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AVS Official Topic - The FCC & Broadcast Spectrum - Page 94

post #2791 of 2861
Quote:
Originally Posted by BCF68 View Post

Actually only Comcast and DirecTv have more people using them than OTA. But hey why let's FACTS get in the way of a good rant by Mr Shapiro. NOW?

Don't forget that DirecTV, Dish Network, and many cable systems receive multiple stations OTA before providing them to their subscribers. Let's add the cost of fiber optic feeds replacing that to what should be reimbursed. Until the CEA starts advocating Fiber To The Premises for 95+% of U. S. homes they will have no idea how high the cost of losing OTA could become.
post #2792 of 2861
Shapiro is an idiot. Its corporate douchbags like this that give businesses a foul stench.
post #2793 of 2861
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jedi Master View Post

Shapiro is an idiot. Its corporate douchbags like this that give businesses a foul stench.

Please tell us your real feelings.
For what it is worth, I could not agree more.
post #2794 of 2861
DirecTV and DISH just stopped using fiber for the local back-haul in Salt Lake. I'm not sure if it's permanent or not, since they just moved the local POP from QWEST to KTVX's studios.
They are picking up SDTV via OTA now (HDTV was always OTA).
post #2795 of 2861
A link to this article was posted in this topic by DTVintermods on 4/18/12, when it was first published. After rereading it, I felt it was important enough to post again.

From The New York Times

Quote:


Carriers Warn of Crisis in Mobile Spectrum

By BRIAN X. CHEN
Published: April 17, 2012

AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint say they need more radio spectrum, the government-rationed slices of radio waves that carry phone calls and wireless data.

The wireless carriers say that in the next few years they may not have enough of it to meet the exploding demands for mobile data. The result, they ominously warn, may be slower or spotty connections on smartphones and tablets. They imply in carefully couched language that, given the laws of supply and demand, the price of cellphone service will soar.

It will affect “the services they’re paying for because of the capacity issues,” said Ed McFadden, Verizon’s vice president for policy communications. “It potentially hinders our ability to meet consumer need.”

But is there really a crisis? Some scientists and engineers say the companies are playing a game that is more about protecting their businesses from competitors.

Not even the inventor of the cellphone, Martin Cooper, is convinced that the wireless industry faces a serious challenge that cannot be overcome with technology. Mr. Cooper, a former vice president of Motorola and chairman of Dyna L.L.C., an incubator for new companies, says that claims of a so-called spectrum crisis are largely exaggerated.

“Somehow in the last 100 years, every time there is a problem of getting more spectrum, there is a technology that comes along that solves that problem,” he said in an interview. Mr. Cooper also sits on the technical advisory committee of the Federal Communications Commission, and he previously founded ArrayComm, a company that develops software for mobile antenna technologies, which with he said he is no longer associated.

He explained that for carriers, buying spectrum is the easiest way for them to expand their network, but newer technologies, like improved antennas and techniques for offloading mobile traffic to Wi-Fi networks, could multiply the number of mobile devices that carriers can serve by at least tenfold.

Everyone agrees that data-guzzling smartphones and tablets are selling fast, and the wireless industry needs to keep up. Cisco, the networking company, published a study that shows mobile data usage more than doubled in 2011.

Cellphones are radios and their calls are carried on the electromagnetic radio spectrum just like an FM radio signal or a walkie-talkie. The F.C.C. divides up the spectrum by bands of frequency, under the theory that no one wants signals on certain frequencies interfering with one another.

The F.C.C. hands out licenses for each frequency band to entities like the military, TV stations, astronomy researchers and the phone carriers. Carriers now want some of the spectrum others have and are seeking approval from the F.C.C. to buy it at government auction or by buying licenses for it.

Verizon, the largest carrier in the country, has been on the hunt for more. It has been trying to buy wireless spectrum licenses from a group of cable companies, including Time Warner and Comcast. These transactions are being opposed by T-Mobile USA and some other smaller players in the wireless industry. AT&T’s ill-fated deal to buy T-Mobile came about in large part to get more spectrum.

