Broadcasters - DTV USA Forum
Subscribe via RSS Feed

  • President Obama endorses FCC plan for spectrum grab from TV Broadcasters

    President Barack ObamaPresident Barack Obama released a memorandum today directing the federal government to almost double the amount of spectrum space for wireless internet devices.

    Mr. Obama stated, "The Internet, as vital infrastructure, has become central to the daily economic life of almost every American by creating unprecedented opportunities for small businesses and individual entrepreneurs. We are now beginning the next transformation in information technology: the wireless broadband revolution."

    Last March, the Federal Communications Commission proposed a spectrum reallocation plan to reclaim up to 500 megahertz of airwaves from television broadcasters and auction off to wireless and broadband providers. The FCC would share earnings with broadcasters who choose to participate in the spectrum reallocation plan. Mr Obama's memorandum today was seen as an endorsement of the FCC spectrum reallocation plan.

    Broadcasters have been publicly decrying the FCC plan; in April, the National Association of Broadcaster's (NAB) president Gordon Smith made the following statements in a keynote speech at NAB's trade show in Las Vegas.,

    "How voluntary is it when the plan says, and I quote: ‘The government's ability to reclaim, clear and re-auction spectrum is the ultimate backstop against market failure and is an appropriate tool when a voluntary process stalls entirely.'

    further adding,

    "This sounds as voluntary as Marlon Brando saying in the Godfather that he wanted either the guy's signature or his brains on a contract."

    NAB delivers letter to FCC coinciding with Obama's memorandum

    In a letter delivered to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, NAB urged the FCC to protect over-the-air broadcasts, “We also fervently support the principle that any spectrum reclamation must not force a reduction in the number or quality of services potentially offered by broadcasters or a reduction in number of television homes served by broadcasters.” Read more about NAB's letter to the FCC here.
    Comments 21 Comments
    1. BCF68's Avatar
      BCF68 -
      Say good bye to OTA in 10 years. I thought Obama was smart. We all know that this spectrum is going to be bought up by At&t and Verizon. Anyone here confident that the 2 companies are going to provide broadband to all those millions that can't get it now? This IS the whole point of this wonderful plan. Considering the current data plans for PC these companies offer have 5 GB monthly caps and $51.20 per GB overage charges, anyone here confident that these millions of people are going to get REAL broadband? Is the FCC going to make sure these people get decent speeds and no caps? Doubtful.

      If the FCC is going to take everything above channel 30 then they need to move land mobile off ch 14-20. They also need to allow and make broadcasters use higher power for low and hi-VHF since it's obvious some will have to move back to these frequencies.
    1. Piggie's Avatar
      Piggie -
      This is yet another perfect example of who owns American politics and laws. You can argue left, right, liberal, conservative all day long and guess what? It doesn't make a hill of beans regardless of who is elected.

      They are beholden to one thing and one thing only, and it's not the voters. ATT and Verizon (virtually the same company stock holder wise) will benefit, not the consumer.

      They cell phone companies aka wireless data carriers already have 602 MHz of spectrum. If they take every UHF channel they get 222 MHz, not being allowed 37, unless radio astronomy bites the dust also. If the take hi-band that is another 42 MHz. Low band another 30 MHz. That adds up to 294 MHz of space TV now uses.

      They won't) use low band channels for data as it skips too easy. It is also very doubtful they want hi band due to antenna size. So that leaves them 222 MHz if they take every last TV channel save 37 for radio astronomy.

      That means they can only increase by 37% over what they have now. If they claim they are running out of space already, which they actually have on the 800 and 1900 MHz cell bands in urban areas, it won't be long until the new 700 MHz channels are full. Then they have just 222 MHz left and that will gone in no time. At the current rate of growth of wireless growth, this just means they will be totally out of space in 5 to 10 years including taking UHF television.

      Then what? They can grab the 450 ham band and the mobile land services near there but total that will only add another 40 MHz. And it will force every ambulance and police car to move to new 600 MHz public safety bands. Has anyone even considered if they will fit there. The cost of putting multiple 600 MHz towers in rural counties that are currently served by a single 460 MHz tower? Propagation and tree absorption change rapidly as you get above 300 MHz in the UHF spectrum as many here noted on reception.

