial bill just signed into law, so that other big business interests could "sneak in the back door." This wouldn't be the first time this sort of distraction has been used to keep the public's attention on ONE issue while another big issue just got completely past them.
Jeff
post #135 of 2861
If the FCC is so concerned with VHF TV reception, why don't they pass some legislation to get antenna systems installed in ALL buildings.
UHF Rabbit Ears, tucked behind a refrigerator or microwave oven, or sitting on top of a computer, won't cut it for VHF.
post #136 of 2861
Quote:
Originally Posted by Desert Hawk View Post

I have said it before and I will keep hammering this point ad infinutum: HELL NO TO A SECOND TRANSITION! The people should take to the streets with a loud protest if such crap is considered! A switch of the magnitude of the one we just finished last year should be a once in a lifetime thing!

I agree with you that after such a major and expensive transition completed for full power stations less than a year ago and not yet completed for low power stations that any more spectrum auctions of TV broadcast frequencies shouldn't even be considered for a generation. However you can protest all you want but the government has the final say on how radio spectrum is used. If 120 MHz of UHF is unwisely removed from the TV band as is now being seriously considered it means either a second transition or the effective end of free OTA TV. The corporate interests who want that 120 MHZ and a unnecessary new "Mobility Fund" added to the USF (really a backdoor way of getting taxpayers to pay for the spectrum auctions) so they can charge you ever higher monthly bills don't care about your protests.
post #137 of 2861
"The business of America is business" has been the credo for 100 or so years, now. And it also appears that when an emerging business has more power behind it and a bigger emerging profit potential than one that's in its twilight, then one business gets "thrown under the bus" at the expense of the other, and the needs and rights of the public don't really seem to play much of a role in this at all, regardless of what the politicians, bureaucrats and "business leaders" keep saying.
Jeff
post #138 of 2861
OTA DTV enthusiasts are not the only ones miffed about the FCC's spectrum plans. Satellite radio (XM and Sirius) users are also concerned about relaxing the out of band emission rules for the 2.3 GHz WCS service (which brackets the SDARS band).

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/n...-handle-it.ars

Ron
post #139 of 2861
I also have to wonder how much the spectrum grab will affect shortwave/HAM radio operations?

I know this is pretty much a non-issue for most folks (including me, at least up until now -- I have a low-cost "emergency" weather radio on the way that also includes shortwave band, so I might listen in for the first time ever), but it's my understanding that throughout the decades, time and again in certain serious tragedies and emergencies, amateur HAM radio operators have quite often been the SOLE source of information out of ravaged areas to communicate with outside help, and so forth, so I think their continued existence plays a small, but vital role in the overall scheme of things.

Once, years ago, when I was the assistant editor for a weekly newspaper, I was invited out to a "mock tragedy" event the local HAM club held every year or so... They'd set up tents at a local park and set up their radios under them, and have contests to see which operator could make the most contacts and transmit the most information -- all via Morse Code -- in a set amount of time, to other HAM operators around the world. Their instructions were, I think, to find one operator just by scanning, transmit a message and get confirmation back, then search until they found another and repeat.

I know even the military has quit teaching Morse Code to recruits and cadets (a mistake, I believe, since I think it's still something that can, and does, come in useful when there's no other way to get a message out -- like when someone is trapped under rubble but can bang on a pipe, or is stranded somewhere, but has a flashlight). But that's "progress" for you... It's sort of like when all the libraries went to digital "card catalogs" and IMMEDIATELY did away with their paper card catalogs. While I don't think they should have continued updating and adding new ones, holding on to at least what they had -- even if they were stuck in storage somewhere -- would certainly protect at least a large portion of their record keeping in the event of a massive server failure, or something.

When considering something as sweeping and with as widespread consequences as usurping a huge chunk of available broadcasting bandwidth, EVERYTHING needs to be considered, NOT just how much faster it'll make downloading books or movies on your iPad!
Jeff
post #140 of 2861
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffAHayes View Post

I also have to wonder how much the spectrum grab will affect shortwave/HAM radio operations?

Jeff

Funny you should ask. As an amateur radio operator myself (W6RZ), it's certainly a concern. The good news is that the only band in jeopardy is the 2305 to 2310 MHz band that's currently shared with the WCS service. To be honest, it's pretty much not used at all and wouldn't be that great of a loss. We would still have 2300 to 2305 MHz (almost all the activity is at 2304 MHz, which is the 16th harmonic of 144 MHz) and could possibly get a primary allocation there (right now amateur radio is secondary at 2300 to 2305 MHz, but there is no primary user). Also, 2300 to 2305 MHz is well suited to amateur radio, because it's adjacent to the 2290 to 2300 MHz band which is used for the NASA Deep Space Network (DSN). The light use of 2300 to 2305 MHz by amateurs acts as a "guard band" to the super weak downlink signals from spacecraft like Cassini and other deep space probes.

Most of the other tasty UHF and microwave amateur radio bands are protected because they're shared with government and military radar. This includes 420 to 450 MHz, 1240 to 1300 MHz, 3300 to 3500 MHz and 5650 to 5925 MHz. The bands at 902 to 928 MHz and 2390 to 2450 MHz are safe since these are shared with unlicensed services (as a licensed amateur, you can legally attach a 1500 watt amplifier to your 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi router).

Shortwave bands (3 to 30 MHz) are 100% safe. No new technology service is interested in those frequencies.