The F.C.C. believes that a combination of adding new spectrum and using new technologies will be needed to help the wireless industry evolve. “No single action is a silver bullet when it comes to meeting mobile capacity needs,” said Neil Grace, an F.C.C. spokesman. “More efficient use of spectrum, new technologies, and unleashing new spectrum are all important parts of the mix.”

Arguing that the nation could run out of spectrum is like saying it was going to run out of a color, says David P. Reed, one of the original architects of the Internet and a former professor of computer science and engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He says electromagnetic spectrum is not finite.

Mr. Reed, who is now senior vice president at SAP Labs, a company that provides business software, explained that there are in fact newer technologies for transmitting and receiving signals so that they do not interfere with one another. That means separating the frequency bands would not be required — in other words, everybody could share spectrum and not run out.

The reason spectrum is treated as though it were finite is because it is still divided by frequencies — an outdated understanding of how radio technology works, he said. “I hate to even use the word ‘spectrum,’ ” he said. “It’s a 1920s understanding of how radio communications work.”

Why, then, wouldn’t carriers want to use these newer technologies that cause frequencies to not interfere? Because licensing spectrum is a zero-sum game. When a company gets the license for a band of radio waves, it has the exclusive rights to use it. Once a company owns it, competitors can’t have it.

Mr. Reed said the carriers haven’t advocated for the newer technologies because they want to retain their monopolies.

David S. Isenberg, who worked at AT&T Labs Research for 12 years before leaving to start an independent consulting firm, said the carriers have been deliberately slow with adopting more advanced radio technologies. He said that spectrum licenses come with obligations where carriers had to agree to serve the public interest, but those agreements have significantly weakened. “Their primary interest is not necessarily in making spectrum available, or in making wireless performance better,” he said. “They want to make money.”

Mr. Cooper, the inventor of the mobile phone, says that rather than give the carriers a few more slices of spectrum, he suggests requiring them to use newer technologies that amplify their networks.

He said that currently the technology with the most potential for carriers to use their networks more efficiently is the smart antenna. A traditional radio antenna on a cellphone tower spews energy out in all directions, but only a portion of it gets to the right phone, he explained. By contrast, the smart antenna would direct energy straight at the phones, and as a result, current spectrum would be put to more efficient use.

Fourth-generation LTE networks are supposed to adopt smart antennas, but most carriers haven’t started installing these yet, he said. These new antennas will also start shipping in phones in the next two years, which would make even better use of the network, he said.

In interviews, representatives of AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint said new technology would not be enough to solve all their problems, and they said they would eventually need access to more of the nation’s radio waves. “They’re all Band-Aids, and you have to provide additional spectrum to deal with the wound to deal with the large capacity of bandwidth demands,” said Kathleen Ham, vice president for federal regulatory affairs of T-Mobile USA.

Mr. Cooper doesn’t agree.

“Every two and a half years, every spectrum crisis has gotten solved, and that’s going to keep happening,” Mr. Cooper said. “We already know today what the solutions are for the next 50 years.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/18/te...l?pagewanted=1
post #2796 of 2861
post #2797 of 2861
From The New York Times
Quote:


Presidential Panel Urges More Flexible Use of Spectrum

SAN FRANCISCO — A just-completed report from a presidential advisory committee urges President Obama to adopt new computer technologies to make better use of a huge swath of the radio spectrum now controlled by federal agencies.

The shift, which could be accomplished by presidential signature — and without Congressional involvement — would relieve spectrum congestion caused by the popularity of smartphones, and generate far more revenue for the federal government than auctioning spectrum to wireless carriers, according to the authors of the report.


Making better use of the spectrum for cellphones would allow for more services, more competition and possibly lower prices for consumers using cellphone data services.

The new plan, which calls on the government to electronically rent or lease spectrum for periods of time as short as seconds using newly available computerized radio technologies, was presented publicly Friday to a meeting of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, or PCAST.

The authors of the report included Eric E. Schmidt, the chairman of Google, Craig Mundie, Microsoft’s chief research and strategy officer and Silicon Valley venture capitalists Mark P. Gorenberg and David E. Liddle, among others. The report is scheduled to be presented to the president in June after final editing.

