In Broadcast - July 2016 - 73


73

www.inbroadcast.com | Vol: 6 - Issue 7 | July 2016

InUSA

U.S. Megahertz Morass
Contributing Editor & Columnist Michael Grotticelli observes that in the midst of the
U.S. Station Spectrum auction there is an air of uncertainty...

T

he so-called "incentive auction"
now being run by the Federal
Communications Commission (FCC,
the organisation that oversee the U.S.
broadcast industry policy), is more than
a month old and still no one is really
sure how many stations have agreed
to participate, how much money the
government will have to pay out to get
willing stations to move to a different
channel, and whether the relocation
plan, or "repack" will work in the real
world.
Several industry analysts have
predicted that the proceeds - after
the spectrum is recovered from
broadcasters in a "reverse auction"
and then resold in a "forward auction"
to wireless carriers - could be as high
as US$45 billion. The FCC hopes to buy
back as much as 126 MHz of spectrum
nationwide from broadcasters.
Mobile Bandwidth
Major data service providers, such as
AT&T and Verizon, T-Mobile, Comcast,
Dish Network and more than 100 other
companies, are all salivating at the
thought of owning more bandwidth
for their mobile-hungry consumers.
The wireless carriers are hoping
the FCC clears at least 80 MHz from
broadcasters, because less than
that would mean there might not
be enough spectrum for each major
bidder to walk away with as much as
it wants. The FCC has said if it fails to
raise enough money in the forward
auction to cover its commitments to
the broadcasters in the reverse, the
agency will conduct a repeat of both
the reverse and forward auctions. That
could take the incentive auction well
into 2017.
The FCC hopes to acquire up to 100
MHz nationally in the 600 MHz band,
which is currently used for TV channels
in the UHF band. The characteristics
of UHF that make it good for TV also
work well for wireless communications
and data delivery because the wireless
signals can travel great distances and
exhibit strong in-building penetration.
TV broadcasters have the choice of
moving to a lower-frequency spot on
the spectrum, sharing signals with
a neighbouring station or giving up

broadcasting altogether. While some
stations have made their intentions
to participate in the reverse auction
public, the FCC is not able to announce
what proportion of the 1,800 eligible
TV stations are involved, because
of confidentiality protection clauses
within the 2012 Congressional action
that led to the auction. In addition,
broadcasters who drop out aren't
permitted to say so publicly during
the auction. Some projections have
said anywhere from several hundred
to upwards of 800 or 900 full-power
stations will not participate in the
auction and will have to move to a new
channel.
End In Sight
Indeed, at this point no-one is really
sure when the two-sided incentive
auction will end. The reverse auction
in which the FCC buys spectrum from
broadcasters is already underway and
it should wrap up in a couple of weeks.
The forward auction in which wireless
carriers buy that spectrum from the
FCC will begin in late July or early
August and run into the fall.
Whenever the auction closes, the
FCC will reorganise or repack the
existing TV channels to allow hundreds

of TV stations to continue
operating, albeit on a new
frequency. This move to
new channels has caused
considerable concern among
those stations that want to continue
broadcasting and have chosen not to
get involved in the auction.
As for the repack, the FCC is working
on special software that will help
outline where a station can co-exist on
a channel and where they will cause
interference and thus must be moved.
Once finished, the commission says by
the fall, the FCC will draw up a plan for
the repacking of the TV band. This will
be a detailed schedule for when each
station assigned a new channel has to
move to that channel. The program will
be put into place until the incentive
auction is completed and the number
of stations that will be moving - and
where they will be moving - is known.
The FCC has said that once stations get
their new channel assignment, they
will have 39 months to move.
GatesAir,
a
company
that
manufacturers TV transmitters and
the upgradeable exciters needed
to move to a new channel, is telling
broadcasters to be prepared for
a number of changes to their

transmission
facilities.
These include: Transmitter
channel changes, and/
or
new
equipment
requirements;
RF
plant
upgrades; Antenna/line and tower
implications; and the need to plan
for a cost-effective and seamless
transition to a new channel. Another
issue to be aware of the emerging
ATSC 3.0 broadcasting spec that could
be in place in five years (although it
probably won't be mandated by the
FCC, as the ATSC 1.0 digital television
spec was). A new transmitter tuned
for the repack could cost between
$500,000 and $1.5 million, so the
move is not an insignificant one.
Repacking Time
Besides the cost, the repacked TV
broadcasting landscape will look
different, with less stations covering
the entire U.S., but many say they
can continue to operate in this
newly proposed world. Others say
interference will certainly be an issue
once stations begin to fire up their
new transmitters on new channel
assignments. A study commissioned
by the National Association of
Broadcasters (NAB) found that the
repack could take up to 11 years given
the limited resources required to get
all stations up and running. The FFC
says 39 months is a more realistic
goal for ensuring the transition goes
smoothly and everyone, including the
spectrum bid winners, is happy with
the results.
In March, Tom Wheeler, Chairman
of the FCC, said the two-part incentive
auction process "will align the use
of the public airwaves to meet
America's 21st century spectrum
needs. If broadband Internet service
is an engine for economic growth,
then mobile broadband has been its
booster rocket, creating a platform
for innovation, competition and
new markets. The Incentive Auction
promises to free up more capacity to
meet Americans' skyrocketing demand
for wireless data while preserving the
valuable service that broadcast TV
stations provide to their communities."
Let's hope it all goes smoothly.


http://www.inbroadcast.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of In Broadcast - July 2016