      Then what? They will either have to improve compression techniques or go higher in frequency. If they get the UHF channels remaining that gives them 31% of the UHF spectrum.

      At it's peak, UHF TV only had 414 MHz of spectrum, or about 2/3 of what the cell phones already have.

      I don't believe they will make that big of strides in compression techniques, but it's always possible. They will need to start grabbing spectrum higher in frequency. Or more likely raise the price and limit the usability of wireless data.

      Two points are obvious. One is this is nothing more than a resource grab by corporations with the politician doing their bidding. Two, whomever though they could actually build out and serve rural areas with the limited amount of wireless spectrum was either ignorant or new they would be taking the frequencies from TV. This is pretty obvious in how fast (about 2 months) after analog shut off the wireless industry (ah well ATT and Verizon) wanted the rest of the channels. I am sure their engineers told them there wasn't nearly enough spectrum to ever satisfy rural broadband. Well lets see, looks like both of my two points lead back to the same conclusion, corporate control of the US Govt, lock, stock and barrel...
    1. n2rj's Avatar
      n2rj -
      If obama wants to force something to improve broadband, how about forcing phone companies who have sucked from consumers over the years to deploy fiber to all of their customers?

      There's a reason that everyone doesn't have access to decent broadband. It's called return on investment. Does Obama really think that suddenly taking away spectrum from TV will result in broadband for all? Of course not. It will result in more broadband choices for those who already have it, while the rest will be stuck with satellite and dialup.

      2012 cannot come soon enough!
    1. Fringe Reception's Avatar
      Fringe Reception -
      Why does this crazy idea make me think Obama's actual response was "uhhhhhh ... OK".

      Class ... let's remember he promised us NO MORE GOVERNMENT AS USUAL ... NO MORE LOBBYISTS running Washington. Right?

      Jim
    1. Piggie's Avatar
      Piggie -
      Quote Originally Posted by n2rj View Post
      how about forcing phone companies who have sucked from consumers over the years to deploy fiber to all of their customers?

      2012 cannot come soon enough!
      Back about 30 years ago, there was a proposition that no more additional frequency grabs would ever happen to the ham bands. Why? One is short wave was obsolete in the presence of satellites. And high speed data would all be on fiber cables connecting everything to everything.

      The wireless companies already have so much pressure on even now a lot of rural independent phone companies like Windstream, they can't afford to upgrade their DSL past 3m in many of their areas. The pay back keep getting harder and harder as they loose wire line dial tone customers. Then big companies like ATT just don't seem to care if they compete with cable in large towns where they have more of the competition from cable to increase DSL speeds or lay fiber into existing neighborhoods. ATT doesn't care because they get their revenues from their wireless phones.

      How is it when Standard Oil, Firestone Tires, and GM needed the interstates to sell more cars the government paid for it? Fiber everywhere in the ground would be just a vital to national security as the interstates brought (well they were needed so they could rip up most of the rail lines).

      If you think another party or another democrat will fix the "Obama" problem all I can say is wake up, they are all in bed with the corporations and all of them will support the end of OTA. All of them will allow BP to do what they want. All of them will allow Pharma and the Insurance companies to control our health care.
    1. Piggie's Avatar
      Piggie -
      Quote Originally Posted by Jim In Seattle View Post
      Why does this crazy idea make me think Obama's actual response was "uhhhhhh ... OK".

      Class ... let's remember he promised us NO MORE GOVERNMENT AS USUAL ... NO MORE LOBBYISTS running Washington. Right?

      Jim
      Thank God someone else sees it. It no longer matter which major party is in power, the lobbyists of K Street own the government. If any one thinks the current Tea Party is a viable third choice, wake up again and find where the money flows into that group.
    1. MrPogi's Avatar
      MrPogi -
      A grass roots revolution is the only way to stop the republicrats.
      Republican, Democrat. No difference. Tea Party??? Are you serious, the people who adore that intellectual heavyweight, Sarah Palin? Get real.
      I have argued this point with college professors... who SHOULD know better... Ours is NOT a two party system. Political parties are a tool that was not envisioned by the founding fathers. It was never meant to be this way, and now its a one party system by default.

