FCC will open April window for auction-displaced LPTV’s

comfortably_numb

comfortably_numb

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FCC Will Open April Window For Auction-Displaced LPTVs

A potentially juicy tidbit from the article:

"The FCC is also advising those looking for new channels outside the top 40 DMA's to stay close to existing stations "to help provide flexibility in the future." Does that sound like the FCC could be looking to free up even more TV spectrum in that flexible future? NAB was vetting the notice at press time and an FCC spokesperson was not available for comment.

In fact, according to a document from the FCC auction docket, the advisory tracks with Microsoft's recommended addition to the notice, except that the confined the advice to markets below top 40, while microsoft wanted it to go to 15 larger markets.

Microsoft counsel Paul Margie said in a letter to the commission Feb. 5: "Microsoft recommends that the Commission provide the following guidance to broadcasters participating in the Special Displacement Window for low-power television (“LPTV”) and translator stations:

Given the public interest in promoting the efficient use of spectrum, the Incentive Auction Task Force and Media Bureau encourage LPTV and TV translator licensees operating outside of the largest 25 DMAs to select new channels for displaced stations that are adjacent to channels in use by other broadcast televisionstations. This will preserve spectrum for future uses and allow for maximum flexibility for all stations on a going forward basis."

Let's hope the FCC doesn't reduce OTA spectrum EVEN FURTHER in the future. Who decides what is in "the public interest?"
 
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Voyager6

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Well, with ATSC 3.0 the FCC can crowd many of the major channels in a market into just 2 or 3 slots and then free up all the extra spectrum to be sold off. I think that we see the future plans slowly being revealed. Look for the ATSC 3.0 mandate soon.
 
harshness

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Look for the ATSC 3.0 mandate soon.
Don't you think we should wait for the ATSC 3.0 stations to provide real-life documentation to support the many substantially untested theories behind the technology before we look for a mandate? It has been about a month since the ATSC announced technology that is supposed to be fundamental to Next-Gen doing what it is supposed to do.
 
Voyager6

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Don't you think we should wait for the ATSC 3.0 stations to provide real-life documentation to support the many substantially untested theories behind the technology before we look for a mandate? It has been about a month since the ATSC announced technology that is supposed to be fundamental to Next-Gen doing what it is supposed to do.
Soon may have been the wrong descriptor. In the next few years (2 - 3) may be the better way to say soon. The ATSC 3.0 mandate will be driven by politics (money) not by technical need.
 
navychop

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Yet the last auction didn’t go so well, with companies relying upon 5G to fill the need, not additional bandwidth.
 
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harshness

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The ATSC 3.0 mandate will be driven by politics (money) not by technical need.
That depends on how active the NAB gets and how many of their member stations toe the line. I get the feeling that not all of the broadcasters are as keenly interested as the ones that we've been assured are all in.

I'm also dubious about the suggestions that bargaining for adjacent channels is a great idea unless channel bonding is going to be a thing. If the incumbent station takes their station to DTV lighthouse status while deploying their Next-Gen service at a different frequency, it seems likely any advantage to being adjacent will evaporate.

Finally, as the network streaming options develop a good head of steam, the locals may suffer a serious loss of eyeballs and new advertising technologies aren't necessarily going to help support the broadcasts.
 
comfortably_numb

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Yet the last auction didn’t go so well, with companies relying upon 5G to fill the need, not additional bandwidth.

That’s what I was thinking. Who exactly wants or needs additional bandwidth that would warrant (God forbid) another incentive auction? And forgive my ignorance, but what does Microsoft have to do with any of this and why is the FCC taking advice from them?
 
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harshness

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That’s what I was thinking. Who exactly wants or needs additional bandwidth that would warrant (God forbid) another incentive auction? And forgive my ignorance, but what does Microsoft have to do with any of this and why is the FCC taking advice from them?
Since they've failed pretty much everywhere else they've tried to compete on the consumer level (except gaming consoles), my bet is that they filed some documentation in an effort to convince the FCC that they need great gobs of bandwidth to advance their IoT initiatives.
 
comfortably_numb

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Since they've failed pretty much everywhere else they've tried to compete on the consumer level (except gaming consoles), my bet is that they filed some documentation in an effort to convince the FCC that they need great gobs of bandwidth to advance their IoT initiatives.

I find it amusing that Microsoft's lawyer is quoted as knowing "what is in the public interest" and then the FCC includes that language in their own documents. How about soliciting opinions from engineers, TV station owners and operators... and, God forbid... the consumers?! :eek:

Microsoft has it's own best interests in mind, which is fine. But let's hope the FCC considered more than just what Microsoft wants.
 
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harshness

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I find it amusing that Microsoft's lawyers would know "what is in the public interest" and then the FCC includes that language in their own documents.
It has always been Microsoft's belief that their interests are logically the the public's interests. That's how the Microsoft Office document formats became ISO standards even though they're not open and not particularly well documented.

Shame on the public for not letting them know otherwise.
 
Trip

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No need for everyone to spin into a tizzy. There's no rule requiring any specific channels to be filed for, there's no plan to shrink the TV band (Microsoft wants free white space spectrum--which is not purchased at auction), and there is no ATSC 3.0 mandate.

- Trip
 
harshness

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No need for everyone to spin into a tizzy.
cue the clip of Kevin Bacon in Animal House
There's no rule requiring any specific channels to be filed for, there's no plan to shrink the TV band (Microsoft wants free white space spectrum--which is not purchased at auction).
Aren't Microsoft's "needs" somehow in conflict with non-participating stations looking for a new home?

I suppose some of this comes down to whether or not you believe that ATSC 3.0 can be implemented with enough viewer benefits to encourage voluntarily conversion without a handful additional channels. I think broadcast TV runs a high risk of killing itself if it starts converting DTV to relatively low resolutions or whacking subchannels en masse in an attempt to force viewers to upgrade.
 
Tampa8

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That’s what I was thinking. Who exactly wants or needs additional bandwidth that would warrant (God forbid) another incentive auction? And forgive my ignorance, but what does Microsoft have to do with any of this and why is the FCC taking advice from them?

I'm not encouraged if we are seeing a hint of what is on the horizon for the broadcast spectrum. And thank-you because I felt out of the loop in not knowing why the FCC is taking advice from Microsoft on this... They are not a company you think of as knowing what the public interest is.
 
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comfortably_numb

comfortably_numb

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My questions would be:

1. Are the airwaves which are used for OTA a public trust?
2. If said airwaves are a public trust, then why would Microsoft have any input on the use of those airwaves?
3. Does the general public (us) have any say on what happens to those airwaves in the future?
4. If we do have a say, then where and how can we voice our opinion on those airwaves?

Thanks in advance.
 

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