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AVS Official Topic - The FCC & Broadcast Spectrum - Page 89

post #2641 of 2861
Quote:
Originally Posted by BCF68 View Post

Relinquishment in this case has three potential meanings--giving up broadcasting; giving up a UHF channel in return for a VHF reassignment; or vacating a UHF channel to share a 6 MHz assignment with another station

I can just imagine the PQ of 2 stations broadcasting HD with several SD subchannels trying to share 6 MHz of spectrum.

I'm sure that situation would be awful but KSBW is running NBC in 1080i on 8.1 and ABC in 720p on 8.2 and I can't honestly say that I can see any problem. The only thing I have not been able to compare is live sports on both networks on KSBW to my separate NBC and ABC affiliates.

Chuck
post #2642 of 2861
I got the e-mail message from the NAB also. I've been getting them since I took swift action to tell Congress to protect free, local broadcast TV.
post #2643 of 2861
Quote:
Originally Posted by Calaveras View Post

I'm sure that situation would be awful but KSBW is running NBC in 1080i on 8.1 and ABC in 720p on 8.2 and I can't honestly say that I can see any problem. The only thing I have not been able to compare is live sports on both networks on KSBW to my separate NBC and ABC affiliates.

Chuck

And KBMT here in Beaumont, Tx. is broadcasting ABC on 12.1 in 720 and down-coverting NBC from 1080 to 720 and broadcasting it on 12.2 and it does work pretty good too.

What this is gonna do is decrease the amount of programming choices in some areas. I really don't look for a lot of full powers to put their spectrum up for auction. What I do expect is for a lot of zombie/phantom low powers (who aren't on the air anyway despite declaring they are) to jump at the chance to sell their spectrum and then use the proceeds to build out on another channel if they can find one, or team up with other LPs and share spectrum. Ihave seen some LPs with as many as 6 SD channels, so that would give them the potential for 3 channels each in the case of two broadcasters, or maybe 2 channels each in the case of three broadcasters sharing a channel, which is more channels than they had with analog... Could work I guess.
post #2644 of 2861
Quote:
Originally Posted by OTAhead View Post

I really don't look for a lot of full powers to put their spectrum up for auction. What I do expect is for a lot of zombie/phantom low powers (who aren't on the air anyway despite declaring they are) to jump at the chance to sell their spectrum and then use the proceeds to build out on another channel if they can find one, or team up with other LPs and share spectrum.

It's my understanding that only licensees of full-power stations are eligible for the spectrum auction. Since LPTV stations are a secondary service, they already can be forced to change channels or shut down altogether with no compensation. There is, however, a gray area with Class A LPTV stations, as they are LPTV, but in exchange for meeting certain requirements that other LPTV stations don't have to, Class A stations enjoy primary service status.
post #2645 of 2861
http://www.tvnewscheck.com/article/2...ectrum-auction

Selected Quotes:
Quote:


What happens if the total from the forward auction is less than that from the reverse auction?

The law requires the auction to at least break even. So if the forward auction doesn't yield enough money, then no TV licenses are reclaimed and no new wireless licenses are issued.

Once the FCC has conducted the reverse auction, it will have enough information to repack the TV band to consolidate and maximize the spectrum available for the forward auction. Is that correct?

Yes. The FCC can't design the licenses it wants to sell until it knows how much spectrum it can clear. And to figure that out, it has to have a good idea of how many stations are willing to tender; how efficiently it can re-pack remaining stations; and what constraints it will face along the Canadian and Mexican borders.

There's probably a huge, huge difference in the whole auction depending on whether a half-dozen stations in a few key markets are in or out. The amount of spectrum cleared nationwide would be much greater if 18 stations in New York, Baltimore-Washington and Los Angeles bid versus 12. Those aren't the only critical markets, but you get the idea. The FCC really needs volunteers in areas of high population density.

Quote:


The law includes repacking safeguards for broadcasters who choose not to participate in the auction. It requires the FCC to "make all reasonable efforts" not to diminish the coverage areas of non-participating stations and it prohibits the FCC from moving stations from U to V or from high V to low V. Do you think the safeguards are adequate?

I think the NAB did a good job with the safeguards. The auction proponents wanted provisions that would have been disastrous, and that's not an exaggeration. Would I like to have seen more safeguards? Of course. The right of stations to protest license modifications something stations have always had has been stripped for the repacking. That means you're going to need some particularly good lawyering and engineering if you think your station was shortchanged. I think we could blow through the $1.75 billion repacking fund long before all claims are satisfied.