      Revolution! Too bad our society has become so timid and, well, spineless and clueless - it just won't happen.
      Give us liberty, or give us... MMMMM, BACON! (PORK barrel spending).


      As for me, I am thinking of joining the Whig party. Or the Know-Nothing (aka American) party. Yea, that's the ticket!
      Bring back the Know-Nothing Party!
      History of Political Parties - Extinct Political Parties of the 1800s
      Who's with me?

      "Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely"
    1. Piggie's Avatar
      Piggie -
      Here is proof, at least to me the current FCC chairman, Julius Genachowski, is either clueless or totally on the take (I believe the latter, on the take).

      First he states that there are about 300 MHz of spectrum.
      UHF 37 channels, 222 MHz, the only part the wireless industry is interested in using. And the only part that really works well for ATSC OTA.
      VHF-HI 7 channels, 42 MHz, antennas too big for handheld devices. Could be used for point to point fixed operations. OK for ATSC OTA but allocations too close together in a lot of areas. Basically wireless is not interested.
      VHF-LO 5 channels, 30 MHz, useless for OTA, useless for wireless, can't even count this as available spectrum. Even if you say well channel 6 sorta works, wireless doesn't want that frequency.

      So that is a total of 294 MHz, but only 222 MHz is wanted by the wireless industry, yet Julius Genachowski, wants to quote the entire spectrum. False advertising.

      Then he makes a much larger blunder. Stating that only 100 to 150 MHz are used in the largest cites. Hello? Every hear of co-channel interference (interference from two stations on the same channel in different towns). Lets take Washington DC (where he has his office) and Baltimore MD. Those two cities are some of the biggest, and close together. If both towns used all the 294 MHz no one could receive anything! Both towns would have TV on all the same channels, causing untold interference. Stations have to file extensive plans with the FCC when they request a channel so they DON'T interfere with other close by towns. The same FCC of which Julius Genachowski is the Chairman! Hello? He is purposefully deceiving the public that doesn't know how OTA is allocated (how the stations have to file with the FCC to get on the air). In other words, the only way a large city could use all 294 MHz would be if they were over about 150 miles from any other town that wanted any TV station at all. At best a large town near any other town can only use about half the channels, again due to interference, not due to a lack of support or money. I call BS.

      Here is Florida there are only a couple of channels left that can be put on the air full power. If the current fillings for low power go through, it will be about zero without fighting another station. Sure in many small towns only 36 MHz is used, because there are other small towns around it, that use the other channels. If the small towns didn't do this there would be no local or ethnic stations in those towns, something the FCC (same place Julius Genachowski is Chairman) said was needed, starting all the low power TV licenses.

      He has so mis quoted, spun, twisted the facts, he is out right lying. Obama getting a good deal of campaign and perks from the wireless industry, is just following along to support his own carreer, not the people he said he was running to help. Then he is also a liar.

      So when the leaders of the country feel it's in their own personal interest to lie, where does that leave the public?

      The said part of all this we now live in an age where a grass roots movement has never been easier to form with the internet. Yet, people are spineless, or too busy trying to pay the bills, they don't have time, or time to watch the pay TV we see coming as the only TV around. I suspect it will have to be near survival conditions before the common American really takes notice to what is happening.

      Now here is our FCC leaders quote, I mean lies.

