back to article US TV spectrum sale ploy gets OK from FCC

The FCC has approved its own cunning plan of letting TV broadcasters sell off their unused spectrum for a slice of the future pie. The hope is that TV companies can release 120MHz of radio space by rearranging their channels and squeezing some digital pipes into smaller slots. In turn they'll be rewarded with a cut of revenue …


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  1. JaitcH

    Using valuable spectrum for TV wasteland is squandering a resource.

    The massive assignment of valuable spectrum for TV trivia is wrong, these days, but this change of use conversion has to be properly managed, which is the point of the ITU, as electromagnetic transmissions are no respecter of international borders.

    Canada and the U.S., whilst sharing a common border are vastly different in nature. The U.S. is geographically smaller than Canada [ :) ] but it's population is about 10 times as large. The majority of Canadians populate the 200 miles immediately north of the border.

    Notwithstanding the population disparity, or the different densities, Canada has East-West coast-to-coast cell, television and fibre-optic coverage with multiple high power TV transmitters in the major provincial capitals.

    In the mid-West, or prairies, this will have little effect as cows aren't really into WiFi BUT in the extreme West and the heavily populated Northeast these border stations will determine how the U.S. deploys it's spectrum. Assuming a transmitter has an interference range of 4 times it's satisfactory viewing range.

    The U.S. really has a critical lack of communications infrastructure out in the country - where powerful TV stations are needed to reach the population.

    The alternate might be to provide (almost bankrupt) government sponsored fibre-optic facilities funded from the spectrum sale. This will free up sufficient room for the new uses.

    IP TV might be a solution for these sparsely populated areas, it is very successfully deployed in S.E. Asia.

    For the larger population areas of Canada one way to eliminate spectrum overlap is to provide free basic local TV station access to everyone, whilst disallowing advertisement replacement by cable companies, so local stations continue to have sufficient revenue to finance their programming.

    Europe is easier since the EU waves the big stick and can undoubtedly bring it's disparate countries into alignment.

    Other parts of the world are also quite manageable given their demands and their geography.

    The bottom line is whatever the solution the U.S. decides to use, it is not necessarily good for the rest of us.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      its probably not good for us either.

      Typically, the FCC takes spectrum, sells it to [company]. [company] then finds out that they can't use it [re: sunspot cycle] 5 years later.

  2. Anonymous Coward

    Something is rotten here

    The US TV spectrum is far below the new frequencies used by just about everything.

    So what game is this really?

    Many digital TV channels are already overly compressed to get more channels into limited bandwidth.

    So what's really going on here?

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