RF Shorts for Sept. 20, 2012

AT&T’s Randall Predicts 50 MHz to be Gleaned in Incentive Auctions

Although the law authorizing the incentive auction of TV spectrum does not specify the number of channels broadcasters have to give up, articles continue to cite the National Broadband Plan's 120 MHz, which would eliminate all TV channels above Channel 30. As I've pointed out, that’s not the case and the number of channels the FCC is likely to clear in the auction will be much smaller. A few months ago one FCC Commissioner suggested it might be as much as 85 MHz or 14 channels.

Someone who should have a good idea of the potential spectrum to be gained from the auctions is AT&T’s chief executive officer, Randall L. Stephenson.

FierceWireless.com reports on comments from Stephenson at the recent Goldman Sachs Communacopia Conference. Phil Goldstein's article AT&T CEO praises FCC's move on spectrum holdings reports, “Stephenson also said that the expected auction of broadcast TV spectrum for mobile use will likely result in 50 MHz of spectrum auctioned to five or six bidders, which he said will 'not solve any long-term problems' in terms of capacity.”

This works out to about eight channels, which would likely impact stations above Channel 43. Depending on how aggressively the FCC intends to repack the spectrum or if necessary to clear channels for the displaced stations, stations on lower UHF channels will be affected to some extent.

13 Gigapixel Web Comic Art Includes Transmitter Sites

If you have some time to spare, check out Wednesday's xkcd web comic “Click and Drag”. Erik McClure analyzed the comic and found it was made up of 225 individual images with a total image area of 79,872 x165,888 pixels–13 gigapixels in all. If you click and drag to explore the right side of the image, working your way up the hill, you will find a huge assortment of impressive tower sites on the peaks, both self-supporting and guyed structures, with amazingly realistic looking buildings.

Remembering John H. Battison

I'm sure most readers know the name John Battison. I knew he had founded SBE, but I wasn't aware of his amazing career until I read James O'Neal's excellent memorial–Remembering John H. Battison (1915-2012) - Remembering a very long career in broadcasting on TVTechnology.com this week. It is inspiring and illustrates the fact that for many, if not most of us, who work in the broadcast field, it is more than a job.

Comments and RF related news items are welcome. Email me at dlung@transmitter.com.

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.