      A quote from this article: FCC chairman attacks broadcast lobbyists

      In fact, the FCC chairman said, much broadcast spectrum is not being used at all. “About 300MHz of spectrum have been set aside for broadcast TV,” he said. “In markets with less than 1 million people, only 36MHz are typically used for broadcasting. In cities with more than 1 million people, on average about 100MHz are used. Even in our very largest cities, at most only about 150MHz out of 300MHz are used.
    1. MrPogi's Avatar
      MrPogi -
      See:
      TVB | Broadcasters Urge FCC Chairman to Protect Free TV

      and also:

      TVB | Advanced Compression Unlikely to Free Up TV Spectrum for Broadband

      From the FCC Chairman:
      "the most efficient use of spectrum, a vital public resource, especially given our broadband needs."
      TV IS a more efficient use of spectrum. Adding another 100,000 televisions isn't going to increase the bandwidth requirements. But every new cellphone / pda/ wireless device DEMANDS additional bandwidth. Our broadband NEEDS (NOT WANTS) should be met by laying cable and fiber, not by gobbling up "a vital public resource" . NOTE, "Public", not privately held by the highest bidder to be resold to the PUBLIC, who own the bandwidth in the first place!

      The way I see it is, the 20-somethings have grown up with their parents paying for their TV, and they want to surf facebook and twitter whenever they want. They have yet to face the reality of PAYING THEIR OWN BILLS, and are clueless as to the quality and possibilities of free OTA digital TV. If mobile broadband users "need" that much bandwidth, let them pay what the market will bear. When they have to pay per MB for their foolish Twittering, they will use less, and they will suddenly find they didn't really "NEED" all that bandwidth.

      Once there is no choice, there will be no competition. (how many cable providers are in YOUR market? One?) Prices will skyrocket. The "Public interest" will not be a consideration for use of the spectrum, only profitability.

      Once this spectrum is given away, there will be no choice, and no going back. You will PAY. And a lot more.
    1. BCF68's Avatar
      BCF68 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Piggie View Post
      Here is Florida there are only a couple of channels left that can be put on the air full power. If the current fillings for low power go through,
      They won't The FCC announce this yesterday

      The Media Bureau announces that the initiation of nationwide first-come, first-served, digital only licensing for low power television and TV translator stations scheduled to begin July 26, 2010, is hereby postponed until further notice. On June 29, 2009, the Media Bureau announced that it would begin accepting applications on a first-come, first-served basis for new digital-only low power television and TV translator stations and for major changes to existing analog and digital facilities in these services in so-called “rural areas” on August 25, 2009, and without geographic restriction on January 25, 2010.

      The January 25, 2010 date for initiation of nationwide first-come, first-served digital licensing was subsequently postponed to July 26, 2010. For the reasons set forth below, the Media Bureau believes that a postponement of the July 26, 2010 date for nationwide licensing is necessary in light of the release of the National Broadband Plan.

      The Broadband Plan announced an effort to identify 500 megahertz of spectrum that can be reallocated from existing uses to enable the expansion of new mobile broadband service. To aid in this endeavor, the Broadband Plan recommended, among other things, that the Commission initiate a rulemaking proceeding to reallocate 120 megahertz from the broadcast television bands,


      The FCC wants to start this stuff by 2015. So you can certainly kiss most LPs good bye by then. Analog LP will definitely be gone and of course none of those guys can go digital unless they hitch a ride on someone else's channel. The digital LPs would certainly be most interested in the bribe .....I mean buyout by the FCC. Those that aren't will be "encouraged" to take the money. Kind of like the way a loan shark "encourages" you to make your payments on time.
    1. BCF68's Avatar
      BCF68 -
      Quote Originally Posted by MrPogi View Post
      See:
      TVB | Broadcasters Urge FCC Chairman to Protect Free TV

      and also:

      TVB | Advanced Compression Unlikely to Free Up TV Spectrum for Broadband


      TV IS a more efficient use of spectrum. Adding another 100,000 televisions isn't going to increase the bandwidth requirements. But every new cellphone / pda/ wireless device DEMANDS additional bandwidth. Our broadband NEEDS (NOT WANTS) should be met by laying cable and fiber, not by gobbling up "a vital public resource" . NOTE, "Public", not privately held by the highest bidder to be resold to the PUBLIC, who own the bandwidth in the first place!

      The way I see it is, the 20-somethings have grown up with their parents paying for their TV, and they want to surf facebook and twitter whenever they want. They have yet to face the reality of PAYING THEIR OWN BILLS, and are clueless as to the quality and possibilities of free OTA digital TV. If mobile broadband users "need" that much bandwidth, let them pay what the market will bear. When they have to pay per MB for their foolish Twittering, they will use less, and they will suddenly find they didn't really "NEED" all that bandwidth.

