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RF Shorts: Other Items of Interest - Oct. 15, 2009

Last week RF Report carried a story saying TV bankruptcies could be the solution to the shortage of spectrum for broadband. A Wall Street Journal columnist observed that banks taking over bankrupt TV stations might be more interested in selling the station’s spectrum than in continuing broadcasting. In Saturday's Wall Street Journal “Heard on the Street” column, Martin Peers talks about shutting down TV stations in Television's Spectral Gold Mine (requires subscription). According to Peers, station channelization should be juggled to clear spectrum for other uses.

“One of the best places to find inefficiently used spectrum is undoubtedly TV stations,” Peers said. “Shutting off stations unilaterally probably isn't practical given the public-interest arguments in favor of free broadcasting. Broadcast channels' frequencies could be grouped closer together, freeing up 130 to 180 MHz of bandwidth, or two to three times the amount that was auctioned off last year for $19 billion.”

Another interesting take on licensed spectrum versus unlicensed comes from Telecom TV, (see Big IT is pushing for more unlicensed spectrum - operators not so sure. The article looks at the competing interests of technology companies like Microsoft and Google versus telecom companies such as Verizon and AT&T. The article quotes Anoop Gupta of Microsoft saying that the nation’s television broadcasters shouldn't be concerned about interference and that telecom carriers could benefit also, as the technologies would be complement their operations as well.

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.