Why does the law stipulate that there can be only one auction?

That's one of the protections. We don't want to have to go through this over and over. And we want the FCC to design an honest and fair process. If they could do multiple auctions it could be death by a thousand cuts. They could design rules to get channels from truly desperate stations for a pittance, knowing they could come back later. Or they could try some really aggressive approaches. If they got reversed by the court of appeals they could go back and try something else. One auction forces the FCC to really work hard to get it done all at once and means broadcasters don't have to live under the sword of Damocles, always worried about the next repacking.

You suggested that the $1.75 billion that the law sets aside from auction proceeds to reimburse broadcasters for their repacking costs may be inadequate. Why?

I'm pretty sure a lot of soft costs will go unreimbursed. And I don't know how the FCC will dole out funds. Do they have to wait until all claims are in? Do they pay costs as incurred? Do broadcasters have to finance the repacking with their own capital? Will cost of capital be reimbursed? New equipment isn't free, but neither is the cost of money, and real money will have to be spent. What happens if they run out of money? I understand the need for a cap. The experience of other rebanding processes shows that open-ended cost reimbursement programs don't work. But I have reservations.

Quote:


I understand the incentive auction is only available to full-power and class A station. What happens to the other LPTVs.

In legal terms, we call it SOL statutorily out of luck. LPTVs and translators aren't eligible to bid in spectrum and they have no protection in repacking. In many cases, there may be plenty of spectrum for translators and LPTVs to relocate, but their relocation costs aren't likely to be compensated. It's grim. Congress threw them under the bus.

Quote:


Can't the FCC just go ahead and repack the TV band to squeeze out more spectrum on its own authority without conducting an auction? Would such a non-auction repack be subject to the safeguards in the new law?

You mean without conducting incentive auctions? Before the new law passed, the FCC probably could have repacked the broadcast band in theory anyway. But that has changed. The law gives the FCC one, and only one, shot at repacking, and the repacking safeguards apply to that repacking.
post #2646 of 2861
<<< I understand the incentive auction is only available to full-power and class A station. What happens to the other LPTVs.

In legal terms, we call it SOL statutorily out of luck. LPTVs and translators aren't eligible to bid in spectrum and they have no protection in repacking. In many cases, there may be plenty of spectrum for translators and LPTVs to relocate, but their relocation costs aren't likely to be compensated. It's grim. Congress threw them under the bus. >>>

WREP-LD 15 LD LIC MARTINSVILLE IN US BLDTL-20090710AEP - 55759 0.2 kW 0. m METROPOLITAN SCHOOL DISTRICT OF MARTINSVILLE

This little station carries live sports and other events from the local high school, and the kids are learning a lot about television.
Martinsville is roughly half way between Bloomington (Indiana University) and Indianpolis (State Capitol). They are 50 miles apart, and the station's signal is not advertised as reaching either of the big towns. I happen to get it on the far North side of Bloomington.
http://maps.google.com/?q=http://tra...26state=IN.kml
Will it be gone, or is it safe?
post #2647 of 2861
Unless a lot of broadcasters are willing to give up their licenses and get out of the game I can't imagine how the San Francisco market could be repacked.

From 14-31 there are full power stations on 14, 19, 27, 29, and 30. Above 31 there are full power stations on 32, 33, 34, 36, 38, 39, 41, 43, 44, 45, 47, 49, 50, and 51.

Repacking all those would be the death of OTA HD. Then I suppose you'd have to have cable or satellite to get HD. Wouldn't they love that!

Chuck
post #2648 of 2861
Quote:
Originally Posted by Calaveras View Post

Repacking all those would be the death of OTA HD. Then I suppose you'd have to have cable or satellite to get HD. Wouldn't they love that!

But would cable and satellite survive longterm if broadcast disappeared as a source of programming? Maybe PBS could still import good material. I'm surely not the only person out here who will never subscribe to cable unless I can get cheap a la carte pricing on a few channels of my choosing, which is unlikely. If OTA goes away, I'll have to stream, buy DVD and Blu-ray sets, and read more. Certainly I won't be watching commercials.
post #2649 of 2861
Quote:
Originally Posted by L David Matheny View Post

If OTA goes away, I'll have to stream, buy DVD and Blu-ray sets, and read more. Certainly I won't be watching commercials.

Are you not already familiar with real-time streaming?
post #2650 of 2861
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post

Are you not already familiar with real-time streaming?