      Once there is no choice, there will be no competition. (how many cable providers are in YOUR market? One?) Prices will skyrocket. The "Public interest" will not be a consideration for use of the spectrum, only profitability.

      Once this spectrum is given away, there will be no choice, and no going back. You will PAY. And a lot more.
      The FCC could have avoided all this if they had mandated mpeg-4 tuners in TV and converter boxes. Then you could have 2 HD channels sharing the same frequency and still have room for mobile TV and/or SD sub channels. No way you can have mpeg-4 implemented by 2020. By 2025 maybe. The FCC would have to require mpeg-4 tuners in all TV manufactured after Dec 31, 2010 if they hope to have a majority of TVs to have these tuners by 2020. Of course there still would be millions of TVs without these tuners so you're talking about another converter box program. And of course the FCC should pay for stations conversion to mpeg-4 equipment.
    1. Trip's Avatar
      Trip -
      On the contrary, BCF, I'm on a mailing list for LPTV owners and many of them don't want it. They're not in LPTV for the money, they're in for the ability to own and operate their own TV stations! They don't want to take a bribe any more than the full-power broadcasters do.

      - Trip
    1. BCF68's Avatar
      BCF68 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Trip View Post
      On the contrary, BCF, I'm on a mailing list for LPTV owners and many of them don't want it. They're not in LPTV for the money, they're in for the ability to own and operate their own TV stations! They don't want to take a bribe any more than the full-power broadcasters do.

      - Trip
      Well it's obvious from the FCC recent actions that the LPs are going to have 2 chocies

      A) take the money and leave

      B) don't take the money and leave anyways.

      The FP stations have way more power and the FCC really doesn't want a fight with them if they can avoid it. Getting rid of LPs makes that a bit easier. Not that I don't value PBS but it seems there is an inoridinate amount of PBS stations out there. It seems that cosolidating some of them would free up some channels.

      NBC 223
      CBS 228
      ABC 244
      FOX 251
      PBS 362
    1. n2rj's Avatar
      n2rj -
      Quote Originally Posted by Trip View Post
      On the contrary, BCF, I'm on a mailing list for LPTV owners and many of them don't want it. They're not in LPTV for the money, they're in for the ability to own and operate their own TV stations! They don't want to take a bribe any more than the full-power broadcasters do.

      - Trip
      I can understand religious and educational broadcasters, but what about the infomercial stations, like WASA-LD, WNJJ-LD etc... If they are broadcasting infomercials 24/7 one would think they are in it for the money. Or maybe they're keeping the frequency occupied until the "real" programming comes along?
    1. n2rj's Avatar
      n2rj -
      Quote Originally Posted by Piggie View Post
      Back about 30 years ago, there was a proposition that no more additional frequency grabs would ever happen to the ham bands. Why? One is short wave was obsolete in the presence of satellites. And high speed data would all be on fiber cables connecting everything to everything.
      I don't think much in the way of outright frequency grabs will happen with ham radio. Here is what I *THINK* will happen:

      HF - part 15 and other regs will become relaxed to allow more interference to trash the HF bands, making them unusable in many areas. This is basically what they wanted to do with BPL.

      6 meters - safe. Ditto 2 meters. Internationally allocated, has way too much noise and reflections (propagation!)

      222 MHz - not a long contiguous block. Might be in danger.

      70cm - kinda safe, because it is shared with PAVE PAWS. However, we may see more sharing of the band such as with the Recon scout (bomb disposal robot) and medical devices.

      902 MHz - probably safe. I think it's shared with some others.

      1.2GHz - likely gone. Not utilized that much.

      The rest of bands might be taken away bit by bit but most don't use them unless in VHF/UHF contests.

      How is it when Standard Oil, Firestone Tires, and GM needed the interstates to sell more cars the government paid for it? Fiber everywhere in the ground would be just a vital to national security as the interstates brought (well they were needed so they could rip up most of the rail lines).
      I think that is long overdue. Fiber to every home except the very very rural. It should be like electricity today.