Ron
post #141 of 2861
Quote:
Originally Posted by dr1394 View Post

(as a licensed amateur, you can legally attach a 1500 watt amplifier to your 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi router).

Not to doubt you, but are you sure about this? My understanding is that no ham radio broadcasts can be encrypted, which I would take to mean if you did do a massive power boost claiming it's a ham radio transmission, then you could no longer use HTTPS on an open link, or use WEP or WPA to encrypt the link.

Plus, how do you ID it?

- Trip
post #142 of 2861
A 1,500-watt amplifier on a 2.4 Ghz router?!?!?

You'd be able to take your laptop anywhere in the COUNTY, lol.
post #143 of 2861
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trip in VA View Post

Not to doubt you, but are you sure about this? My understanding is that no ham radio broadcasts can be encrypted, which I would take to mean if you did do a massive power boost claiming it's a ham radio transmission, then you could no longer use HTTPS on an open link, or use WEP or WPA to encrypt the link.

Plus, how do you ID it?

- Trip

It's pretty restricted. No encryption allowed, but since you also cannot pass commercial traffic, you really can't connect to the internet. Here's the details (including how to ID).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-sp...ltimedia_radio

Ron
post #144 of 2861
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffAHayes View Post

amateur HAM radio operators have quite often been the SOLE source of information out of ravaged areas to communicate with outside help, and so forth, so I think their continued existence plays a small, but vital role in the overall scheme of things.

In my part of the country we have a lot of bad weather. I do not know the extent of amateur radio involvement with the National Weather Service but I do know the local NWS office will put them on alert (with other emergency management personnel) under certain weather conditions. Folks should know that amateur radio operators do not receive any pay for this service.
post #145 of 2861
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wendell R. Breland View Post

In my part of the country we have a lot of bad weather. I do not know the extent of amateur radio involvement with the National Weather Service but I do know the local NWS office will put them on alert (with other emergency management personnel) under certain weather conditions. Folks should know that amateur radio operators do not receive any pay for this service.

http://www.skywarn.org/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skywarn

Ron
post #146 of 2861
That's what I was referring to, Wendell.

I don't know how common it is these days, but I know at one point it was quite common during times of disaster for HAM radio operators to provide free emergency communications all throughout the world, and that could also become the case again at any time, I think... In the event of some major disruption of the big radio and television networks, amateur operators and a few independent stations might be all there is left -- especially if it's due to some sort of deliberate sabotage.

I'm definitely not one of those "survivalist" types, but I do agree that some of the ways they think, as far as being prepared for everything, aren't bad ideas. It's sort of like the military eliminating training service members Morse Code. Some day that's going to bite them. There are times that's still useful.
Jeff
post #147 of 2861
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trip in VA View Post

I don't understand the paranoia over the local government owning the last mile of fiber. As it is, the government had simply to ask--not even with a warrant!--to be able to wiretap the country's phone lines and those aren't government owned. I can't imagine the Comcasts and Time-Warners of the country refusing anything either.

- Trip

You are correct, in fact ISPs already cooperate with the RIAA and MPAA which aren't even law enforcement agencies, yet they like to pretend they are!
post #148 of 2861
Quote:
Originally Posted by dr1394 View Post

Most of the other tasty UHF and microwave amateur radio bands are protected because they're shared with government and military radar. This includes 420 to 450 MHz, 1240 to 1300 MHz, 3300 to 3500 MHz and 5650 to 5925 MHz. The bands at 902 to 928 MHz and 2390 to 2450 MHz are safe since these are shared with unlicensed services (as a licensed amateur, you can legally attach a 1500 watt amplifier to your 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi router).

Watch out, you'll put an eye out with that thing! Literally!

I wouldn't say that 70cm is safe as a couple of other users now are allowed to use the band. One of these is a medical device and another is a bomb disposal robot. These are two uses which while legally having to accept interference from ham radio transmissions, it probably won't make us look good if they are interfered with. After all if you key up your HT and some guy's leg starts twitching and moving involuntarily... or you interfere with the bomb disposal robot and the bomb goes off... ham radio will be to blame.

But as far as broadband goes I doubt anyone will be after 70cm.


Quote:


Shortwave bands (3 to 30 MHz) are 100% safe. No new technology service is interested in those frequencies.

Ron

Don't be lulled into complacency about shortwave. Powerline networking, BPL (it aint dead yet!) and all of the garbage from plasma TVs, cheap switching wall warts and other similar junk will turn HF into a virtual garbage dump if we don't complain loudly to the FCC and CE manufacturers. This is why the $39/year you pay to ARRL as well as the spectrum defense fund is well worth it. W1RFI takes his job seriously and ARRL and consumer electronics manufacturers listen to him.

The latest incursion on HF are ooma phone hubs. Some of them are defective and end up radiating on HF (40 meters). Some people even hook them up to nice long wire antennas aka their home phone wiring.
post #149 of 2861
FCC loses key ruling on Internet `neutrality'

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100406/...internet_rules

Quote:


The decision also has serious implications for the massive national broadband plan released by the FCC last month. The FCC needs clear authority to regulate broadband in order to push ahead with some its key recommendations, including a proposal to expand broadband by tapping the federal fund that subsidizes telephone service in poor and rural communities.
post #150 of 2861
Although I don't have a Ham License, can I join ARRL anyway...just so I have another voice in Washington?
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