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NAB/MSTV Oppose Boeing 2 GHz BAS Petition for Reconsideration

The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and the Association for Maximum Service Television, Inc. (MSTV) filed an Opposition to Petition for Reconsideration and Clarification of the Boeing Company opposing Boeing's proposal to reinstate, with some modifications, the FCC's original 2-GHz broadcast auxiliary service (BAS) spectrum relocation plan. Boeing's proposal would require incumbents to clear the 2005-2023 MHz spectrum (part of the current BAS channel 1 and most of BAS channel 2) for use by the mobile satellite service. Incumbent 2-GHz users would be allowed to continue to operate on 15 MHz-wide BAS channel 1 at 1990-2005 MHz and six 14.5 MHz-wide BAS channels starting at 2023 MHz up to 2110 MHz.

According to the NAB/MSTV, "Apparently (although not explicitly stated), all other aspects of the Commission's original relocation plan would remain - including delayed relocation compensation for markets outside the top 30 and a 10-year sunset deadline for compensating BAS incumbents."

NAB and MSTV expressed concern the remaining spectrum to be cleared during Phase II (1990-2005 MHz and 2023-2025 MHz) "likely will not be needed until the new fixed and mobile users are identified and can make a contribution to the more expensive Phase II relocation to 12 MHz digital BAS channels."

The broadcasters expressed concerns that the Boeing proposal would likely delay the Phase II compensation for relocating BAS incumbents until after the 10-year sunset date. After the sunset date, the new 2-GHz users would not be required to compensate existing 2-GHz BAS users for the most costly stage of the relocation - switching to digital microwave.

NAB and MSTV said that "although the Boeing Phase I spectrum plan may have some appeal in isolation, it significantly threatens the viability of valuable incumbent BAS services when combined with other elements of the Commission's initial relocation plan." In addition to the proposal likely depriving BAS incumbents of any compensation for the most expensive stage of the relocation, NAB/MSTV said that in the Commission's current plan, "the modified Phase I spectrum plan would exacerbate the spectrum coordination problems experienced by BAS incumbents outside the top 30 television markets."

NAB/MSTV said the change Boeing requests is not a "modest adjustment" to the original Phase I spectrum plan, as it spans two BAS channels rather than one, noting, "for BAS incumbents who will not be relocated immediately during Phase I, the Boeing proposal would take away (for what could be a prolonged period of time) two of the seven BAS channels they currently use. MSTV/NAB pointed to the concerns it raised in its earlier petition for reconsideration about spectrum coordination and other problems that will result when broadcasters outside the top 30 markets are immediately deprived of two BAS channels.

The Opposition concluded by stating: "For the foregoing reasons, MSTV and NAB urge the Commission to reject the Boeing proposal and to adopt a BAS spectrum relocation plan that makes spectrum available for new services without materially disrupting incumbent services. To the extent that the Commission entertains adopting a modified Phase I spectrum allocation as proposed by Boeing, it must also consider modifying other aspects of the relocation plan to mitigate the harm to incumbents described herein."