      If you think another party or another democrat will fix the "Obama" problem all I can say is wake up, they are all in bed with the corporations and all of them will support the end of OTA. All of them will allow BP to do what they want. All of them will allow Pharma and the Insurance companies to control our health care.
      My philosophy is this. Pols have way too much job security. Change them regularly and maybe they'll respect us for a change. A gas station out the road has a sign that says "diapers and politicians, change regularly for the same reason." I tend to agree!
    1. Trip's Avatar
      Trip -
      I'm referring to the more "local" owners. I could definitely see WNJJ-LD shutting down.

      - Trip
    1. Fringe Reception's Avatar
      Fringe Reception -
      Quote Originally Posted by n2rj View Post
      I don't think much in the way of outright frequency grabs will happen with ham radio. Here is what I *THINK* will happen:

      HF - part 15 and other regs will become relaxed to allow more interference to trash the HF bands, making them unusable in many areas.
      Ryan,

      It's interesting you mentioned Part 15: Julie and I purchased two LED candles today and there is a disclosure page regarding FCC Part 15 compliance on the reverse side of the 'How to install batteries' page.

      Your post made me wonder ... so I tested them next to an AM transistor radio tuned off station. In my opinion, they are 'compliant' as they propagate noise via RF no more than 12" from the radio ... BUT ... you ought to hear what the oscillators sound like! Something like R2D2 and with both candles on at the same time it becomes a random tone digital audio symphony! They certainly don't have simple relaxation oscillators in them.

      Jim
    1. FOX TV's Avatar
      FOX TV -
      There will never be enough spectrum to satisfy their needs or their greed. It is all about the money, and I would like to have the interest alone on all of the illegal pay offs that will happen to push this agenda through.

      FOLLOW THE MONEY has always been my catch phrase, for that is what is driving this push to take every available MHz of radio spectrum.The need to feed the greed is just to overwhelming.

      They are even eyeing spectrum that the Pentagon keeps in reserve for emergency needs and asking them to give some of that up. Where is the common sense here? Is the need to feed the greed so big and overwhelming that they can justify putting the need to feed the greed ahead of emergency communications ?

      News Flash,,,,"The need to feed the greed" has just became my new catch phrase in regards to the theft of the American Radio Spectrum, and it can't factually be referred to as anything else. Progress..I wonder if this is really progress with all of the negative social repercussions that stem from the anti personal aspect of all of this electronic communications that we now have access to.

      Social media? As we can all see if we care to look, it has been taken over by commercialism as can be seen by all of the commercials that now contain the phrase "Follow us on Space book, My space out, or tweeter !!" The social aspect of this fad has become commercialized almost as quick as the fad took hold, and that is all that it is...a fad...Monkey See...Monkey Do, and not all of us are Monkeys !!
    1. FOX TV's Avatar
      FOX TV -
      Interesting fact..Did you know that the natural background level of the RF noise floor (White Noise ) has risen over 10 db since man started using the radio spectrum heavily ?

      With all of this new noise added every day, amplification circuitry will have to deal with this new noise levels, and will have to become more efficient than ever to overcome the man made un-natural noise floor.
    1. MrPogi's Avatar
      MrPogi -
      Social media? As we can all see if we care to look, it has been taken over by commercialism as can be seen by all of the commercials that now contain the phrase "Follow us on Space book, My space out, or tweeter !!" The social aspect of this fad has become commercialized almost as quick as the fad took hold, and that is all that it is...a fad...Monkey See...Monkey Do, and not all of us are Monkeys !!
      I prefer to refer to it as "Anti-Social Media". People become disconnected from the "real world"

      Witness mindless groups of teens walking down the street, each on their own cellphones, texting... completely oblivious to the friends they are with... and the big truck bearing down at them as they cross the street!
    Comments Leave Comment (Guest comments are moderated)

    Click here to log in

    George ___________ was the first president of the United States (Answer this question correctly, it is used to stop spammers)

Back to top