At the end of June, the FCC issued a Public Notice (FCC 05-134) requesting comment on what to do with the spectrum returned by three mobile satellite service (MSS) operators. Last week, the Society of Broadcast Engineers requested that 12 MHz of the spectrum be returned to broadcasters for Part 74 broadcast auxiliary services (BAS) use. Broadcasters used this spectrum for broadcast ENG operations prior to it being reallocated for MSS and Advanced Wireless Services (AWS).
SBE points out that 10 years after this spectrum was transferred, "that re-allocation has not yet resulted in productive use for this spectrum." SBE outlines the problems with MSS use of the spectrum and the changes the FCC has made in the allocations in an attempt to make them more usable.
SBE acknowledged that it was too late to use the spectrum to widen the 2 GHz ENG channels from 12 MHz to 13 MHz to better support HDTV ENG, but said that 12 MHz of the 13.3 MHz of returned MSS spectrum should be allocated for Part 74, Subpart H, Low Power Auxiliary use, noting "Doing so will take a small step towards mitigating an ever more urgent shortage of replacement spectrum for wireless microphones, used by radio and television broadcasters and BNEs [broadcast network entities] in providing coverage of breaking news stories, political conventions and sporting events."
See the SBE comments for more information and a diagram of a new band plan that would allocate 6 MHz of spectrum from 2,000 to 2,106 MHz for low power auxiliary use.
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