I sometimes see HD Netflix movies at a friend's house, so I'm familiar with it. But right now I have only 768/384 DSL (due to distance), so I can't stream anything much but SD YouTube. I hope something faster (other than cable) will be available by the time I need it.
post #2651 of 2861
Quote:
Originally Posted by L David Matheny View Post

I sometimes see HD Netflix movies at a friend's house, so I'm familiar with it. But right now I have only 768/384 DSL (due to distance), so I can't stream anything much but SD YouTube. I hope something faster (other than cable) will be available by the time I need it.

I was referring mainly to the "no commercials" part of what you said. There are definitely commercials, especially with many of the provider's television programming.

And without a DVR, you can't skip them, either.
post #2652 of 2861
Quote:
Originally Posted by L David Matheny View Post

But would cable and satellite survive longterm if broadcast disappeared as a source of programming? Maybe PBS could still import good material. I'm surely not the only person out here who will never subscribe to cable unless I can get cheap a la carte pricing on a few channels of my choosing, which is unlikely. If OTA goes away, I'll have to stream, buy DVD and Blu-ray sets, and read more. Certainly I won't be watching commercials.

The evidence now is that few in the various industries, or, government are concerned if you or I have information or entertainment unsubscribed. a great bugaboo 50 years ago was "pay TV". With no broadcast scheme that would work, cable developed. Rather than a coin slot on a TV set, a monthly bill comes. The combined industry is more or less satisfied for now. There are few anywhere who care about free OTA TV. Even though the current legislation seems to put off the end of OTA TV, Congress can still change things. When enough politicians realize that OTA does nothing for them, OTA will be gone. That end might be sooner than some think. Zeros in politician's eyes have a peculiar magic. Internet options may fall away before OTA, but, both will not be what they are today.
post #2653 of 2861
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post

I was referring mainly to the "no commercials" part of what you said. There are definitely commercials, especially with many of the provider's television programming.

And without a DVR, you can't skip them, either.

Well, the Netflix movies which I see occasionally are from a paid service, so I guess they don't need commercials, and the odds and ends I watch occasionally on YouTube don't usually have them either. I've never watched streaming television programming. For OTA programs, I skip commercials with my TiVo.
post #2654 of 2861
Quote:
Originally Posted by nathill View Post

WREP-LD 15 LD LIC MARTINSVILLE IN US BLDTL-20090710AEP - 55759 0.2 kW 0. m METROPOLITAN SCHOOL DISTRICT OF MARTINSVILLE

Will it be gone, or is it safe?

All LPTVs and translators are secondary users of the TV spectrum, so allocation changes, either due to this possible re-pack of all channels or the licensing of one full-power station, can knock any of them off the air. Of course, the affected LPTV could ask for a different channel (under normal circumstances, not the re-pack) in order to stay on the air.
post #2655 of 2861
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Loudin View Post

All LPTVs and translators are secondary users of the TV spectrum, so allocation changes, either due to this possible re-pack of all channels or the licensing of one full-power station, can knock any of them off the air. Of course, the affected LPTV could ask for a different channel (under normal circumstances, not the re-pack) in order to stay on the air.

Very clear answer. Thanks!
I assume it will all work out, because there are a lot of available channel numbers not being used in the area.
post #2656 of 2861
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nathill View Post

Very clear answer. Thanks!
I assume it will all work out, because there are a lot of available channel numbers not being used in the area.

Not after the FCC takes away 31-51.
post #2657 of 2861
Quote:
Originally Posted by BCF68 View Post

Not after the FCC takes away 31-51.

Why do you insist on bringing up numbers that haven't been relevant to the conversation for at least 18 months?

You seem to believe that the FCC will simply ignore the law and do whatever they want. A "wish list" published as part of a report 2 years ago doesn't trump a piece of legislation that was actually passed into law. All the legal analysis I've seen shows that the FCC actually lost power with the new law. They are limited to one voluntary auction and involuntary repack within the next 10 years, after which the TV band will be effectively statutorily fixed. (Before the law passed they could have in theory repacked the band however and whenever they wanted to.) There is a very good chance that even a "very motivated" FCC may fail to have a "successful" auction.

I should point out that there are areas where all the TV stations could be easily repacked under channel 31(I grew up in one), but those are areas where there is no market for broadband spectrum.
post #2658 of 2861
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkreichen1968 View Post

There is a very good chance that even a "very motivated" FCC may fail to have a "successful" auction.

Absolutely! Remember that, as part of any re-pack, the FCC cannot force a station down a band. No dumping stations in Low-VHF!

