NAB, Wireless Offer Alternative TV Band Plan

The NAB, AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile, Intel and Qualcomm ask the commission to adopt a "core set of band plan principles" that, in essence, outline how wireless and broadcast are going to co-exist in the post-auction world. The joint proposal offers an alternative to an FCC proposal under which broadcasters would be packed into two non-contiguous blocks separated by a block of wireless spectrum.
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Negotiating behind the scenes, the NAB, major wireless carriers and chip makers have found common ground on how the 600 MHz TV band should be organized in the wake of the FCC’s upcoming incentive auction.

In the joint letter to the FCC, the NAB, AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile, Intel and Qualcomm asked the commission to adopt a "core set of band plan principles" that would maximize the auctioned spectrum, avoid interference between broadcast and wireless services and support the performance and size of smart phones and tablets.

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In essence, NAB EVP Rick Kaplan said, the joint agreement outlines how "wireless and broadcast are going to co-exist” in the post-auction world.

The letter was sent to the FCC as it begins accepting comments in the proceeding aimed at writing the rules for the incentive auction, in which the FCC plans to buy spectrum from broadcasters willing to give it up and then package and auction it to wireless carriers. Initial comments are due today.

According to Kaplan, the joint proposal offers an alternative to an FCC proposal under which broadcasters would be packed into two non-contiguous blocks separated by a block of wireless spectrum.

"The most important thing is that we are not stuck in between the wireless uplink and the wireless downlink to devices," he said. "Putting us there would create enormous interference challenge for us and wireless. It goes both ways, which is why they are concerned to."

Brand Connections

The letter also addresses the need for careful coordination in band planning with Canada and Mexico. According to Kaplan, that's needed so TV stations along the border are not "stranded" on high channels.

Without proper coordination, a few stations in markets like Seattle and Detroit could end up on chs. 47 or 48 while most stations are below ch. 41, Kaplan said. "You could imagine over time that’s not ideal for things like receiver design and it’s not a great long-term home to be separated from the rest of your industry for things like interference protection."

Kaplan said he could see the broadcasters and wireless carriers reaching agreement of other matters, but the parties have fundamentally opposing goals. "We want to maintain as much spectrum as we can so that we can continue to grow and to be relevant in the next decades, and they want more spectrum for a variety of reasons including its appreciating value."

Kaplan has expressed doubts that the FCC would be able to meet its timetable of wrapping up the rulemaking this year and conducting the buying and selling of spectrum next year. That NAB and the wireless carriers have been able to reach an agreement on the fundamentals of band organization has not changed Kaplan's assessment.

"I would be shocked to see the whole thing concluded in 2014 and not for any other reason than there are just a lot of issues to work out."

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Comments (2) -

James Cieloha Nickname posted over 4 years ago
I'm seen to know how to understand the entire spectrum situation. I would take a bet that Daystar, Trinity, Ion and all the other religious and minor broadcast network plus all the diginets multicast networks would round up being regulated to cable only network that would be made available to customers with FTA systems and be made available on all cable systems as well as on both Directv and Dish Network and also be allowed to stream their programming online for internet users at no cost. I like the idea in which NBC stations on 1080 share their channel with Telemundo on 480 in widescreen, CBS stations on 1080 sharing with CW on 1080 in widescreen, FOX stations on 720 sharing with MyNET on 720 in widescreen, Univision and Telefutura share a channel together on either 480, 720, or 1080 in widescreen, and ABC would continue to not have to worry about sharing their stations with another network or another station and still on 720 in widescreen, but could likely share it with other network affiliated channels on either 480, 720, or 1080 in widescreen. PBS stations would likely be forced to merged and share it’s stations on the same channel frequency and still be able to transmit in 1080 widescreen. The stronger PBS stations would end up sharing the channel space with the weaker PBS stations in markets where there are multiple PBS affiliates in the same market. The mid-sized and smaller TV markets could end up carrying 2 to 3 subchannel feeds in widescreen SDTV or HDTV on the same channel frequency. I would recommend that all the TV stations that are now on the UHF 14-51 band in digital that were on 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, and 13 in analog be forced to move on 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, and 13 in digital and all the TV stations that are now on the UHF 14-51 band in digital that were on 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, and 30 in analog be forced to move back to those channels in digital plus all the TV stations that are now on the VHF 7-13 high band with different RF physical channel numbers on the VHF high band in digital that were on 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, and 13 in analog to be forced to move back to those channels in digital as the best way to not mess up on frequency assignments in the future maybe by around 2020. I like the idea of all the TV stations be allowed to transmit all HDTV and SDTV as well as mobile programming in the MPEG 4 format in the future maybe by around 2020. I like the idea of both IVI TV and FilmOn HDi be allowed to go in business again and be able to transmit all the local stations to the viewers on the net for free without any interference from the government for violating any copyright laws with benefits for online viewers that want to watch their favorite stations programming such as local news and shows even after the spectrum auction and plan becomes very mandated and very hard for TV stations to be able to stay on the air without being able to stream all their programming online to the viewers online. Me wanting IVI TV and FilmOn HDi transmitting the locals online for free to the viewers on the internet would be very beneficial when it comes to very severe weather outbreaks and breaking news that the viewers would want to be very informed the sooner and the better as a public service to all online users and all television stations in the future. I’m afraid that my take of what channels the TV stations ought to be on with the planning of an spectrum auction. Thank you for my understanding to this crisis in the TV business lately as it relates to the spectrum crunch going on right now. My comment to this matter is not a negative attack but a opinion and theory on my own terns to the spectrum auction in the future.
Roger Thornhill Nickname posted over 4 years ago
The FCC is asking for a contiguous band of spectrum to auction to wireless providers. But their proposal to split up the TV band is alarming, fraught with interference problems, wasteful and disingenuous. It should be a continuous band from 54 MHz to 602 MHz (I'm going to assume that the FCC isn't getting much more then half the 120 MHz it's looking for).
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Ratings

Overnights, adults 18-49 for September 26, 2016
  • 1.
    4.4/12
  • 2.
    2.8/8
  • 3.
    2.5/7
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    1.5/4
  • 5.
    0.8/2
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    0.3/1
Source: Nielsen

Reviews

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