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[Discuss-gnuradio] New America Comments on FCC's Proposed Spectrum Right

From: Eric Blossom
Subject: [Discuss-gnuradio] New America Comments on FCC's Proposed Spectrum Rights Giveaway to Broadcasters (Docket 05-312)
Date: Wed, 8 Feb 2006 10:50:49 -0800
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.9i

--- Begin Message --- Subject: New America Comments on FCC's Proposed Spectrum Rights Giveaway to Broadcasters (Docket 05-312) Date: Wed, 8 Feb 2006 13:17:55 -0500

New America Urges FCC to Reconsider Giveaway of Spectrum Rights at the Expense of Affordable Broadband


This week, the New America Foundation and Media Access Project submitted comments—on behalf of 19 other prominent public interest groups and community broadband providers—in the FCC’s pending proceeding on the broadcast industry’s push to implement a Digital Television Distributed Transmission System (DTS), Docket 05-312.


Yet again, the Commission is proposing to potentially give away billions of dollars in valuable spectrum rights to broadcasters at the expense of the public—and to deny the use of currently wasted TV band spectrum for WiFi and local wireless broadband networks.  The implications of the rulemaking on broadcasters’ utilization of the public airwaves are great—and carry enormous untold opportunity costs in the form of diminished spectrum availability for affordable broadband service which could be deployed on vacant TV channels under another, now stalled, FCC rulemaking (Docket 04-186).    


Under the FCC’s proposed rulemaking, broadcasters would be given free reign to supplement their single high-power transmitters with networks of synchronized low-power devices. The FCC and the broadcast lobby frame this as a purely technical issue meant to increase broadcast coverage and provide better-quality service to over-the-air television viewers. In reality, it's a spectrum grab by licensees that serve a dwindling minority of U.S. households (only 13% of homes rely on over-the-air signals for primary TV reception).


The NAF/MAP comments urge the FCC to carefully consider how DTS technology would impact the availability of “white space”—unutilized spectrum in the TV band that could be used to provide unlicensed broadband service under Docket 04-186. The FCC must weigh the cost of increasing the value of broadcasters’ licenses against its stated goal of encouraging the deployment of affordable broadband services. The comments also argue that if the Commission moves to allow broadcasters to implement DTS and increase their coverage area, it should at least require an increase in public interest obligations from broadcasters commensurate with the increase in value to their licenses.


We encourage you to take a look at the comments, located here.  Once again, thanks for your time and attention to these important matters.







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