Go back to that last TVNewscheck article. Note that the interviewee believes that upwards of 10 stations from each of the major markets plus border stations will need to sell in order for the auction to be successful. I sure don't see 10 coming from the DC/Baltimore area.
post #2659 of 2861
TV Stations' Class A Status on the Chopping Block
see link below

http://www.commlawcenter.com/2012/02...ing-block.html
post #2660 of 2861
I should point out that there are areas where all the TV stations could be easily repacked under channel 31(I grew up in one), but those are areas where there is no market for broadband spectrum.[/quote]

There are real possibilities. With 24 channels(7-30) available for full power service, OTA would not have to go away. NYC could split 18 of them with Philadelphia/DE/S. NJ. Baltimore could have 6. DC could repeat some of the NYC channels.......and so forth. And, low power stations can repeat channels as close as 70 miles. Channels 5 and 6 could be used for open areas in the middle of the country. I don't know what use channels 4, 3 and 2 can be. So long as there is a "must carry" protocol, low power broadcasters might not suffer too much. None of this is really desirable, but, I think we need to study on it now, as the alternatives might be worse. The allocation of the High Band VHF can't be made fair, but fair may have to be relative.
post #2661 of 2861
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkreichen1968 View Post

Why do you insist on bringing up numbers that haven't been relevant to the conversation for at least 18 months?

You're right the FCC is only going to take away 45-51 because after all 42 MHz is going to solve this spectrum issue they are talking about. The FCC gets ONE just ONE shot at this so they are going to get as much as they can.
post #2662 of 2861
On the thinning of Class A stations, I see nothing really wrong with the FCC checking up on the practices of these stations. There are obligations to meet in order to be a primary use of that specturm, so there should be some accountability. Remember that LPTVs and translators are secondary users of this spectrum, and have always been at risk of being bumped. Up till now, those stations could apply for a new channel (displacement). That they have no standing in the auction and repack is a natural consequence of their status.
post #2663 of 2861
Quote:
Originally Posted by BCF68 View Post

You're right the FCC is only going to take away 45-51 because after all 42 MHz is going to solve this spectrum issue they are talking about. The FCC gets ONE just ONE shot at this so they are going to get as much as they can.

Since UHFs can't be bounced down to VHF, and hi-VHFs can't be bounced to lo-VHF, I don't see how much, if any, spectrum can be recovered unless half the broadcasters in major markets cash in. Maybe they can get 6 MHz at ch. 51.
post #2664 of 2861
Quote:
Originally Posted by BCF68 View Post

The FCC gets ONE just ONE shot at this so they are going to get as much as they can.

Your completely correct about that. They will take as much as they can, which could end up being, in the case of a failed auction, zero MHz. But, since laws are meaningless, and courts have no power, they will just force all the broadcasters currently on channels 31-51 off the air. I mean, at this point in history it's impossible to prove you wrong since the next ten years haven't happened yet.
post #2665 of 2861
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkreichen1968 View Post

Your completely correct about that. They will take as much as they can, which could end up being, in the case of a failed auction, zero MHz. But, since laws are meaningless, and courts have no power, they will just force all the broadcasters currently on channels 31-51 off the air. I mean, at this point in history it's impossible to prove you wrong since the next ten years haven't happened yet.

Let me put it this way.

The FCC would LIKE to take away 31-51 since they have clearly stated this in the past and one can assume that IF they can do it they will.

Now is there anything in what I just said that is incorrect according to you?
post #2666 of 2861
Off topic comments edited.
post #2667 of 2861
Laws are meaningless, and courts have no power. Wow, BCF68 you really believe that don't you.
post #2668 of 2861
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkreichen1968 View Post

All the legal analysis I've seen shows that the FCC actually lost power with the new law. They are limited to one voluntary auction and involuntary repack within the next 10 years, after which the TV band will be effectively statutorily fixed. (Before the law passed they could have in theory repacked the band however and whenever they wanted to.)

That's not how I read it.

First, the law both authorizes and requires one and only one reverse and forward auction of TV spectrum by the end of fiscal 2022. Second, the law specifically provides for repacking as necessary to complete the forward auction, subject to certain restrictions, e.g. no U-to-V, Hi-to-Lo, etc. Finally, the law prohibits any other repacking from the time of enactment until either the auction authority expires or the auctions are completed, whichever comes first.