The idea of using computer-based technologies to increase spectrum capacity is catching on rapidly in the United States and overseas. Twice this month in speeches before cellular and cable companies Julius Genachowski, the Federal Communications Commission chairman, has called on industry to embrace spectrum-sharing technologies to make room for the wireless data explosion.

The report is a response to a 2010 memorandum by President Obama calling on federal agencies to find ways to clear 500 megahertz of spectrum to make way for the growth of new wireless services during the next decade. He believes freeing the spectrum will promote economic growth.

The authors cite a recent European study that found that freeing 400 megahertz of radio spectrum to be shared using new technologies would be equivalent to an economic financial stimulus of 800 billion euros.

According to Mr. Gorenberg, who presented the report on Friday before the committee, the amount of wireless data that has been transmitted by the growing legions of smartphones and wirelessly connected tablets has doubled every year for the last four years. He said that there would be as many as 50 billion devices transmitting and receiving wireless data by 2020, leading many in the wireless industry to forecast a spectrum crisis.

However, he said that the committee’s authors believed that agile radio technologies that make it possible for computerized radio systems to share spectrum on a vastly more efficient basis would make it possible to move from an era of scarcity to one of abundance. The central point of the report is that while there is no new spectrum available, new technologies can vastly increase the capacity of existing spectrum.

The report concludes that the radio spectrum could be used as much as 40,000 times as efficiently as it is currently and the committee recommends an approach that could increase capacity 1,000 fold, Mr. Gorenberg said. “We’re living with spectrum that is of a policy that was really set in motion by technology of 100 years ago,” he said. “That’s led to a fragmentation of the spectrum that has led to inefficiency and artificial scarcity.”


Except for several unlicensed frequencies established by the Federal Communications Commission that gave rise to data services like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, today much of the radio spectrum is licensed to both commercial users and government agencies who have no incentive to use the spectrum they control efficiently, he said.

The new radio technology was pioneered during the late 1990s and is described as “cognitive” or “agile” radio. Such computer-controlled radios inside a cellphone can rapidly switch the frequencies they broadcast and receive on based on an arbitrary set of rules. One analogy to describe the technology might be a freeway system, in which individual vehicles could quickly switch lanes or drive more closely together.

The report, which is titled “Realizing the Full Potential of Government-Held Spectrum to Spur Economic Growth,” calls for a tiered system in which different users would have different priority, possibly based on whether they were a government user, a user who was prepared to pay more for a higher quality-of-service,” or a casual user who might be assigned the lowest priority and pay the lowest rate. Unlike today’s unlicensed Wi-Fi spectrum, which can be used freely, the newly available spectrum would require devices “register” in a database that would then control the terms of their access to the spectrum.

“One of the reasons we think we will see this dramatic economic expansion around radio-based systems in the future is that we can have a dramatic lowering of the apparent cost of gaining access and that will be facilitated by the registration system,” Mr. Mundie said.

The report also calls on the president to create a “synthetic” currency that could be used to entice federal agencies into offering more spectrum to the system. “The agencies don’t have an incentive to move forward,” he said. “We think a carrot approach is a much better approach.” The proposed system would in effect increase an agency’s budget if it was willing to give up, or share its spectrum.

In response to questions after his presentation, Mr. Gorenberg said that foreign competitors were already aware of the potential economic value of the new radio technologies and that the United States was in a contest to develop systems quickly.

“I think this is a worldwide race,” he said. “There are people looking at this everywhere. This is something that is very important to the U.S. to lead here to have our vendors out front so they can export their products overseas.”

He warned that if the United States failed competitively, the nation would likely see a repeat of the situation in the early 1990s when advanced digital cellular standards were created first in Europe.
post #2798 of 2861
I watched the finale of the Eurovision Song Contest last night, and I really had to wonder....With 100 million viewers across Europe, each able to vote up to 20 times on their cell phones, and only about 15 minutes allowed for voting (start-to-finish), how did the system hold up?
I'd love to see some statistics.
post #2799 of 2861
post #2800 of 2861
EU will make broadcasters give up spectrum to broadband

European broadcasters are emerging from a period of uncertainty to discover they will have to cede more primary spectrum to mobile broadband operators, but are being offered some concessions over reallocation.

