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TV broadcasters can meet projected demand for U.S. wireless Internet service if set free, says Greg Herman

It might seem odd that after the long, expensive transition from analog to digital TV broadcasting some U.S. broadcasters are seeking the freedom to select the digital modulation scheme of their own choosing.

But a confluence of circumstances and events has pushed some to question if it makes sense to put the future of monetizing their over-the-air TV spectrum in the ATSC basket. Those factors include the FCC’s National Broadband Plan, the desire to reclaim 120MHz of TV spectrum and the existence of a robust ecosystem of consumer devices supporting an alternate digital modulation scheme. In mid-November, a handful of people from the broadcast industry met with FCC staff to make the case for a different approach.

One of those people was Greg Herman, president of WatchTV in Portland, OR, and also president of a new advocacy group called In Herman’s view, there’s a better way than the lengthy process needed to go from where the country is today to the vision laid out in the National Broadband Plan. According to Herman, with authorization from the FCC, broadcasters could begin using OFDM-based solutions to deliver the kind of wireless broadband Internet service envisioned in the FCC’s plan as early as next year.

In this podcast interview, Herman discusses the concept.

Phil Kurz is a contributing editor to TV Tech. He has written about TV and video technology for more than 30 years and served as editor of three leading industry magazines. He earned a Bachelor of Journalism and a Master’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism.