Broadcast, Cable to FCC: C Band Sharing Needs More Study

Broadcasters and cable operators are on the same page when it comes to the FCC doing lots more looking before leaping into expanding terrestrial wireless access to the C Band spectrum.

That came in a joint filing that included the American Cable Association and NCTA-The Internet & Television Association, the National Association of Broadcasters and NPR.

They point out in a joint letter to the commission that video and audio programming delivered via the C Band serves 142 million Americans, representing what they called "the backbone of the infrastructure for delivering video content to American consumers.”

[Read: NAB, NTA Object To C Band Wireless Service Use]

The FCC sought input on the band as part of the MOBILE NOW Act requirement it produce a report on expanding access, as well as in its Notice of Inquiry on expanding use of midband spectrum.

To make the point that the FCC still has a lot of questions to answer, they listed more than 40 in their letter, including how interference risks would be mitigated if the band is repacked; how the FCC determines whether or not they will be effective; how big would the guard band between new wireless users and incumbent broadcast and cable users; how incumbents would be compensated if the band is repacked and spectrum auctioned to wireless; what costs would be reimbursed; and the veritable host of others.

The bottom line, they say, is that "much more information is required before the commission can make an informed decision."

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John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio WorldTV TechTV FaxThis Week in Consumer ElectronicsVariety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.