Read more: http://broadcastengineering.com/news/EU-broadcasters-give-up-spectrum/#ixzz1ypgVOWrc
post #2801 of 2861
There hasn't been a post here for over a month. Is anything going on with broadcasters giving up their channels or channel sharing?

Almost 2 months ago I had the opportunity to ask the chief engineer of one of the Sacramento full power stations if he was aware of any activity among the local broadcasters. He said no and I got the impression he thought it was a non issue.

OTOH, I've seen a steady stream of applications for new LD stations or changes to existing permits in California (the only state I look at) and the FCC has approved many of them... and not just below channel 30. Two local TBN stations that I figured were history have recently applied for digital construction permits. Some full power stations have added subchannels or made changes to subchannels.

What I haven't seen are very many low power stations actually construct digital facilities.
post #2802 of 2861
The spectrum auction is voluntary and that means that a station doesn't have to sell if it doesn't want to. That means the greedy wireless douchebags that wanted to take over the OTA spectrum and use it for themselves are out of luck.
post #2803 of 2861
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Calaveras View Post

There hasn't been a post here for over a month. Is anything going on with broadcasters giving up their channels or channel sharing?
Almost 2 months ago I had the opportunity to ask the chief engineer of one of the Sacramento full power stations if he was aware of any activity among the local broadcasters. He said no and I got the impression he thought it was a non issue.
OTOH, I've seen a steady stream of applications for new LD stations or changes to existing permits in California (the only state I look at) and the FCC has approved many of them... and not just below channel 30. Two local TBN stations that I figured were history have recently applied for digital construction permits. Some full power stations have added subchannels or made changes to subchannels.
What I haven't seen are very many low power stations actually construct digital facilities.

Well of course you're seeing new LD permits. FCC mandated that analog LP be shut off by Sept 1 2015.
post #2804 of 2861
Quote:
Originally Posted by BCF68 View Post

Well of course you're seeing new LD permits. FCC mandated that analog LP be shut off by Sept 1 2015.

I'm aware of that but I'm seeing quite a few applications for brand new LD stations, not just analog conversions. And I've seen a number of applications for new permits from analog LP stations that previously had LD permits but let them expire. I was under the impression that the FCC wasn't going to be issuing permits for completely new stations but obviously that is not the case. My main point is that broadcast activity seems to be increasing, not decreasing as one might think would be the case if stations were interested in relinquishing their licenses or wanted to channel share. I view this as good news.
post #2805 of 2861
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Calaveras View Post

I'm aware of that but I'm seeing quite a few applications for brand new LD stations, not just analog conversions. And I've seen a number of applications for new permits from analog LP stations that previously had LD permits but let them expire. I was under the impression that the FCC wasn't going to be issuing permits for completely new stations but obviously that is not the case. My main point is that broadcast activity seems to be increasing, not decreasing as one might think would be the case if stations were interested in relinquishing their licenses or wanted to channel share. I view this as good news.

Any can FILE an application, doesn't mean the FCC will accept them. So are you seeing just applications being filed or ACCEPTED.
post #2806 of 2861
Quote:
Originally Posted by BCF68 View Post

Any can FILE an application, doesn't mean the FCC will accept them. So are you seeing just applications being filed or ACCEPTED.

Both. Since July 1, 2012 there have been 19 Form 346's in California that show up on a CDBS search (APPLICATION FOR AUTHORITY TO CONSTRUCT OR MAKE CHANGES IN A LOW POWER TV, TV TRANSLATOR OR TV BOOSTER STATION).

12 - Granted
6 - Accepted for Filing
1 - Dismissed

That seems like a pretty good number of permits issued for just over a month.

There was also 12 form 347's that were filed as a License to Cover Construction Permit. 11 were granted and 1 was dismissed. More activity than I thought, just not in my immediate area.
post #2807 of 2861
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jedi Master View Post

That means the greedy wireless douchebags that wanted to take over the OTA spectrum and use it for themselves are out of luck.

