Qualcomm Approved For Use of TV Channel 55 in Tampa-Orlando

An agreement between ION Media Networks Inc., licensee of WOPX, Channel 56, in Melbourne, Fla. and Qualcomm has led the FCC to grant permission for Qualcomm to deploy its MediaFLO "mediacast" service in the Tampa-Orlando (Florida) area.

In the agreement, WOPX agreed to accept potential interference to 3.78 percent of the population in the Grade B contour of its analog coverage. Qualcomm holds licenses for Channel 55 (Block D in the lower 700 MHz band) that cover the entire nation.

In granting Qualcomm's application, the FCC cited benefits of the MediaFLO service, including transmission of breaking news, weather and public affairs programming and the capability to disseminate emergency alert information. The commission further noted that the grant would contribute to the growth of the American economy. The FCC observed that WOPX was not one of the top four-rated stations in the market and that the entire area of agreed-upon interference would be served by at least 23 other TV stations. Viewers in this area would continue to receive service from WOPX-DT. The FCC noted that cable penetration in the Orlando-Daytona Beach-Melbourne DMA is 92 percent.

The FCC letter (DA 07-711) cautioned Qualcomm that "Any changes to the technical parameters of the proposed facilities that will result in levels of interference greater than those agreed to in the preceding agreements referenced herein, or that will result in any additional interference under the thresholds established in the commission's Qualcomm Order, will require separate commission approval."