TV Spectrum Reallocation Items on November Agenda
WASHINGTON: Reallocating broadcast spectrum for wireless
broadband is now a formal action item for the Federal Communications Commission.
A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on TV spectrum is the number one agenda item
for the FCC’s next regular meeting, scheduled for Nov. 30. FCC Chairman Julius
Genachowski announced it was coming two weeks ago at a spectrum summit in Washington.
The NPRM will open up the possibility of more than one station sharing a single
6 MHz channel assignment, and seek feedback on improving VHF reception. It was
also expected lay out a structure by which broadcasters will be remunerated for
voluntarily relinquishing spectrum. This incentive auction strategy is not
mentioned in the FCC’s agenda release, issued today:
“TV Spectrum Innovation NPRM: A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking comment
on rules to facilitate the most efficient use of the UHF and VHF TV bands.
These proposals, an important step toward the agency’s spectrum goals as
outlined in the National Broadband Plan, would remove a host of obstacles to
mobile broadband use within spectrum currently reserved for use by TV
broadcasters, including through innovations such as channel sharing and
generating increased value within the VHF band.”
The other two items on the November agenda include an NPRM on expanding
experimental spectrum licensing, and a Notice of Inquiry on secondary markets:
Experimental Licensing NPRM: A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking comment on
proposed rules to facilitate greater experimentation in the wireless space. The
NPRM suggests making the Commission’s experimental licensing rules more
flexible, including by easing testing restrictions on universities, research
organizations, and other institutions that are developing new wireless services
and devices. The goal is that the resulting testbeds would encourage innovation
and help speed the time to market for new technologies.
Opportunistic Use NOI: A Notice of Inquiry seeking comment on ways to
accelerate “opportunistic use” of underdeveloped spectrum in both licensed and
unlicensed bands, including how technological innovations can effectively
foster secondary markets.
-- Deborah D. McAdams