For now.
post #2808 of 2861
It is still possible that some of these grants are to speculators. They've got three years to build and a lot can happen in the meantime.
post #2809 of 2861
Quote:
Originally Posted by Calaveras View Post

Both. Since July 1, 2012 there have been 19 Form 346's in California that show up on a CDBS search (APPLICATION FOR AUTHORITY TO CONSTRUCT OR MAKE CHANGES IN A LOW POWER TV, TV TRANSLATOR OR TV BOOSTER STATION).
12 - Granted
6 - Accepted for Filing
1 - Dismissed
That seems like a pretty good number of permits issued for just over a month.
There was also 12 form 347's that were filed as a License to Cover Construction Permit. 11 were granted and 1 was dismissed. More activity than I thought, just not in my immediate area.

You're correct, the FCC did open up filings for new LD stations, but the transmitters must be located more than 75 miles from the reference points of each of the 100 largest markets. DTV America, Landover 2 LLC and CTB Spectrum Services are the three largest applicants for new LP DTV stations, some of which have been granted. Landover's proposal is interesting in that they plan to build a network of stations using the cellular model, i.e., many short, lower power stations instead of the tall tower model employed by most stations. I think they plan to offer one 480i feed of free OTA TV, which is the minimum required, and then use the rest of the bandwidth for data or some other premium service. We'll see if it ever gets built.
post #2810 of 2861
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Loudin View Post

It is still possible that some of these grants are to speculators. They've got three years to build and a lot can happen in the meantime.

Do you mean spectrum speculators? Low power stations aren't included in the incentive auction, so there is no profit to be made that way, and a full power station could be displaced into any LP's channel.
post #2811 of 2861
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkreichen1968 View Post

Do you mean spectrum speculators? Low power stations aren't included in the incentive auction, so there is no profit to be made that way, and a full power station could be displaced into any LP's channel.

It's true that low power stations cannot make any money directly from spectrum auctions but that hasn't stopped some of them from playing channel and location games by working the system. There are two around here I've been keeping an eye on.

KRJR has managed to go from a low elevation location near Sacramento to having a construction permit for channel 24 (a good channel) on one of the Walnut Grove towers right next to the KSPX antenna.

KOTR started with an analog 2 transmitter directed south licensed to Gonzales (a tiny town) to a omni 1.85 KW channel 11 transmitter on Loma Prieta that will cover the south Bay Area. They appear to have abandoned their channel 41 construction permit on Mt. Toro.

The strange thing is that neither of these stations have come on the air. There must be a reason why they felt it was in their interest to step through a series of permits to get to where they are.
post #2812 of 2861
Quote:
Originally Posted by Calaveras View Post

KRJR has managed to go from a low elevation location near Sacramento to having a construction permit for channel 24 (a good channel) on one of the Walnut Grove towers right next to the KSPX antenna.

Daystar has been building out their stations slowly, one by one. It will eventually make it on the air.
Quote:
KOTR started with an analog 2 transmitter directed south licensed to Gonzales (a tiny town) to a omni 1.85 KW channel 11 transmitter on Loma Prieta that will cover the south Bay Area. They appear to have abandoned their channel 41 construction permit on Mt. Toro.

I've heard that it is now for sale, leading me to believe that was a move to make it more valuable to a potential purchaser.

- Trip
post #2813 of 2861
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trip in VA View Post

Daystar has been building out their stations slowly, one by one. It will eventually make it on the air.

They're REALLY slow then because they've been saying they're going to flash cut KACA for what seems like years now and it's still analog.

Chuck
post #2814 of 2861
Daystar's been converting stations at a pace of one or two per month for a while now, I think that's slowed recently, and they have more than 100 stations, as I recall. So it could easily take a while.

- Trip
post #2815 of 2861
Quote:
Originally Posted by kenglish View Post

I watched the finale of the Eurovision Song Contest last night, and I really had to wonder....With 100 million viewers across Europe, each able to vote up to 20 times on their cell phones, and only about 15 minutes allowed for voting (start-to-finish), how did the system hold up?

I'd love to see some statistics.

Glad Eurovision gets watched outside Europe.

