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FCC Mulls Retrieving Airwaves from TV Broadcasters

Article Comments  11  

Oct 27, 2009, 8:15 PM   by Eric M. Zeman   @phonescooper

In order to combat what Chairman Julius Genachowski calls a "looming spectrum gap," the Federal Communications Commission recently said it is giving thought to taking back some airwaves from television broadcasters and then auctioning the airwaves off to wireless service providers. The FCC said that it is considering all possible options to make sure enough spectrum is available for the nation's growing demand for wireless services. The Consumer Electronics Association noted in a study that the federal government stands to make up to $62 billion were it to auction of TV airwaves. The National Association of Broadcasters and its members indicated that this idea doesn't sit well with them. The FCC wouldn't take back all the airwaves, but some of the spectrum set aside for digital TV broadcasts. The FCC didn't say how much spectrum it might take back.

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Oct 27, 2009, 9:53 PM

The FCC could sell the spectrum to AT&T...

...and then there'd be functional iPhones.
But would ATT actually USE the spectrum?

Btw, neat gravatar.

Oct 28, 2009, 12:57 PM

How would they pick...

...the stations that they would pull from?

Could it be that they have not been "friendly" to the current administration? Would they pull from a long standing company that is doing well and making a profit? Would there be any thing with minority ownership? How about religious ownership?

I have 20 years in the broadcasting industry. know how it has changed. It used to fall under the 777 rule. That really said that one company could only own 7 AM, 7 FM and 7 TV stations. If they wanted to buy one then they needed to sell one of the same. For better or worse, now there are really no limits. You really do not have to serve the local community as before. Plus the "public file" that they keep is really a joke. Plus it used to be that some...
Researcher said:
...the stations that they would pull from?

Could it be that they have not been "friendly" to the current administration?

Lose the conspiracy theories. For a supposed "Researcher," you are para...

Oct 28, 2009, 8:34 AM

I have a major problem with this.

There is no doubt that releasing more spectrum for broadband is a win for consumers. However, Putting this up for auction for bidders is a red flag. The two largest carriers are the only ones with the cash to acquire the spectrum. This would give even more control to them and I would forsee exhuberant price plan costs and too much control. This would trump the consumer advantages and put to bed any hope for reasonable priced broadband access. We could hope for other companies to bid, but in all reality, who is in the best position to operate the infrastructure? Do we as consumers want a compromise in balance of control or do we want the monopolistic trends to continue? What is the point of Net Neutrality if we can't afford it?

I would li...
I fear, that our future, will be a technically dependent future. They are selling pockets of air. Auctions only help those who have the money to place a big enough bid to secure a victory. So in a sense, I agree with you. Net Neutrality and anything e...
I agree

Oct 28, 2009, 1:25 AM

The FCC IS the problem

If spectrum was actually treated like regular property(such as real estate) and therefore actually owned by the TV station(like real estate), then this wouldn't even be an issue. Once the market could demand an equitable price from the TV stations, then it could simply be sold. For those of you who don't understand the economic principle behind this, I'm not even going to explain why in this thread.

Oct 27, 2009, 9:46 PM


Did the broadcasters pay for these airwaves? If not, then sure auction them off to either the wireless carriers or the broadcasters. Seems like a great revenue source.
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