TV Stations Agree to Accept MediaFLO Interference

Qualcomm, which heavily promoted its new MediaFLO broadcast service for cell phones at CES, received permission from the FCC to expand its service on TV Channel 55 in two markets after broadcasters in nearby markets agreed to accept higher levels of interference than Part 27 of the FCC rules would otherwise permit.

Gocom Media of Ill., the licensee of Fox affiliate WRSP-TV, analog Channel 55 in Springfield, Ill., agreed to accept potential interference to 5.7 percent of the population in the station's licensed Grade B contour from Qualcomm's Channel 55 system in the St. Louis area. Only 0.36 percent of the predicted interference is to viewers in the Champaign-Springfield-Decatur DMA. The rest is to viewers that reside within the St. Louis DMA and receive service from the Fox affiliate, KTVI, in St. Louis.

Nexstar Broadcasting Inc., licensee of NBC affiliate WHAG-DT, Channel 55 in Hagerstown, Md. agreed to accept potential interference from Qualcomm's system in the Norfolk/Richmond Va. area to 2.31 percent of the population inside the noise limited contour of the facilities authorized in WHAG-DT's construction permit. The FCC noted that "most of the area of agreed-upon interference is served by other NBC affiliates." It said almost half the affected viewers reside within the Harrisburg-Lancaster-Lebanon-York Pa. or Baltimore, Md. DMA and receive service from other NBC affiliates. Of the remaining viewers, they will be able to receive local NBC service from WHAG-TV's analog transmitter or from NBC affiliates in adjacent markets.

In approving the interference agreements, the FCC cited benefits including transmission of emergency information and local programming on Qualcomm's system. For details, see the FCC letters approving the WRSP-TV agreement (DA 07-121) and the WHAG-DT agreement (DA 07-122).