The voting in each country is probably less extreme than other events - like the finals of X Factor/Idol type shows - certainly in the UK - and in the UK at least SMS voting isn't allowed because of the inaccuracy of SMS systems over short time periods. So in the UK it's phone voting (by ringing a specific number) only - and that means landlines and cell phones are both likely to be used. It isn't just voting by cell phone - in fact I suspect a lot of phone votes are by landline.

(The UK stopped using SMS voting after a number of phone vote scandals a couple of years ago)

The slightly sad thing about Eurovision now is that all of the voting could be done instantly and they could just say 'X' has won... The 1-7 votes are now displayed automatically (to speed things up) - with only 8, 10 and 12 given by the spokesperson (but they are already known I believe) The amazing thing is getting 49 live contributions by satellite working when each person is only up for about 30" each - and they only use a relatively small number of slots (with countries coming up and down quite quickly). There's a clever approach to comms - with two additional sound streams on the main programme uplink (one carries the presenter mics clean, the other a technical co-ordinator - you come up on the satellite listening to the co-ordinator, when they're happy with your sound and vision they ask you to listen to the presenter audio feed)
post #2816 of 2861
Quote:
Originally Posted by sneals2000 View Post

... and in the UK at least SMS voting isn't allowed because of the inaccuracy of SMS systems over short time periods.  ...

(The UK stopped using SMS voting after a number of phone vote scandals a couple of years ago)
I wonder if the reason America's Got Talent isn't taking votes by SMS this year is related.  Perhaps other viewer-voting shows in the US have also stopped taking votes by SMS, but AGT is the only one of them that I watch.
post #2817 of 2861
From B&C: FCC Wants Broadcast Spectrum Auctioned by 2014

http://www.broadcastingcable.com/article/489202-FCC_Wants_Broadcast_Spectrum_Auctioned_by_2014.php
Quote:
...The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, which is being teed up for a vote at the FCC's September meeting, seeks comment on the design for the auctions, but also provides detailed proposals on both the reverse auction to reclaim spectrum from broadcasters and forward auction to get it in the hands of wireless broadband providers, according to an FCC official familiar with the rulemaking speaking on background. The rulemaking will be assigned to a general docket since it involves both the Media Bureau (broadcasting) and the Wireless Bureau (broadband).

The NPRM lays out the proposed reverse auction design, which includes three options for broadcasters who want to offer up spectrum: 1) give up all of it, 2) give up a portion and share spectrum, and 3) move from a U to V. The official said the FCC will try to make it easy for broadcasters to bid on giving up spectrum so they will participate.
...
"In freeing up spectrum for wireless broadband, incentive auctions will drive faster speeds, greater capacity, and ubiquitous mobile coverage," FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said of the NPRM. "These are essential ingredients for innovation and leadership in the 21st century economy where smart phones and tablets powered by 4G LTE and Wi-Fi networks are proliferating, and the mobile Internet becomes more important every day. Over the last few years, the U.S. has regained global leadership in mobile innovation -- and we must not let up now."
post #2818 of 2861
We're not going VHF.
Not even if the FCC sends somebody out to install a proper antenna on every freakin' roof in America.
mad.gif
post #2819 of 2861
Quote:
Originally Posted by kenglish View Post

We're not going VHF.
Not even if the FCC sends somebody out to install a proper antenna on every freakin' roof in America.
mad.gif
Of course. But Hi-VHF may not be dead for future OTA. It could be very successful with a new DTV standard (COFDM-based) together with the new small, active-antenna technology. The combination will allow solid reception on hand-held devices (not cellphones) and without telescopic antenna. Moviebeam (RIP) on channel 7 had such an advanced antenna but ATSC-8VSB is simply a calamity with ordinary multipath.
BTW, if anyone has a sample of that Moviebeam antenna I would like to purchase it. I think it is a 2x4 printed board with a short monopole.
post #2820 of 2861
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kenglish View Post

We're not going VHF.
Not even if the FCC sends somebody out to install a proper antenna on every freakin' roof in America.
mad.gif

Actually for my area VHF comes in better than UHF. I can actually get in better a hi-VHF channel broadcasting at under 18 kW than I can an UHF station broadcasting at 1000 kW both located at the same location at the same height.
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