Spectrum Auctions Likely, But Not Soon

dkreichen1968

Moderator
Staff member
#1
“We point out that legislation permitting an incentive auction is just the first step. The second step entails the FCC actually writing the auction rules and subsequently collecting comments (likely a year-plus). It is at this point that the FCC will look for spectrum ‘volunteers’ (Big Four nets are not likely ‘targets’) - another lengthy process - and then an auction can finally ensue. At the end of the day, it is estimated that it will take 6+ years before incentive auctions are actually held. The consensus among our speakers is that the incentive auction will bring in $27B - with the amount allocated to broadcasters still TBD,” Ryvicker wrote.

RBR-TVBR observation: That six years plus for any spectrum-clearing auctions to actually take place sounds about right to us – maybe even an optimistic timetable. Anyone who thinks incentive auctions will be a quick budget gap filler is not in touch with reality. And since incentive auctions are not currently legal, it will take an Act of Congress before the process can even begin. With a divided Congress it appears highly unlikely that the Republican House and Democrat Senate will be able to agree on a full year funding deal before the government’s fiscal year begins in October – not to mention that the FCC is unlikely to get cooperation on anything from House Republicans so long as it insists that its net neutrality rules are legal.
Read More: Spectrum auctions likely, but not soon - Radio & Television Business Report

Factors that I don't think anyone is taking into account is a changing marketplace. Based on a recent study by SNL Kagan, 5.2% of pay-TV subscribers in the Atlanta, GA market and 3.3% of subscribers in the Phoenix market canceled their subscriptions in the first quarter of this year. If that indeed turns into a trend that spreads to other markets, there may be no willing takers when things reach the "volunteering" stage. Even after the auctions it would take years to repack and clear the spectrum, which means that this plan was a bad idea for relieving short term network capacity problems from the get go!!! As Sprint so graciously pointed out in their recent filing in the AT&T/T-mobile merger case, wireless companies need to build more towers and move to more efficent technologies, not continue their attempts to take advantage of small broadcasters and the viewing public.
 
Last edited:

dkreichen1968

Moderator
Staff member
#2
Transitioning to a new video format would be a major con for broadcasting. Does your HDTV receive h.264? I don't think so. Replacing DTV tuners may be good for CEA, but not for the rest of us. And, I don't know of any proposals to go to 3 MHz channels, only to force existing broadcasters to share 6 MHz channels. That isn't the same thing!!!
 

MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#3
if spectrum repacking occurs the 20 channels (120 mhz) reclaimed the remaining 6 mhz uhf channels become 3mhz channels using h.264 which i think is about equal to the uhf channels now vhf doubles in amount of channels so stations can carry more that what they currently do in half the space plus more so you could say that the incentive auctions can be viewed as the only con in the whole picture
Broadcasters are NOT going to be happy about buying all new equipment.
It took how many years and dollars to go digital. How long do you think it would take to go to h.264??
And I can't afford to replace all of my TV sets, tuner cards, and recievers.

By the way, reckoniez, what is your job title at CEA?
 

Chips

DTVUSA Member
#4
Please don't take offense. Everyone in this group has an interest in following the process of incentive auctions and fresh sources of information are welcome (at least speaking for myself, I am trying to follow any source of information about the spectrum auction). However I doubt you will find too many people on this forum who want to see the auctions happen.
 

dkreichen1968

Moderator
Staff member
#5
I'd love to see the TV spectrum well utilized, but with DTV (and well managed secondary services), not more pay Twitter/facebook/porntube services. Also, it would have been great if MPEG4 had been standardized before the transition, but at this point I'd like to see as much MPEG2 in the TV band as possible. By the way, according to Sprint, AT&T can increase their network capacity 600% without any additional spectrum.
 

MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#6
I would have liked to seen DTV use h.264, but the ship has already sailed, so to speak. We are stuck with MPEG 2 for sometime into the future due to the stranded costs for both broadcasters and consumers. I think the way to proceed with this would be to keep things as they are until there is an actual spectrum crisis, not an anticipated or manufactured crises. When all other options have been exploited, THEN we should move forward with h.264 - or whatever protocol is best at that time. In the meantime, there is enough spectrum being hoarded and plenty of innovations yet to be implemented or created for broadband wireless. It's been suggested that broadcasters themselves could provide internet utilizing unused bandwidth.

But I believe the solution to providing broadband internet to as many as possible is to lay cable and fiber, in much the same manner as the U.S has managed to provide "universal access" to phone service. It's time for cable and phone companies to make investments in infrastructure. Wireless broadband is a stop-gap solution at best, and would best be utilized for "last mile" applications in rural areas.

The current FCC has an unstated goal of killing off broadcast TV. Chairman Genachowski created the position of "resident scholar" for his buddy Benjamin Stuart. His essay "ROASTING THE PIG TO BURN DOWN THE HOUSE: A MODEST PROPOSAL" should give you an idea of what his views are.

More info:
Appointment of Stuart Benjamin as Distinguished Scholar in Residence Reinforces FCC’s Position on Spectrum Reallocation at disparate.info

http://www.tvnewscheck.com/article/2009/12/11/38079/genachowski-hires-broadcast-tv-hitman

Cache Free TV: Save free TV!
 

Similar threads

Top