This is the relevant text from the bill:
Quote:


SEC. 6403(g) LIMITATION ON REORGANIZATION AUTHORITY.
(1) IN GENERAL.During the period described in paragraph (2), the Commission may not
(A) involuntarily modify the spectrum usage rights of a broadcast television licensee or reassign such a licensee to another television channel except
(i) in accordance with this section; or
(ii) in the case of a violation by such licensee of the terms of its license or a specific provision of a statute administered by the Commission, or a regulation of the Commission promulgated under any such provision; or
(B) reassign a broadcast television licensee from a very high frequency television channel to an ultra high frequency television channel, unless
(i) such a reassignment will not decrease the total amount of ultra high frequency spectrum made available
for reallocation under this section; or
(ii) a request from such licensee for the reassignment was pending at the Commission on May 31, 2011.
(2) PERIOD DESCRIBED.The period described in this paragraph is the period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act and ending on the earliest of
(A) the first date when the reverse auction under subsection (a)(1), the reassignments and reallocations (if any) under subsection (b)(1)(B), and the forward auction under subsection (c)(1) have been completed;
(B) the date of a determination by the Commission that the amount of the proceeds from the forward auction under subsection (c)(1) is not greater than the sum described in subsection (c)(2)(B); or
(C) September 30, 2022.

The highlighted proviso indicates a failed auction in which no reallocation takes place.

In other words, once the required auction process is completed, and whether that process succeeds or fails to reallocate spectrum, FCC authority to repack reverts to whatever it was prior to the passage of the law.

If you know of some other provision which "effectively statutorily fixes" the TV band, please cite.
post #2669 of 2861
Quote:
Originally Posted by joblo View Post

That's not how I read it.

First, the law both authorizes and requires one and only one reverse and forward auction of TV spectrum by the end of fiscal 2022. Second, the law specifically provides for repacking as necessary to complete the forward auction, subject to certain restrictions, e.g. no U-to-V, Hi-to-Lo, etc. Finally, the law prohibits any other repacking from the time of enactment until either the auction authority expires or the auctions are completed, whichever comes first.

This is the relevant text from the bill:
The highlighted proviso indicates a failed auction in which no reallocation takes place.

In other words, once the required auction process is completed, and whether that process succeeds or fails to reallocate spectrum, FCC authority to repack reverts to whatever it was prior to the passage of the law.

If you know of some other provision which "effectively statutorily fixes" the TV band, please cite.

The FCC can, and might, end the auction business within 5 years. Congress can alter the provisions at any time. There is no time frame set in stone. No matter, stone can be ground smooth easily enough. It is clear that, in a very non-partisan way, the political powers want to see revenue from spectrum, and will get it. I have absolutely no doubt that lawyers are now busy working out the details. It will take little study of the last 65 years to form a conclusion that the only permanent part of TV broadcast regulation is change.
post #2670 of 2861
By Doug Lung /03.01.2012 12:00AM

Quote:


I'm amazed to see how people think the spectrum auction authority granted by the "Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012" means that 120 MHz of the UHF TV spectrum would be taken away from broadcasters and given to wireless broadband operators. That is incorrect.

As I pointed out last week, the amount of spectrum the FCC will get from auctioning the broadcast spectrum depends on how many broadcasters decide to give up their spectrum, how efficiently the remaining stations can be "repacked" without moving UHF operations to VHF, and also making sure that reasonable efforts are taken to maintain coverage and population served.

The amount of spectrum gained is likely to be far less than 120 MHz, and some at the FCC recognize that.

FCC Commissioner Robert M. McDowell, in a presentation as prepared for delivery to the GSMA Mobile World Congress 2012 in Barcelona stated, "Recognizing the need for spectrum to flow toward its highest and best use, just over a week ago the U.S. Congress passed legislation that some estimate could place up to an additional 80 Megahertz of prime television broadcast spectrum into American consumers' hands."

Most of his remarks concerned the freedom the FCC should give the auction winners to use their new spectrum to avoid the problems that plagued the last 700 MHz auction, which failed to find any bidder for the "Block D" shared spectrum. He did not discuss giving additional freedom to broadcasters to use their spectrum differently, although that is provided for in the Act. Thirteen television channels (Channels 39-51) could provide 78 MHz of spectrum.

I doubt that the FCC will obtain even 78 MHz of spectrum in the reverse auctions and repacking, except in areas outside the major markets where spectrum isn't a problem. (The FCC is holding a reverse auction to pay wireless carriers to build out existing spectrum in some rural areas.)

It's encouraging to see that at least one FCC Commissioner has been able to look past the flawed spectrum analysis supporting the National Broadband Plan recommendation to take 120 MHz from broadcast television.

Original Post: http://www.tvtechnology.com/article/...on-gain/212085
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