In Broadcast - July 2016 - Intro
In Broadcast - July 2016 - Cover1
In Broadcast - July 2016 - Cover2
In Broadcast - July 2016 - 3
In Broadcast - July 2016 - 4
In Broadcast - July 2016 - 5
In Broadcast - July 2016 - 6
In Broadcast - July 2016 - 7
In Broadcast - July 2016 - 8
In Broadcast - July 2016 - 9
In Broadcast - July 2016 - 10
In Broadcast - July 2016 - 11
In Broadcast - July 2016 - 12
In Broadcast - July 2016 - 13
In Broadcast - July 2016 - 14
In Broadcast - July 2016 - 15
In Broadcast - July 2016 - 16
In Broadcast - July 2016 - 17
In Broadcast - July 2016 - 18
In Broadcast - July 2016 - 19
In Broadcast - July 2016 - 20
In Broadcast - July 2016 - 21
In Broadcast - July 2016 - 22
In Broadcast - July 2016 - 23
In Broadcast - July 2016 - 24
In Broadcast - July 2016 - 25
In Broadcast - July 2016 - 26
In Broadcast - July 2016 - 27
In Broadcast - July 2016 - 28
In Broadcast - July 2016 - 29
In Broadcast - July 2016 - 30
In Broadcast - July 2016 - 31
In Broadcast - July 2016 - 32
In Broadcast - July 2016 - 33
In Broadcast - July 2016 - 34
In Broadcast - July 2016 - 35
In Broadcast - July 2016 - 36
In Broadcast - July 2016 - 37
In Broadcast - July 2016 - 38
In Broadcast - July 2016 - 39
In Broadcast - July 2016 - 40
In Broadcast - July 2016 - 41
In Broadcast - July 2016 - 42
In Broadcast - July 2016 - 43
In Broadcast - July 2016 - 44
In Broadcast - July 2016 - 45
In Broadcast - July 2016 - 46
In Broadcast - July 2016 - 47
In Broadcast - July 2016 - 48
In Broadcast - July 2016 - 49
In Broadcast - July 2016 - 50
In Broadcast - July 2016 - 51
In Broadcast - July 2016 - 52
In Broadcast - July 2016 - 53
In Broadcast - July 2016 - 54
In Broadcast - July 2016 - 55
In Broadcast - July 2016 - 56
In Broadcast - July 2016 - 57
In Broadcast - July 2016 - 58
In Broadcast - July 2016 - 59
In Broadcast - July 2016 - 60
In Broadcast - July 2016 - 61
In Broadcast - July 2016 - 62
In Broadcast - July 2016 - 63
In Broadcast - July 2016 - 64
In Broadcast - July 2016 - 65
In Broadcast - July 2016 - 66
In Broadcast - July 2016 - 67
In Broadcast - July 2016 - 68
In Broadcast - July 2016 - 69
In Broadcast - July 2016 - 70
In Broadcast - July 2016 - 71
In Broadcast - July 2016 - 72
In Broadcast - July 2016 - 73
In Broadcast - July 2016 - 74
In Broadcast - July 2016 - 75
In Broadcast - July 2016 - 76
In Broadcast - July 2016 - 77
In Broadcast - July 2016 - 78
In Broadcast - July 2016 - 79
In Broadcast - July 2016 - 80
In Broadcast - July 2016 - S1
In Broadcast - July 2016 - S2
In Broadcast - July 2016 - S3
In Broadcast - July 2016 - S4
In Broadcast - July 2016 - S5
In Broadcast - July 2016 - S6
In Broadcast - July 2016 - S7
In Broadcast - July 2016 - S8
In Broadcast - July 2016 - S9
In Broadcast - July 2016 - S10
In Broadcast - July 2016 - S11
In Broadcast - July 2016 - S12
In Broadcast - July 2016 - S13
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_202007
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_202006
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_202005
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_202004
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_202003
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_202002
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_202001
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_INREVIEW2019
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201912
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201911
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_NewYork2019
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201910
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201909
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_inshowguide2019
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201908
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/CTA-DAY3
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/CTA-DAY2
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/CTA-DAY1
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/CTA-VISITOR
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201906
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/CTA-PREVIEW
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201905
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201904
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_NABSHOW2019
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201903
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_cabsat2019
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201902
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201901
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_INREVIEW2018
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201812
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201811
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_NewYork2018
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201810
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_inshowguide2018
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201809
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201808
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201806
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201805
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201804
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_NABSHOW2018
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201803
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201802
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_cabsat2018
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201801
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201712
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201711
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201710
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_NABSHOWNYexpo2017
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201709
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_inshowguide2017
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201708
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201707
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201705
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_NABSHOW2017
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201704
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_cabsat2017
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201703
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201702
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201701
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_INREVIEW2016
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201612
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201611
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_NABSHOWNYexpo
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_20110708_DEMO
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201610
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_inshowguide2016
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201609
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201608
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201607
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201606
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/lesommet/inbroadcast_APAC03
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201605
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_NABSHOW2016
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201604
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201603
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_cabsat2016
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201602
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201601
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/lesommet/inbroadcast_APAC02
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201512
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201511
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_CCW15expo
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201510
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/lesommet/inbroadcast_APAC01
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201509
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_IBC2015
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201508
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201507
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201506
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_BROADCASTASIA2015
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201505
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201504
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_NABSHOW2015
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201503
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_cabsat2015
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201502
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201501
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201412
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201411
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201410
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201409
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcastIBCPRINTEDGUIDE_201409
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201408
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201407
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201406
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201405
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201404
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201403
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201402
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201401
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201312
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201311
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201310
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201309
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201308
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201307
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201306
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201305
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201304
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201303
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201302
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201301
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201211
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201210
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201209
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201208
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201207
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201206
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201205
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201204
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201203
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201202
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_20121201
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_20111011
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_20110708
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_20110506
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com